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Near Dark (1987)

Cult Movies movie directed by Kathryn Bigelow

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"Near Dark" is near perfection.

  • Dec 30, 2004
  • by
In 1987, two vampire movies were released. The teen audience went to see "The Lost Boys"; the older audience went to see "Near Dark". Perhaps unfortunately, more people went to see "Lost Boys" than "Near Dark", forcing the latter to drop off the face of the earth for years. Until 2002, actually. DVD wonder company Anchor Bay released a 2-disc special edition of the film, prompting a new generation of horror fans to investigate the film. One of them was me.

The biggest problem with "Near Dark" is that it is somewhat pointless until the end of the film; there is little or no story at all. The film begins with young Texan Caleb (Adrian Pasdar), who wants more than anything to leave Texas - until he meets beautiful yet mysterious Mae (Jenny Wright). Predictably, Mae is a vampire - and after Caleb attempts to score with her, she accidentally brings him across into the world of the undead. Now, while being hunted by his worried father and young sister, Caleb is forced to join a band of evil vampires, of which Mae travels with.

That's just about the whole story.

This film is another dated eighties film - but then again, most films of the decade were dated. Tangerine Dream, a popular 80's band, contributes the very fine, sometimes creepy score. The cast is very good - particularly Lance Henriksen, who is great as the leader of the vampires, and Bill Paxton, who is awesome as the "fun"-loving vampire Severen.

Kathryn Bigelow, who most recently directed "K-19: The Widowmaker", directs and co-writes this film. Her direction is one of the highlights of the film, which is very dark but in some bizarre way, poetic. The script is something of a mix between violent horror and dramatic western - which works out well in creating an eerie vampire film.

The biggest question, other than how good the film is, is would I have gone to see "Lost Boys" or "Near Dark"? I have to answer both. They are both excellent films, two of the very best featuring vampires, and it's hard to choose which is my favorite. "Lost Boys" had a mixture of teenage style and pre-teen humor, while "Near Dark" has a mixture of bloody violence and dark drama. Both are great, and I'll leave it to you to decide which is the better film.

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More Near Dark (1987) reviews
review by . October 22, 2009
   Released in 1987 with a dismal performance in the box-office after the release of “The Lost Boys”, Kathryn Bigelow’s “Near Dark” made its reputation through word of mouth and its release in HBO. The film had gained a cult following because of the way it re-invents the vampire genre and offers something fresh for horror fans. It found an ever-growing “cult” of fans that has swelled through the past few years. “Near Dark” is a simple …
review by . November 19, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
      NEAR DARK      Do you remember when this classic was in theaters when it first came out, I bet most of you really do not. If you do remember you are one of the very few who do because this was in theaters around the same time as the mega popular "The Lost Boys". This like that film is all about a young man who is brought into something he didn't really want, and like that film has to protect his family from the family of vampires that are …
Quick Tip by . November 19, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
The cast is really well put together and they work together marvelously, take the bar scene for instance. This scene in particular is one of the most fascinating scenes I have ever witnessed, me and my brother watched this again the other night and once again we were hooked. I think any body that has the chance should see this movie, especially if you have never seen it before. This set in particular is amazing as it comes with a great booklet, a wonderful audio commentary and a jam packed second …
review by . September 26, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
The mid 90's were kind of a weird time for me.  I was still sort of obsessing over vampires (after getting into the Vampire: The Masquerade role playing game, reading Anne Rice and Poppy Z. Brite for the first time, and getting into flicks like Blade and Dracula), I was just graduating high school, and I found myself with a job and actual cash to spend on stuff like comics and videos.  I had just stared putting together my first movie collection when I began to realize that a lot …
Quick Tip by . March 24, 2010
Forget Anne Rice! THIS movie shows what modern day vampires would REALLY be like! Henriksen & Paxton are terrific!
Quick Tip by . February 03, 2010
An interesting take on the vampire genre about a group of nomadic vampires in the southwest. Sadly it loses momentum about 1/2 way through.
review by . July 07, 2004
posted in Movie Hype
"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 …
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Tom Benton ()
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Aspiring high school English teacher with dreams of filmmaking and a strong taste for music.
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The word "vampire" is never mentioned inNear Dark, but that doesn't stop this 1987 cult favorite from being one of the best modern-era vampire films. It put then-unknown director Kathryn Bigelow on Hollywood's radar and gave choice roles toAlienscostars favored by Bigelow's ex-husband James Cameron: Lance Henriksen is the leader of a makeshift family of renegade bloodsuckers, nocturnally seeking victims in rural Oklahoma; his immortal gal pal isAliensandTerminator 2alumnus Jenette Goldstein; and Bill Paxton is the group's deadliest leather-clad ass kicker. Fellow traveler Jenny Wright lures Okie farm boy Adrian Pasdar into the group with a love bite, and he's soon turning toward vampirism with a combination of frightened revulsion and relentless desire. With Joshua Miller (River's Edge) as the youngest vampire,Near Darkis Bigelow's masterpiece of low-budget ingenuity--a truck-stop thriller that begins well, gets better and better (aided by a fine Tangerine Dream score), and goes out in a blaze of glory.--Jeff Shannon
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Director: Kathryn Bigelow
Genre: Horror
Screen Writer: Kathryn Bigelow, Eric Red
DVD Release Date: September 10, 2002
Runtime: 94 minutes
Studio: Starz / Anchor Bay
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