Thursday, April 25, 2013
Bad/Awesome Flixxx Review: Near Dark (1987)
"The light that's leaving that star right now will take a billion years to get down here. You want to know why you've never met a girl like me before?...Because I'll still be here when the light from that star gets down here to earth in a billion years." - Mae
"Well, why don't you lick it up off the bar, meatball?" - Severin
"You have any idea what it's like to be a big man on the inside and have a small body on the outside?" - Homer
Thanks to Skelethorr for the suggestion on this one! A rad 80s vampire movie WITHOUT ever mentioning vampire not once not ever. We all know that it has to be dealing with vampires, but its very subtle in its language, not so much in it execution. This is truly more like a MAD MAX style western than a vampire flick, and it has some very inventive albeit controversial twists. AND LOOK AT THIS CAST: Tim Thomerson (!), Lance Henrikson (!), a very funny Bill Paxton, and the kid from RIVER'S EDGE all starring in NEAR DARK!!!
This one begins with a cowboy going out to some honky tonk to meet up with his buddy cowboys. And they talk some shit to each other and then one of them spots this hot little number hanging out in front the gas station next door. He immediately heads over to talk to her, but she is basically looking up at the stars the whole time they talk. He's totally going for her, but she is acting weird and blowing him off. At some point she asks for a ride home and they stop and listen to "the darkness" and he says he can't hear anything. "Just up the road" must have been pretty far away because by the time they get close, the sun is about to come up. She starts freaking out and says get me home, but he stops the car and hides the keys and says not until you give me a kiss. So she does, and then she bites him on the neck. All he says is "that was some kiss". And then she runs off. He can't get his truck to start anyway (I think that's what happened. For some reason he heads home on foot). By then the sun starts coming up and his skin starts burning, and he's stumbling all over the place and starts coming up to his dad's farm and his lil sister yells for him and then this Winnebago hauls ass across the horizon and grabs him off the dirt road, turns around and splits with the dad and sister chasing along after them.
The killer thing about this movie is they never mention vampires. We know it because of the blood sucking and the hiding from the sun, but there are very few other cliche vampire things in the flick. And there are a couple really crazy ideas that I've never heard of in here too. I think there were a number of vampire flicks that came out around the same time in the late 80s (FRIGHT NIGHT, VAMP, THE LOST BOYS, ONCE BITTEN). I think they were trying to go for something different with this one. A bit darker, drop the comedy, introduce something new to the mix. Bummer, but I'm pretty sure this flopped at the box office.
The Winnebago is full of a gang of vampires. Lance Henrikson and his chick, and the two "sons" Bill Paxton as "Severen", and the kid "Homer" who is now just an old vampire stuck in a kid's body. Severen is wild as hell and wants to kill the cowboy (Caleb) right away. Mae (the chick) tells him she's turned him. They are all pissed as hell, especially Homer because he is the one who turned Mae so she'd be "his" chick. But she didn't go for that because he was too young. Anyway they give him a timeline, if he doesn't make a kill within the week, they are going to kill him. So Mae tries to get him to kill a trucker and she teaches him some stuff, but he just doesn't want to do it, and so to keep him alive she let's him drink her blood. That makes her sick so she tells him he's going to have to kill soon or else they will really kill him. Meanwhile the dad (Tim Thomerson) and sister are searching all over the place trying to find Caleb.
So the gang goes to a bar and Severen is hilarious because he just doesn't give a fuck. He is pure evil and does whatever he wants. They basically massacre the place except this one kid gets away (because fucking Caleb lets him) and everyone is pissed as hell at Caleb and then they have to hole up in this shitty motel. Then the cops surround them, but facing sunlight and bullets, Caleb runs to their blacked out van and crashes it into their room allowing them to escape. Finally they get to another motel and Homer brings this young chick back to the room and he wants to turn her for his own. It turns out to be Caleb's sister! So there's this big fight and Caleb escapes with his dad and sis. This all leads to a huge final scene and sequence and I'm really leaving a lot out here, but if I tell you any more it will ruin it. This is one of those that have to be seen to be really gotten. The thing that happens before the final "battle" if you wanna call it that is unique to any other vampire movie I've ever seen, so if you dig this kind of thing at all, you should definitely see this one.