Macabre Month of Halloween Horror 2013 movie review #3 ~ ‘John Carpenter’s Vampires’

John carpenter's Vampires poster
John carpenter's Vampires poster
John carpenter’s Vampires poster

John Carpenter is a master of horror. Sometimes he fails to deliver but he will always be known as one of the greats. He brought us a wide range of classics such as Halloween, Escape From New York, and Assault on Precinct 13.

Vampires stars James Woods, Daniel Baldwin, and none other than Laura Palmer herself: Sheryl Lee. James Woods tries his hardest to be a BAMF and sometimes he doesn’t quite pull off the tough guy act.

james woods
James Woods

The role could have been better cast, Michael Biehn would be my pick for the role. James Woods really does give it his all though, too bad he’s always just bordering on BA when the character deserves better. While James Woods isn’t always believable as a tough guy, the character is still really cool.

Sheryl Lee doesn’t have a lot to do in the movie. She mostly just looks freaked out or possessed, and Daniel Baldwin is interchangeable with a number of other actors, so the cast is not the strong point of the movie.  The strong point is in John carpenter’s impeccable direction. I will say that the guy who plays the young priest is awesome. His transformation is well done and he is about the only actor that I would not recast if given the option.

John Carpenter was actually thinking about quitting directing before making this movie. He said that it “Stopped Being Fun” This movie changed his mind and he decided to keep directing. That’s pretty damn cool.

Vampires has the look, sound, tone, and feel of an 80’s horror film, when it’s actually from 1998. Only 2 films ago for John Carpenter. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It resembles the sorely missed lost style of classic horror films. John Carpenter composed the music for the film and it is perfectly suiting and creates a strong style for the film.

vampire cross

John Carpenter’s Vampires is very similar to From Dusk Till Dawn. Both are vampire films with a Spanish flair and location. Both take inspiration from the vampire lore while twisting it around and tweaking it, and both have wild action scenes, killing vampires with really great gore effects. This is a movie that is proud to be rated R. Blood, swearing, and pretty much anything that can get you rated R. Vampires wears it’s rating like a badge and jumps at the chance to throw a motherf*cker in your face.

Vampires had two sequels the 2nd of which starring Jon Bon Jovi of all people.

Vampires isn’t “Scary” in the slightest, but it doesn’t really try to be. Instead it strives for being a cool action movie. The movie knows what it is and it just exudes cool. In a world flooded with terrible vampire movies like the whole Twilight franchise, it’s nice to know that there are still some cool vampire films worth watching that you might not have seen yet. It’s not a slow movie by any means, its 108 minute run time breeze right by. It’s entertaining without overstaying it’s welcome.

They’re not gothic vampires and they’re not bitchy brooding vampires either, they’re hardcore balls to the wall vampires that will tear you apart without pausing for a moment to think about Kirsten Stewart.

It’s not great, but it’s a decent little flick. It’s a fun vampire film in the vain of From Dusk Till Dawn. Definitely worth checking out.

Currently John Carpenter’s Vampires is available for free on Crackle so check it out if you’rd interested and keep checking back all October long for a new horror review everyday with this years MACABRE MONTH OF HORROR.

 

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