Groovers and Mobsters Present is back and its our biggest one yet. October is the month of Halloween and a time for horror movies. Look out for the Halloween horror special later in the month but for now we give you the ultimate creation of horror movies and literature, The Vampire. So many bloggers wanted to take part this month that we have expanded from the usual five blogger/movies. When asking people to pick vampire movies we placed no limitations on the movies other than that they be about vampires, interestingly there are two major omissions, the glittery, sparkly teen-angst vampires of the Twilight Saga and the granddaddy of the movie vampire Dracula. Despite this we have a great and eclectic selection of movies for you:
Near Dark (1987)
“Caleb, those people back there, they wasn’t normal. Normal folks, they don’t spit out bullets when you shoot ‘em, no sir”
With a score from German electronic group Tangerine Dream this movie is pure 80′s but unlike The Lost Boys (also from 1987) Near Dark is a cold calculating and deeply dark thriller. The initial setup is similar to The Lost Boys: a young man is lured into the circle of a “family” of vampires by an attractive young female vampire. Once bitten the young man begins the process of turning into a vampire but is reluctant to take the final step, drinking human blood. Whilst I love the Lost Boys (both because of and despite its 80s cheesiness) Near Dark is in another league and is amongst the best (and certainly my favourite) vampire movies ever made.
More grounded in reality than most vampire movies Near Dark deals with supernatural, fantasy creatures but dispenses with the myth, mysticism and quasi religion of other vampire movies. In other words it was the first modern vampire movie that reinvented the genre for ever. But greatness isn’t achieved without a cost, the movie was a box-office failure, this can be attributed to two things, firstly it was the final movie produced and released by DEG (DeLaurentiis Entertainment Group) before they went under, this resulted in a criminally small release. The second and possibly more significant reason is that the movie is so far ahead of its time that audiences and critics just didn’t get it at first. Depending on your point of view the movie deconstructs or reconstructs the genre. At no time in the movie is the word ‘vampire’ used and symbols of purity (crucifix, holly water, garlic and silver) are not used moving away from the Victorian origins of the vampires in literature and the early to mid 20th century vampires of the movies and towards a more practical and scientific ideal. Through the character of Homer the movie explores the idea and issues of a child becoming a vampire two decades before Let the Right One In.
Seamlessly blending genres this modern day horror/western is also a road movie and a love story as well as a missing person drama. It may not be director Kathryn Bigelow’s best know movie, but it may just be her best.