Saturday, July 6, 2013

Near Dark (1987)

Just as the vampire seemed to be losing its icy grip on the Horror film, the genre received the fresh new blood it needed from NEAR DARK in 1987. Caleb is overtaken by a beautiful stranger, Mae, whose kiss transforms him into a creature of the night. Just as dawn is about to break, Caleb and Mae are snatched up by the band of nomadic vampires that she calls 'family.' Caleb must now decide to either run with the pack or fight his deadly new disease on his own. NEAR DARK is more of a modernization than a re-imagining of the classic vampire mythos. The standard rules still apply, and as we often see in the film, sunlight packs one hell of a punch against these gun-totting baddies. The Gothic trappings of the past have been dropped in place of an Action/Western hybrid with an emphasis on the Horror. NEAR DARK brings together the perfect cast of bloodsuckers, led by Lance Henriksen as the ruthless Jesse. ALIENS co-star Jenette Goldstein stars as his sadistic lover Diamondback, while Bill Paxton's wild antics as Severen turn out one of his most enjoyable performances ever. The carefully chosen title speaks to the characters of Caleb and Mae. Although they have been initiated into a world of darkness, they sit on the brink of good and evil, and still have hope for salvation. Of the many memorable scenes, the bloody bar fight between Jesse's vampire posse and the local shitkickers stands out the most, followed by the blazing gun battle with the police that nearly destroys the group as sunlight pours in from the bullet holes. NEAR DARK is a modern classic that, along with THE LOST BOYS from the same year, helped to usher in a new era of vampire films.

Rating: 9/10.

Movies like NEAR DARK:
SKINWALKERS, VAMPIRES, THE LOST BOYS.

8 comments:

  1. hell yes... this is one of those really good backwoods vampire story... it probably spawned many of the crud that is out there now.

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  2. Yes, great movie! But have you seen the cover art they've slapped on newer DVD releases of this movie? They try to make it look like Twilight - and this movie is nothing like Twilight.

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  3. My favourite vampire film from the 1980s, and just one of my all-time favourites. Good review, Carl.

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  4. I refuse to even acknowledge that cover Alex, blasphemy! I have an ongoing love affair with this film, my wife is jealous.

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  5. Jennifer CroissantJuly 10, 2013 at 9:27 AM

    I`ve always thought that "Near Dark" and "The Lost Boys" were both ludicrously over-rated garbage.

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  6. In general, or specific to the vampire genre? Which vampire films might you prefer? I find them both to be a refreshing change of pace from your average bloodsucker, although I also like Daughters of Darkness, The Hunger, Cronos, and Let's Scare Jessica to Death quite well.

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  7. Jennifer CroissantJuly 11, 2013 at 10:21 AM

    I quite liked "Daughters of Darkness" and "Lets Scare Jessica to Death" as well (i haven`t seen "The Hunger" or "Cronos"), its just that specifically going back to "Near Dark" and "The Lost Boys", those two movies have always had a lot of praise heaped upon them but i`ve genuinely never been able to see what all the fuss is about, actually it was the same with "Interveiw with the Vampire" and Francis Ford Coppolas "Dracula", i think those two movies are also extremely over-rated.

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  8. There are elements in both IwaV and Dracula that I truly love, but I feel the acting, in particular, brings each of the films down. I always liked the modernization of Lost Boys and Near Dark, and given my age group, I'm sure boyhood nostalgia has a huge effect on my affinity for the films, as well :)

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