Day 9 of 31
Director: Kathryn Bigelow
Starring: Adrian Pasdar, Jenny Wright, Lance Henriksen, Bill Paxton. Janette Goldstein, Joshua John Miller. USA. 1h 34m.
Famed for being one of the few vampire flicks never to mention vampires, Near Dark is more than just your average vampire flick, it’s a dusty road trip from hell with some ancient and amusing characters who just happen to drink blood. Strangely his romantic horror is never really all that scary but is serious enough to unleash some tough alternative ideas into the vampire genre, but between the hard luck story, the power struggles and the endless road there’s a hint of comedy albeit it dark and some iconic vamps emerge forever etched in our memories.
There is no doubt that this film comes from the south, everything about it drips gravy and biscuits. Caleb (Adrian Pasdar) is a young farmer’s son, who meets a beautiful drifter Mae (Jenny Wright) who changes his life after she bites him and he’s forced to join a nomadic group of vampires who are quite happy slaying their way across America. Continue reading Near Dark (1987)
I’ve been meaning to re watch this classic for a number of years, I remember watching it when I was likkle and not really understanding what it was all about and being black and white I don’t think my brain could really process what was going on.
So it was on the to purchase an watch list, and I finally made it there and I feel that I’ve cheated myself. It’s utter perfection, the frivolity of the light and dark shadows, the imaginative camera work and effects, blending in shadows and, mystical dream sequences all depicting the haunting nature of the vampire. Before the myth was funnelled into Dracula or sexy vampires this falls into the category of folklore and when you go back to our more primal fears surrounding monsters things tend to be more eerie.
Carl Theodor Dreyer entertains a more nightmarish experience and doesn’t focus in on the vampire herself but instead the effects of vampirism. There are a lot of strange occult experiences going on in this film, originally penned by Sheridan La Fanu, who also brought us Camilla and In a Glass Darkly. It’s hard not to connect this with other classics like Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari (1920) just due to the spectacular visuals but everything is much softer, almost playful like a fairy-tale but with a very dark story.
Originally written as a gothic novel it has all of toys firmly in the pram and chucks none away, coffins, skeletons, bats, ghosts, long black dresses, this is really what it was about. To be honest this film doesn’t even need a story it’s just brilliant enough to watch, and if you ever get the chance.. watch it with the soundtrack made by a band called Year of No LIght, there is a version on the tube but buy the album and play the two together.. it will blow your mind.
Full review coming soon…