Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Vampires (1998)

Chet Reviews John Carpenter's Vampires

Well this week, how about I return to my movie-reviewing roots. And being a Vampire, maybe start with...

Chet Reviews John Carpenter's Vampires

John Carpenter's Vampires


John Carpenter

John Steakley--Novel
Don Jakoby -Screenplay

James Woods
Sheryl Lee
Daniel Baldwin

Year: 1998

Company: Columbia Pictures

The Basic Scoop, The Poop, The Lowdown:

The Catholic Church is in a serious pickle. (Of a different sort for a change.;) ) Guess what? THEY LIED!! (Big shocker! :P ) Not ONLY have they always known that Vampires like Yours Truly truly exist, but they're worried about us getting our hands on a holy relic that would allow us Vampies to roam the Earth 24/7/365 and 1/4 (gotta count for the Leap Year! ) They've deployed their "official" Vampire slayer Jack Crow (Woods) and his crack (as in the pipe ;) ) team of hunters to exterminate all Vampires in their path, and recover said relic.

Chet Reviews Joohn Carpenter's Vampires

What's Pretty Good:

It's Carpenter. It's late 90's Hollywood, Neck-deep (huh-huh-huh. punny-pun-pun! ;) ) in the midst of the second "Horror Renaissance" after the 70's-80's orgy of wonderful frightener flicks. It's solid actor James Woods (though usually with his "vibe" you'd THINK he'd be one of the Fangy-Brigade.)

Vampires has slick production values for the most part. Great action sequences, some memorable horrific special effects, a kickass soundtrack, and awesome cinematography/setting that give the whole flick a kind of Vampie-Western sort of feel. There are some great "rebellious" snarky lines (mostly delivered by Woods' Jack Crow) and the ultimate antagonist of the film Valek is the sortof badass that you'd expect a modern Vampire flick to have in it.

Chet Reviews John Carpenter's Vampires

What Kinda Sorta Really, Really Sucks:

That it's a 90's big-budget horror flick! ;) What I mean to say is, it has all the touchstones of that era of action and horror. It's fast it's furious, it's smartassed. Which is in itself totally fine. BUT, what goes along with that is an overall plot that is ultimately really, REALLY thin and inevitably predictable. The first time I saw this way back when, I think I had figured out pretty much everything that would happen for the last half of the movie at around 30-40 minutes in,

While the special effects do look "cool" they're really not all that surprising or necessarily innovative. And while Valek is, as I said, a Badass, that doesn't have to mean that he's more than a 1-dimensional one. Jack Crow's backstory? Yeaaah...uhhhh....isn't that basically the same thing as Blade??

Actually, come to think of it, this movie is KINDA "Blade-Meets-Dusk-Til-Dawn-With-James-Woods-Thrown-In" and John Carpenter's name on it. And both those films were better and more creative.

Whoa! I think I just nailed it! ;)

Overall Grade: B

For those who like Horror, Vampires, Action, and seeing John Carpenter's name randomly tattoed on stuff, this is a decently awesome movie. But it also must be said that there have been better movies before and since Vsmpires to really take the genre to new levels, and Vampie villains that were far more creepy and intimidating.

(READ: If the clan from this movie ever met the bloodsuckers from 30 Days Of Night and had to fight to the death, put me down for a 50-spot on the 30Nighters to take Valek's Posse in less than a minute...Boosh! :P )

The final word, Vampires is a solid, one-shot-watch Summer-style Vampie popcorn actioner. Just don't expect anything deeply profound, eye-popping, or classically original in it. Enjoy it for what it is, on its own terms.


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 general

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