Near Dark

This is the type of movie I got my Alamo Season Pass for. Something I’ve never seen, but would like to. But don’t NEED to such that I’d spent money on it. I was actually quite proud of how I scored this ticket. The screening had been sold out, as they typically are, for a couple weeks before this Terror Tuesday. I can only use my season pass within seven days of the screening. A day or two before the window opened, I noticed a couple of tickets were released for the two showtimes. There was hope. I happened to wake up at 1 AM one week before the screening. In other words, an hour into the window. I know that I can get up for bathroom and water in the middle of the night and fall back to sleep without issue if I don’t do anything else. If I so much as touch my phone, it’ll take me an hour to crash. I went for it. Got the very last ticket for the (preferred) early screening. Fell back to sleep an hour later.

So what exactly is this movie that I was willing to sacrifice an hour of sleep (but not sixteen bucks) for? It’s a 1987 vampire movie (oh okay, ’nuff said), horror western mashup by Kathryn Bigelow with Bill Paxton. What?! Yeah okay makes sense now.

Heroes’ Adrian Pasdar is a young cowboy type living in small town Texas. He meets a pretty young thing who whisks him away and bites his neck. Now he’s a vampire, and he joins his PYT’s gang which also includes Paxton, a kid vampire, and a few other motley vampires. Meanwhile his father and sister are on the trail, trying to bring him home. This movie moves fast. 90 minutes. Jumps right in. Doesn’t stop. Keeps it simple. A little too simple for me tho, I felt like it could have used a little more going on.

By far, the best part of this film was Bill Paxton’s Severin. He joins the elite ranks of vampire bad boys with Lestat, Spike, Damon Salvatore, David, and others that we love even though we know they wouldn’t give a rip about us. He is all swagger and one liners and I wanted so so much more from him. Alas, this wasn’t his movie. It was Pasdar’s Caleb, who is your tortured vamp. Think Louis or Angel or Stefan or oh god Edward. The tortured vamp usually is the one that makes it interesting, bringing up the moral conflict and complications, but he was pretty straightfoward. True, he just seems cookie cutter now that so many more have followed, but except for the twang, I don’t know that he particularly stands out.

As far as vampire movies go, it was fun, but nothing really wowed me. At least not while I was watching. As per usual, I went thru IMDB trivia afterwards and read up on the aesthetics and strategy of it. There is a lot of blend of western, not just the setting but the character tropes. The vampire lore is very muted. The “V” word is never said. Some basics are established (sunlight, drinking blood, impervious to human weapons) but other basics are never explored. This is why I love collecting vampire films. I love seeing how they handle the mythology in their world, and this does feel different from the others. I just wish it excited me more