I guess I should specify: this is John Carpenter’s Vampires; although, it’s not like it makes that much of a difference in the end. It’s perplexing that this was the movie that convinced Carpenter to continue making movies. The 90s were bleak for him, as this was the only profitable movie he directed during that time– making $200k over budget.
Vampires centers around two vampire hunters, Jack Crow (James Woods) and Montoya (Daniel Baldwin), that anger “master vampire” Jan Valek by killing 9 of his goons while he slept during the day.
Valek gives chase while Crow and Montoya learn that the Catholic Church considers him the oldest and most dangerous vampire in the world– being a creation of the Catholic Church itself in the 1300s. The hunters are joined by Father Adam Guiteau, who gives them the crucial information that Valek is hunting an ancient relic that will give him the ability to walk during the day time, rendering him essentially invincible.
As you might’ve guessed, there is a skirmish between the hunters and the vampire army that Valek has amassed while searching for the relic. Throw in a pointless love story and a weird relationship between Jack Crow and Guiteau, and this is the final product.
There’s something deep inside everyone that pulls at them to enjoy these types of movies; cheap-looking practicals, absurd story, phoned-in acting, all the pieces are there to make this a cult classic. Unfortunately for Vampires, you can feel the effort put forth to make this a palatable movie and it ultimately fails.
If you look to another 1998 vampire-centric film, Blade, Vampires pails in comparison. The former looks as though it was made for theaters: motivated, believable characters, actual lighting and cinematography, and solid acting. The latter looks as though it was made for TV.
We wanted to like this, but we couldn’t.
Matt: Don't watch Gabe: Don't watch