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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent fun
"Near Dark" has only two flaws:
(1) Joshua Miller, the bratty kid you wanted to slap in the face in "River's Edge", plays a bratty vampire, and you want to slap him in the face in this movie, too.
(2) The soundtrack by Tangerine Dream does not hold up well. It stinks. It is almost distractingly bad at times.
That said, the rest of the...
Published on Feb. 29 2004

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Near fatal flaws.
-SPOILERS-
I must have been one of the few people to have seen this movie in the theaters when it first came out- I read on IMDB that it only grossed 3 or 4 million dollars. I rented it because I remember my friend and I were laughing just uncontrollably at the end when Homer goes up in flames. I can see how this movie has a cult following, especially with Bill...
Published on Jan. 22 2003 by Amazon Customer


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent fun, Feb. 29 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Near Dark (DVD)
"Near Dark" has only two flaws:
(1) Joshua Miller, the bratty kid you wanted to slap in the face in "River's Edge", plays a bratty vampire, and you want to slap him in the face in this movie, too.
(2) The soundtrack by Tangerine Dream does not hold up well. It stinks. It is almost distractingly bad at times.
That said, the rest of the movie is awesome. Using a great chunk of the cast from "Aliens" (Bill Paxton, Lance Henrickson, and Jeanette Goldstein) was a stroke of genius. Their chemistry together, which was so good in that movie, proves to be even more devilish good fun in "Near Dark", featuring the trio as a nomadic group of dustbowl vampires. Paxton fans in particular will be delighted by his goofy, scenery-chewing character. Adrian Pasdar does a great job too, as a hick named Caleb who is kidnapped by the group after one of its other members, a sweet young thang named Mae (the lovely Jenny Wright), takes a liking to him and nibbles on his neck.
The special effects are outstanding. There are some genuine spine-tingling moments that you will remember for a long time. Especially the "roadhouse massacre" scene, which gives us big laughs, gross-out gore, and some good scares as well. This scene alone rightfully earns "Near Dark" its spot (on my list, anyway) as one of the most genre-twisting, intelligent, and all-out entertaining horror flicks of all time. The DVD extras are great, too. You won't be disappointed. "Near Dark" is certainly worth buying for any serious horror film collector.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An underrated classic of the 80's!, July 13 2004
By 
John Lindsey "John" (Socorro, New Mexico USA.) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Near Dark (DVD)
Somewhere in the southwestern heart of America, a young man named Caleb ( played by Adrian Pasdar) falls for a gorgeous young woman ( played by Jenny Jones) who leads her into her clan of vicious vampire outlaws where he becomes one of them looking for people to kill and blood to drink.
A shockingly original and brilliant vampire gem from 1987 which came out during the same time like " Lost Boys" but this has became a cult hit on video and on DVD now. The casting is great especially having Aliens, Titanic and Terminator stars Lance Henrikensein, Jennette Goldstein and Bill Paxton as the bloodsuckers, great acting and gore. The 2-disc DVD set is great with awesome extras like commentary by the director, interviews, documentary, poster-and-still gallery, deleted scene, and storyboard gallery.
This movie truly belongs in every horror movie lover's library.
Also recommended: " Vamp", " From Dusk Till Dawn", " The Hills Have Eyes", " Demons", " 28 Days Later", " Lifeforce", " Fright Night", " Fright Night 2", " Vampire Hunter D", "Underworld", " Van Helsing", " Interview with the Vampire", " Freddy Vs. Jason" and "Re-Animator".
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4.0 out of 5 stars "He's Been Bit But He Ain't Been Bled...", July 7 2004
By 
Sheila Chilcote-Collins "Sheila Renee Chilcot... (Collinswood, Van Wert, OH USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Near Dark (DVD)
"Near Dark" is one of those obscure cult movies that was overshadowed by a bigger budget, better looking cast, & special effects - the likes of the blockbuster film "Lost Boys".
However, this is one of the few vampire movies, save for Romero's "Martin" not to use the word "vampire" nor have any fangs, mirrors, crosses, garlic and the ordinary lot.
Young Caleb (Adrian Pasdar) meets Mae ( a young, Jenny Wright from "St. Elmos Fire" and "Garp"). Passion ensues and Mae "nips" Caleb.
Uh oh! As Caleb starts to "turn" in the sunlight of early morning, he is hijacked in a rickety Winnebago by vamp family, Mae, Jesse (Lance Henriksen), Jesse's woman for eternity, Diamondback (Jenette Goldstein), their little pseudo-son, Homer & savage & sadistic vampire, Severen, played perfectly and to the hilt, by Bill Paxton.
