Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Razorblade Smile Reviews: Near Dark

Since a certain former wife of the ever-successful, ever sleazy, and ever-annoying James Cameron is currently in the movie Oscar buzzworthy mix, let's do a...

Okay, it doesn't COMPLETELY stink this time...but it's RIPE!!


....How about we take a wee little trip back to where the UBER-popular "Best Director" babe of the moment...AKA Ms Kathryn Bigelow's began...her first feature film...a little low budget Vampie flick called...


I ALSO prayed for more of a PLOT too, but not all prayers are answered!!

Near Dark

Info:

Director-- Kathryn Bigelow
Writer--- Kathryn Bigelow


Starring--- Adrian Pasader
Jenny Wright
Lance Henriksen
Bill Paxton

Year: 1987

Company: DeLaurentis Entertainment


The Basic Scoop, The Poop, The Lowdown:

In a sleepy Oklahoma town, a young High School-College aged urban cowboy named Caleb (Pasader) meets a strange, yet beautiful young country drifter chick named Mae (Wright)

See? She was kinda cute!!


....who introduces him to a life of travel across the West, the beauty of the nighttime sky, shitty motels, oh and VAMPIRES!! (Wait, you did catch that last part....uhhh....right?? ;) )

One Big happy Hobo Trailer Trash Family!!


What's Pretty Good:
Even though you can tell almost immediately that this is a low-budget film, it still somehow looks pretty good...most shots are crisp and clear, the acting is mostly solid, (for what they have to work with) and the cowboyish setting is an interesting change of pace. It's said the main writer chick of this flick (DAAAAAYUUMMM I'm cool when I rhyme huh?? ;) ) originally just wanted to make a Western, but when she was told by her, bigwi-okaaay SORTA bigwig film backers that horror films, particularly those about Vampires, were en vouge in that era, she whipped out a Vampire-Western. Whatta way to adapt right? ;)

Still, SOMETHING about this film that seems EERIELY FAMILAR to me...uhhh....hmmmmm....Cute, clean-cut college age ALL-AMERICAN cowboy guy meets blonde who looks good in jeans in a shitty dive out West in the late 80's and is himself transformed by her into a Vampire....HMMM...uhh...nope, still not getting it... LOL ;)

Oh and there's kinda a nifty "creepy factor" in places, which you always get to some extent every time old Pumpkinhead (AKA Lance Henriksen) is in ANYTHING, especially a horror film. Something about that voice and those bugish-snapping turtle eyes man! (He seems to be channeling Scott Glenn in this film, as if Bigelow said "DO IT AS SCOTT WOULD DO IT, DAMN YOU!!")

And who doesn't love Bill Paxton playing a Texas douchebag??

If he starts bustin' out singing Jack and Diane, I think I'll SCREAAAAAM!! ;)


(He looks at variant times like Joe-Bob Briggs a homeless man, John Cougar Mellencamp or Huey Lewis depending on the part in the movie :P )


Click the pic to go to Joe Bob's Drive In!!

Oh yeah, and there is something kinda deliciously bizarre about hearing an old George Strait tune in the middle of a Vampire attack! ;)

What Kinda Sorta Really, Really Sucks:

Because this IS a Vampire-WESTERN there are ooddles and ooddles of "Cowboy Cliches' " and noodles

(Dangit WHY in every "country" movie does a Yankee playin' a cowboy ALWAYS have to be seen driving a dirty rusty beat-up old truck with his cowboy hat on?? Don't they know to a cowboy his truck is like as a Samurai to his sward...err...sword?? We take care of that shiat...it looks NICE AND SPIFFY..even when it's dirty!! Oh and we usually take our hats OFF when performing the sacred act of pickup driving...at least how I was raised!!)

The plot is pretty basic and easy to figure out. You can tell who the good guys are and the baddies are just by looking at them. (Sweet country blonde Vampire girl, who's acting eveeel, yet conflicted?? NOOO WAAAYYY!! SHOCKING!! ;) ) The dialogue is simple like an after school special...not a whole lot of depth.

There are a couple of TINY plot flubs ( at first we observe Cowboy Caleb's prized horsey is easily jumpy around Vampies, (Which actually DOES happen with real Vampies in real life...sometimes...good call.) BUT YET, at the end, he gets to have his "Showdown High Noon Moment" riding down Main Street to confront the EVIL Vampires....HMMmmmmm....)

Of course I could point out the many "Nocturnal Technical errors" from my own expertise'....

(Never heard of anyone ever being able to turn back and forth from a Daywaker into a Vampie...going all extra crispy in the sunlight, not being able to eat food at all, when everybody knows I LOVVVVE A GOOD STEAK!! Having to kill peoples for their blood, etc)

.....but being as how the Vampie cliches are entrenched and comforting to you people, I won't harp on it too much! :P :)

The Scare factor on a scale of 1-10ish is about a 2.0-2.5 depending on if you're under 12 and you were raised by Ned Flanders



You never see fangs, bites are hardly shown, and the "Nocturnal Preferentials" themselves in this flick never even mention that they ARE Vampires. Ever.

I Came, I saw,  an'I got blowed up!! ARGGGGGHHH!!!


(Okay that last one is really kinda accurate, we likes to keep on the "down low" but I'm sure y'all Normies want to actually hear the word "Vampire" in your Vampie flicks at some point!! :) )

In general these Vampie hicks make the Unlife seem....kinda....well....homeless-y and....boring.....

Overall Film Grade: C-





Not a bad movie at all, technically speaking, but nothing to get too thrilled or scared about in my humble opinion. Bland. If you like Vampire flicks, throwback B-movies from years gone by that blarringly "date" themselves ("Oh my Gawwd is that an old COKE MACHINE?? or a PAY PHONE?? Haven't seen those in years!!! PEOPLE SMOKING IN A BUS TERMINAL?? MAN THAT TAKES ME BACK!!" ;) ) or if you like seeing well-known stars now when they were nobodys in low-budget schlock, oh and IF there's nothing else on, you MIGHT get a kick out of this film. Otherwise, if you skip this you ain't missing too much!!

---Chet



a cheeky vampire blogger named Chet who writes about pop culture, monster/horror/B-movies and other crap in generala cheeky vampire blogger named Chet who writes about pop culture, monster/horror/B-movies and other crap in generala cheeky vampire blogger named Chet who writes about pop culture, monster/horror/B-movies and other crap in general

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