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John Carpenter's
Vampires

Starring James Woods, Daniel Baldwin, Sheryl Lee
Screenplay by Don Jakoby
Based on the novel Vampire$ by John Steakley Directed by John Carpenter
Website: www.sony.com/vampires

IN SHORT: A gory and gruesome giggle.

Pardon me a sec, I'm still giddy from the testosterone rush . . .

OK, you put John Carpenter's name on a movie and I'll be at the opening show. So will about 50 or so other hardliners, which was the case today. Carpenter's latest his fling with vampire hunting, and leans more to the explosions and gross-out side of the genre than this year's special effects laden vampire hunting predecessor, Blade.

Both movies sucked, but in different ways.

Vampires is also JC's tribute to the classic Western tale, as laid out years and years ago by directors such as John Ford. There are lovely panoramic shots of New Mexico, sun beaming through the clouds and a blue sky above. Master Vampires slicing innocent prostitutes in two with his claws. You know, standard stuff.

  1. A hunter whose parents were killed by a vampire
  2. High tech weaponry
  3. Partners that will die
  4. A fetching femme who's about to "turn"
  5. A stock line about crosses and garlic not working

Vampires keeps the wooden stakes, though, and boy are they good for a laugh. This is a very funny movie, though I'm not sure it's funny in the way that star Daniel Baldwin wanted it to be (and you can get that dope in Cranky's Chat with Baldwin, click here).

Jack Crow (James Woods) is a lean and mean, black T-shirt and leather killing machine. Bolts fired from a high-tech crossbow are his weapon of preference. With a steel cable attached to a waiting jeep, vampires are hooked like fish and dragged screaming into the killing rays of the sun. In this world, vampires can hide in the shadows when the sun is close to rising or setting. That gives Carpenter the opportunity to show off the scenery in New Mexico, which is lovely. Crow and his team, including second in command Montoya (Baldwin) work for the Catholic Church. A 600 year old Master Vampire named Valek (Thomas Ian Griffith) kills most of his team and bites a hooker (Sheryl Lee) that Montoya has eyes for, well, Crow takes it personal. Valek, once a defrocked priest, wants a church artifact called the Berziers Cross. This, and another subplot I won't tell you, will enable him to live in the daytime and create a new vampire race to better run the world.

Oh yeah, co-star Sheryl Lee looks great naked. Just what us boys want. Blood violence and a good looking naked blonde.

Yeah yeah yeah. Yadda yadda yadda. If you know Carpenter's work, you're gonna be inclined to see Vampires regardless. Like me. But as far as the rest of the world goes, this sucker can wait for video.

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Eight Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to John Carpenter's Vampires, he would have paid...

$2.00

Same rating as Blade. I'm being fair 'cuz Blade was awful for other reasons that the ticket buying public didn't agree with. Maybe John Carpenter's Vampires will be the same. Heck if I know.

I was on line first thing this morning . . .


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