The church has long known that vampires exist. However, it is discovered that a group of vampires are searching for a powerful doom for mankind. The Vatican then secretly enlists a team of vampire-hunters, led by Jack Crow, to hunt down and destroy the vampires before they find the crucifix. Written by
Judging by the ratings this film has (34% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, 5.8/10 on IMDb), I guess it's safe to say that this could be a guilty pleasure of mine. I love most of John Carpenter's work and I really enjoyed his take on vampires. Jack Crow is certainly reason alone to sit through this and although the character originated in John Steakley's novel, I feel Crow is just as strong of a character in Carpenter's world as Snake Plissken from Escape From New York. Even though he's basically a mean spirited SOB, you can't help but sympathize with the character as the film moves on. Considering all that's happened to him in his lifetime, he seems to be a decent guy deep down underneath that extremely thick and rough exterior. His dialogue was also a lot of fun. Gems such as him asking Father Adam Guiteau if he had wood after the fight they just had or when he's explaining the true mythos behind vampires and to "forget whatever you've seen in the movies" was just classic.
Other than Jack Crow, I actually really enjoyed the storyline which seemed to be a breaking point for a lot of people. A vampire seeking a black cross to finish a reverse exorcism, so he can walk in daylight without turning to dust. Only Carpenter could pull something like that off. Their methods of killing vampires were also a bit more original and unorthodox compared to other vampire films of the past. Jack Crow would shoot an arrow from a crossbow, which would be attached to a wire on the bottom of a jeep that would be reeled in by Daniel Baldwin's Anthony Montoya that would drag the vampire into the sunlight where their body would burst into flames. Maybe it's considered cheesy to some, but it was refreshing to see something different for a change. As big of a horror fan that I am, I don't really think of myself as a fan of vampires. I'm not sure if it's because I'm picky or because it seems like everything is being recycled when it comes to story lines in horror films these days, but I like to think when a vampire film does make an impact on me that it says more than the average horror film containing vampires.
John Carpenter, the master of horror, delivers a refreshing and interesting take on vampires with the aptly named Vampires. It also dawns another strong lead character in a Carpenter film in the form of Jack Crow and contains some of the most witty and enjoyable dialogue of any horror film from the late '90s. The storyline is also magnificently peculiar, which is a definite plus in my book. This would definitely make my list of favorite vampire films, if I ever decided to make one. If you're a fan of John Carpenter and haven't seen this gem, I highly recommend doing so. Or if you have, maybe it's time to dust it off and give it another watch.
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