Brought to you by OBS staff members Em & Krystal
Running Time: 104 minutes
Director: John Carpenter
Jack Crow (James Woods) and his co-partner Montoya (Daniel Baldwin) are heads of a Vatican sponsored group of vampire-stalkers. After raiding an abandoned house in New Mexico, the team goes to celebrate their victory, but when a powerful vampire, Valek (Thomas Ian Griffith), kills their team and now Crow seeks revenge.
Needing to report in for more knowledge, Jack visits Cardinal Alba (Maximilian Schell), who informs that Valek was the first documented case of vampirism and possibly the progenitor of all vampires.
Together with priest Adam Guiteau (Tim Guinee) and the prostitute Katrina (Sheryl Lee), the only link to Valek, Crow must hurry to get to Valek before he gets to the Black Cross of Berziers, which would make him invincible to even the sun.
This 1998 John Carpenter film, based on John Steakley’s novel of the same name, is a vampire-tale mix between horror and western.
For me it’s a grandious horror-western-mix with lots of quotes and hints to other splatter-movies. I really loved the violence in this movie – not too much and not too funny … just great!
Whatever you do though don’t watch the sequels – Vampires: Los Muertos and Vampires: The Turning. Although Bon Jovi is great, they are not good and they are not directed by John Carpenter.
Rating: 7/10 stars
I actually have mixed reviews about this film. While I love the grungy, bloody and straight forward approach to this dark tale, there’s something that realy throws it off for me.
While the acting in this film is okay, no one performance really pops out at me. What Carpenter does do well in this film is mix the western style with the horror of the vampire genres and adding a bunch of humor on top.
A quote by Carpenter that encompasses my love of this film over films like Twilight and Interview with a Vampire is:
“My vampires are savage creatures. There isn’t a second of brooding loneliness in their existence. They’re too busy ripping and tearing humans apart.”
Another thing I loved was how Carpenter didn’t hold back with the gore. The MPAA threatened to give the film an NC-17 rating if they didn’t cut back the “over-the-top violence”. While they did cut short a few things that went a little too gruesome, the film stayed mostly in tact.
Now for the things I don’t like. There’s something about films that are almost a cut and pasting of multiple other films that I don’t like. The film is a mix and match of many films out there, but more gruesome and Carpenter has mentioned the fact that the whole ending scene is a kind of replay on Red River. I suppose for me originality is something that really gets to my bones… it’s the reason why I think spoofs entertaining, but never good films.
Overall, it’s worth seeing if you want to see what a “real” vampire does when you mess with him.
Rating: 5.5/10 stars