One of the best vampire movies I have seen is Vampires the Movie starring James Woods. Now when I say this is one of the best movies, understand that I do not mean it was an Oscar winner, or that there are not some vampire movies, like Dracula, that rank with it. The story itself was a little lacking, however James Woods turned in a performance that rivaled among one of his best ever.
The premise of the film is this: James Woods plays Jack Crow, a vampire hunter. And not your run of the mill vampire hunter either, this guy brings his A game. He has a past that is tormented by the death of his parents at the hands (fangs) of vampires while he watched. As a result, in Vampires the Movie, his life became a crusade to end vampires for good.
He has assembled a team of players that hunt with him and bring a wide array of talents to the table. Now it seems that the Vatican, which has known about vampires for a very long time, has learned of a plan by a group of vampires, led by a Master named Valek, who is searching for an artifact; a crucifix, that will allow them to walk in the sun the same as men. Thus, the holy order calls upon Jack and his team to help eradicate this menace and stop the vamps from accomplishing their goal.
Jack is assisted in Vampires the Movie by his team, until tragedy strikes (which I will not give away, because it is really cool to see). The remainder of his team along with a hooker (Sheryl Lee) who is taking a turn for the worst, fight to stop Valek, even if it means sacrificing all they hold dear. Jack's battle prowess and ingenuity are put to the test as Valek takes his toll on Jack's emotions.
Thomas Ian Griffith plays the part of Valek and turns in a great performance as well with what was available in the writing. He is evil, and loves it. He is a good counter to Jack Crow, who is a no nonsense, abrupt, and, at most times, totally inappropriate scoundrel, while still being “good” at heart. I even have to give some props to Daniel Baldwin who plays Tony Montoya. While I am not normally a Baldwin fan, except for Alec, Daniel turned out to be memorable in this part.
Vampires the Movie's story takes place in New Mexico, which is great for giving an overall feel of desolation and fear of the things lurking in the night, replete with plenty of coyote howls and all. The movie was directed by John Carpenter, who, it goes without saying, knows how to put together a film. The writing for the movie may not have been as strong as it could be, but when James Woods stepped up to the plate as Jack, he hit a home run for sure as far as I am concerned.
I love this vampire movie because of him - and that is the main reason why it is in my movie collection. Without it, your vampire hits just are not complete. Rent it, watch it and you will see why, when it comes to vampire movies, while it may not be an award winner, it was a story that had to be told. Put it on your Halloween horror movie checklist and really enjoy the holiday while cheering on John Carpenter's Vampires!
"But who am I kidding? Dates are things normal girls have. Girls who have time to think about nail polish and facials. You know what I think about? Ambush tactics. Beheading. Not exactly the stuff dreams are made of." -- Buffy, Buffy the Vampire Slayer