216 user 188 critic

Near Dark (1987)

R | | Action, Crime, Drama | 1988 (Peru)
2:08 | Trailer

On Disc

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A small-town farmer's son reluctantly joins a traveling group of vampires after he is bitten by a beautiful drifter.


Kathryn Bigelow
3,276 ( 903)
1 win & 8 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Adrian Pasdar ... Caleb Colton
Jenny Wright ... Mae
Lance Henriksen ... Jesse Hooker
Bill Paxton ... Severen
Jenette Goldstein ... Diamondback
Tim Thomerson ... Loy Colton
Joshua John Miller ... Homer (as Joshua Miller)
Marcie Leeds Marcie Leeds ... Sarah Colton
Kenny Call Kenny Call ... Deputy Sheriff
Ed Corbett Ed Corbett ... Ticket Seller
Troy Evans ... Plainclothes Officer
Bill Cross Bill Cross ... Sheriff Eakers
Roger Aaron Brown ... Cajun Truck Driver
Thomas Wagner ... Bartender
Robert Winley ... Patron in Bar


A mid-western farm boy reluctantly becomes a member of the undead when a girl he meets turns out to be part of a band of southern vampires who roam the highways in stolen cars. Part of his initiation includes a bloody assault on a hick bar. Written by Keith Loh <loh@sfu.ca>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


In one hot hungry kiss, he gave her everlasting love. She gave him everlasting life. See more »


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

1988 (Peru) See more »

Also Known As:

Cuando cae la oscuridad See more »

Filming Locations:

Eloy, Arizona, USA See more »


Box Office


$5,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

F/M,Near Dark Joint Venture See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (cut)

Sound Mix:

Ultra Stereo



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


When Severen and Jesse torch the motor home, Severen asks Jesse if he had remembered about a "fire that they had started in Chicago". It is assumed that they mean the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 that left more than 100,000 people homeless and destroyed businesses. Though apocryphal legend attributes the fire to a cow who kicked a lantern, the cause still remains a mystery. See more »


When Homer is on his knees in the middle of the road the station wagon with Diamond Back and Jesse is seen driving in the opposite direction. In the very next shot the station wagon is driving directly toward Caleb. See more »


[first lines]
Caleb Colton: [crushing a mosquito] Dumb suck.
See more »

Alternate Versions

In 2003 the BBFC waived all the above mentioned cuts. See more »


Referenced in Clerks (1994) See more »


Performed and written by John Parr
Courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corp.
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products
Polygram International Music B. V.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

An absolute classic
7 October 2015 | by NateWatchesCoolMoviesSee all my reviews

Kathryn Bigelow's dusty, ambient vampire western is a timeless classic for me, and a lived in genre entry with stellar performances, razor sharp writing (Eric Red power), and confident direction from Bigelow, at her very best when working in the pulpy realm of action, crime and horror. Once again Tangerine Dream contributes wonderfully atmospheric work (they seem to be a running theme with the movies I watch, can you tell I like them?) that compliments the bloody spectacle on display. Aimless young cowboy Caleb (Adrian Pasdar) is transfixed one desolate night by a eerie, gorgeous drifter girl (Jenny Wright) who's passing through his small town. She takes him on a night ride into the outskirts of town, and in a delirious make out session beneath the stars, bites his neck, changing him into one of her kind (the word vampire is never actually mentioned throughout the film). She takes pity on him and convinces her roaming pack of fellow blood sucking no,ads to try and take her in as one of their own. They are led by ruthless, violent patriarch Jesse (Lance Henriksen, a spectral force of enigmatic intimidation), his girl Diamondback (Janette Goldstein) and young Homer (Joshua Miller). The real standout, however, is Bill Paxton as Severin, the loony toon psychopathic whack job of the group. There's a blood freezing, prolonged sequence where the clan terrorizes an interstate roadhouse, and Paxton cuts loose and raises all hell, proving his talent to bring an audience their knees with his good ol boy ferocity. Caleb is very reluctant when forced to feed on innocent humans, and keeps relying on Mae to give him blood from her own veins, refusing to resort to predator instinct like the others. Meanwhile, his farmer father (Tim Thomerson, always welcome) and little sister search for him across the southwest. There's some truly memorable set pieces here, the bar scene I mentioned earlier, a smouldering climax on barren highways, and a sickening sequence where a blood deprived Caleb feverishly tries to purchase a bus ticket home. Bigelow infuses her love for visceral action and vivid characterizations together with the melodic nature of the story, resulting in a broad,backwater fable that's equal parts brutal and beautiful.

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