Prolific director John Carpenter takes on the vampire genre in his action-horror film VAMPIRES. Bitter, tough-as-nails vampire hunter Jack Crow (James Woods) leads a specialized team, funded by no less than the Vatican, that is dedicated to destroying the race of vampires that inhabit the earth. The team is successful, and becomes lazy in its success, eventually falling victim to an elaborate ambush set up by a powerful master vampire. Crow and two others of his team are the only survivors, and are determined to get revenge for the massacre. Carpenter takes the genre to new heights with powerful action scenes, nifty vampire-killing weapons and great special effects. James Woods is wonderfully over the top as the head vampire hunter who has no love for the Vatican and a mysterious past that is never far behind him. VAMPIRES is based on the book by John Steakley, adapted for the screen by Don Jakoby. The score is creepy and powerful, a typical characteristic for a Carpenter film.
The Vatican, aware that vampires are out to put an end to mankind, enlist the aid of a group of vampire-hunters, spearheaded by Jack Crow, to put an end to them. Lots of blood and gore ensue.
"I killed my own father, padre. I got no trouble killing you."--Jack Crow (James Woods)
"...A bracing blend of fright and fun..." 11/12/1998 p.121-2
Sight and Sound
"...[Carpenter] has an eye for widescreen imagery, a knack for getting the plot rolling swiftly....And an ear for apt music..." 12/??/1999 p.60
"...Woods has the time of his life....The movie's lots of fun..." 11/01/1998 p.155