Near Dark

October 2nd, 1987


Near Dark

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A young man reluctantly joins a travelling "family" of evil vampires, when the girl he'd tried to seduce is part of that group.

Release Year: 1987

Rating: 7.0/10 (14,748 voted)

Director: Kathryn Bigelow

Stars: Adrian Pasdar, Jenny Wright, Lance Henriksen

A mid-western farm boy reluctantly becomes a member of the undead when a girl he meets turns out to be part of a band of southern vampires who roam the highways in stolen cars. Part of his initiation includes a bloody assault on a hick bar.

Writers: Kathryn Bigelow, Eric Red

Adrian Pasdar - Caleb Colton
Jenny Wright - Mae
Lance Henriksen - Jesse Hooker
Bill Paxton - Severen
Jenette Goldstein - Diamondback
Tim Thomerson - Loy Colton
Joshua John Miller - Homer (as Joshua Miller)
Marcie Leeds - Sarah Colton
Kenny Call - Deputy Sheriff
Ed Corbett - Ticket Seller
Troy Evans - Plainclothes Officer
Bill Cross - Sheriff Eakers
Roger Aaron Brown - Cajun Truck Driver
Thomas Wagner - Bartender
Robert Winley - Patron in Bar

Taglines: Killing you would be easy, they'd rather terrify you...forever.

Release Date: 2 October 1987

Filming Locations: Casa Grande, Arizona, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $5,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: £93,055 (UK) (10 January 1988) (71 Screens)

Gross: $3,369,307 (USA)

Technical Specs

Runtime:  | Sweden: (cut version)

Did You Know?

Future husband James Cameron suggested to Bigelow that she use the ready-made ensemble cast from his recent hit Aliens, and thus Lance Henriksen, Bill Paxton, and Jenette Goldstein all appear in Bigelow's film. Michael Biehn had also appeared in Aliens and was considered, but declined to participate.

Revealing mistakes: When Caleb shows Mae the horse, the man holding the animal when it rears is clearly not Adrian Pasdar.

[first lines]
Caleb Colton: [crushing a mosquito] Dumb suck.

User Review

Natural Born Vampires


Caleb, a young cowboy out for a night of fun, meets Mae, a beautiful and mysterious young girl with whom he becomes instantly besotted. Mae is a strange young woman who runs off at the first sign of daylight...but not before biting Caleb on the throat. As the sun rises higher and Caleb finds himself suddenly sick and getting steadily worse, a van load of drifters stop and all but kidnap him within sight of his father and younger sister. In the van is Mae and her "family" - a group of outlaw vampires who are not too thrilled with the addition of Caleb to their group. Led by 300+ year old Jesse, his woman Diamondback and the brutal Severen, the vampires reluctantly show Caleb the ropes as they drift across the Midwest. But Caleb's father and sister are looking for him, and soon Caleb will have to choose between his old family and his new one.

This is a stunningly innovative and brutally bloody vampire film which never once uses the word "vampire." The dirty, cruel, white trash bloodsuckers could be anyone on the run from the law. This is almost more of a crime spree/road story a la "Natural Born Killers" than a horror movie, and this is exactly what makes it so effective. Stand out scenes include a slaughter at a honky tonk and a shootout at a hotel in the daylight hours. The characters are all well-drawn and complex and the stark scenery throughout - filled with dust and desert and not much else - just adds to the overwhelming sense of isolation, emptiness and death. The murders are incredibly sadistic and gruesome and should please gore fans. The ending - though it disappointed many - is simplistic and surprisingly upbeat, just adding to the grim fairy tale mood of the story. 9 on a scale of 10 for this powerful, desolate vampire tale.


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