Tuesday, April 19, 2016

John Carpenter's Vampires


Vatican "sponsored" vampire hunters endure quite the setback when the head honcho, the very first vampire, slaughters almost all of them. Can the two still alive, and a new priest assigned to them, stop him or will this vampire claim a special cross that will grant him access to the light of the day.

***



I have been reevaluating some of John's work lately, and Vampires (1998) was specifically on the agenda. Some say Ghosts of Mars (2001) is as close to a western as John ever directed, but I watch Vampires and think maybe it is. I think this film is kind of a springboard off the success of From Dusk Till Dawn (1996). Well I use success loosely as Dawn didn't exactly set the world on fire at the box office, barely making back the budget, but it's cult status is healthy. I'm quite happy this was a hit for John, reaffirming he could still make a hit. And it was late in his career so this films success was also a feather in his hat. And it was neat seeing John and James Woods doing a film together.



The plot isn't what John is worried about. This film's desert motif affords him the opportunity to shoot action in a simmering, sun-baked setting which is not exactly the most ideal location for vampires. The Forsaken (2001) would piggyback off this film not long after, following a similar motif which allows a director the chance to take the genre elsewhere. You could say, though, that the desert, after sequels to Dawn, was exhausted of its uniqueness.



Woods, Daniel Baldwyn, and their Vatican approved posse of badasses run afoul of Super-vampire Thomas Ian Griffith (Excessive Force & The Karate Kid Part III). Hot hooker Sheryl Lee (Twin Peaks) happened to be at a desert inn when Griffith (the "first" vampire) goes on the attack, just annihilating Woods' crew. This massacre Woods will have to clean up later. Maximilian Schell, of all people, is  Cardinal who Woods answers to. Lee was bitten by Griffith and will gradually turn if he isn't killed. She holes up in a hotel with Baldwyn at Woods' request, knowing she is an asset...and possible threat.



The twist involving Schell left much to be desired but he just looks suspicious...something sinister about him despite his seemingly "in God we trust" mission in the leadership for The Church. It seems like a desperate need for a swerve. Griffith is a fierce looking monster and fits the bill of a serious menace not so easy to plan for conquering. That's the real point of emphasis in the film: Woods and the boys normally get the upper hand but Griffith is no ordinary bloodsucker.

The ancient cross so desired by Griffith's Valek is one of those MacGuffins that is sought after but merely a device to bring the hero and adversary towards a showdown. It is a frightening thought...vampires not confined to the dark of the night. Predictably Griffith underestimates Woods and pays for it. He is put in a pickle and appears to be in trouble, but a certain ally, played by Tim Guinee, truly wants to represent The Church with honor, coming in when needed the most.



Thank you, John!

No comments:

Post a Comment

The Girlfriend Experience- Boundaries

Before I sod off, I have had this on paper for a week! Been either forgetting about it or just avoiding it. Last Thursday night I watche...

Ahs

Ahs

Edc

Edc
Blog's Dead all Over
"... perhaps we invent artificial terrors to cope with the real ones."

--host, Donald Pleasence, Terror in the Aisles (1984)

Sbut

Sbut
Snip. Snip

Hal

Hal
There are many things under the sun
---Dr. Werdegast, The Black Cat

hal1

It's Halloween, everyone's entitled to one good scare.

Jtm 2

Jtm 2

Rave

Rave

Mrub

Mrub

Gb

"Back off, man. I'm a scientist."

--Ghostbusters

sm6

sm6

Rv1

Rv1

Nas

Nas

nos3

nos3

Lok

Lok

Po

Po

Ra6

Ra6

dawn

dawn

Dracula's Daughter ('36)

Countess Zaleska: Be thou exorcised oh Dracula, and thy body long undead find destruction throughout eternity in the name of thy dark unholy Master.

mh2

mh2

z2

z2

Hiii

Hiii

Fred

Fred

Ghspo

Ghspo
Movie, so-so, but poster, cool

Enl

Enl

nos4

nos4

gm

To a new world of gods and monsters!


