Continuing the vampiric countdown here as we flap toward Halloween, coming in at number 8 is another movie from 1987 – NEAR DARK.
Near Dark was directed by Katheryn Bigelow and stars Lance Henriksen, Bill Paxton, and Adrian Pasdar. It tells the story of a guy name Caleb who meets and instantly falls for a young girl name Mae. Unfortunately for Caleb, she is not your normal girl next door. Mae bites him on the neck, turning him into a vampire. He is forced to take up with Mae’s group of rowdy friends, her surrogate vampire family, to survive.
This film inevitably draws comparisons with The Lost Boys for a number of reasons. First, they were both released in 1987. Lost Boys came out first and was a huge success – three months later Near Dark was released and did terribly at the box office, losing money. Both are about a young guy who falls for a beautiful girl who is a vampire and becomes part of a “family” of vampires. Both must decide whether to accept their fate as a member of the walking dead or reject it and choose life.
However, this movie kicks Lost Boys ass. These vampires are not the Gap fashioned, dangling earring wearing, well-coiffed vampires of Lost Boys but rather a rugged, dirty, vicious batch of bloodthirsty (literally) killers on the run. The cast is terrific and Bill Paxton steals the show in an unforgettable scene in a bar.
Near Dark has gained a cult following over the years and I was fortunate to catch it at The Belcourt Theater in Nashville last year at a midnight showing. Check out Near Dark if you’ve never seen it – It’s finger lickin good!!