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Overall Rating

Awesome: 20.34%
Worth A Look29.66%
Just Average: 9.32%
Pretty Crappy: 21.19%
Sucks: 19.49%

10 reviews, 58 user ratings

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Vampires (1998)
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by Paulapalooza

"Carpenter recaptures some of his fine old form"
4 stars

Intriguing and well-staged action/horror pic.

There aren't a lot of directors whose work I'm consistently entertained by, who produce material that, even when I'm underwhelmed by many aspects of the whole, always throw some gold nuggets into the brass.

John Carpenter is one of those guys. Yes, even in the disappointing "Escape From L.A."

And he's back doing what he should be doing with "John Carpenter's Vampires," a rollicking Western-tinged horror/adventure about Vatican-sponsored Vampire hunters led by James Woods in a role perfectly suited to his slow-burn mania.

The story isn't very important, but it's stronger than you usually get in this kind of movie, though some of the "revelations" are damn easy to choreograph. Keep in kind that this IS a horror flick, and weak stomachs should not apply, though the gore scenes are well-done for fans of that sort of thing Also disheartening to some might be the misogynistic attitude of the principal characters. There's only so much violence to women you can chalk up to these vampire-hunters being anti-social badasses.

Jack Crow (Woods) is hunting a master vampire (Thomas Ian Griffith doing good work) who mysteriously eludes him. A slaughter later, Crow is left only with his right-hand man (an underwhelming Daniel Baldwin) and Katrina (Sheryl Lee), a prostitute bitten by the vampire, Valek. After taking on a young priest (the sympathetic Tim Guinee), Crow seeks Valek through his psychic link with Katrina, who is slowly transforming into a vamp.

I just have to take a moment to single out Sheryl Lee, one of the finest young actresses working today, who takes a thankless role and adds real humanity to it. Lee has made of habit of imbueing difficult roles with vibrancy and energy, and deserves some projects that really allow her to let loose. Off the soapbox.

Carpenter has seemed out-of-sorts with his own skills for the past few years, but all the focus is back in this pic. I'm personally a big fan of his deliberate (some might say slow, but they'd be wrong) pacing, which wrings more tension out of a set piece than raping it with an AVID. At a panel I attended where he spoke, he said he's currently on vacation. Come back quick, John. We need more like you.

It doesn't suck. That's a compliment, even for a vampire flick.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=358&reviewer=21
originally posted: 11/15/98 16:08:01
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User Comments

