Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Near Dark (1987)

This movie was recommended by a couple of listeners, and I actually hadn't seen it since way back in '87 at the theater! Thanks for recommending it, Lianne Preisser and Wes! 

The first time I saw this flick was in the theater back in 1987. It was probably a date night, but that was a long time ago, so I'm not so sure...  At any rate the beginning of this movie is definitely date-night friendly.  The good news is it starts out quickly, the bad news is that is resembles Footloose a little too much! But it's not a total loss, as we will see.
Near Dark is a movie from 1987, a few months after The Lost Boys.  Of course it was tough for this little independent to compete in theaters against a film released by Warner Brothers, but as far as content, I prefer Near Dark.  It is the story of Caleb (Adrian Pasdar) who falls for a beautiful, young-looking female vampire, named Mae (played by Jenny Wright).  As their enchanted evening comes to a close, Caleb is bitten (but not bled out) by Mae.  She disappears into the night, and as the sun rises, Caleb discovers, he can't handle the sunlight. In fact he begins to smolder!  As he struggles across his family farm, an RV races across the farmland and someone swoops him up into the rig.  As it happens, his father sees this and thinks he's been kidnapped.  Turns out Caleb has been "rescued" by a band of vampires that Mae belongs too.  Mae is glad he's there, but the rest of them aren't nearly as thrilled.
That is the basic plot of the movie.  We follow the story as Mae tries to get Caleb used to his vampire lifestyle, and to earn his way into the little clan, which consists of Jesse Hooker (Lance Henriksen ), Severen (Bill Paxton), Diamondback (Janette Goldstein) and Homer, a child vampire played by Joshua Miller.  The main dilemma for Caleb is:  he has a big problem killing someone in order to live. So, poor Caleb is stuck having to feed from Mae's wrists in order to survive.  This doesn't sit well with the other vamps, especially Hooker and Severen.
This movie definitely has that whole lighthearted take on the Vampire story for the most part, but it does give us some originality.  It was one of the first vampire movies to examine the vampire that happens to become transformed as a child, the struggles of a new vampire, and it involves one scene in the middle of the film, that makes this one worth watching.  The scene involves the group of vampires locking the door behind them as they enter a bar, and follows them as they taunt, torture and kill nearly every patron to fulfill their bloodlust.  This is where Henriksen and Paxton really take over the movie, and this scene stuck with me for 25 years!  I honestly didn't remember anything else about this movie until I watched it again.
I won't give away the rest of the story, in case you watch it, but will say, it holds your interest, and the performances of Henriksen, Paxton, and Goldstein (fresh off the filming of Aliens) make this show worth the watch!  Not a perfect horror film by any stretch, but the middle scene is a must see!  The Blu Ray has a nice featurette with Henriksen and Paxton, as well as first time director Kathryn Bigelow.

Rating: 7 out of 10


Anonymous said...

Excellent written review. Good too see you moving on w/ written content on vampire movies.

I would like the Horror Jungle podcast to return to form. The format and how the show was divided was incredible.

If you come back I will be happy.

Anonymous said...

Horror Jungle is the monsoon of all horror podcasts it blew the competition out of the water & now it is no more. I have no friggin clue where Im going to find all the horror recommendations now. COME BACK-Persky

Boss Butcher said...

Thanks so much! I will definitely review a fair share of Vampire movies along with other Horror flicks! I will schedule certain days for vampires! WE are glad you liked that podcast, and are working to get some audio reviews up!

Thanks for commenting! I know that most if not all the hosts still make recommendations on their sites, so those would be a good place to look, and we will get a podcast of some kind in the future. Please stay tuned! Thanks for listening to and appreciating the Horror Jungle podcast!

Anonymous said...

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Boss Butcher said...


Thanks for leaving feedback! Please check all the hosts' web pages, and I'm sure you will find many recommendations. It's not the same, I know, but Horror Jungle was a one of a kind show! It's amazing the many place around the world where people have listened to the show!