Near Dark (1987) - Plot Summary Poster



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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.

  • 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.

  • In Phoenix, the young cowboy Caleb Colton meets the beautiful Mae late night in town and she asks for a ride to her trailer. It is near dawn and Caleb brings Mae that is in a hurry; he asks for a kiss and she bites him on the neck. Caleb's truck does not start and he walks home. However, when the sunlight hits him close to his farm, he starts to burn. His father Loy Colton and his sister Sarah witness a van that appears out of the blue and kidnaps Caleb. He is introduced to Mae's family: the leader Jesse Hooker, his mate Diamondback, the cruel Severen and the boy Homer. In common, all of them are predator creatures of night that need blood to survive. However, Caleb refuses to kill and Mae gives her own blood to him to keep him alive. Meanwhile Loy and Sarah are looking for Caleb; when they meet each other in a motel, Caleb has to choose between his beloved family or his love for Mae.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • Caleb Colton [Adrian Pasdar] meets Mae [Jenny Wright] outside an ice cream parlor. She needs a lift home, and Caleb is happy to oblige. But Mae is a vampire and, when Caleb asks for a kiss, she nips his neck instead and then runs off. Caleb's truck won't start, so he starts walking home. As the sun comes up, he gets more and more sick. He stumbles through a cornfield and is picked up by an RV with Mae in it. Caleb's father Loy [Tim Thomerson] happens to see Caleb being picked up and thinks he's been kidnapped. What he has been is turned.

    Caleb spends the day sleeping in the RV with Mae and her vampire "family".-- Jesse Hooker [Lance Hendrikson], Severin [Bill Paxton], and Diamondback [Janette Goldstein]. The next night he tries to catch a bus home but doesn't make it before he feels sick again. He gets off the bus and finds Mae waiting for him. She cuts her own wrist and makes Caleb drink. The next day the police find the torched RV, but Caleb's body isn't in it. Mae's family has switched cars. Mae tries to teach Caleb to kill for blood, but he won't do it, so Mae kills, drinks, and then lets Caleb feed off her. In order to teach Caleb to kill, the family goes on a killing spree in a bar. But Caleb still won't kill. The only solution is to kill Caleb or allow him to leech off Mae, but it's now five minutes till sun-up, and the vampires still don't have a place to sleep.

    They go to a motel, but they're awakened when the police knock on the door. A Bonnie and Clyde-type shootout ensues. To save the family, Caleb covers himself with a blanket and runs for the truck. The family escapes, thanks to Caleb, and they decide not to off him. The next night, they stay at another motel where it just happens that Loy and Caleb's sister Sara [Marcie Leeds] are also staying. They run into Caleb, but the family wants to kill Loy and Sara. Sara throws open the door, and the rising sun incapacitates the vampires, allowing Caleb, Loy, and Sara to escape.

    In hopes of helping/curing Caleb, Loy transfuses some of his own blood into Caleb. It works. Some time later, Caleb finds Mae sitting on a swing in his backyard. They kiss, but Mae is startled to find that Caleb has become human again. Caleb goes back into the house but now Sara is missing. He gets on his horse and goes in search. He is confronted by the vampire family. As the sun comes up, Mae, Sara, and Caleb make a run for it. All the other vampires burn in the sun. Caleb transfuses some of his blood into Mae, and she becomes human again. [Full Synopsis added by bj_kuehl.]

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