John Carpenter's Vampires

John Carpenter's Vampires


Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

What can you do with Dracula's gene pool that hasn't been done to death?

Somehow the teeth thing isn't scary anymore and ravished women in hippy gear, gagging for vein juice, look like another appeal for Help The Homeless.

Copy picture

This reincarnation of the vamp-as-western, exemplified by Kathryn Bigelow's memorable Near Dark, is a yukfest of superatural proportions. If there are new ways to disembowel someone, or nastier methods of decapitation, they must be beyond director John Carpenter's fertile imagination because he provides an eclectic selection here, all of which turn yesterday's lunch into carpet fill.

The plot is potty. But that's alright. Vampires have never crossed the credibility gulch since Bram Stoker invented a Romanian aristo who punctured the fair necks of innocent young gels and turned them into sex slaves.

James Woods, overdoing it as usual and looking surprisingly small, plays a vampire slayer, called Jack Crow - no relation to the late lamented Brandon Lee - who hunts a 14th century tall bloke, called Valek (Thomas Ian Griffith), whose mission, aside from serial killing, is to find an ancient cross - the undead have no probs with religious artifacts in this flick - which will make it possible for him to walk in sunlight. Don't ask how. Apart from watching a half-dressed hooker (Sheryl Lee) slowly change into a blood addict, the action concentrates on Crow's hunt for Valek in New Mexico - great locations, lots of dust - with an overweight Daniel Baldwin as his sidekick and a sensitive beardy priest (Tim Guinee), whimpering at the sight of mutilation, as the Catholic rep.

Carpenter used to make interesting movies (Dark Star, Assault On Precinct 13) before turning to horror (Halloween, The Thing). Now he grosses out on violence. It's a bleedin' shame.

Reviewed on: 19 Jan 2001
Share this with others on...
A vampire hunter goes on the prowl.
Amazon link

Read more John Carpenter's Vampires reviews:

Stephen Carty ***

Director: John Carpenter

Writer: Don Jakoby, based on the novel Vampire by John Steakley

Starring: James Woods, Daniel Baldwin, Sheryl Lee, Thomas Ian Griffith, Tim Guinee, Mark Boone Junior, Gregory Sierra, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Thomas Rosales Jr, Henry Kingi, David Rowden, Clarke Coleman

Year: 1998

Runtime: 108 minutes

Country: USA


Search database: