Vampires (1998) (Collector’s Edition) (Blu-ray Review)
Directed By: John Carpenter
Starring: James Woods, Daniel Baldwin, Sheryl Lee
Rated: R/Region A/2:35/1080p/Number of Discs 1
Available from Scream Factory
“Forget everything you’ve ever heard about vampires,” warns Jack Crow (James Woods), the leader of Team Crow, a relentless group of mercenary vampire slayers. When Master Vampire Valek (Thomas Ian Griffith) decimates Jack’s entire team, Crow and the sole team survivor, Montoya (Daniel Baldwin), set out in pursuit. Breaking all the rules, Crow and Montoya take one of Valek’s victims hostage – a beautiful but unlucky prostitute (Sheryl Lee). She is the sole psychic link to Valek and they use her to track down the leader of the undead. As Valek nears the climax of his 600-year search for the Berziers Cross, Jack and the new Team Crow do everything possible to prevent him from possessing the only thing that can grant him and all the vampires the omnipotent power to walk the world in daylight.
I’m late to the party with John Carpenter’s Vampires, but the movie is an awesome take on the whole vampire subject. Here we have a group of vampire hunters who are on the hunt for a nest of vampires, but when they arrive the master vampire isn’t there. The issue alone leads to what happens in the rest of the movie and it is an overall bloody good time. James Woods plays one of the best characters I’ve ever seen him play. He’s on the edge, he’s badass, and he seems to be channeling a few of Carpenter’s other more known anti-heroes. We also have Twink Peaks’ Laura Palmer herself, Sheryl Lee, who is playing a freshly bitten soon to be a vampire and our remaining heroes are trying to use in order to track down what might be the nastiest and most violent vampire you’ll see this side of Dracula. It’s fun stuff overall!
While you could find a few things to pick on about Vampires, I really don’t want to rag on. I feel the good is way better than the bad. We have some awkward cuts here and there, as things do feel rushed in spots and not rushed enough in others. We have a few missteps dialogue wise, but I think the blood and the fun of this one wins out. The movie was available on a harder to get Twilight Time Blu-ray before now, but I haven’t seen that one. I can say that this release is a great transfer of the movie. The movie has a modern-day (for the time) western vibe going for it and this Blu-ray looks amazing. We also have interviews with some of the cast and John Carpenter. With some vintage stuff from old releases on it as well. I dig this movie and if you haven’t seen it, I feel you will too.
– NEW Time To Kill Some Vampires – An Interview With Composer/Director John Carpenter, Producer Sandy King Carpenter, And Cinematographer Garry B. Kibbe
– NEW Jack The Slayer – An Interview With Actor James Woods
– NEW The First Vampire – An Interview With Actor Thomas Ian Griffith
– NEW Raising The Stakes – An Interview With Special Effects Artist Greg Nicotero
– NEW Padre – An Interview With Actor Tim Guinee
– Audio Commentary By Composer/Director John Carpenter
– Isolated Score
– Vintage Making Of Featurette
– Theatrical Trailer
– TV Spots
– Still Gallery
Quality of Transfer: 98%