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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The lack of almost any material relating to traditional vampire mythology (at least as it related to how vampires were common represented in movies up to the 1986 time when this film was in production) except for their vulnerability to being burned to death by sunlight or common fires was intentional on the part of Kathryn Bigelow. She wanted to make the vampires into a cross between traditional horror villains and Western gunslingers, because that would make them characters who could drive the narrative--not least because of the also-deliberate denial of a traditional heroic role to Caleb Colton--but who were able to be, through great effort and sacrifice, destroyed by the film's conclusion. 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 »
Near Dark was at first banned in Sweden due to the film's graphic violent nature and the zero-tolerance policy of the Swedish censorship board, but was finally released on video in 1989. However, this version was brutally cut, omitting almost all violence, shown as well as hinted. Scenes missing include cuts of a bloodsucking and the entire sequence of Caleb's initiation in the bar. See more »
I hunted this film for ages and then it came out on DVD, so I had to buy it. Originally, it was purely due to the cast. I thought it would be good though and I was not let down, in fact, my expectations were well exceeded. Near Dark is my favourite vampire film and I am proud to be part of the cult following this film has gathered years since its release.
The camera work is great, Bigelow does a really great job in the director's chair and always does her best to make a film look as visually impressive as possible; it's hard to believe this was a low budget movie. The screenplay for the film is excellent and very original. Near Dark is very different to other vampire films and it really is refreshing to watch something so different. Where most vampire films bathe in Gothic undertones and romanticise themselves, Near Dark is much more subtle, even to the point where the word 'vampire' is not included within the picture. I can see why Kathryn Bigelow and James Cameron ended up married briefly as they both have similar integrity when it comes to film making.
The casting of the movie is its best point. The Aliens trio of Paxton, Goldstein and Henriksen were brilliant in this. Paxton and Henriksen are two of my favourite actors and I believe this is the best character Paxton has ever played, even Hudson does not compare to the mighty Severen! These three actors all excel at playing ruthless characters and do a great job at making Near Dark as entertaining as possible. In the midst of all the carnage, Adrian Pasdar and Jenny Wright do very well in bringing Near Dark down to earth. The chemistry between the two is very good and the characters are effective as they provide contrast between the other main characters.
I feel I must talk about the bar scene. As soon as that music kicks in, you know some on screen magic is about to happen. This is where the Aliens cast members really shine. Paxton is spitting out more clichés than he is blood. Also, as a big Terminator fan, I had to notice the bar patron as the T-2 'You forgot to say please' guy. I think he should stay away from bars from now on! This is what the film builds up to and this is the turning point of the film from a mainly character piece to a nail biting thriller. This is one of the most enjoyable and memorable scenes you will ever see.
Near Dark is a fantastic film, sadly overlooked due to people drawing too many comparisons between this and Lost Boys. This is far superior to Lost Boys as this has far more substance and more than one memorable character. With gruesome imagery, streams of blood and Bill Paxton and Lance Henriksen, this is the ultimate vampire film.
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