Written By: DMG
Edited By: Grave Reviews Staff
Director: John Carpenter
Producer: Sandy King
Screenwriter: Don Jakoby
Based on novel: John Steakley’s Vampires
Date Released: October 30, 1998
James Woods as John “Jack” Crow
Daniel Baldwin as Tony Montoya
Sheryl Lee as Katrina
Maximilian Schell as Cardinal Alba
Thomas Ian Griffith as Jan Valek
Rating = 2.5/5 Graves
***May contain some spoilers***
Vampires (1998) follows Jack Crow (James Woods) and his crew of vampire hunters. The crew’s purpose is to rid the world of all vampires. When a master vampire known as Jan Valek (Thomas Ian Griffith) rises from the ground, he summons several head vampires in search for a holy relic so he can roam the earth in the daylight. One evening, the crew encounters Valek but is overcome by his strength leaving many of the crew members dead. Crow and his companion, Tony Montoya (Daniel Baldwin) must try to stop the master vampire before it’s too late.
Whenever you have vampires involved, you can be sure that there will be an ample amount of blood involved. However, there is one scene that was particularly striking. The scene entails the master vampire penetrating one of the vampire hunters with his arm and then slicing the hunter in half. The scene resembled a very John Carpenter like feature to the film similar to his classics such as The Thing. Vampires (1998) incorporates a good balance of blood, severed heads and corpses that gives the film a nice element of gore.
The Grave Review
John Carpenter’s Vampires (1998) combines both the horror and action genre into one film. The plot itself, is very simple and to the point leaving very little to the imagination. However, sometimes you need a mindless action/horror film just for the entertainment value.
The characters, particularly those of Jack and Tony, are not very likeable characters. They are both very sarcastic, crude and abusive. As the viewer, it was difficult to relate to the characters or feel any remorse for their circumstance. John Carpenter may have directed James Woods and Daniel Baldwin to play these characters in this way in order to symbolize the cruelty in the world. Nevertheless, these characteristics did not add to the film’s vibe in a positive way.
The villain, Jan Valek (Thomas Ian Griffith) was a lot of fun to watch. You almost wished that Valek had a bigger role in the film because he had a very gothic and dark look that made his character interesting. The scene where several head vampires are walking with Valek was a great scene. Valek’s charismatic and mysterious portrayal made audiences long for a backstory that was only briefly discussed. It would have added a new perspective if the vampires were more developed.
For the foregoing reasons, Grave Reviews gives Vampires (1998) two and one-half graves out of fives graves.
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