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Vampires

 R (Restricted)   VHS Tape
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (231 customer reviews)

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Talk about an opening. The first few minutes of John Carpenter's Vampires--in which James Woods's vampire killer leads a dawn raid on a New Mexico "goon nest" of bloodsuckers--not only suggests a horror movie that will not pull any punches, it even evokes some of the more disturbing dream-memories of American Westerns. Muscular and uncompromised, the sequence suggests a new Carpenter classic unraveling before one's eyes. Well, dream on. Things don't quite work out that way, but this is still a film to reckon with. There are a few serious (and surprising) misjudgments on the director's part, particularly a mishandling of Sheryl Lee's role as a prostitute poisoned by the bite of a "master vampire" (who pretty much wiped out Woods's team of goon terminators). But aside from some weaknesses, the action is jolting, the suggested complicity of the Catholic Church in destroying monsters is provocative, and the traces of Howard Hawks's continuing influence on Carpenter's storytelling are in evidence. --Tom Keogh

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars The Kind Of Vampires We Though Were Lost April 29 2004
Format:DVD
This movie has vampire fans cut down the middle, but I think this movie will have to stand the test of time before people look back on it and say, "Man, that was actually pretty good." Forget what negative criticism you've heard about this, and take a good look at it. Vampire films have really taken a nosedive in recent years, and I'm not quite sure why. Maybe they try to be too hip with the techno era(Queen Of The Damned, Blade), or too romantic(Interview With The Vampire, Bram Stoker's Dracula) or just too artsy(Nadja, The Addiction). Maybe my head's just too far up you-know-where, but I always grew up with the notion that vampires were nasty evil, brutal mothers-MONSTERS! Monsters like zombies or giant mutant ants, but with more intelligence. I grew up with vampires that actually were badass and scary like Jerry from Fright Night or the gang from Near Dark. Well, John Carpenter gave us the this kind of Vampire film that's been missing for quite some time. It doesn't pretend to be some dark romantic epic, it's a B film. It's tough-as-nails vampire hunters after tough-as-nails vampires. It's got the trademark John Carpenter macheezmo we all love. It goes back to the roots of 80s vampire flicks by passing on the CGI and going for good ol' prosthetics, courtesy of the good guys at KNB FX. There are some good performances here; I love Carpenter for the fact that he didn't choose actors who are flavor of the month, but relied on actors that he felt were the best for the job. The standout here being Thomas Ian Griffith as Valek-The Master Vampire. Griffith(still unappreciated. Could you imagine VanDamme playing Valek?) is still trying to break away from the action flick typecast to do some different roles, and he does a great job. Read more ›
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2.0 out of 5 stars Might have worked with Kurt Russel in the lead... April 8 2004
By Tuco
Format:DVD
I'm not big on Vampire movies but I always enjoy a John Carpenter flick. Or so I thought. If I hadn't known this was Carpenter I would have never guessed it by watching it. Usually you can identify one of his films immediately by the cinematography alone. No one fills a widescreen picture frame like Carpenter. I don't think I saw one innovative shot in this whole movie. The music sounded like an tired replay fron the They Live soundtrack, where it worked much better. I didn't think James Woods brought anything to his part and he cannot carry a movie by himself. Baldwin looks like he was too busy eating double-cheeseburgers to care about his supporting role. The burning vampires were cool I guess. I wonder if Carpenter thought to solicit Kurt Russell for the lead in this. Mighta worked better. The thing that bothered me the most was the lack of nice widescreen shots that signature ALL of John Carpenters other films. And another thing, and the transfer on this DVD is absolutely lousy. Very blurry image for a 1998 film with very poor color. Total distraction, as if the distraction of the film itself wasn't enough. Ultimately, very disappointing and not worth owning. Get In the Mouth of Madness for a real Carpenter film....
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1.0 out of 5 stars Unflatering to the original concept April 2 2004
Format:DVD
