THE CONFRONTATION OF THE AGES IS ABOUT TO BEGIN.
“Forget everything you’ve ever heard about vampires,” warns Jack Crow (James Woods), the leader of Team Crow, a relentless group of mercenary vampire slayers. When Master Vampire Valek (Thomas Ian Griffith) decimates Jack’s entire team, Crow and the sole team survivor, Montoya (Daniel Baldwin), set out in pursuit. Breaking all the rules, Crow and Montoya take one of Valek’s victims hostage – a beautiful but unlucky prostitute (Sheryl Lee). She is the sole psychic link to Valek and they use her to track down the leader of the undead. As Valek nears the climax of his 600-year search for the Berziers Cross, Jack and the new Team Crow do everything possible to prevent him from possessing the only thing that can grant him and all the vampires the omnipotent power to walk the world in daylight.
John Carpenter is my favorite filmmaker. And I mean of all time. If you look at his output during the late 70s and the 80s, I think he’s second to none. Even in the 90s, Carpenter put out a couple of real classics. Some people see a decline in his work around the mid 90s, and some even consider Vampires to be one of his lesser films. Maybe it’s not as important as something like Halloween, Escape From NY, etc, but Vampires wasn’t trying to be one of those films, it’s its own beast, and I guess it’s a love it or hate it situation. I happen to love it, if you couldn’t tell. Vampires was previously released on Blu-ray by Twilight Time, in a limited capacity of course. I’m not sure if it sold out, but their horror titles usually did. Scream Factory have released a Collector’s Edition, with commissioned artwork, the slipcover, all of that, but it also features loads of new interviews with Carpenter, James Woods, and a lot more. Also, the disc ported over the isolated score track from the previous release.
When I found out that Scream Factory was releasing Vampires, I was excited. I guess I could have revisited it at any time, by digging it out of the archive, but this gave me an excuse to do so. Plus, you can never have enough John Carpenter on physical media. The movie held up pretty well. The effects aren’t even that dated, if I’m being honest. I can’t see how a person could be a fan of Carpenter, the Western, and Vampires, and not enjoy this movie. James Woods, personal politics aside, is entertaining as hell as Jack Crow, who somehow manages to be both a hero, and an anti-hero rolled up into a ball of badass vampire slayer. Woods really brings the character to life, an after all these years, I consider this to be one of his most entertaining performances. Baldwin is also perfectly cast in his role, and the dynamic between he and Sheryl Lee is great. Overall I had a fun time revisiting the movie. It’s not Carpenter’s best, but it still has his flare, and manages to be entertaining throughout, with a classic score. I might keep the Blu-ray handy and watch it again sometime soon.
Scream Factory’s Collector’s Edition Blu-ray release of John Carpenter’s Vampires is, thus far, the definitive release. The transfer looks gorgeous, retaining the grain, without any excessive amount of digital scrubbing. As far as the audio goes, you have a few choices here. We have a DTS-HD MA 5.1 track, a Stereo DTS-HD MA track, and another DTS-HD track featuring John Carpenter’s isolated score. The extras are plentiful, when you consider how many people from the production they were able to interview, and the extras from the previous release were ported over. All around, Scream Factory’s release of Vampires is highly recommended, for both fans of the film, and Carpenter completists. This Collector’s Edition is available as of now, and you can purchase a copy for yourself by visiting the Shout! Factory website.
- NEW Time To Kill Some Vampires – An Interview With Composer/Director John Carpenter, Producer Sandy King Carpenter, And Cinematographer Garry B. Kibbe
- NEW Jack The Slayer – An Interview With Actor James Woods
- NEW The First Vampire – An Interview With Actor Thomas Ian Griffith
- NEW Raising The Stakes – An Interview With Special Effects Artist Greg Nicotero
- NEW Padre – An Interview With Actor Tim Guinee
- Audio Commentary By Composer/Director John Carpenter
- Isolated Score
- Vintage Making Of Featurette
- Theatrical Trailer
- TV Spots
- Still Gallery