review by Bobby Blakey
Shout Factory continues to bring home the classic horror films through their Scream Factory brand. The latest getting the collector’s edition treatment is the 1998 John Carpenter film Vampires starring James Woods, Daniel Baldwin and Thomas Ian Griffith, but is it ready to take down some bloodsuckers or will it burn up in the sun light?
Vampire’s follows Jack Crow, the leader of Team Crow, a relentless group of mercenary vampire slayers. When Master Vampire Valek decimates Jack’s entire team, Crow and the sole team survivor, Montoya, 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.
I remember seeing this movie in theaters and the biggest reason was the inclusion of Karate Kid III star Thomas Ian Griffith just because I am a martial arts nut. Of course there is no martial arts here, but I was surprised to how fun this movie is and still holds up today. Sure its cheesy
at times and totally clichéd on some level, but Carpenter was trying to do his own thing with the vampire genre and it worked. A lot of this was thanks to the out of type casting of James Woods and all of the cool weapons they use when they hunt.
Right out of the gate this film dives right into some vampire hunting fun and takes it to another level during the hotel slaughter sequence. Past that it is pretty generic but still works. There are all the tropes fans want in a vampire flick while still changing up some of the stereotypical rules of the genre. This is far from a perfect film and likely more a guilty pleasure to most, but I still enjoyed it upon revisiting it.
This new release not only includes the film, but bonus content including featurettes, trailer, commentary and all-new interviews with James Woods, Thomas Ian Griffith, John Carpenter and more. Grab your copy of the Vampires: Collector’s Edition available now from Shout Factory.
For more information or to get your copy head over to www.shoutfactory.com