Tuesday, 24 July 2012
Vampires (1998), Vampires: Los Muertos (2002) & Vampires: The Turning (2005)
It puzzles me that horror Westerns aren't popular. The Old West is an ideal setting for a horror movie and should be utilised more, with decent budgets to execute the concept. There has been a few entertaining horror Westerns so far, but they've had to work with what they've had and even though some little entertaining gems have come through, they could have been so much more with a little more financial faith. John Carpenter adapted both genres into his 1998 movie, Vampires and even though it's set in modern day times, it's still a nice amalgamation of the genres. Actually, if you want my opinion this movie is a classic.
James Woods plays Jack Crow, a vampire hunter who kills the bloodthirsty fiends for the Catholic church. However, after a job where they clear out a nest, the master vampire Valek comes along and wipes out the whole crew with the exception of Crow and his buddy Montoya, and a bitten hooker with telepathic visions played by the insatiable Sheryl Lee. They use her visions to hunt down Valek before he gets an ancient amulet that would really spell disaster for the world.
The first thing noticeable in Vampires is the amazing cinematography and setting, which really helps capture the Southwest. It's the ideal backdrop for a modern Western. Another strength is the gore. It's probably his bloodiest film to date, which was probably out of laziness by Carpenter as during this period he felt burn out. However, even a burnt out Carpenter can deliver a classic and you can tell there was still some enthusiasm put into this. His casting was great here and I'm glad he gave James Woods the chance to be a bad ass action hero. Woods delivers here with some amazing lines that are hilarious. It's a popcorn movie, but it's also a fresh take on the vampire genre. If this came out today it'd be regarded as fresh.
A fun sequel starring (soft) rock legend Jon Bon Jovi as Derek Bliss, a vampire hunter who needs to stop a vampire princess from getting her hands on the amulet from the first movie. He's joined by a group of vampire hunters who help feed the hungry vampires with a slice of STAKE!!!
Bon Jovi was surprisingly good in the lead role. I really enjoyed his performance. The movie also had some great gore. Overall, this isn't as good as the first movie but it's a solid, fun sequel that has rewatch value. Tommy Lee Wallace, who directed this, also directed Fright Night 2 if that helps. I think he's a good director. He's not directed a movie since this one though.
Another entertaining sequel that blends kung fu and horror. It's terrifically paced, action packed and lots of fun. Considering it's direct-to-video and an obvious cash-in, it still delivers in entertainment value and has an interesting story to go along with it, I liked it.