Wolfpaw says fangs for the memory with his review of Near Dark…
Often passed over, if noticed at all, by the younger “love with a bite” generation it shows a more real ‘family’ of bloodsuckers, the hardships of having to live without the sun and the difficulties of feeding the bloodlust.
Twilight is a collaboration of Twee and Light, Near Dark is the complete opposite. The title references that time when the sun is just below the horizon, a time when all creatures can walk in the penumbral shadow of the sun without harm (ok, ok, twilight).
Directed by Katherine Bigelow, with a superb cast including Lance Henrikson (Jesse – head honcho), Jenette Goldstein (Diamondback – Jesse’s partner) and Bill Paxton (Severen – psychotic killer) combined with a great script by Eric Red and Bigelow it tells the story of a group of travelling night creatures (travelling due to the murder and mayhem they tend to leave behind) and the problems of young love.
The basic story;
Caleb meets Mae one night, later Mae bites Caleb and leaves him to face the sunrise….
So begins one of the finest movies of the genre.
Aaahhh Genre …
It’s a Kidnap/Revenge Movie … yes but not really
It’s a Road Movie … yes … sort of.
It’s a Western … yes … sort of.
It’s a Love story … yes but.. Oh, ok it is, in many different ways.
So exactly what is it?
Yeah you know the one….the ‘bloodsucking, cannot abide sunlight’ one …..the one that starts with V…a word which is never mentioned in the film.
Back to the plot …
…. As the sun rises and Caleb starts to get the most appalling sunburn, Mae and her compatriots arrive in one of the memorable scenes in the film, an RV races across the farmland to pluck Caleb from his former life into another existence.
Living with this company is not normal or easy, there is blood, gore and much killing while Caleb learns how to live without sunshine.
Meanwhile back at the ranch, Caleb’s father and sister, assuming the lad has been kidnapped, set out to hunt for him and his captors.
The need to feed on blood is well demonstrated in the excellent bar scene, where the brutal Severen leads the way into a feast, not only for his friends but for the viewer; he taunts and tantalises the bar patrons until the blood starts to flow, with a dialogue that is sharp and fun.
Pop and Sis finally catch up to Caleb and reverse the infection which makes him a target for the rest of the group as he can identify them (as murderers, let alone anything else). The final chase begins ….
Near Dark is a superb film that deals with the trials of being a nightwalker, it has love, death, blood, and salvation in equal measure. From the same period of other superb films of the same type like The Lost Boys, it reeks quality in every frame, testament to the wonderful Katherine Bigelow. Enjoyable to watch due to the great cast and with a story that holds your interest to the last frame, all held together by a soundtrack from Tangerine Dream.
Final word is a quote from the film.
Severen: [sucking blood off his fingers] It’s finger-lickin’ GOOD!
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Image from Amazon
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