Vampires (1998)


Composed & Directed by: John Carpenter

Written by:
Don Jakoby
John Steakly (Novel)


James Woods .... Jack Crow
Daniel Baldwin .... Anthony Montoya
Sheryl Lee .... Katrina
Thomas Ian Griffith .... Jan Valek
Maximilian Schell .... Cardinal Alba
Tim McGuinee .... Father Adam Guiteau

Release Dates:
Theatrical: April 15, 1998 (France); Fantasia International Film Festival: July, 1998; Fantasy Filmfest: July, 1998 (Germany); October 2, 1998 (Italy); October 29, 1998 (Singapore); October 30, 1998 (USA); Travelling Festival de Cinema de Rennes: January, 1999 (France); Turin Film Festival: November, 1999

*Images courtesy at:







A bunch of vampire slayers kill off some vampire's in order to retrieve an ancient Catholic relic that, should it be acquired by vampires, will allow them to endure sunlight as they still go on the hunt for it but the vampire leader Jan Valek (Thomas Ian Griffith) rises from the ground and kills most of the gang at their party in a hotel only having the two leaders Jack Crow (James Woods) and Anthony Mantoya (Daniel Baldwin) managing to escape with one of the groupies named Katrina (Sheryl Lee) whom is slowly turning into a vampiress herself in which she can sense Jan and where his next mission is as they try to snuff him out but more vampires are rising and following him which causes some problems.


Oh yes we spot a great beginning with the vampire hunters heading towards an abandoned home and preparing for battle as well as good close up shots on the team spotting the house and waiting for commandments in which this leaves an impression that there's vampire's inside sleeping as we spot alot of great excitement with a truck using a cable on them and pulling them into the sunlight and watching them explode from the heat which showed some neat effects here and there.
Also, some perfect moments on them partying afterwards at a hotel with groupies involved making you want to join the fun and some nice humoress one liners including from their priest whom is drunk and acting silly which is nice to have for a flick such as this one.
We also have a perfect moment with a vamoire's hand rising from the ground which is a totally different touch for a vampire flick and borrowing a bit from those zombie type movies with this moment yet it works in greatly. We also get to see this vampire known as Jan Valek slowly walking towards the hotel as well as neat camera shots on him hanging from a wall and coming down towards one of the groupies which happens to be Katrina showing a nice cold focus on this moment.
Then the suspense and shocks starting to happen with Jan breaking into the party and slaughtering these poeple as the terror and suspnse goes to the extreme big time while we're watching and making him look invincible too. Great gruesome effects indeed by what we spot here with the horror violence that's involved and the intensity towards the pary goers.
Some perfect intense moments with the survivors Jack Crow and Anthony Montoya speeding away with Katrina as well as suspenseful shots on Jan clinging onto their vehicle and trying to get after them as this grabs your attention a great deal as to what will happen here since there's a ton of excitement going on.
A perfect situation with Jan getting dominant against a preacher with some terrifying moments on this as well as to what he does with him which was well put in to the plot here.
There's some perfect dysfunctional and aggressive situations between Anthony and Katrina as well as powerful struggling when she tries to escape as alot of this packs a punch along with her biting his arm in which this for sure gives you a sinking feeling that he will become a vampire due to this since she is slowly turning into one herfself which keeps you watching on what will happen to him later on in the story.
A nice moment with Jack Crow explaining towards Father Adam Guiteau about the vampires they kill as what doesn't work in tales like turning into bats or using crucifix's since this for sure made a more original vampire take and nicely written in to make things seem more seriously for the film itself.
Plus more good shots on vampire's rising from the ground and ready for action as this looked well shot for what we see here.
Also there's perfect moments with the vampire's coming into a churchland and terrorising everyone as well as going in for the kill which showed more great effects here and the intensity as well as the action happening too.
A nice strong moment between Jack and Anthony getting into a fight as well as Adam trying to break it up which was a serious situation but added some humor with this little dude trying to put a stop to all of this.
A perfect strong moment on Katrina starting to slowly change as well as attacking Anthony which looked powerfully done and pretty gruesome on what she's doing to him.
A great moment in a ghost town with Jan as well as a Jewish priest being his ally while getting wicked towards Jack as to what their plans are as this was powerfully put in and making things look rich and truly evil too.
Also a great moment of action when a ceremony start to occur in which we spot Jack on a crucifix and Jan about to do a sacrifice as alot of this looked powerful along with the vampire's surrounding this. What really looked awesome to watch was having Adam near a rooftop of a ghost town firing his rifle at the Jewish pirest along with him threatening Jan and giving in to his weakness on a situation with dawn almost rising to let the ceremony stall which also looked powerfully performed here. What we spot here looked very enjoyable as well as entertaining too. Also some perfect last moments of battling that involves Anthony towards Jan and the other vampires.
We spot a sad moment between Jack towards Anthony as they part their ways and the reason for it which almost makes you cry while watching this which is one of the best scene's here and strongly done too. Kinda makes you beg for more while seeing this moment.
Bottom line is that this was an excellent action packed vampire flick but not your typical one which is a good thing for sure. I really enjoyed it having great production values and can attract the same fans like From Dusk Till Dawn.

