Near Dark title

Tag line : Blood is our life, darkness our feeding ground, and sunlight our eternal damnation.

Near DarkIn a small country town in the American southwest, a young farm boy named Caleb (Adrian Pasdar) picks up a girl named Mae at a local bar. Driving out to a remote spot in the countryside, just as things start to get interesting, she turns and gives him something a bit sharper than just a love a bite on the neck, before disappearing into the night.

Somewhat bemused, he heads for home. But as the breaking sun starts to rise, he is alarmed to find his skin blistering and burning in the rays of light. Staggering out of his truck, to limp the last few yards to his farm, he then finds himself being grabbed by a group of strangers who roar up behind him in a mobile home.

It turns out his abductors aren't just any group of outlaws, but a modern day vampire coven (played by Lance Henricksen, Jeanette Goldstein and Bill Paxton from "Aliens"), and Mae (Jenny Wright) is one of them. Thanks to Mae's bite, Caleb is now a vampire too, and so has no option but to join them.

But after seeing the brutality they are capable of, he decides a Vampires life is not for him and so splits from the group, leading to a series of deadly encounters with their leader Jesse (Henricksen) and the rest of the vampires who want him either back or dead.

Directed by Katherine Bigelow, who went onto greater success with the action film "Point Break" and the critically acclaimed "The Hurt Locker", this might not be as well known as other vampire pics from the 80's (such as Fright Night or Lost Boys), but is certainly pretty damn entertaining, which also introduced the concept of cowboy vampires to the cinema. Some of the more interesting scenes include a vampire face-off in a redneck bar and a police shootout with a difference. Lookout for Tim Thomerson (Trancers) who plays Caleb's father and James Le Gross (Phantasm 2) as a young cowboy.

Overall marks : 6/10.

Terrifying Trivia.

  • Alternate tag lines "Pray for Life", "They can only kill you once, but they can terrify you forever", "In one hot hungry kiss, he gave her everlasting love. She gave him everlasting life".

  • The word "Vampire" is never actually mentioned in the film.

  • The guy in denims at the redneck bar, who's drink Severyn knocks over, was the same guy in the biker bar at the beginning of Terminator 2 who Arnie beat up and stole his leathers from (this guy should seriously steer clear of dingey backwoods bars).

  • Bill Paxton was the first of the three post-aliens characters to be offered a role in the film, he liked the script so much he showed it to Lance Henricksen who was similarly impressed and so asked for the role of Jesse. The director subsequently thought it would be a good idea to bring in another character from Aliens, and so offered to role of Diamondback to Jeanette Goldstein as she thought the idea of a vampire family would work better with three people who'd worked together before.

  • The film actually started out as being a western, but realising westerns were out and horror was in at the time, the scriptwriters decided to mix in elements of the 2 genres.

  • Lance Henricksen was so involved with his character he actually created a whole back story for how he became a vampire. Although never mentioned in the film, the story goes that he was part of the confederate navy from the deep south. During the American civil war, his ship got shot to pieces during a battle and drifted out into the swamps. As he and his men lay dying on the deck, these shadow creatures came out of the swamps to feed on the dying, however one creature took pity on him and so decided to turn him into one of them. The only hint at his true character is when he's asked how old he is and replies he "Fell for the South". He also had his ship's flag sewn on the inside of his coat, but this isn't seen on film.

  • In the scene where Jesse and Severyn torch the mobile home, Severyn asks if Jesse remembers the fire they started in Chicago. This was a reference to the great Chicago fire of 1871, which is still a mystery to this day.

  • Filming was originally going to take place in Okalahoma, however they were unable to do so as the state had experienced extremely bad rainstorms and many locations had flooded out. They relocated to Arizona, but then had to battle freak snowstorms, which was the first time the area had experienced snow in July in over 100 years.

  • During the scene where Caleb is staggering through the town, the cinema in the background is showing "Aliens". Which was done as an in-joke by the crew.

  • One of the reasons the film was not a huge success at the box office was the studio, DeLaurientis Entertainment, went bankrupt shortly after filming had been completed. So the film did not receive adequate publicity. The other was that it was released at the same time as "The Lost Boys", which was wiping out all other competition.

  • The original UK video release in the late 80's was cut by the BBFC, which removed 2 scenes from the redneck bar showdown, one showing Severyn (Bill Paxton) playing with a butterfly knife and the other of them breaking bottles over the dead barman's body after setting him on fire. The subsequent DVD and video release in 2003 was fully uncut.

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