To dev film you need about $20 worth of stuff. To do the full darkroom will cost a couple of hundred - loads of people are virtually giving away their equipment.
It's VERY easy to do all this stuff, but it sounds terribly complex if you try and read it. Though there are some good online tutorials, I found it really intimidating the first few times. Fortunatly I had someone with me to hold my hand. Three sessions later, and I was fine - it's basically just pouring liquid in and out of a jar!
I'd recommend finding someone who knows what they're doing, the turn up on their doorstep with a nice bottle of wine, and a couple of exposed films. That way you get to SEE it done. I'm sure someone will volenteer to help you take those first steps...