Near Dark (1987) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

After years of being out of print, Kathryn Bigelow's maiden directorial effort is now available on a 2-disk DVD which includes a digitally remastered print of the film and a boatload of extras, including a new 47 minute documentary made especially for the DVD.


none. none in the deleted scenes
Like all "cult" films, especially those with a period of limited availability, it is often praised lavishly by genre lover and on genre sites. Beware. Unless you are a major buff of fantasy films, more specifically vampire films, you will not find this to be a movie of special merit.

The premise is that vampires in the modern age could be anyone, not just European aristocratic types. In this case, they are redneck trailer trash types from the Southwestern U.S. Jenny Wright, the nicest of the band, falls in love with a human. She tries to keep her passion in check, but they're young and in love, so she ends up "infecting" her lover.

DVD info from Amazon.

  • widescreen anamorphic format, 1.85

  • full-length audio commentary by the director

  • all new 47 minute "making of" documentary

  • deleted scene

  • original screenplay

  • storyboards, stills, posters

During the plot's development, the movie plays out like a cross between Interview With a Vampire and Desperado, or maybe more like a rhapsodic dream-poetry version of From Dawn til Dusk, as if that film had been directed by Michael Mann or Adrian Lyne instead of Robert Rodriguez.

I'm not much of a vampire film guy, and this was no exception for me. The film has one glaring and irritating continuity error, and it also has a cop-out solution to the lovers' problem. They can get a transfusion and rejoin humanity. Yawn. That despite the fact that some of their fellow undead were hundreds of years old.

The Critics Vote

  • 3/5

  • The film won some fantasy film awards

The People Vote ...

  • with their dollars: it grossed $3.4 million in the USA


IMDb guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence, about like three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, about like two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, about like two stars from the critics. Films under five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film, equivalent to about one and a half stars from the critics or less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description, this film is a C-. Given a fairly wide release in October of 1987, it lasted two weeks in theaters, then became a staple of HBO programming and HBO home video, but the video was out of print and the film has been off the HBO schedule since the mid 90's, so this release is a real treat for cultists and genre buffs. Others, find other ways to pass your time. Despite the 100% good comments at Rotten Tomatoes, I found it barely watchable.

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