The movie takes the concept of a vampire hunting team from John Steakley's Vampires. The manner in which it is adapted to the screen is appaling bad. The characters of Crow and Cat are more masculine and assertive. Guns are not used till the very end of the book and then the Character of Felix is the only one to really use guns. He is also blackmailed into taking the position with the team.
The hooker in the movie is a bad play in that the book's character is a debutant which throws on a more interesting twist to the story. I mean hooker vampire is a cliched idea to start. Then the sunlight thing.
I mean give me a break so many people have played on that idea. The original idea was to have vampires controling areas through finacial power and influence once they got to a higher levels in the chain of power. Then they deal with money enough to buy senators.
The preist in the book is more of a kick ass take names type of person and is directly from the vatican but the vatican is not mentioned right away. That way they can keep the level of mystery going.
So for everything there is in the book, the movie fails to delivery and the original release of the movie actually mentioned Steakley's novel but believe the author wanted his name taken off after it show because of how badly they translated into a movie
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4.0 out of 5 stars How wrong i was March 1 2004
Format:VHS Tape
I recently reviewed this film, the title was "Did Michael Myers Kill Carpenter?", and the review was not very good. but, after watching it a second time, and thinking about it a bit, i realise i was quite wrong.
First, this is not the grandiose vampire action of, say, the Blade movies. this is a B-movie, a dry and dusty piece of low grade cinema that was made for watching at home. and no-one does low grade like John Carpenter.
Don't get me wrong, the acting is less than fantastic, and the inclusion of a Baldwin other than Alec is a dangerous percipice to walk along, but the inclusion of Lord of Straight-to-video Thomas Ian Griffith as the antithesis of James Woods's hero and Woods' super funny pairing with the priest guy whose name i can't remember do raise this out of the coffin and into the "Just above average virgins" area, if not quite the megastore it could have wallowed in.
The action is pretty good (the opening scene is fantastic)and the Mexican setting gives the chance for some nice (if admittedly orange) art direction. plus plenty of cursing from James Woods (i can't stress enough how important he is to the rating this movie is receiving) make it well worth watching.
In short, not the best vampire movie, not the best John Carpenter movie, but the best B-vampire-John-Carpenter-straight-to-video movie around.
PS check out the sequel if you liked this, or Jon Bon Jovi.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Vampire Story
If you are a fan of vampire stories this one is worth watching. James Woods is great as the vampire hunter.
Published 3 months ago by Ed Duplissie
4.0 out of 5 stars American western-horror film
Vampires, also known as John Carpenter's Vampires, is a 1998 American western-horror film directed and scored by John Carpenter. Read more
Published 17 months ago by T
1.0 out of 5 stars NO AUDIO
DVD HAD NO AUDIO - but was given immediate credit back by Amazon - great service! This is a great movie but would find a different version.
Published on May 31 2011 by Brenda
5.0 out of 5 stars A Refreshingly Different Vampire Movie!!
John Carpenter takes Vampires to a whole new level in this excellent movie! If you want to see a traditional vampire movie, this is not for you! Read more
Published on July 7 2004 by Andrew
5.0 out of 5 stars Greatest vampire movie ever done
I love this movie because of the guns,musics,story,place,James Woods and Daniel Baldwin.Guns:there are lots of good guns in this movie bowgun,spear,rifles. Read more
Published on June 29 2004 by Gggg
1.0 out of 5 stars Movie Blows
This movie is one of the worst vampire movies I've ever seen. It's horrible and worse than cheesy. It's another film that portrays the evil vampire and the master that needs to... Read more
Published on June 14 2004 by Joe
1.0 out of 5 stars Watch Fright Night (1985) instead!
A group of nine men (James Woods, Daniel Baldwin, Mark Boone Junior, Cary Hiroyukitagawa, Tommy Rosales, Henry Kingi, David Rowden, Clarke Coleman, Gregory Sierra) are vampire... Read more
Published on May 25 2004 by James McDonald
4.0 out of 5 stars Keeps you watching
First saw a piece of this movie when I was at a friend's, never was able to finish it until I got it off of Amazon.com. Read more
Published on May 13 2004 by David Adams III
5.0 out of 5 stars cool
this movie was good because i love vampire movies and daniel bladwin looked so good. i really liked this i hope they make another one contuning the first one or remke it
Published on May 10 2004
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