Eye For Film >> Movies >> John Carpenter's Vampires (1998) Film Review
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.
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.