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Vampires (1998)
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Review Date: October 31, 1998
Director: John Carpenter
Writer: Don Jakoby
Producers: Sandy King
Actors:
James Woods
Daniel Baldwin
Sheryl Lee
Thomas Ian Griffith
Plot:
Led by Jack Crow (Woods), a team of vampire-killers roam the United States searching for and obliterating nests of vampires still wandering the Earth. One day, they meet up with the Master of the vampires, Valek, who is ready to move his nighttime gig into day. Crow, along with his trusty companion Montoya (Baldwin), attempt to find and kill the Master by telepathically connecting to him through some hooker whom he once lovingly sunk his fangs into. Generous helpings of bloodsucking and murders ensue.
Critique:
Gory, bloody, well-timed, interesting modern tale about vampires chomping their way into daylight, radiates some original theories, but slows down in the middle, and winds up weak at the finish line. I loved the first 20 minutes of this movie, which is pretty much what they've been showing in the trailers up until now, but didn't care much for the slower second act, and the over-the-top third. The confrontations with the actual vampires are the most exciting part about this movie, along with the great special effects and makeup. But halfway through this movie, I did find myself counting the number of overdone close-ups of the very ugly actor James Woods, and his overrated sunglasses.

Having said that, the ending did also contain some very cool fight scenes, but the authenticity of the conclusion left something to be desired. On the whole, the acting was good, with Woods playing an excellent vampire-slayer, who's own father was once bit by a vampire and tried to kill him. Daniel Baldwin, (the fatter, less talented brother of Alec) actually came through as the tough side-kick who slaps girls around (doesn't he always seem to play this role?), while Sheryl Lee was pretty much wasted as the token whore who also generated waaaaaay too many close-ups of her face as well. The master vampire, Thomas Ian Griffith, played his part eloquently and left many a chill in the audience's spine. The man was just a cool vampire!

Overall, the style of the film was very slick, as well as the John Carpenter-based score, which had that whole Tex-Mex feel to it. The special effects and the fighting sequences were also very bloody and totally awesome, but I suppose the credibility of the last few scenes could have been quite stronger. I would suggest this film to all vampire, John Carpenter, and James Woods fans, because it does feature some entertaining stuff from all three. On the other hand, if you're sick and tired of vampire movies, or if you expect to find one redeeming woman character in this entire script, look elsewhere, because this blood-infested gore-ride is not here to win any political points. Religious types might also want to stay away, unless they enjoy the sight of priests and monks being slaughtered by the handful, and the extreme verbal and physical abuse that the "good priest" in this film receives. I personally took this film as it was presented to me, a Halloween-released fun and bloody-carnage based movie, with lots of killings, a little humour, and no real redeeming point.
(c) 2017 Berge Garabedian
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5:09PM on 01/18/2006

Loved it

If only the confrontation between Jack and Valek had been more intense.
If only the confrontation between Jack and Valek had been more intense.
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