The acting is pretty good as lead actor James Woods (Jack Crow) in which he certainly had the right rough looks to portray the leader of the vampire hunting squad plus has a perfectly serious and no nonsense motive to this as well. Does well with his tough attitude and stern speaking without going in a rage which works well in his benefit along with rolling with the punches when going into battle and showing a good expressionless behavior too. Also knew on how to act exhausted after being beat up or when a ceremony begins. He draws alot into what he does here and proves to be a great character actor studying his part nicely.
Daniel Baldwin
(Anthony Montoya) seemed to stand out the most in his role and does a great job with his obnoxious behavior and masculine presence too. He does well with his loud speaking and violent attitude really knowing how to throw a swing or point a gun at someone and getting demanding. Plus does well hollering in pain when he tries to burn his arm or neck with some bite marks on him really relating to this a great deal. Plus during the end of his performance certainly shows off a nice sad type of behavior in which he brought good characteristics out of this a great deal.
Sheryl Lee
(Katrina) does a nice job with her energy getting anxious or freaking out as well as knowing on how to scream i n which she brings her fears to life a great deal. Also does a good job tripping out after hallucinating on what's going to happen really knowing on how to psych out big time. Plus does a nice job acting out of it and showing some good crazed expressions while she starts to change along with having a perfect vicious attitude when she does and lunging in. Yes she does the rick in her performance and knew on how to portray a groupie with what she does.
Thomas Ian Griffith
(Jan Valek) lived to play a vampire leader of the pack with his evil looks and cold speaking as well as showing a great lunging powerful attitude whenever he attacks or acts powerful. He really draws in to this role bit by bit and had a great wickedness to everything that he did here. Two thumbs up.
Tim McGuinee
(Father Adam Guiteau) really strutted his stuff portraying a soft spoken wimpy type and had the right looks for all of this. He really showed off acting anxious or freaking out with stuff drawing in a perfect adrenaline here. Plus does well firing his rifle and getting into action by shouting at someone which he really knew on getting to the point within this. Also shows off a great aggression near the end of his performance when pointing a gun and warning that person to being a vampire which was well remembered with what he did here to anyone who's seen this flick.
Maximilian Schell
(Cardinal Alba) certainly showed a perfect evilness to his role as a supposedly Jewish preacher in which he does well with his wicked speaking as well as just making himself sound unpleasant while working for the vampires coming acorss in a powerful type of presence. Definetely studied his role in terrifically making out like he's the devil in disguise along with being convincing by acting greedy as well.

A couple of topless women showing their breasts are revealed during a party scene.
A woman's butt is revealed while tied to a bed.

Many vampire's explode while being in the sunlight.
Stakes are driven through vampire's chests.
Bodies are split in half.
Heads are ripped or sliced off as well as headless bodies exposed.
Arms or wrists are cut off.
A neck is bitten into and bloodied.
Tons of bloodsheds.

