John Carpenter's Vampires

  • 1998
  • Movie
  • R
  • Action, Horror, Thriller

James Woods adds another hateful, embittered creep to his gallery of losers, neurotics and junkyard dogs with vampire slayer Jack Crow. The hero -- and we use that term loosely -- of John Carpenter's latest horror outing, Crow is on a mission from God, or at least the Vatican. He and his posse of bad-asses wander the Southwest, sniffing out nests of the...read more

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Reviewed by Maitland McDonagh
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James Woods adds another hateful, embittered creep to his gallery of losers, neurotics and junkyard dogs with vampire slayer Jack Crow. The hero -- and we use that term loosely -- of John Carpenter's latest horror outing, Crow is on a mission from God,

or at least the Vatican. He and his posse of bad-asses wander the Southwest, sniffing out nests of the undead and slaughtering them in the name of the Church. Life is peachy until master vampire Valek (Thomas Ian Griffith) wipes out Crow's team while they're having a rather impious orgy in a

no-tell motel. Warned off the vengeance trail by their Vatican contact, Cardinal Alba (Maximillian Schell), Crow and best buddy Tony Montoya (Daniel Baldwin) nevertheless go after Valek, hoping to use a prostitute (Sheryl Lee), who's been bitten but isn't yet a full-fledged vampire, to flush him

out. Modern-day vampire Westerns aren't entirely a new thing (witness SUNDOWN: THE VAMPIRE IN RETREAT and the great NEAR DARK), and for all its flash, this bloody romp pulls together some nifty ideas but forgets to do anything with them. The vampires look cool prowling across that sand and

mesquite landscape. The notion of psychos slaying for the Catholic Church is a resonant one. Crow himself is a potent creation: We may like our vampire slayers honorable, like Buffy and Peter Cushing's Van Helsing, but Jack Crow is the kind of mercenary sociopath who'd actually get the job done.

If only he didn't spend quite so much time pounding stakes into vamp-girls while screaming, "Die, bitch!" and asking his pals if killing gets them off. It's not as though the conflation of arousal and violence were so suppressed in previous vampire movies that we hadn't noticed.

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  • Released: 1998
  • Rating: R
  • Review: James Woods adds another hateful, embittered creep to his gallery of losers, neurotics and junkyard dogs with vampire slayer Jack Crow. The hero -- and we use that term loosely -- of John Carpenter's latest horror outing, Crow is on a mission from God, or… (more)

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