Near Dark
Director: Kathryn Bigelow
Year: 1987
TRT: 1:34

There's a decent enough movie here to warrant at least a viewing or even revisiting, but the story takes some serious hits in believability that knocks it down a beer or so in that particular category. Granted, the movie is about vampires, but it's told in a very personal, non-glamorous kind of way that does it the perfect, if not a bit melodramatic, justice. Plus Lance Henriksen as the callous bastard of a leader is perfection.

Caleb (Adrian Pasdar) is a small western town boy looking for a little bit of romance. He hooks up with Mae (Jenny Wright), who's as odd as she is cute. Before he knows it, Caleb gets sucked up into a bizarre, twisted "family", and immediately has to deal with this strange new reality. And it ain't pretty. He struggles to find his way back while his dad and sister try looking for him.

Story-driven with no crosses, stakes or the cheezier aspects of the mythology, there's minimal but decent effects that gives this puppy a little more credibility than a lot of other vampire flicks we've been assaulted with in recent years. It's no I Am Legend, but its small-scale and almost plausible collection of characters give it an authentic-enough feel. All they need to do now is release a "special edition" without the final, utterly contemptibly illogical scene (as opposed to the simply illogical scenes that are sprinkled throughout) and maybe a bit more back-story for some of the characters. Then you'd have a KILLER vampire flick without having to resort to A-list actors and at least 200 CG FX shots. Must note it is directed Kathryn (Strange Days, some other unmentionables) Bigelow; not too often one sees many films (especially in this genre) by female directors. Kudos! Plus a decent by dated score by Tangerine Dream. Shot very well, too.

Great Scene: "I hate 'em when they ain't been shaved" + "It's finger-lickin' good" = total classic.

DVD Notes: Anchor Bay, bless-ed bastards, have taken yet another fairly obscure horror flick from the vaults and given it a decent treatment. Nice Widescreen transfer, with a deleted scene with commentary by Bigelow, plus her commentary for the film. The somewhat scattered comments are revealing on the processes and motivations behind the movie, but is a bit droll.