The sweeping plains of New Mexico hide more than just empty shacks and perished farm equipment. Vampires live in them, feeding off the living and the foolish. They are however being dealt with by a team of hunters. Hunters looking for the master, a mythical killer and monster. When it looks like they might exterminate these dead souls for good, the master comes to challenge these hunters and finish the fight.
Carpenter had a great run of films. From the early 70s until the early 90s he was on fire, making film greats like Assault on Precinct 13, The Fog, Halloween, The Thing, They Live and Escape from New York. Then for the critical and would seem film fan boys, he started to make films that were like pastiche meets parody. Escape from LA, Village of the Damned and Memoirs of an Invisible man. Memoirs is still Carpenters most undervalued and rated film. This said it can be agreed he was unsure how to translate to a new audience, many of who were watching film makers inspired by Carpenter and his former films.
Vampires came along after LA and was a return to form in his genre works. It has the darkly sardonic humour, sadistic and malevolent evil presence and tone and tension of his best work. It also has harder gore soaked horror and gender sadism of his later works. All this merges to make a film that blends well its fat paced and stylish action, simple plot and archetype ideas. Woods is great as a vampire hunter with an erratic sense of self, Baldwin is the familes actor of energy and sly humor that works here well, Tim Guinee is balance to the others core values. In my opinion though the real power comes from Griffith his evil vampire master.
This all said it is not wrong to say that Vampires is not a Carpenter masterpiece by any stretch. It lacks creativity in places and feels often a little like it was cheapened for the setpieces. Is it worth your time and money? Yes but if you have not seen his other work, please start there!
The film looks glorious and sounds great as well. Well done on the print powerhouse. The extras add some extra cash to the pot and the ones worth looking at are Carpenters Commentary, which always pays off and the Carpenter doc.
- Original stereo audio
- Alternative 5.1 surround sound track
- Audio commentary with director John Carpenter
- Behind the scenes (1999, 6 mins): ‘making of’ documentary, featuring interviews with cast and crew, including John Carpenter, James Woods and Sheryl Lee
- Cast & Crew Interviews (1999, 9 mins)
- B-roll footage (1999, 9 mins)
- Original theatrical trailer
- New and improved English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
- Limited edition exclusive booklet with a new essay by Kim Newman
- Limited Dual Format Edition of 5,000 copies
- UK Blu-ray premiere