Near Dark is an early film by Kathryn Bigelow, who also directed Point Break. Once seen Near Dark is difficult to forget. This is mainly down to the affecting imagery and the great group of actors assembled to play this band of vampires on the prowl in the American Midwest.
The film was a cult item, but recently (especially watching TV’s True Blood ) – I think Near Dark was way ahead of its time. The cast are great and very watchable. One wonders what became of Jenny Wright and looking at the crew now I’m interested to see that co-writer Eric Red also penned The Hitcher from 1986.
The film treats it’s vamps like the bad guys in a John Ford western. Stand out in the cast is the vastly underrated Lance Henriksen. Lance has been outstanding in some of the best B movies of the last twenty years. He’s made major films too like Aliens and Jennifer 8 (a film I might blog about later) but he’s at his best being spiky and difficult in low budget films or supporting lesser actors in films like Johnny Handsome (in which he and Ellen Barkin are the best thing in the film).
So, for those who only know vampire romance from True Blood, I’d recommend that you take a step back in time to this little film. It’s dirtier and more poetic than TVs current vamp heart throbs.
So, 59 films to go…
Matthew Cooper has written for Emmerdale, Eastenders, Hollyoaks and Family Affairs. He was winner of the first ever Lloyds Bank Channel Four Film Challenge and the Oscar Moore Screenplay Prize. His first short film starred a then unknown Ewan McGregor and was picked up by Channel Four when Matthew was 19 years old. He’s been a script writer for hire and filmmaker for hire for over 20 years.