No 2

No 2
Jason Lives

clothes line

clothes line

Ahorr

Ahorr

Cbi1

Cbi1
Case of the bloody iris

Wsha

Wsha

Mouth3

Mouth3
In the Mouth of Madness

Fdfn2

Fdfn2
Freddy's Dead '91

Vyr

Vyr
Vampyres 1974

Sh fr

Sh fr
Friday the 13th Part 2

Vlov

Vlov
Carmilla's kiss

f133

f133

Edpos

Edpos

Ttf2

Ttf2

Jm2

Jm2
El Hombre Lobo

Psycho '60

It's sad, when a mother has to speak the words that condemn her own son. But I couldn't allow them to believe that I would commit murder. They'll put him away now, as I should have years ago. He was always bad, and in the end he intended to tell them I killed those girls and that man... as if I could do anything but just sit and stare, like one of his stuffed birds. They know I can't move a finger, and I won't. I'll just sit here and be quiet, just in case they do... suspect me. They're probably watching me. Well, let them. Let them see what kind of a person I am. I'm not even going to swat that fly. I hope they are watching... they'll see. They'll see and they'll know, and they'll say, "Why, she wouldn't even harm a fly..."

Kife

Kife
Knife is calling, Psycho 2

Meg

Meg
Meg Tilly, Psycho II

ring 2

ring 2
the ring 2002, "the tape"

poster

poster

exor1

exor1
"the visitor" The Exorcist (1973)

Conj

Conj

Tz1

Tz1
"Masks", Twilight Zone

In the kitchen, The Shape

In the kitchen, The Shape
In the kitchen, The Shape

exc4

exc4

Ps56

Ps56

Hun

Hun
Murders in the Rue Morgue 1932

Ps89

Ps89

Cof

Cof
Victor and Paul, with their Monster

pcushig

pcushig

His

His

Efny

Efny

sus

sus
I'm going to grind you down to blood and screams.

--Innocent Blood 1992
Rest in Peace, Robert Loggia

wb

Even a man who is pure in heart and says his prayers by night, may become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms and the autumn moon is bright.

WZ

WZ

Edfen

Edfen
"Do not enter the city...It belongs to the dead now."

h1

h1
Look behind you!

Bs

Bs
"There is no terror in the bang, only the anticipation of it."
--Alfred Hitchcock

linnea

linnea

Amer

Amer
Taste of metal

The h gang

The h gang

Nlc

Nlc
Old Skool Nostalgia

Hp

Hp

Smoke

Smoke
Got a smoke?

Strek

Strek
Live long and prosper

Hill

Hill

Castle

Castle

SRW

"This seems to be the place where the plot begins to thicken..."
--Spooks Run Wild (1941)

Frere and dummy

Frere and dummy

Mlove

Mlove

Alone/dark

"There are no crazy people, doctor. We're all just on vacation."

--Alone in the Dark (1982)

Lips

Lips

Fhz

Fhz

Ph

Ph

Vestron

Vestron
Vintage VHS

sm 3

sm 3

Monique parent

Monique parent
Erotique in Review

Were5

Were5

f13

f13
November 2015

Bmate

Bmate

--Wes Craven

I think there is something about the American dream, the sort of Disneyesque dream, if you will, of the beautifully trimmed front lawn, the white picket fence, mom and dad and their happy children, God-fearing and doing good whenever they can, and the flip side of it, the kind of anger and the sense of outrage that comes from discovering that that's not the truth of the matter, that gives American horror films, in some ways, kind of an additional rage.

Ms45 w

Ms45 w

Churcvh

Churcvh
The Church 1989

Ww

Ww
The Whip and the Body 1963

Lsho

"Now, no novacaine....it dulls the senses"

--Little Shop of Horrors (1960)

Christopher Lee

Every actor has to make terrible films from time to time, but the trick is never to be terrible in them.

Vampyros lesbos

You are one of us now. The Queen of the Night will bear you up on her black wings

The Unknown 1927

No....not sick. But I have lost some flesh.

Alonzo, the Armless.

Ckvh

Ckvh

Blood of Dracula's Castle (1969)

Glen: We'd like to speak to the Townsends, please.

The Butler: They are not available till after sunset.

Bw5

Bw5

Jill

Jill

Mad Love 1935

Doctor Gogol: Did you ever hear of Galatea?

Lavin - Waxworks Proprietor: Gala - who? Not wanting a statue of him, are you?

Doctor Gogol: I don't want a statue of Galatea. You see, she was a statue herself. Pygmalion formed her. Out of marble, not wax. And then she came to life in his arms.

Lavin - Waxworks Proprietor: [calling to his assistant] Start the motor, Henry. There's queer people on the streets of Montmartre at this time of night.

Doctor Gogol: [handing him his card] Here, a hundred francs if you deliver the statue to my house.

Lavin - Waxworks Proprietor: [reading card] It's a go, Dr. Go... gol. First thing in the morning.