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Near Dark


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Argh,

 

I can forgive a LOT of the film up until the blood transfusion. After that...mostly garbage.

 

I will say that all these years later, I REALLY liked Bill Paxton as Severin. He still gets a nod from me as one of the coolest vampires ever. :)

 

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Also a treat, I always thought the lead was portrayed by C. Thomas Howell. Imagine my surprise as a Heroes nut to see NATHAN PETRELLI!!! Yep, Adrian Pasdar plays our hero. They should REALLY find a way to work him into the remake!

 

53neardark2shot.jpg

 

Also, Lance Henriksen was wonderful as always.

 

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So many quality pieces and another Vampire movie fucked up. And it was the BEST for years.

 

Much like The Punisher, vampires are easy to do...but consistently destroyed with the need to do something...more.

 

 

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This is one of my favorite films Fred.

 

I'm afraid you and I can no longer be friends now.

 

In fact I'm banning you.

 

Bastard.

 

How do you cure vampirism with a blood transfusion? It's like saying you could cure AIDS the same way.

 

Don't get me wrong Noeland, there are some AMAZING scenes in this film and some fantastic concepts with some great acting (Tim Thomerson is the MAN). It's just another film that I remember LOVING back in the day (thought I hated the transfusion thing then too) that I just don't care as much for 20 years later.

 

Fred

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No one can ever truly say that Near Dark is a masterpiece.

And guess what? Who gives a shit ;)

 

Near Dark was that perfect movie at the perfect time. Coming on the heels of Cameron's smash, Aliens, I remember seeing a trailer for Near Dark at the old Castle Theater. I was stunned by what I was seeing. I was a huge Bill Paxton and Lance Henrikson fan, and then toss in Jeanette Goldstein for good measure. For me I was getting a sequel of sorts to Aliens ;) I remember how juiced I was to see this film . . . and then . . . nothing. Finally about 5 months later it shows up at the Castle.

I saw it opening night. There were about 25 people in the audience. I thought, fine! No one to fuck with my serenity. What I saw blew me away. It spoke to me in ways I cannot even begin to describe. And seriously, at the end of the day the last thing I was thinking about on the drive home was the transfusion scene. All the stuff that didn't work had no real effect on me because everything else was so dynamic and cool. I didn't really give a shit about Adrian Pasdar and Jenny Wright (though she used to be so very sensually hot). What I fell in love with was "the family". Brutal and stylish. Jessie Hooker and Severin became my new screen icons. I saw the film 3 more times before it went it's low distribution way after only 2 weeks. I preached the awesomeness of this film to everyone WORTH the telling, and over the years turned a huge amount of people onto this film. During the days of Laserdisc I screened it at my home theater for friends on a regular basis.

 

Simply said, this is one of those films where the whole package is moot, it's the themes it explored, the dynamic idea of the modern day nomadic clan of Vampires, the subtle touches like when Caleb asks Jessie how old he is, to which Jessie replies, "Let's put it this way, I fought for the South." Are you fucking kidding me? That is way too cool. Kathryn Bigelow's stylish direction, The script and dialogue by Bigelow and Eric Red, the luscious night-time cinematography by Adam Greenberg, the bravura performances by Paxton and Henrikson . . . couple that with the originality of blacking out the bulkheads and fantails of a fucking Winebago to keep the sunlight out, Hooker's flash goggles and nose shield ;) Shoving the cross into the face of convention - the irony of a crucifix on the butt of Jessie Hooker's pistol, the genius of the shootout where shafts of sunlight created by bullet-holes through the walls are as lethal as projectiles are to normal folks. To say nothing of the bar scene which is now genre film iconography. "I hate it when they ain't been shaved" is fucking priceless. And like J O'B mentioned, the word "Vampire" never being spoken. This was a film that redefined the Vampire film. That's what makes it special.

 

Near Dark was my singular inspiration when creating the Vampire artwork for White Wolf, which ended up launching my career.

The film had major impact on me. Transfusion scene never bothered me a bit. Bigelow and Paxton had me at "Cut the shit. I know you're awake. I can smell it."

 

near_dark_ver2-1.jpg

 

Also one of the best taglines ever - . . . Pray For Daylight.

 

- TB

 

I agree with Noeland. You are now Banned Fred.

;)

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There were mistakes in this film? Issues? Problems?...hmmm, all I've ever seen it from is fanboy eyes, but to me it is the best vampire film ever made, head and shoulders above the rest.

 

...is that tar I smell boiling away in the back room at RAW...and there are the feathers, over there in the corner....some things are sacred man.

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Guest AdminGuyX
How do you cure vampirism with a blood transfusion? It's like saying you could cure AIDS the same way.

