Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5.
Japan, 1998. JVC Entertainment Networks, Largo Entertainment, Spooky Tooth Productions, Storm King Productions. Screenplay by Don Jakoby, based on the novel Vampires by John Steakley. Cinematography by Gary B. Kibbe. Produced by Sandy King. Music by John Carpenter. Production Design by Thomas A. Walsh. Costume Design by Robin Michel Bush. Film Editing by Edward A. Warschilka.
In this modern-day horror film, vampire hunter James Woods wanders the barren deserts of America in search of vampire nests that he can surround and destroy with his team of experts. Their routine investigations hit the hot burner when the father of all vampires (Thomas Ian Griffith) shows up in search of a magic crucifix that will give him and all undead minions the power to walk in daylight. As we get to know the energetic, foul-mouthed and bitter Woods, we also discover that he has a dark past with the creatures that explains his fervency in annihilating them. John Carpenter’s Vampire Western (wow, what a genre!) has endless amounts of fun being gross and silly, though unlike Village Of The Damned, it actually manages to be scary from time to time as well. Daniel Baldwin has an underdeveloped subplot as Woods’s assistant, who at first takes care of the vampire master’s latest victim (Sheryl Lee) and then later falls in love with her. Schlocky stuff, but unapologetically fun and unimportant in a good way.