239 user 202 critic

Near Dark (1987)

R | | Action, Crime, Drama | 1988 (Peru)
2:09 | Trailer
A small-town farmer's son reluctantly joins a traveling group of vampires after he is bitten by a beautiful drifter.


Kathryn Bigelow
2,456 ( 213)
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


At dawn they hide. At dark they wake. At night they search for blood...pray for daylight. See more »


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Before it became a cult favorite, the film had a showing at New York's Museum of Modern Art with Kathryn Bigelow in attendance. See more »


In the bar, when Jesse is igniting bottles to torch the place, we see several of the bottles shatter in their hands prematurely before they're thrown, obviously break-away props gripped too hard by the actors. See more »


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

Alternate Versions

The UK version released on video in 1988 was missing 14 secs of BBFC cuts:
  • Diamondback opening and closing a butterfly knife repeatedly before slitting the barmaid's throat
  • Jesse and Severen putting the barman's body on the bar and smashing bottles of spirits over and around him to fuel the fire while Severen quips "Hey, bartender salad".
See more »


Featured in WatchMojo: Top 10 Underrated Films of All Time (2016) See more »


Performed by George Strait
Written by Sonny Throckmorten and Casey Kelly
Courtesy of MCA Records
See more »

User Reviews

Near Dark is near dead
24 October 2003 | by igor-86See all my reviews

-- This 1987 Vamp movie, states that it is a classic on the cover box, and perhaps it is. But this reviewer doesn't think so. First off the plot line, story arch whatever you want to call it doesn't really mesh all together. Jesse ( Lance Henrickson) and his clan go from bar to bar, killing people and stealing cars. Add in Caleb and his refusal to kill and you have would a good storyline. It just doesn't all come out as well as I think it could have. Though there are good moments, like how each member has their own way of attracting their prey. But their are bad, and I mean bad moments, such as a blood transfusion being the cure to vampirism. Um.. No, that simply goes against the principals of all vamp. movies. The body is dead, just pumping some blood back into it isn't going to bring you back to life-- see what I mean it is moments like that, that just grind against the good parts. The production looks mostly stylized and why it never really gets to the point of being creepy, or ominous-- you can tell it really tries to get there. The acting is very good, Bill Paxton gives a crazed performance as only he can do. And the rest of the cast hold their own. The special effects are typical Vamp movie effects, Karo-syrup blood and sun-light burnt skin. But one irritating thing, at no point do the Vamp's ever have fangs, they bite people, but no fangs?? Another moment that just grinded my nerves like nails against chalkboard.

-- Let's face it, there is only a couple of good vamp movies, Dracula, The Lost Boys, and Interview with a Vampire. to name a few. The rest are nuts, trying to recreate the vampire rules every time, some things can kill them, some things can't. It begins to become overwhelming. Unfortunately Near Dark falls into the bad category. At no point were the vamps, scary or even sexy in that shirtless Lestat ( Queen of the Dammed) way.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Release Date:

1988 (Peru) See more »

Also Known As:

Near Dark See more »

Filming Locations:

Eloy, Arizona, USA See more »


Box Office


$5,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$635,789, 4 October 1987

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (cut)

Sound Mix:

Ultra Stereo



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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