Vampires title

Tag Line : From the master of terror comes a new breed of evil.

VampiresTake "From Dusk till Dawn" and "The Lost Boys", add a touch of "Night of the Living Dead" and "The Terminator" and what have you got? One hell of a good vampire movie, that's what!

Based on the book Vampire$ by John Steakly and directed by horror maestro John Carpenter, James Woods and Daniel Balwin star as a couple of mercenaries who command an elite group of vampire slayers, that have been commissioned by the church to hunt down and destroy vampire nests in the American southwest.

Having completed their latest extermination mission, Jack Crow (Woods) and his team are busy partying at a local motel, when their festivities are gate-crashed by a powerful master vampire named Valek (Thomas Griffith).

A massive fight erupts, but Crow's team are quickly wiped out by the creature, who is more powerful than any other vampire they've encountered and is impervious to gunfire. Only Crow and his partner Montoya (Baldwin) manage to escape the massacre, along with one of Valek's victims Katrina (Sheryl Lee).

Believing that they where set up, Crow ignores the instructions of Cardinal Alba (Maximillian Schell) and instead decides to go after Valek, who's been busy searching for a religious artefact known as the "black cross", which will allow him to walk in the sunlight.

After acquiring a new team member, a young padre named Father Adam Guiteau (Tim Guinee), who Crow takes an instant disliking to and proceeds to start beating on whenever he thinks he's withholding information, they set off, using Katrina to help them track Valek down, after she becomes telepathically linked to him after being bitten. But problems arise when they fail to prevent him from obtaining the cross and then discover he has taken over a nearby town and turned its inhabitants into vampires, leading to a bloody showdown in the films climax.

Although the film was not a critical, or a complete financial success, and only enjoyed a limited release at UK cinema's, it is still by far one of the best vampire pics to emerge in recent times. When I went to see this at the cinema on Halloween weekend 1999 I was totally unaware of who was in it, what it was about, or indeed whether it was any good or not, but I was pleasantly surprised and it didn't take me long to get into the film, in fact I enjoyed it far more than the critically hyped box-office smash of that year, Blair-witch Project. SEE IT!!!!

Overall Marks : 7/10.

Terrifying Trivia.

  • Alternate tag line: "Prepare for the Dawn".

  • The budget for the movie was $20 Million.

  • The German sell-through video was cut by 3 minutes, due to their law regulations, to remove some of the more violent scene's. The uncut version was available on video in rental shops only (and you think we have it bad in the UK?).

  • Tim Guinee, who plays Father Guiteau, also appeared in "Blade", which was made in the same year.

  • John Carpenter agreed to direct the film as he always wanted to make Western disguised as a horror film and felt this came fairly close.

  • Apparently, screenwriter Dan Mazur's name appears only on European prints. His name was removed from the credits for the US premiere.

  • Dolph Lundgren was originally offered the lead role and Russel Mulcahy the directors job. However they pulled out and made the action film "Silent Trigger" instead.

  • The necklace Daniel Baldwin wears is a Nordic symbol meaning 'Protector'

  • The man who's car is stolen by Daniel Baldwin's character was played by Hollywood scriptwriter/producer Frank Darabount.

  • Sheryl Lee also played the role of Laura Palmer in the TV series and subsequent spin off movie "Twin Peaks".

  • The finished screenplay was apparently a combination of 2 separate scripts from Don Jakoby and Dan Mazur, which Carpenter combined, together with some other ideas of the original novel. However, only Don Jakoby was credited for the screenplay, and original author John Steakly claims that whilst much of the dialogue from his book was used, none of the ideas where.

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Other films in the series.

Vampires 2 : Los Muertos Vampires 3 : The Turning (coming soon)

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