John Carpenter's Vampires
*** BM
Starring: James Woods, Tim Guinee, Daniel Baldwin, Sheryl Lee, Thomas Ian Griffith


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James Woods kickin' the crap out of vampires. Do you need anything else?

To make my biases known right away, I believe I was the only person I knew that wasn't weak in the knees and drooling over "Interview With A Vampire" when it came out. My opinion of vampires is simply that they broke the mold with Count Chocula. That's that. I don't really care to see a bunch of pasty weasels chomping on necks and in dire need of a bib. It's not my bag. Hence, I really had a blast watching Wesley Snipes kick all sorts of vampire booty in "Blade."

James Woods gets the butt-kickin' title here and he deserves it. I generally will instantly like a guy who cusses a lot and calls priests "padre." I also loved his diatribe to Father Adam (Tim Guinee) debunking the myths that vampires are "romantic," including the smarmy Eurotrash accents. Glorious, indeed. Also along for the ride is who is debatably the most acceptable Baldwin, goes by the name of Daniel (Rationale - Stephen is unbelievably annoying, Billy is just bothersome, and Alec is responsible for the entire clan's success. Daniel, however, is thick and surly and just has a better tough-guy vibe), as the only other member of their team of vampire-slayers that gets out alive once the Grandvampy Of Them All, Valek (Thomas Ian Griffith), shows up and decimates them.

Woods and Baldwin make an acceptable pair of hardballs, and Sheryl Lee is good as the hooker who gets drawn into the mess after being bitten by Valek, thus making her the perfect tool to track down the bad guy and his goons, who are looking to find a special artifact that will allow them to walk during the daytime.

Not a great deal of substance to the film, but it is a fun, entertaining time. I doubt any readers of the book that it's based on will be thrilled with the adaptation but, having not read the book, I enjoyed myself. John Carpenter will have a very hard time topping "They Live" in my book, though. "Rowdy" Roddy Piper and Keith David as the rogue hardballs bringing down a subliminal alien invasion is the ultimate John Carpenter film.

If you like James Woods firing off enormous crossbows, Daniel Baldwin dragging vampires into the sunlight with a winch on his jeep, heaving Sheryl Lee and some fun profanity, go see it. If not, well... maybe you're not human.

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