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Vampires (1998)

DVD Cover (Sony Home Entertainment)
Movie Connections:
Vampires
> Vampires (1998)
> Vampires: Los Muertos (2002)
Genres:
Action Thriller, Horror, Hybrid Western, Vampire Film
Director:
John Carpenter John Carpenter
Starring:
James Woods James Woods
Daniel Baldwin Daniel Baldwin
Sheryl Lee Sheryl Lee
Thomas Ian Griffith Thomas Ian Griffith
Maximilian Schell Maximilian Schell

5.8 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Recovering from an ambush that killed his entire team, a vengeful vampire slayer must retrieve an ancient Catholic relic that, should it be acquired by vampires, will allow them to walk in sunlight. --IMDb
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Review by Chad
Added: July 10, 2004
Jack Crow is the leader of a team of vampire hunters, and the movie picks up with them killing off a nest of them in an abandoned New Mexico house. With every nest of vampires, there's always one master... but none was found here. The team gives up for the day and heads to a hotel to celebrate with loads of beer and whores, when the master vampire shows up and kills off everyone there, with the exception of Jack, Montoya, and a whore named Katrina. As we find out later, this vampire wasn't just some normal vampire master or whatever; no sir, this was Valek, the head vampire, the one that started it all. Since Katrina was bitten, but not killed by Valek, she has a psychic link with him, and can see what he sees on occasion. Crow and Montoya use her to lead them to him and dispose of him once and for all... but there's a few surprises along the way.

Decent movie here, though nothing outstanding. The storyline moves along briskly and pulls out a number of surprises along the way, but the big problem here is that it seems like the movie doesn't quite know what genre it wants to be in. It goes from trying to be a full-out horror to being a comedy-horror, then over to a number of serious-discussions about religion, turns to the action side of things for a while, back to the comedy side of things, and winds up with some drama at the end. Things here just felt quite confused throughout, and it definitely hurt the overall experience. The storyline itself, while having one or two goofy twists, was pretty solid enough... but these twists, which I suspect were supposed to be huge gasp-inducing shockers, only seemed to be laughable when revealed.

The effects and action sequences were one thing that did catch me off guard, however. I was expecting a typical Hollywood film in this regard, with tons of the same old scenes and over-usage of effects, but this was not to be for the most part. The blood flowed a lot heavier than I'd have expected here, and while the action scenes did border on unoriginal in parts, the good parts outweighed the bad overall. Some work could have been done with the continuity of the bloodshed (guy gets sliced with a knife and gushes, guy gets blasted with a shotgun and barely trickles), but this is a minor observation and didn't affect things overall.

James Woods (Jack Crow) does great in his role as the toughman-leader-type; thoroughly convincing, humorous when the need arises, badass for the rest of the time. No complaints there, unlike with Daniel Baldwin as Montoya. While he wasn't as bad as some actors out there, he just seemed to be overly bored in his scenes, almost as if he was trying to get through the shooting days as quickly as possible in order to go out and grab another Big Mac. Sheryl Lee (Katrina) was decent in parts, and quite bad in others. She starts out as your typical whore and moves on to being a confused almost-vampire, and did great in these scenes. Then she moves on to being a convulsing kid who sees through the eyes of Valek, and it's all downhill from there as she turns into a huge lamefest in all of her scenes. Then theres Tim Guinee as Padre, the priest that hangs out with Crow and Montoya. He serves as comedic relief for the most part, and does good enough with this, no complaints there either. Finally, there's Valek (Thomas Ian Griffith) himself. He plays the typical gothic vampire role nicely, which is ironic considering the dialogue scene with Crow dissing on the "artsy fag" vampires from Interview With The Vampire... not sure if that was intentional or just overlooked, but definitely got a chuckle out of me.

Overall, definitely worth a rental if you're a fan of vampire films, and possibly worth a rental if you're a fan of Hollywood-Horror. Nothing memorable, but nothing overly atrocious. 5/10.
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Crispy #1: Crispy - added 09/10/2004, 12:00 PM
This movie is loosely based on a book called "Vampire$" but the author escapes me. It was an awesome book
Ginose #2: Ginose - added 07/26/2007, 02:11 PM
I loved this movie, possibly one of my all-time favorite vampire films. Ya know... honestly, I've yet to see ANY Baldwin give a good performance... this was no exception, but I overlooked it for the gore... tried, anyway... but this is the first movie that I saw featuring James Woods that I actually enjoyed, he's really a good actor when the situation arises. I thought it worth every second... and the $5 I spent on it... I like vampires, on ocassion... but... I'm sorry, Anne Rice is overdone... no to mention all of here books feel exactally the same... we need more movies like this out there. 8.1/10
Lucid Dreams #3: Lucid Dreams - added 06/01/2010, 03:04 PM
Movie was alright and I liked James Woods character. 6/10
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