 

I think . . . I mean I'm pretty sure the major difference here is that AIDS is REAL . . . and vampires are NOT REAL. I might have to check with my doctor to be sure. :P

 

I'll make sure to ask him if you can cure vampirism with a blood transfusion too.

 

;) Just busting your chops. But, ahem, NO it's not like saying you can cure aids the same way.

 

That's why it never bothered me Fred. There are absolutely no hard and fast rules for me when it comes to fairytale monsters, which vampires basically are. How do you know a blood transfusion wouldn't cure a vampire? Without trying to pull in rules from other stories you can't really say.

 

I always took the film as it's own animal, it's own take. No reason under the sun (I'm down ta' muh last incha' skeen!) why in this story, a transfusion should be a deal breaker for you unless you're caught up in other story definitions that you hold as the only "true" definition which all others should be judged by.

 

Know what I mean? Did that make sense?

 

I always saw it as a clever twist on the mythos, and one that seemed to fit perfectly for the characters, and such a simple fix too. I'd never seen it before, and still think it was a cool way to save and redeem those characters. Good for you Eric Red!! (if you're reading . . .)

 

And also, for me, it suggested that maybe Loy Colton (Thomerson) had possibly seen this before, or heard of this before. Not necessarily "vampires" but that something evil camethrough the country from time to time and took people away. That maybe it could open the world up a bit for these people to find out there are more clans hunting the countryside.

 

Just some thoughts. If it doesn't work for you, OK. I can accept that if it's because it doesn't work for you in the context of this story, but if you're going to quote Stoker, Rice, or Whedon, and tell me vampires don't have a soul, or the body dies in transformation, then I will ask you to rethink your position, shed all of your past vampire hangups, and try to watch the film without prior bias about what bloodsuckers are, and are not.

 

Tim, I knew it was a favorite film for you. I think my love of Near Dark is what drew me to your work initially, but you couldn't get away from your (still amazing, have stood the test of time) illustrations for Vampire back in the day. Couldn't miss them. I remember reading it in an interview some years back, and the films influence on your work is pretty undeniable.

 

Mind you, I think I saw your shadowrun work long before your vampire work. Not sure. I wasn't a real heavy gamer, but I always bought books I liked the artwork inside of.

 

OK, long winded enough . . .

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Wait, I already said I loved Jesse and Severen???

 

Also, you got your START on the Vampire stuff? I thought you were around before then. I LOVED your work on Vampire! I was a LARP player. My character was pretty much Severen...badass Brujah, leather jacket-wearing motherfucker.

 

Loved the Shadowrun stuff too. I was a HEAVY gamer. My primary character was a Combat Mage...switched to a Yakuza hitman modeled after SID 6.7 later on.

 

NEAR DARK was VERY much a part of my formative film going experience...however, in hind sight, it's not nearly as good as I remember.

 

I am prepared for my banning now.

 

Fred

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Guest AdminGuyX

Wool socks chock full of rolls of quarters is what Tim and I were discussing. Or bars of soap.

 

I suggested that phone books don't bruise the skin.

 

Though Tim did seem to think reeds under fingernails, and water torture were deserved.

 

I'm paraphrasing here.

 

 

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LOL!!!

That's fucking good Mike.

 

No, no Fred, it just pains us that you've taken the stance on the film that you have.

To us it's a un-arguable classic. And for us that will never change.

 

Here's another classic shot -

 

"Fasten yer fuckin' seatbelts."

 

NearDark1.jpg

 

- TB

 

 

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Guest AdminGuyX
I am prepared for my banning now.

 

I BET YOU ARE. Well, we're not going to give you the satisfaction then. You think about that.

 

:)

 

Also, you got your START on the Vampire stuff? I thought you were around before then. I LOVED your work on Vampire! I was a LARP player. My character was pretty much Severen...badass Brujah, leather jacket-wearing motherfucker.

 

If I may . . . not his start, just what made him a rock star. So to speak.

 

Nothing more needs to be said. That game defined vampire for lots of people Fred. I dare say it defined it "for a generation" even.

 

I only played it twice, but I had friends for whom it was practically a religion.

 

"Fasten yer fuckin' seatbelts."

 

YEEHAW.

 

Tim, you should do a poster with just that image. That would knock the ball outta the fuckin' park.

 

Agreed JO.

 

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  • 1 year later...

I had to search for it, but I figured there was a NEAR DARK thread on this board. I would have to disown Tim if there wasn't.

 

For those of you in L.A., the New Beverly Cinema is doing a Kathryn Bigelow double feature of THE HURT LOCKER and NEAR DARK this Wednesday & Thursday, May 5th & 6th.

 

And on Thursday the 6th, stars Bill Paxton and Jenette Goldstein will be there to talk about the film! It's Lance Henriksen's birthday tomorrow, so he is unavailable this week, but I sure did try.