Caleb tries to fit in but just can't seem to get the "killin' part down".
His father, Loy (Tim Thomerson) and little sister, Sarah (Marcie Leeds from "Beaches") are searching for Caleb. Will they find him in time? Watch for yourself and find out!
Another cool thing that I noticed is when Caleb staggers through town, before he goes to the bus stop to try and get home, the cinema behind him is showing "Aliens" which also featured Paxton, Henriksen and Goldstein.
If you like vampire movies like Lost Boys or Bill Paxton, this is highly recommended!
Happy Watching and Unpleasant Dreams!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Near Perfect and Finger Licking Good., March 10 2004
By 
OverTheMoon (overthemoonreview@hotmail.com) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Near Dark (DVD)
Before Kathryn Bigelow got hitched to James Cameron, she was making films that you would swear where by the hand of her future hubby. Near Dark happens to look like a James Cameron horror movie, and saying this should not discredit Bigelow because here we see a female director on flying form. Near Dark not only has Bigelow at the helm, but Eric Red produced and wrote it. The cinematographer is Adam Greenberg who got the Terminator into the film can and we also have two other Cameron favorites in the mix - Bill Paxton and Lance Henriksen. So if 1980s are early 1990s Cameron is your cup of blood then Near Dark is exactly what you want to see.
This movie is dirt cheap but done so well that it can only be described as a very beautiful motion picture film to look at even though it is set in the dusty mid-west. Basically it is an amalgamation of cowboys, vampires, rockers, bikers, vampire sickness and love. This could have been a really cheesy B-Movie if it wasn't for such a catchy script, set design, LIGHTING!, special effects, acting and direction. The music is the kind of early synthesizer stuff that John Carpenter would play until the wee hours of the dawn.
Basically the story revolves around a farm hand that gets bit, but not bleed, and ends up bonding with a small family gang of vampires until he can prove that he can make that first kill. In meantime his dad and younger sister are combing the state looking for him. The film is not so quickly moving but like Bigelow's "Point Break" there is enough substance and action here to keep you going with several extremely memorable scenes - namely the bar slaughter, a shoot out involving daylight penetrating bullet holes in the walls and the ending with a kid bursting into flames as the sun comes up. For 1987 this horror packs a punch and deserves its cult status. Bill Paxton's character is a riot and Lance Henriksen has never looked more disfigured. The film may falter at times into very weird love scenes and some strange exsanguinations finales, but for all intensive purposes this is really a superb horror movie that is certainly worthy of repeat viewings. It is also pretty bloody at times and not for the squeamish.
Near Dark gets a really big thumb up from this reviewer who has seen it plenty of times since the somewhat unnoticed cinema release. If you have not seen Near Dark and are anyway interested in the horror genre then go now to the DVD store and do not look back. Its hits that 80s horror era very nicely and you can be proud of it in your collection. A cult classic if there ever was one.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Vampire Stereotypes Forgotten, Jan. 21 2004
By 
N. Hiatt (Cincinnati, OH United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Near Dark (DVD)
Let's get one thing straight, Near Dark is a vampire movie. With that being said, it breaks almost all the rules when it comes to vampire movies.... There is almost no mention of religon (Except a hotel name and a hanging crucifix, both of which have to be pointed out in the extensive booklet that comes with this DVD to even be noticed), the vamps don't sleep in coffins or by hanging upside down, nobody tries to drive a stake through anybody's heart, and you can forget about garlic. Basically the only way to kill these vamps is by sunlight. Oh and boy does sunlight mess them up, unlike other vampire movies just seconds in the light horribly burns these vamps and then they catch fire and quickly explode... no drawn-out deaths as seen in other movies.
The story of the movie is as follows, Caleb (Adrian Pasdar) is a southwesterner who hits-on and convinces to take a ride with him, the beautiful Mae (Jenny Wright). Mae you can tell is kinda different, although you get a real vibe that she is lonely (KEY to the story). After attempting to kiss Mae, Mae insists Caleb take her home (To her RV camped out in a local trailer park). Caleb manages to convince her otherwise and things get romantic, in the heat of the moment Mae bites Caleb and then disgusted by herself runs off into the night leaving Calen wondering what's going on... Caleb's truck breaks down forcing him to walk home, yet he begins to feel ill and then gets caught in the sun and his skin starts to burn. Just as Caleb is in sight of his house and his little sister/father (Now staggering/crawling his way home), an RV pulls up and someone pulls him in. The RV drives off leaving Caleb's family wondering what just happened.
