on November 16, 2014
I had seen this movie several times before purchasing the dvd.
I think both James Woods and Daniel Baldwin did a great job with honourable mention to Sheryl Lee for her performance.
I must say too the director John Carpenter has made some of my favourite movies like this one and The Thing.
Special effects were great.
I will watch this one again and would recommend it.
It is interesting to see how movies have changed over time. The opening consist of a group of non-garlic vampire hunters finding what they believe is a nest of vampires. They walk into the the house with some great swagger music, but there is no slow motion swagger. What is this? 1998? Now rather than simply burn the place down from the outside in the safety of the sun, the hunters opt to sneak in the house and attempt to hook the vampires to a winch and drag them out into the sun. This makes for a better movie, but lowers my expectations of James Woods as Jack Crow (JC).
After the victory they have a party with booze and hookers only to be visited by the Head Vampire (Thomas Ian Griffith) of all time, who bites a prostitute (Sheryl Lee) in a place where only a client might see, and he happens to know Jack's name. Jack escapes with Sheryl and one of the team members Daniel Baldwin. They tie up Sheryl, sometimes naked, because they can. The plot turns into a cat and mouse game between Jack and the vampire.
The movie has some great vampire action, "B" performances, and a twist we see coming far too well. If you like vampires films, this one has some cult status that makes it worth the view.
on April 4, 2013
Vampires, also known as John Carpenter's Vampires, is a 1998 American western-horror film directed and scored by John Carpenter. Adapted from the novel Vampire$ by John Steakley, the film stars James Woods as Jack Crow, leader of a Catholic Church-sanctioned team of vampire hunters.
on March 1, 2004
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.
on March 4, 2003
After several people I know recommended this movie to me, I decided to get a second-hand copy of the VHS and watch it. I wasn't expecting a masterpiece, but I did look forward to seeing Sheryl Lee again, as I admire her work as an actress and always find her acting top-notch.
Unfortunately her presence in this movie seems purely incidental, and she racks up hardly ten minutes of screen time if memory serves, playing second-fiddle to the totally repulsive main characters who recklessly waltz in to the homes of vampires and proceed to attempt to murder them using underhanded and frankly sickening tactics. In fact, every act of aggression by the vampires in the story appeared to be provoked by the actions of 'Jack Crow'...a tacky assumed name if I've ever heard one. The 'twist' at the end was totally predictable, although the reliance on deus ex machina was another unpleasant surprise, as one of the characters somehow survives a deep open neck wound that should've killed him from loss of blood, and a series of ridiculously unlikely coincidences enables the wholly unsatisfying ending.
Filled with needless profanity, offensive violence, and repulsive and poorly-acted main characters (aside from Sheryl, who did the best she could with the dross she was given), this is a movie to avoid if you love vampire movies, or even movies in general. John Carpenter should've known better before affixing his name to this one. Even the lackluster From Dusk To Dawn did it better, and that's saying something. Don't waste your time and money on this piece of trash.
on August 5, 2002
What I liked best about the film is matter-of-fact way that the human vampire slayers go about their task. They have their hardward: bows, arrows, and guns to slow them down, hooks to get them, well, hooked, and cable connected to a tow truck outside to drag them out into the light, which causes them, at least in this movie, to burst into flames. They have a methodology of doing things, and strategic planning goes on, just like before a big game. It is almost so routine, all that's missing is punching a clock.
It is all so routine (to them) that there are even post-kill celebration parties featuring all the booze and girls the local vice-procurer can procure. Which of course all comes to a crashing halt when a super-vampire crashes one of these parties and shreds (literally) most of James Woods' crew. All of a sudden there is an awakening, and the real plot begins.
Woods' group works as sort of independent contractors, hired on by the Catholic church. Every vampire tale has it's ground rules, and in this one, the Catholic Church takes at least some responsibility for the creation of vampires, and thus find it necessary to hire these rough and tumble killers. When Woods finds this super-vampire, he suspects, correctly, that the church is not telling him everything they should. What he finds out and how to stop it all makes up the rest of the film.
Even though most of his crew gets wiped out early, we still get a good performance by one of the survivors in Daniel Baldwin. He, in turn, gets involved with one of the party girls (Sheryl Lee), who gets "contaminated" by the super vampire. While they use her as a tracking device, they also have to be careful to keep out of her clutches as her vampire urges grow. Their preventative efforts are only partially successful, and that's all I'll reveal.
