Near Dark

Near Dark

4.2 4
Director: Kathryn Bigelow

Cast: Adrian Pasdar, Jenny Wright, Lance Henriksen

     
 

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In Kathryn Bigelow's tale of vampires in the American Southwest, the creatures of the night aren't elegant, cloaked aristocrats. They're a gun-toting gang that dresses and acts like a motorcycle gang. Caleb (Adrian Pasdar), a restless young man from a small farm town, meets an alluring drifter named Mae (Jenny Wright). She reveals herself to be a vampire, who "turns"… See more details below

Overview

In Kathryn Bigelow's tale of vampires in the American Southwest, the creatures of the night aren't elegant, cloaked aristocrats. They're a gun-toting gang that dresses and acts like a motorcycle gang. Caleb (Adrian Pasdar), a restless young man from a small farm town, meets an alluring drifter named Mae (Jenny Wright). She reveals herself to be a vampire, who "turns" Caleb into one of her kind rather than kill him. But the rest of her "family" is slow to accept the newcomer. The ancient leader, Jesse (Lance Henriksen), and his psychotic henchman Severen (Bill Paxton) lay down the law; Caleb has to carry his own weight or die. However, he can't bring himself to kill. He manages to win the gang's approval when he rescues them from certain death in a daytime gunfight during a spectacular motel shoot-out in which every bullet hole lets in a deadly ray of sunlight. When the vampires threaten Caleb's real family, he's forced to choose between life and death. The film avoids the complex vampire mythology of such films as Interview with the Vampire. Instead, it emphasizes the intense, seductive bond that forms between Caleb and the violent but tightly knit gang. Bigelow would later utilize this powerful dramatic device in her 1991 film Point Break.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Kryssa Schemmerling
Katherine Bigelow's mesmerizing Near Dark is a lyrical, gorgeously crafted vampire western that has acquired a cult following since its release in 1987. The undead in Bigelow's film are a tightly knit, leather-clad gang of hell-raisin' rednecks who prowl the Southwest in a motor home looking for fresh prey. When one of them, an ethereal beauty named Mae (Jenny Wright), attracts the romantic attentions of farm boy Caleb (Adrian Pasdar), she spares his life, turning him into a vampire and inducting him into the clan. Bigelow, a former painter, clearly revels in the visual and poetic possibilities of both western and vampire myths, presenting a hero who is caught, literally and figuratively, between the forces of light and dark. Both deadly and alluring, the vampire gang functions as a sort of perverted familial unit. Each member is sharply drawn, with standout performances by Wright, by Lance Henriksen as the leader of the pack, and by Jenette Goldstein as his moll. The shimmering nightscapes and images of the vampires racing across flat plains in an attempt to escape the rising sun are unforgettable. And the scene in which Caleb, unable to kill his own prey, hungrily sucks blood from Mae's wrists, is breathtakingly erotic. With references ranging deftly from classic westerns to '60s biker movies, Near Dark is a near-perfect genre hybrid that stands among the best modern vampire movies.
All Movie Guide - Lucia Bozzola
Kathryn Bigelow's Near Dark (1987) crosses the Western with the horror film in one of the most intriguing and smartly scripted films in the vampire subgenre (although the "v" word is never spoken). While the velvety shadows and expressive lighting effects enhance the eeriness of the undead drifters' night world, Bigelow's keen visual sensibility is also displayed in her stylish Western landscapes; the romance between Caleb and Mae may be gothic, but it's Southern-Western Gothic. In this hybrid atmosphere, the complex relationships among the vampire "family" shift sympathies away from the usual human "heroes," even as the deliberately paced story is shot through with violently frightening and blackly humorous scenes of vampire mayhem. The charismatic crew's hedonistic world has its seductions, even if former human Caleb cannot adopt the lifestyle. As vampire initiate Caleb becomes increasingly strung-out from avoiding blood, and the specter of blood exchange invokes death, Near Dark becomes a timely allegory of disease and drug addiction as well as a tale about broken families and Western isolation. Though not a hit in 1987, Near Dark has become a cult favorite and one of the most highly regarded films in Bigelow's genre-twisting oeuvre.

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Product Details

Release Date:
11/10/2009
UPC:
0012236106517
Original Release:
1987
Rating:
R
Source:
Lions Gate
Region Code:
A
Time:
1:39:00

Special Features

Audio commentary with Kathryn Bigelow; "Living in Darkness" - Making-of documentary; Deleted score with commentary by Kathryn Bigelow; Theatrical trailers

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Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Adrian Pasdar Caleb Colton
Jenny Wright Mae
Lance Henriksen Jesse
Bill Paxton Severen
Jenette Goldstein Diamondback
Tim Thomerson Loy Colton
Joshua Miller Homer
Joshua John Miller Homer
Marcie Leeds Sarah Colton
Paul Lane Actor
James LeGros Teenage Cowboy
Eddie Mulder State Trooper
Kenny Call Deputy Sheriff
Ed Corbett Ticket Seller
Troy Evans Plainclothes Officer
Bill Cross Sheriff Eakers
Roger Aaron Brown Cajun Truck Driver
Thomas Wagner Bartender
Robert Winley Patron in Bar
Jan King Waitress
Danny Kopel Biker in Bar
Billy Beck Motel Manager
S.A. Griffin Police Officer at Motel
Bob Terhune State Trooper
Gary Littlejohn State Trooper
Don Pugsley Second truck Driver
Neith Hunter Lady in Car
Theresa Randle Lady in Car
Tony Pierce Highway Youth
Gordon Haight Highway Youth
Leo Geter Caleb's Friend
Gary Wayne Cunningham Caleb's Friend

Technical Credits
Kathryn Bigelow Director,Screenwriter
Adam Greenberg Cinematographer
Mark Allan Associate Producer,Production Manager
Stephen Altman Production Designer
Eddie Cooley Songwriter
Everett Creach Stunts
John Davenport Songwriter
Ed Feldman Executive Producer
Christopher Franke Score Composer
Steve Galich Special Effects
Steven Charles Jaffe Producer
Casey Kelly Songwriter
Guy J. Louthan Asst. Director
Dale Martin Special Effects
Charles R. Meeker Executive Producer
Diane Nabatoff Associate Producer
Joan Parr Songwriter
Diane Perryman Art Director
Joseph Porro Costumes/Costume Designer
Karen Rea Casting
Eric Red Co-producer,Screenwriter
Paul Simmons Songwriter
Davida Simon Makeup
Gordon J. Smith Makeup Special Effects
Howard E. Smith Editor
Donald Summer Sound/Sound Designer
Tangerine Dream Score Composer
Sonny Throckmorton Songwriter
D. Woody Songwriter

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