HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Dreams on Fire
Sing as We Go!
Burnt Orange Heresy, The
Craft Legacy, The
Eye of the Storm
Inflatable Sex Doll of the Wastelands
Where No Vultures Fly
Come True
Kagemusha
Justine
Poly Styrene: I Am a Cliché
Madchen in Uniform
Fire Will Come
Suspect
Jailbreak Pact
News of the World
Dementer
Beyond Clueless
Stylist, The
Sky is On Fire, The
Wrong Turn
In a Year with 13 Moons
Blush
Strange Affair of Uncle Harry, The
Sinners, The
Tammy and the T-Rex
Archenemy
Zappa
Mindwarp
State Secret
Mogul Mowgli
Owners, The
Twentieth Century, The
Story of Gilbert and Sullivan, The
What Lies Below
Greenland
Broil
Dead Pigs
Willy's Wonderland
It's in the Air
   
 
Newest Articles
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
Network Double Bills: Some Girls Do and Deadlier Than the Male
Absolutely Bananas: Link on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
Network Double Bills: The House in Nightmare Park and The Man Who Haunted Himself
Newley Minted: The Strange World of Gurney Slade on Blu-ray
Bad Love: The Night Porter on Blu-ray
Brevity is the Soul of Weird: Short Sharp Shocks on Blu-ray
Get Your Ass to Mars: Total Recall on Blu-ray
Call the Professionals: Le Cercle Rouge on Blu-ray
When There's No More Room in Hell: Dawn of the Dead on Blu-ray
The Butterfly Effect: Mothra on Blu-ray
   
 
  Near Dark
Year: 1987
Director: Kathryn Bigelow
Stars: Adrian Pasdar, Jenny Wright, Lance Henriksen, Bill Paxton, Jenette Goldstein, Tim Thomerson, Joshua John Miller, Marcie Leeds
Genre: HorrorBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 5 votes)
Review: Kathryn Bigelow’s vampire western has aged a lot better than many of its mid-80s horror contemporaries. Maybe it’s because Southern American fashions haven’t changed in decades – the demin/leather/mullet look the characters sport here is still de rigeur in modern Texas. But more likely it’s Bigelow and scriptwriter Eric Red’s decision to tackle their material with a straight face, rather than the jokey approach taken by the likes of The Lost Boys (that said, The Lost Boys whooped Near Dark at the box office).

Caleb (Adrian Pasdar) is the son of farmer in rural Texas, who spends his nights drinking and fighting in local bars. When a pretty, enigmatic girl called Mae (Jenny Wright) catches his eye, Caleb tries his best to get jiggy with her, but all he gets for his trouble is a pair of fangs in his neck. Before long, Caleb is changing painfully into a vampire and is taken in by Mae’s extended undead family, led by Jesse (Lance Henriksen) and his wife Diamondback (Jenette Goldstein).

Near Dark’s great strength is its cast – Lance Henriksen, Jenette Goldstein and Bill Paxton were fresh off Aliens, and have a believable chemistry between them – this is after all a family that have lived and slain together for centuries. While Bill Paxton’s unhinged Severen delights in his supernatural abilities and the ease with which he can kill, Jesse and Diamondback are more concerned by their survival, and seek to avoid unnecessary risk in their nocturnal activities. Mae and Homer (Joshua Miller) are the two outsiders of the group – Mae is the newest member and it is because of her that Caleb is taken in rather than killed on the spot, while Homer is even older than Jesse, and yet trapped in the body of a child.

Another James Cameron alumni – The Terminator’s director of photography Adam Greenberg – lends the film a beautiful, haunting look reminiscent of Terence Malick’s 70s classics. As well as engineering the frights and atmosphere confidently, Bigelow demonstrates a growing skill as an action director that would lead her to films like Point Break, Strange Days and K19. Sequences such as the family’s escape from a motel besieged by police, or Severin taking on Caleb and an 18-wheeler are intensely exciting set-pieces.

For my money however, Near Dark isn’t quite the stone-cold classic that some feel it is – as modern vampire yarns go, it still ranks below Martin or The Addiction. Tangerine Dream’s score is intermittently moody, but also features an over-abundance of laughable squealing rawk guitar, while the conceit that allows recently infected vampires to become human once more is silly and contrived. Still, it’s a pacy and entertaining slice of Texan gothic, marked by dark wit and some tremendous performances.
Reviewer: Daniel Auty

 

This review has been viewed 12009 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Kathryn Bigelow  (1951 - )

After a starting her career as an artist, this American director and writer moved into the world of film, making her first feature The Loveless in 1982. Five years later came the film which made her name, the modern vampire tale Near Dark, and she followed it up with equally cult-ish thrillers Blue Steel, Point Break and Strange Days. However, The Weight of Water and K-19: The Widowmaker were critical and financial failures, and she fell quiet until Iraq war drama The Hurt Locker over five years later, for which she became the first woman to win the Best Director Oscar. She then dramatised the hunt for Osama bin Laden in the controversial Zero Dark Thirty, and tackled the 1967 riots of Detroit. She was once married to fellow director James Cameron, and directed episodes of Wild Palms and Homicide: Life on the Street.

 
Review Comments (1)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Stately Wayne Manor
Enoch Sneed
  Geraint Morgan
   

 

Last Updated: