Sunday, 28 January 2018


"Vampires" (1998, John Carpenter, JVC Entertainment Networks, Largo Entertainment, Spooky Tooth Productions, Storm King Productions, Columbia Pictures) is a vampire hunter film set in New Mexico.

Jack Crow (James Woods) is the leader of a group of vampire hunters working for the Vatican. He and his men either use an arrow attached to a winch on their car to drag the creatures into the sunlight or just stake them. Although, they're also fairly fond of firing a lot of ineffectual bullets around the place.

During a rowdy celebration, the hunters are attacked by a Master Vampire named Valek (Thomas Ian Griffith). And the surviving members, Jack and Tony (Daniel Baldwin), escape with a prostitute named Katrina (Sheryl Lee) who is in the process of becoming a vampire. Joined by a young priest called Guiteau (Tim Guinee), they face off against Valek who is seeking a fabled crucifix which can allow vampires to walk in the sunlight. (It seems that Valek beat Spike to the punch by roughly a year).

Not one of my favourite Carpenter films, but the film remains action-packed, violent and enjoys some cheesy one-liners. Both surviving vampire hunters, Crow and Tony, remain flawed heroes in the way that Carpenter excels at creating. They are neither particularly likeable nor are they infallibly skilled. They make mistakes, they treat others cruelly but they're trying to save the world.

Valek is styled in your traditional vampire way with lank dark locks, pale features and a tendency to nibble on young maidens. He does, however, enjoy some fun and brutal fight scenes and sports a particularly deadly manicure.

An entertaining vampire flick that isn't trying to be clever. The Master of Horror has many other films where he offers food for thought, "Vampires" just isn't one of them.

[Image: Columbia Pictures, et al]