"Vampires" has a horror/western feel, a cool James Woods as a vampire hunter and Sheryl Lee at her most gorgeous. It should have been excellent, but many of the action sequences repeat itself and are uninspired. Thomas Ian Griffith is a shitty villain and overacts every second he is on screen. Boring finale.
For whatever reasons, John Carpenter's brand of genre filmmaking had a difficult time transitioning into the more slick and special effects-driven landscape of 90's Hollywood, as films like "Escape from L.A." attest to. "Vampires" is one of his more successful ones, perhaps because there's nothing slick about it - in fact, it's one of the most unapologetically vile and misogynistic films I can recall seeing.
The action is great, the acting from Woods is spellbinding, the effects are awesome, the music is catchy, the directing is some of Carpenter's best, and the cinematography is downright gorgeous. This film could be one of Carpenter's best...if it only weren't for that bland screenplay. It's such a disappointment how mediocre the script is, because it ruins a film that could've been a modern masterpiece.
By the 90s, a lot of what felt punk about Carpenter films started to feel trashy, a trend not helped here by a humorless James Woods and the Baldwin brother you forgot existed. But there's still some interesting things here: the acid western/giallo genre hybrid, and the fuck-you spirit of Escape From New York redirected from the government to the church. And it's always nice when Cheryl Lee has license to go freaky.
2-3. Pretty fun, relatively rough-edged vampire action film. Surprisingly, the actors manage to imbue tenderness into all the masculine posturing that goes on between them, and the humor makes the machismo a bit more palatable as well. I'm torn on whether I think the movie's detailing really lets it overcome some of the cliches and rough exposition, but I think it's worth a watch, overall.
VAMPIRES, de JOHN CARPENTER, États-Unis, 1998. L’immense John Carpenter fait son apparition au programme avec un incontournable du genre qui redonna au cinéaste l’envie de filmer après Los Angeles 2013. À partir de l’iconologie vampiresque, Carpenter construit un western moderne qui donne à James Woods l’occasion d’exprimer toute sa bestialité.
Another Carpenter movie I wasn't really crazy about. This one has a cult following and I can see why. It's pretty stylish and it's mindless fun. I don't think it tries to be more than that so I guess Carpenter hit the mark. I was happy to see Sheryl Lee in another role but she mostly grunted and twitched. It's the kind of movie that I don't really love nor hate, it's just alright.
C'est badass, ça te sort des répliques graveleuses et des insultes à tout va, la musique est évidemment énorme, Carpenter te sort des séquences épiques à souhait, avec un peu d'hémoglobine parce que sinon c'est pas rigolo. C'est signé John Carpenter monsieur, c'est jouissif, gratuit. C'est peut être pas son meilleur film, mais que c'est bon quand il se fait plaisir !
There are much more better films by John Carpenter. This one has some really boring passages. And I find the permanent wobbling of Carpenter's synthesizer soundtrack annoying. He also made better and much more captivating and atmospheric soundtracks in his earlier works (e.g. in "The Fog").
Un bon mix western-road movie-horreur qui n'est pas le meilleur Carpenter mais qui est méconnu et c'est regrettable. La photographie est superbe, les plans variés sont superbement réalisés et le montage donne au film une dynamique d'enfer (évidemment) !!!!!!!