We’re back at it again, ladies and gents, with yet another horror-title. After yesterday’s gravely unsatisfying Vampire-flick, we’ll be taking a loot at yet another one in the genre. The movie Near Dark from 1987. The movie has a few recognizable names attached, some bigger than others. The movie was written by Eric Red and Kathryn Bigelow, whow also directed the movie, and stars Adrian Pasdar (Caleb Colton), Jenny Wright (Mae), Lance Henriksen (Jesse Hooker) and Bill Paxton (Severen). In the era of The Lost Boys, a vampire-movie have indeed a hard time to fight for the Heavyweight-title but this is one movie that puts up a great fight, with a 7.0-score on IMDB and a 7.4 average on Rotten Tomatoes, which also ranked the film 34 on their ‘Top 50 Horror Movies’-list of the best horror-movies of all time. But does it stand up to Tango’s standards? How well did we receive it? Well, let’s take a look, shall we…
The first thing I feel I have to mention, is that it’s said that one of its sub-genres is ‘Western’. In my book, a western takes place long before we had cars and jukeboxes and putting a cowboy-hat on his head and a lasso in his hands, does not make it a western… so no, it’s not a western! Anyway, the story is as follows; Caleb Colton (played by Adrian Pasdar, nowadays probably best known as Nathan Petrelli in Heroes) tries to seduce Mae (Jenny Wright), a female vampire, who upon biting him leads him to reluctantly team up with a ‘family’ of travelling vampires.
The first 30 minutes or so are pretty slow moving, but it keeps you interested with a gritty but sexy atmosphere and perfectly fitting music, to set the tone for an intense and suspenseful feeling toward what’s coming. And the coming’s good! You can really tell that the film is from the same era as The Lost Boys, with the characters, its use of music and scenery.. it’s just beautiful to watch at times, while still keeping you on your toes. It shows you the struggles when you turn, the joy of discovering your powers And, the crippling effect on “civilians” when faced with the menace that is the vampires. In one scene, the ‘family’ takes their business into a little bar and what happens is nothing but movie magic. In fact, I’m feeling rather obliged to show you, as it now stands as one of my favorite scenes of the 80’s!
The acting in this movie stays solid all the way through and the directing is nothing short of greatness. I am in some ways disappointed for myself, having not seen this movie until now, even though it’s been standing on my shelf for about 15 years. But as of now, I’ll be sure to watch it at least once a year…. yeah, it’s that good! Chalk this one up for another recipient of the Tango’s Stamp of Approval, and smack on a Gold-star to boot. If you haven’t seen it, I strongly advice you to do it.
You can really feel the intensity in the ‘family’ as if they were actually a family and the struggle for Caleb to accept that he is now one of them is showing us how easy a family can be torn apart.
And even though it’s not a straight-through-shivering-bones horror movie (it does have the sub-genres of drama and thriller as well as the aforementioned “western”), the supernatural presence alone puts it on the Horror-a-thon and an understanding of Why it’s stamped a horror-film in the first place..
There you have it folk, my thoughts on the 1987-biter, Near Dark. It also stands so say, that this is one that’ll be featured in my webisodes as well, so for all you people out there who think I’ve missed something… I havent’. I just left it out!
The 2013 Horror-a-thon will continue tomorror… with what, you say? Well, that’ll just have to be a surprise. But don’t you worry, it’ll be a good’n!
But until then…. have a beer, relax, watch a movie, Or better yet, have a whiskey and watch Near Dark.