In the RV you meet the family of vamps... Jesse (Lance Henriksen of later Alien Fame and the father figure), Severen (Bill Paxton, the wild-child of the group, and easily the most entertaining character in the movie), Diamondback (Jenette Goldstein, the mother figure), Homer (Joshua Miller, plays the child role), and of course Mae. What follows is Caleb trying to cope with his new life, the vamps assimilating (Sometimes against their own wishes) Caleb into the clan, Mae caring for/falling in love with Caleb, and Caleb's real family desperatly searching for him.
The action is intense, especially the Roadhouse Slaughterhouse... which will give you gore-hounds your fill. Although the word "Vampire" is never mentioned and this movie hardly follows any of the vampire stereotypes it stands as one of the best vampire movies ever made. A fan of vampire movies at all? If so, BUY THIS MOVIE.
As for the DVD, it is a Special Edition Anchor Bay... need I say more? Well, I will. It comes 2-Disc with an awesome case and informative booklet. Picture and sound are top notch, and features a "Making of" Documentary, commentary, and the usual added features (Trailers, etc.) Great Flick, Great DVD.
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5.0 out of 5 stars "we keep odd hours", Jan. 3 2004
By 
Michael Bolts (superior, wiusa) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Near Dark (DVD)
Kathryn Bigelow(Point Break, The Loveless, Strange Days) pulls you into a movie that truly is great. Adrian Pasdar(Top Gun, Mysterious Ways) plays Caleb, a family man who on one dark night meets the blonde, sexy, icecream licking Jenny Wright(Lawnmower Man, Pink Floyd's The Wall) and she lures him in for a quick nip of his neck...so Caleb is then kidnapped by Wrights gang of blood craven fiends..led by Jesse, played by Lance Henriksen(Aliens, Scream 3)...Diamondback, played by Jenette Goldstein(Aleins)....Homer, played by Joshua Miller(River's Edge) and the crazy and fun loving member of the gang Severin, played by the wonderful Bill Paxton(Tombstone, A Bright Shining Lie)...not once does this movie mention the word vampire...because its just so exciting and it just pulls you in....I can see why it would seem like a werewolf movie too....running in packs and hunting at night. atmosphere, story and performances make this one a masterpiece of a movie..clever and the killings are beautiful, especially the ones at the bar. James LeGros(Drugstore Cowboy, Tv's Ally McBeal) appears in the bar sceen unbilled
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4.0 out of 5 stars Happily Mesmerized, Dec 8 2003
By 
Elizabeth Reams "Miss Elizabeth" (Los Angeles, CA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Near Dark (DVD)
I do believe what helped me appreciate this film was that I saw it a second time--on DVD. The re-released special edition, no less. And I could clearly see the beautiful and amazing photography that was displayed as a unique picture in every scene; almost as if each shot deserved a picture frame hanging around it. The film is shot in what seems the middle of nowhere; and those types of pictures are always attractive. The acting is quite subtle (except from Bill Paxton, but he had just got done doing ALIENS, what do you expect?). But this almost silent acting brings a new level to the idea behind vampires. The Undead, as it were, are characters we enjoy watching and actually root for; despite us knowing too well how the film will inevitably end. Jenny Wright sets the mood for this film right off the bat. As innocent and sensual as blond-haired women go--you can't help but want to be bitten by this temptress. She gives the film a feeling of an unsatisfied hunger and a lonely sadness, which will never be fulfilled. She has no enjoyment feasting on pathetic would-be victims, which are mostly "hicks" that audience members would enjoy seeing torn apart. The film focuses on human qualities, romance, humor and tragedy. With Tangerine Dream's music pulsating behind each movement and each glance of someone's eyes as they look up at the stars...human or non-human, every character and every lost "vampire" is full of an amusing look on the importance of human life, with an innocent reality that all of us can relate with.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Best. Vampires. Ever., Dec 1 2003
This review is from: Near Dark (DVD)
Near Dark (Kathryn Bigelow, 1987)
1987 saw the release of two defining modern vampire films. One got a whole lot of press, a huge marketing budget, and made over thirty million dollars in theatrical release (remember, this was 1987, when those were big numbers). The other was Near Dark.