4/10/18 Guru This movie is 20 years old and I still enjoy it. Great horror. On a par with Dusk to Dawn. 5 stars
2/20/17 morris campbell another carpenter dud awful 1 stars
6/20/07 Bitchflaps The cast is fine and the vampires are very cool, but I found myself rooting for Ravek. 3 stars
2/02/07 AJ Muller Carpenter goes west. Woods kicks ass. Audience applauds the return of the true master. 5 stars
9/13/06 Booksworm At least it's better than Ghosts of Mars 4 stars
1/01/06 cody a lousy movie done by a great horror director, with ok plot , ok make up, bad movie 1 stars
8/19/05 ES It had potential (for yet another vampire flick) but comes up short = uh-uh 2 stars
3/13/05 christopher elder excellent vampire film. 5 stars
7/16/04 Harry J Carpenter surprised me with this crap. There's a lot of better vampire flicks out there. 2 stars
3/20/04 john Carpenter may never return to his true form but this is actually pretty good 4 stars
1/26/04 Eric Didn't like James Woods till this movie.Loved the blond too. 4 stars
1/16/04 J The movie could of been better if the fights were longer! ** 1/2 out of 4 3 stars
1/12/04 American Slasher Goddess Good performances by Woods and Griffith, but everything else is pretty bad. 2 stars
5/22/03 mr. Pink Quite good in a trashy way. Woods elevates this with a great, fun performance. 4 stars
3/05/03 Dina Smith Total macho shit 1 stars
12/30/02 Jack Sommersby Underrated, inventive horror pic. James Woods is outstanding. 4 stars
10/14/02 JesseL Teak. James Woods makes it happen. The sequel sucks. 5 stars
6/18/02 Charles Tatum Gore and nothing more 3 stars
1/27/02 Andrew Carden Just A Bunch Of Bloody, Stupid Fight Scenes and A Few Minor Scares. 2 stars
11/03/01 Jim A little mahogany? A little ebony? A guy split in half with a little finger? 5 stars
10/31/01 Vampire fan duh!! Fucking awesome movie. Better than blade is right! GREAT film 5 stars
8/05/01 E-Funk James Woods kicks ass. The best time with vampires since Lost Boys. 4 stars
7/23/01 kissfan@webtv.net There are all the elements here. Gore,mayhem,humor and a very sexually gratifying scene. 4 stars
7/08/01 Gracy Lionheart Might be worth it to rent on video, but I felt like I wasted my money at the theater. 2 stars
5/03/01 Gracy Lionheart It was boring. Nothing memorable about it. Even Blade was more entertaining. 1 stars
11/02/00 Terrie Smith Love it or hate it; one of those movies than can go either way. 4 stars
4/01/00 malcolm better than "Blade" 4 stars
1/18/00 Add Someone should stick a stake deep into the heart of this crap!! 1 stars
10/13/99 sophia962 Kept me awake...Woods is interesting to watch. 4 stars
10/06/99 Spankasaurus HAHAHA!! I saw this flick on video! LA LA LA...(worth the 3 bucks) 4 stars
9/25/99 Isla Pretty good to me 4 stars
5/23/99 Allie Very realistic and entertaining 4 stars
3/15/99 the_machine Pure and utter shit 1 stars
2/02/99 Mark Reilly What can I say, if you got GREAT gore, who really cares about a plot?? 5 stars
12/28/98 Dan Rowe I thought the lead vampire was great, very "goth"-did you know he once played Rock Hudson? 4 stars
12/25/98 MR HOLLYWOOD!! I cant belive i wasted money on this piece-of-shit!,actors suck,music even worse,lame story 1 stars
12/22/98 CYaniDERuSH Fuckin Awsome baby! 5 stars
12/22/98 Brent Not very good. I felt sorry for James Woods. 2 stars
12/08/98 Shadow Raider Hey Buffy, it's vampire hunting season! Bring out the guns! Bring out the chemical warfare! 5 stars
12/06/98 Mr Showbiz Plenty of tricks and treats, as well as a vicious mean-streak. 3 stars
11/24/98 mike davis Pathetic. Every line fell into 1 of 3 categories: yelling, cussing, yelling and cussing. PU 1 stars
11/21/98 Freyja Moron movie full of moron actors blurting out cheez-whiz lines. Sucked big moose cock. 1 stars
11/20/98 Mike Horror greatness! 5 stars
11/19/98 J Rockin Action 5 stars
11/13/98 Lord Of The Dunce Mixed reactions from my crew, but I thought Woods kicked ass in a crap film. 3 stars
11/09/98 CaptNish A fresh flick if yah ask me. It's worth the cash to go see it. 4 stars
11/07/98 Pariah Buffy meets The A Team...pure cheez. Bad acting, FX, and score. 2 stars
11/07/98 Negative Creep s'okay 4 stars
11/04/98 lord rashanko what the fuck was johnny boy thinkin? 1 stars
11/03/98 cyanide rush "hey padre tell me something, when you saw this movie did you get a little wood?" 5 stars
11/03/98 Bad Kosh Better than Buffy the Vampire Slut, way awesome with tons of action. Blade could do better 5 stars
11/02/98 The Dude The movie was so fuckin'cool. It's one of my favorites now, it kick motherfuckin' ass bitch 5 stars
11/01/98 16 in. of swingin' meat and a bucket of balls Woods was very convincing. Enjoyed myself thouroughly. Great! 5 stars
10/31/98 Johny Cool film, better than BLADE 4 stars
10/31/98 Miss Stress this has to be the most boring vampire movie i have ever seen. Just give me Lost Boys. 1 stars
10/19/98 Aint-It-Cool wasn´t bored for a minute, though it went long, James Woods was super. 5 stars
10/17/98 I'm Orgazmo. It fuckin' rules. Better than Blade could ever be. 5 stars
8/27/98 Mister Whoopee Ultra-violent, horiffic, tres cool. Woods is awesome, a classic Carpenter anti-hero. 5 stars
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  30-Oct-1998 (R)


  10-Dec-1998 (MA)

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