AKA: Buio si avvicina, Il, Aux frontiéres de laube, Near Dark
- Die Nacht hat Ihren Preis
1987, Color, 89 min
Red, Katryn Bigelow
One night in a dreary dump in Oklahoma, the young son of a farmer
Caleb meets the beautiful, pale and mysterious Mae and is fascinated
by her at once. They go for a spin and Mae completely looses track
of time. Shortly before dawn she begs Caleb to take her home as
soon as possible. Caleb stops the car and "blackmails"
her into giving him a kiss, not knowing what he is getting involved
with. Mae, of course, is a vampire, and can't resist putting her
fangs in the young man's throat. She bites him, but doesn't kill
him. When it dawns on her what she has done, she runs away - the
sun is about to rise anyway.
whose metamorphosis into a creature of the night starts directly,
also has to realize this painfully. As his car won't start, he has
to go home on food, and the higher the sun rises, the worse he is
feeling. Just before reaching his father's farm he collapses and
is kidnapped in front of the eyes of his family by a rapidly arriving
camping car with darkened windows.
he regains consciousness, Mae is with him and introduces him to
her "family". Jesse and Diamondback, the "father
and mother figure" of the vampire clan, the psychopathic Severen
and Homer, having the body of a child and being forced to live in
this body for eternity (comparable to Claudia in "Interview
with the Vampire"). These quite unfriendly people are not
very happy to accept Caleb in their group. Nevertheless, Caleb is
given one week as probation period and has to learn to kill in order
he gave away his last chance, because he had let the victim escape,
he can proof himself worth anyway, when he saves the vampire group
by risking his "life" when the police lays siege to the
motel bungalow of the vampire desperados and the lethal sunburn
is imminent. Now Caleb seems to be integrated and starts to feel
affiliated to this strange new world. But the affection towards
his human family prevails. When he meets his real father and sister
in a motel by chance, he uses the moment and flees.
means of a blood transfusion Caleb is turned back into an ordinary
human again. But the vampires do not want to accept this defeat
and kidnap his little sister. The bloodsuckers then lose the final
fight - the nights in Oklahoma seem to be shorter than elsewhere
- and the rising sun burns them. Caleb rescues his sister and Mae,
the girl he loves. And thanks to a blood transfusion Mae also becomes
mortal again. Happy End.
To say it first: yes, the end is stupid and way too simple. Furthermore
the story lacks logic from time to time. And it's only due these
two facts that the movie doesn't receive the best ranking possible
(five bats). Apart from these minor flaws, the movie is one of the
greatest and most exceptional vampire movie of the 80s, and also
in general one of THE movies of the decade (and it will always
stay one of our favorite movies - at least Top 10).
Dark" definitely differs from all other vampire movies of the
80s. Just have a look at Joel Schumacher's "The
Lost Boys" from the same year and you will understand what
I mean. Kathryn Bigelow anticipates many of the typical stylistic
means of the cinema of the 90s, creating a kind of basis for movies
such as "Interview with the Vampire"
or "The Addiction". Here it's the first time the tragic
aspects of being a vampire are treated philosophically - which would
become typical for later productions. On the other hand, her portrayal
of explicit violence, the road movie and cowboy-noir themes surely
inspired Rodriguez "From Dusk
till Dawn" and Carpenter's "Vampires"
(who wasn't really able to convert them into a good movie, but that's
And, what puts the movie above average is that is shows the daily
(wanna say nightly) live of the vampires, as it as never been done
before. Bigelow's bloodsuckers permanently have to flee, they steadily
have to organize new cars and every morning have to find a dark
place to hide from the sun. It's an unsteady, restless and not at
all romantic life, but they do not at all feel guilty for the things
they do. The only fun they have in their undead tristesse is the
one or other massacre in a redneck bar somewhere off the highway
(one of the greatest scenes of the movie), and shootings with the
police. The vampires are looking for the special kick, they are
full of death wishes but on the other hand, and this is he dualistic
element of their being, they are, just like humans, afraid of dying.
How they face their death at the end of the movie is really very
only the happy end with Caleb and Mea and the too easy rescue by
means of blood transfusion that limits the pleasure, but I guess
I've already mentioned this before. Up till then Ms Bigelow leads
us through 89 minutes of powerful pictures (and she could only come
up to these once later in "Strange Days" - and here the
end was stupid as well)
the actors I would especially like to praise the performance of
Lance Henriksen as mostly levelheaded cool leader of the vampire
group and Bill Paxton, whose interpretation of the psychopath is
alarmingly realistic. The rest of the ensemble is convincing as
well. It's only Jenny Wright as vampire bride Mae who somehow stays
pale (hihi), her emotions do not seem very convincing and her acting
appears somehow helpless.
hope you know what to do now! Watch it! It's really worth seeing.