Not to say The Lost Boys isn't a good movie. It's amusing, albeit looking somewhat dated these days. But the rapid-fire mix of horror and comedy that marks The Lost Boys had been done a million times in the previous decade, in pretty much every horror film since Halloween. It was safe ground. Near Dark was anything but. Kathryn Bigelow, in her second big-screen film (the first, a Willem Dafoe movie called The Loveless, has faded so far into obscurity even I haven't been able to track down a copy), wanted to make a good old-fashioned action flick with horror elements. She borrowed about half the cast her then-husband James Cameron had used the year before for Aliens, added in some folks whose stars looked like they were on the rise, took the script from Eric Red (who had penned the similarly chilling screenplay for The Hitcher the year before), and made movie magic.
Caleb (the highly underrated Adrian Pasdar, recently in Secondhand Lions) is a small town boy living a small town life, until he meets Mae (Jenny Wright, whose bit part in Pink Floyd: The Wall is unmistakable). Mae is something like he's never encountered before, but he doesn't find out just how much that's true until it's too late. She nips him while they're making out, and Caleb has no choice but to join Mae's family of vampires (the word "vampire" is never used in the film, by the way): Jesse (Lance Henriksen, recently in the TV series Millennium), Diamondback (Jennette Goldstein of Aliens and T2 fame), Severin (Bill Paxton, whose career skyrocketed soon after this), and Homer (the similarly underrated Joshua John Miller, such a treat to watch in both Class of 1999 and River's Edge). Caleb, however, isn't entirely happy with the idea of drinking blood for a living...
Aside from the plethora of names above you either know or should know, if you keep a sharp eye out, you will also notice James Le Gros, a year away from his big break in Drugstore Cowboy; Theresa Randle, an integral part of the Will Smith/Martin Lawrence Bad Boys franchise; Marcie Leeds, who later that decade would make the whole world cry in Beaches; Thomas Wagner, who's become a major character actor (Sea of Love, My Blue Heaven, True Believer, etc.), and many more. The influence of Near Dark has extended far, far beyond its box office gross (it took in about ten percent of the money The Lost Boys did).
Snappy, scary, and speedy, Near Dark is the finest modern vampire film in existence. It has been on my all-time 100-best list as long as that list has been around, and it's not going anywhere. **** 
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4.0 out of 5 stars Near (Dark) classic, Oct. 2 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Near Dark (DVD)
This is a satisfying, well-made film, if perhaps not quite the "classic" so many casually refer to here. There's an excellent vision at play here...Bigelow manages to make the life style displayed almost plausible, certainly more than most vampire sagas we've seen. In fact, without the "V" word ever being spoken, it's almost possible to imagine these people as more conventional outlaws...the supernatural aspect is downplayed for the most part in favor of an emphasis on their simple bad attitudes. If vampires did exist, you could see them acting a whole lot like this.
Why not 5 stars? Well, I would have enjoyed being scared a little more. That's not entirely fair, because I think Bigelow made the movie she wanted to make, and "terrifying" probably wasn't near the top of her list. More troublesome are a few things that undermined that air of plausibility. Like -- do they EVER remember to find shelter before daylight? After all these years? Even that could be bought, if we equate vampirism with extreme substance abuse -- i.e., these people have some problems thinking straight. What can't be bought is the idea that everyone in the region doesn't know all about these guys, and live in constant fear of them. I mean, they commit heinous acts every night...subtle, they ain't. And yet apparently they remain beneath the radar of authorities and public alike.
And that ending. Come on. We all know exactly how this film should have ended, and it shouldn't have been upbeat. The "classic" everyone is talking about here would not have entertained this resolution.
Still...outstanding vision, excellent execution. If you're a fan of the genre, you owe it to yourself to see it. Just don't expect to be terribly frightened.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An undiscovered gem, June 29 2003
By 
N. Durham "Big Evil" (Philadelphia, PA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Near Dark (DVD)
Released at the same time as The Lost Boys; Near Dark was seemingly doomed to cult status obscurity. However, Anchor Bay decided to go all the way with the release of the film on DVD, and now has never been a better time to see this undiscovered gem of a film. When Oklahoma boy Caleb (Adrian Pasdar) falls for sweet Mae (Jenny Wright), he gets much more than he bargained for with just one kiss, and one bite. Soon enough he's in over his head with her and her crazed running buddies (including Lance Henriksen as the group's leader and Bill Paxton in one of his best roles as the group's deadliest member) who drink fresh blood and avoid the sun at all costs. I know what your thinking, but in Near Dark the "V" word is never mentioned; not once. In fact, most of the usual mythology that goes along with the vampire genre isn't featured here; instead the film is part horror, part western, and thanks to director Kathryn Bigelow (Point Break, K-19: The Widowmaker), the film works. All in all, Near Dark is a true undiscovered gem of a film, and is definitely worth checking out.
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