The music was terrifically done instead of hearing the typical mainstream orchestral classic type of music we hear alot of lowdown guitar sliding and strumming since this takes place in the hot deserted areas so it is fitting nonetheless as well as hearing the odd western twanging sounds and electric guitar plucking to top it all off. Sometimes we do hear some mild violin type music mixed in with synthesizer sounds as it blends in to everything too. The music basically made every scene look really excellent combining with what was all written into the plotlines here especially towards the end of the film all put together by who else??? John Carpenter of course as this is something original that he did compared to what we mostly hear.

Jack Crow: You ever seen a vampire?
Father Adam Guiteau: No I haven't.
Jack Crow: No... Well first of all, they're not romatic. Its not like they're a bunch of fuckin' fags hoppin' around in rented formal wear and seducing everybody in sight with cheesy Euro-trash accents, all right? Forget whatever you've seen in the movies: they don't turn into bats, crosses don't work. Garlic? You wanna try garlic? You could stand there with garlic around your neck and one of these buggers will bend you fucking over and take a walk up your strada-chocolata WHILE he's suckin' the blood outta your neck, all right? And they don't sleep in coffins lined in taffata. You wanna kill one, you drive a wooden stake right through his fuckin' heart. Sunlight turns 'em into crispy critters.

[Montoya checks out a Buick that pulls up]
Man With Buick: Hey! Cowboy! Can I help you?
Montoya: Yeah. I'm gonna borrow your car. [man opens mouth in disbelief]
Montoya: Shhh... just say "Help yourself."
Man With Buick: You want me to say *what*?
Montoya: [pulling out a gun] Hey!
Montoya: Shut the fuck up or I'll blow your fucking teeth out the back of your head, asshole! Back off!
Man With Buick: Uhh... help yourself, boy!
Montoya: Much obliged, partner!

Montoya: [takes tape off Katrina's mouth; sighs] What's your name? Do you understand what's been happening to you?
Katrina: [screams] Help me!
Montoya: [grabs Katrina's head; puts her in strenghold; covers her mouth] Hey! HEY! Don't fuck with me, honey! I'll snap your neck like a twig! Now nod your head "Yes" or "No". Do you understand what's been happening to you? DO IT!
[Katrina shakes her head as "No"]
Montoya: All right. Now I'm going to explain it to you. First, I'm gonna take my hand off you mouth. You scream...
[imitates neck snap; Katrina sobs]
Montoya: Good. Now... what's your name?
Katrina: Katrina.
Montoya: Okay, Katrina. Here's the senario.
[throws covers back on her]
Montoya: I took off your clothes. I cleaned you up. I tied you down. I also saved your ass. You been bitten by a vampire. Do you remember the party back at the motel? Big guy, pointy teeth, real shitty breath? Don't worry. I'll all come back soon. A master vampire has a telepathic link to his victums, and your gonna help us find him. And while he's sleeping, we unleash on his. Your the bait honey. Sorry.

[Jack Crow, having been beaten up by Valek, awakens to find himself strangled and tied to the front of his truck; Cardinal Alba appears, having turned to the dark side]

Cardinal Alba: Hello, Jack. [Chuckles]
Cardinal Alba: From your expression, I assume you couldn't understand my presence here. I'm sorry to disillusion you, Jack. As one grows old, as death approaches, we begin to question... our fate. And I found mine lacking. "Is there a god? Is there a heaven?" I can no longer answer this for certain. I've witnessed no miracles, had no visions, and the prospect of death terrifies me. I've realized I've only one... alternative, and I made a bargain. With the devil if you wish.
Jack Crow: You are truly a pile of dog shit, Cardinal.
Cardinal Alba: Yeah, that's right. [chuckles]
Cardinal Alba: That's correct, Jack and I can live with that. After I have given what Valek wants, he will fulfill our bargain. And I will be transformed into one of his... new children. It's beautiful, isn't it? [Jack spits at the Cardinal's face]
Cardinal Alba: Eternal Life... Imortality... can change your heart.

Jack Crow: I killed my own father, padre. I got no trouble killing you.

Jack Crow: When did she first bite you?
Montoya: Two days ago. I still covered your ass!
Jack Crow: Yes, you did. I say we owe you two days back. Whatya think, padre?
Father Adam Guiteau: You have two days.