This is a rough and tough, pull no punches vampire story. There is lots of blood, lots of swearing, lots of violence, and a bit of nudity and sexuality. In other words, it has everything, and I find the secret behind the new threats completely plausible. While it opens no new ground, it tells it's story very, very well.
on May 8, 2002
Legendary horrormeister John Carpenter's VAMPIRES is a slick, sexy, and gory bloodsucker opus that proves a talented storyteller can still do a lot with the undead. No matter how many vampire movies there are, and no matter how many of them really stink, there's always room for one more good one. And this is a good one. James Woods is the scenery-chewing boss of a gang of Vatican-endorsed vampire killers that finally encounters one unkillable master vampire called Valek. In fact, Valek is the first of all vampires, and was actually a priest in his mortal life. Now, he seeks a legendary black cross that can allegedly give him the power to overcome the undead's greatest bane--sunlight. Heavy metal goth style vampires are all the rage, but Valek (Thomas In Griffith) makes the teen fad work, and may be the most frightening screen vampire since Max Schreck in NOSFERATU. Daniel Baldwin is Woods's trusty (?) sidekick, and Tim Guinee gives a convincing turn as a bookish priest who slowly turns into an efficient vampire slayer in his own right. Sheryl Lee throws in some major sex appeal as an unlucky prostitute who gets bitten by Valek and becomes the vampire hunters' link to their arch foe's plans. Unpretentious and thrilling, JOHN CARPENTER'S vampires is light but satisfying fare, and certainly not the worst way to waste a lazy afternoon.
on August 5, 2001
This is one terrible movie that I've only watched it once, and I don't care to ever see it again. John Carpenter should have known better. I can't believe James woods starred in a movie like this. I can't believe they dusted the vampires using high tech equipment that was so cheesy. I thought the whole movie was a fluke. I'm am so used to seeing the old wooden stake through the heart, that may be the reason I couldn't really get off into them using high tech weapons, hooking the vampires up to a machine, dragging them outside to be cooked, then dusted off by the sun. What's worse is that I thought that when a vampire has been turned to dust there is nothing left but, dust. Any true fans of vampire movies know that when a vampire has been dusted there is nothing left so, Why did they still have skulls left after they cleared out the vampires lair they found in the desert?. I thought this movie was very disappointing because I expected to see a good vampire movie based on the previews I saw. I am so glad that I waited for video. If I could sum this movie up in one word I would have to say "CROCK"!!!!!!!!!.
on July 9, 2001
There's nothing like having absolutely no expectations of a film to get you to enjoy it.
When this first came out, it got horrible reviews, and people said it was a waste of time. Consequently, I never saw it. When I recently sat down to watch it, I was surprised at how entertaining it was.
I love John Carpenter films. They're all really, really good B-movie horror flicks. And Vampires is quite in this tradition.
I suppose those who have read the book have a right to hate this if they want. Also, people who are into "Anne Rice vampires" will detest this film - it derides such literary images of vampires. The film takes the view that vampires are merely animalistic, very violent creatures with almost no human-like qualities. No romantic appeal here.
The plot starts from a very simple premise: what if being a vampire slayer was like being a more typical pest exterminator? Using that as a platform, it makes logical steps: vampires are violent, powerful, and dangerous ... and so their exterminators would also acquire some of these traits.
We follow along with a man who's whole life has been oriented around nothing but this job, and we see the side-effects of such a life. This gives Woods the opportunity to be at some of his best: uncompassionate, angry, violent, but very driven in his job and with a gritty honor about him.
There's a lot of gore and shocking violence, so be forwarned. It's also a very macho film, and there's some very non-politically correct dialog. But there's also a lot of the creeping atmosphere you expect from a vampire movie, a satisfactory resolution, and quite a few strong performances from the cast.
Don't listen to the original poor reviews this movie got. It's very entertaining in the way that good B-movies can be.
on May 26, 2001
Before I rip this movie into shreds, I must give credit to two things: 1. The Opening. It delivers lots of guns, gore, and Danny Baldwin. 2. James Wood's sunglasses and leather jacket. OK, that's really 3 things. Now that I have found the 3 good things of this movie, it's time to cut loose. After the beginning, the movie falls into one of many whirlpool like plotholes. The band of "Vampire Hunters," clad in Ray-Ban sunglasses and BA Leather Numbers, reach there hotel hideout, where there are met by hookers and preachers. That was not a misprint. Get this. The Church ATCUALLY PROVIDES the sinful [ladies] for our heroes. Next, they try to force a vampire story down your throat of some kind, which goes nowhere and sets the tone for the rest of the movie, which is awful. But it does setup the best darn line I think I've heard in any movie for many years:
"the head vampire is UNSTOPPABLE, unless we stop him!"
I apoligize, but I was rolling on the ground for about the next ten minutes, so the plot got a bit sketchy. Let's just skip to the end, where Jamnes, jacket, shades, and all, heads off to stop the unstoppable vampire. Before he stiops the unstoppable, the unstoppable stops Danny Baldwin, or "The Bargain Basement Baldwin," as we had dubbed him, was stopped before he stopped becoming a vampire. James eventually stopps stopping the unstoppable by stopping his stoppinglessness. eveantually, the movie, er, stops....
To anyone who wants to rent, buy, or even gaze at this movie's cover, please, stop yourself....