Tuesday, November 21, 2006

"Vampires" review

Vampires (1998)

Directed by John Carpenter
Writing credits Don Jakoby

James Woods .... Jack Crow
Daniel Baldwin .... Anthony Montoya
Sheryl Lee .... Katrina
Thomas Ian Griffith .... Jan Valek
Maximilian Schell .... Cardinal Alba
Tim Guinee .... Father Adam Guiteau
Mark Boone Junior .... Catlin

James Woods leads a Vatican hit squad against vampires. They track the bloodsuckers to New Mexico. Woods has taken vampire slaying to a new professional level. Crossbow wire arrows and jeep pulleys are the weapons a modern slayer prefers to dispatch the undead. "Forget what you've seen in the movies!"

"Vampires" has some good things going for it. Massive amounts of blood mostly. Oh, and guts. Yes. Blood AND guts. Lots of decapitated heads too. That's always the sign of a good horror flick. Plenty of gushing neck wounds as well. I love that. Great gore effects. James Woods is also very good. He's up for anything. He pours his heart out into the action even if no one else is really trying. "Die! Die you bloodsucking...Die!"

But something is missing from this flick. The main action has the slayers attaching a wire to the vampires and then dragging them out into the sun. The vampires then promptly explode. This effect is used about ten times. That sums up the movie. The filmmakers really didn't know what else to do with the vampires except to have them fry in the sun. It was also a letdown to be introduced to this super hit squad of slayers and then see them meet their maker within minutes. Of course their slaughter scene was fantastic so I'm not complaining too much.

Overall, "Vampires" was sparse on vampire action variety. There was some plot nonsense about a black cross and a secret ceremony but it was all just an excuse to watch more combustible vampires.

Basically there are two scenes of vampire killing. One is at the beginning and the other is at the end. There are some slaughter scenes in the middle to keep you interested. If you want to see James Woods make vampires explode, "Vampires" will serve you right.

SCORE: 2.5 out of 4 because James Woods makes vampires go boom

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