The centenary of the small seaside town of Antonio Bay, California is approaching. One hundred years ago, the wealthy leper Blake bought the clipper ship Elizabeth Dane and sailed with his ... See full summary »
Jamie Lee Curtis,
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
John Carpenter had a good working relationship with James Woods on set. Apparently Woods has a reputation for being difficult to work with, but Carpenter got along with him just fine. They had a deal. Carpenter could film one scene as its written. The other Woods could improvise. And Carpenter found to his delight that many of his suggestions were brilliant. See more »
Frank Darabont is listed in the credits of this film as "Man with Buick" when in fact the car that was stolen from him was obviously a Cadillic. See more »
Let me just ask you one thing - after 600 years, how's that dick workin', pretty good?
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* star out of **** I've never thought of John Carpenter as a great director, or even a good director for that fact. His most praised film, Halloween, I felt was his most overrated. He does crank out some decent cinema once in a while, but they usually tend to work in spite of him, very much unlike a director like, say, Brian De Palma, in which good films happen because of him. With that said, Vampires only goes to show that whatever talent Carpenter may have had is virtually gone for good.
Jack Crow (James Woods) is a vampire hunter working for the Vatican. His team of slayers, who also includes Tony Montoya (Daniel Baldwin), have just taken down a nest of the bloodsuckers in Mexico, but were unable to locate the master. As they're celebrating in a motel that night, the head vampire, Valek (Thomas Ian Griffith), appears and slaughters everybody present with the exception of Crow, Montoya, and a prostitute (Shery Lee) who was bitten.
Crow believes the prostitute can be used to track down the vampire because of the psychic connection that is developing between the two. At the same time, with the help of a young priest (Tim Guinee), Crow discovers that Valek is looking for the Berziers Cross, which if done correctly in an incantation, can grant all vampires the ability to walk in broad daylight.
A plot like that would you to believe that Vampires would be full of tension, suspense, and action. There's nary a hint of a moment where those elements come in. Instead, Carpenter opts for blood and gore, and if he was aiming for a make-up effects display, he's succeeded. The only thing that may be considered unpredictable in this film is the way Valek kills his next victim, whether it may be with decapitation, throat slashing, or just plain old sticking his hand through their bodies.
The acting and script reek of the second rate variety. Now, to be fair, James Woods delivers a fun performance, which is easily better than anything else this movie has to offer. But his attempts are counteracted by his fellow thespians. Daniel Baldwin proves he's the least talented of his brothers, and I believe that says it all. Sheryl Lee resorts to ridiculous bouts of overacting, and Thomas Ian Griffith does nothing but look menacing and kill a bunch of people.
The script is as equally atrocious. Whether it's the predictable story, the awful dialogue ("He's unstoppable unless we stop him"), or the unpleasant mysogyny, there's not a salvageable element in this entire screenplay. I'm not sure whether to blame the writer, Don Jakoby, or the original author, John Stakely. Maybe they're both at fault. A concoction of both writers' imaginations led to this script, which is probably twice as bad than what each one could have come up with individually.
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