"They're not romantic...Forget whatever you've seen in the movies. They don't turn into bats, crosses don't work...You wanna kill one, you drive a wooden stake right through his fuckin' heart."   - Jack Crow

release year: 1998
genre: horror
viewing setting: home DVD, 3/25/20 and 3/19/12 and 12/28/03, as well as a few other times before that

synopsis: A Vatican-sponsored vampire hunter must find and destroy the original (first) vampire before it can become all-powerful.

impressions: It wasn't as scary as I'd hoped for, but it was very atmospheric, with a lot of music and creepy moments as well as some good vampire plot ideas. It also had a lot of blood and gore, which is always good. Some lackluster performances marred it somewhat, and the pacing was off in some places, making me wonder if some scenes had been cut. Overall, this was fairly faithful to the general vampire concept, bringing it into the modern day where there could be planning and technology involved in vampire hunting.

things to watch for: The party in the motel at the beginning.

acting: James Woods is the tough, experienced, and abrasive vampire hunter. Thomas Ian Griffith is the tall, menacing, creepy master vampire. Daniel Baldwin is the competent second-in-command vampire hunter. Tim Guinee is a young priest who joins the team. Sheryl Lee is the token bitten-and-used-to-track-the-vampire victim. Maximillian Schell is the big-shot church cardinal.

final word: Good solid modern vampire movie.

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