 

It's hard to put into words what it was like when I answered my phone today. It was a number I didn't recognize and when I answered, I heard, "Hey, this is Bill Paxton." I don't remember the first few moments after that, but I said something to Bill and he replied, "Finger lickin' good, baby!" He was so fun and so friendly on the call. We talked a little about the film and Lance and Kathryn Bigelow. He said it was a favorite of his and that he would come out on Thursday for the 10pm screening.

 

I sent some follow up emails and I got another call an hour later from a number I didn't recognize. Sure enough, it was Jenette Goldstein and she was coming too! Jenette was at the New Bev last year for a midnight screening of NEAR DARK. I was working on a film in San Francisco, so I missed it. I was very disappointed. Love the film. Love Jenette.

 

I'm so excited about this screening and the fact that Bill and Jenette will be there. This is one of my favorite vampire films of all time. And one of the first, maybe THE first film Tim and I ever bonded over when we met about 20 years ago.

 

I just dug out my NEAR DARK poster, the one of Bill Paxton. It used to be up on the wall in my condo back home, but it's been in storage since moving to L.A. and now having roommates. I've had it since shortly after the film came out. Can't wait to get it signed.

 

I feel like a kid. It feels good.

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Just got back from the screening. Bill Paxton and Jenette Goldstein were awesome. Got to hang out with them in the projection booth for a bit before the movie and heard some stories that Bill would never tell publicly. Got my "Severen" one sheet signed. It's one of my favorite movie posters of all time. I've had it like 20 years. And now it's inscribed "Finger lickin' good" by the man himself.

 

Bill said that was the best line he's ever had in a film. And luckily the shot was captured by the B Camera Operator. Bill said when he heard that B Camera got the line he kissed the operator on the lips! And he still thinks that the roadhouse scene is one of the great set pieces of all time. Seeing it with an audience only makes it better.

 

Bill & Jenette talked about how great it was to work with Lance on this film because the three of them had developed such a shorthand after working together on ALIENS. Kathryn Bigelow did a lot of rehearsals and a lot of great stuff in the movie came out of it. She really allowed them to contribute and all of the "vampires" had their own histories that the actors worked out of when they were turned and how they came to the family.

 

Jenette said people should seek out the screenplay. She said it's very sparse and poetic. And apparently after ALIENS, Jenette did not have representation so Kathryn tracked her down and called her at her Mom's house. She said she had a screenplay for her to consider and Jenette didn't know what to make of it and was like, whatever.

 

They said Lance and Joshua Miller were real characters to work with on this project. And that Joshua might have been a vampire trapped in a kid's body. And they confirmed that Lance and Bill both ran around and did some crazy stuff while still in their makeup. When Lance and Bill were pulled over by the police, there were guns in the car and Lance said, "I think I should shoot him." Bill was shitting his pants.

 

The crowd loved the movie and surprisingly quite a few hands went up when asked who has never seen the movie. They got a real treat.

 

Really wish Tim could have been here. He would have loved it.

 

So exciting to meet Bill & Jenette. They could not have been friendlier and more fun.

 

Last year, I met Kathryn Bigelow. In recent months, I've met Michael Biehn and tonight Bill & Jenette. Now I gotta meet Lance. And then hopefully Sigourney and Cameron.

 

Great night.

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I was visiting LA and found out that I wasn't staying that far from the New Beverly, so of course I had to visit it at least once.

 

I loved that Paxton shouted out from the back of the theater, when he and Goldstein was about to leave.

 

"Fuck True Blood, we did it twenty years ago!" (or words to that effect) And the audience loved it.

 

Great movie, and great night.

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  • 2 weeks later...
I was visiting LA and found out that I wasn't staying that far from the New Beverly, so of course I had to visit it at least once.

 

I loved that Paxton shouted out from the back of the theater, when he and Goldstein was about to leave.

 

"Fuck True Blood, we did it twenty years ago!" (or words to that effect) And the audience loved it.

 

Great movie, and great night.

 

How fun was that?

 

I have loved Bill Paxton as an actor since the 80s (The Terminator, Weird Science, and onward), Jenette rocks holy a$$, and I worship all that is Lance Henriksen. It would have been cool if he was able to attend as well. Perhaps another screening? ...

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  • 2 years later...

near dark is tied with 30 days of night as my fav vampire film! .screw these vampire/model films!!!

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  • 3 weeks later...

A lot of vampire movies suck. ;) A couple other ones that have some teeth are Let The Right One In (in a melancholy kinda way) and Thirst (the freaky Asian film; not the one where kids are trapped in the desert and have to drink all sorts of yucky things to survive).

 

Neak Dark was an eye-opener for me and the movie that started me on the Kathryn Bigelow path...at least through Strange Days...

 

 

Jen

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