I'm not trying to be a hero! I'M FIGHTING THE DRAGON!!

Vern reviews JOHN CARPENTER’S VAMPIRES: LOS MUERTES!

Hey folks, Harry here… From what Vern says here, you’d be better off renting Seymore Butts’ WISE CRACKS or Seymore Butts’ TWO BUTTS ARE BETTER THAN ONE starring Seymore Butts’ Young Buns. Of course there are always foreign film options like CUM GUZZLING GEISHA GIRLS or THE TWIN PEAKS OF MOUNT FUJI, but that’s entirely up to you. Then there is Rav’s favorite all time title of SHEMALE YUM TAKES ON ASIAN AMERICAN LADYBOYS or Quint’s fave – PRINCESS ON THE PORCELAIN. But there is always Moriarty and mine’s favorite that we love to watch on those lonely nights: BRIDGET THE MIDGET: TATTOO MENU & A PIERCING EXPERIENCE. Join us if you will, or be like Vern….

Well boys there’s nothin like a mediocre straight to video sequel to start off your day. I didn’t even know they were makin a sequel to this one until I got ahold of the screener tape. I guess alot of people would ask “Who the fuck cares about VAMPIRES?” and laugh it off. It’s always weird when out of the blue they got a sequel to some movie you never knew anybody really thought about anymore, like URBAN LEGEND or MIMIC or MEN IN BLACK.

But I like most of Mr. Carpenter’s works and I think VAMPIRES is one of the good ones. James Woods is great throwin on the leather jacket to put his skinny old man frame in the Kurt Russell/Roddy Piper role. I guess he made up alot of his lines and maybe that’s why they work (Roddy Piper did the same in THEY LIVE. I bet poor Ice Cube stuck to the script in JOHN CARPENTER’S DISAPPOINTING GHOSTS OF MARS. I still can’t believe his name was “Desolation Williams.”)

Nothing about VAMPIRES seemed real radical but it had a feel of its own. How many vampire movies take place mostly in daylight in sunny, dusty Mexico, with that famous John Carpenter “it’s really a western” tone? And it just had a raunchiness that was much needed at the time, with the most macho dialogue of any John Carpenter movie, all the main characters being sadistic assholes, and lots of the ol’ latex-and-blood-packs gore effects. I don’t remember any god damn morphing in that picture. The master vampire tore Mark Boone Junior in half, and it was organic.

Vampires: Los MuertosAnd if none of that impresses you you at least had to appreciate the first attack on a vampire nest, seeing the way these vampire hunters have methodically worked out their SWAT team tactics so they can hook vampires up to cables and drag them out into the sun. Fuckin vampires.

So I’m sure there are a few people out there like me who appreciated VAMPIRES, and a couple of them might even think hey, VAMPIRES was done on a low budget, it had a premise that could easily be continued with different characters, maybe I’ll check this one out.

Until you hear that it stars Jon Bon Jovi. I believe he was the guitar player for Van Halen or something, and he was in that one Whoopi Goldberg movie about knitting blankets. On the back of the box for this one it should say “I heard he got his head chopped off in U-571, that submarine movie you never got around to renting and then lost interest in.”

Well the movie’s not terrible or embarassing but it just fails to achieve any of the important goals of a sequel. I agree with Harry, or whoever else says that BLADE II is the perfect sequel. That’s a movie that both captures what was great about the original and spins it off into all new territory. Maybe we should lower our standards for this one though, since it’s straight-to-video. The best straight-to-video sequel I can think of offhand is FROM DUSK TILL DAWN 2. Filmed in South America with the limited resources available to a straight-to-video vampire sequel, they couldn’t really capture the atmosphere or of course the perfect casting of the Robert Rodriguez original. But with the pacing problems out of the way (since they already know you already know its vampires) and the relentless b-movie spirit of directionist Scott Spiegel, they managed to make the thing entertaining. It at least deserves recognition as the movie with the most goofy POV shots of all time. Off the top of my head I remember a camera on a bat, one inside a vampire’s mouth, one on an oscillating fan, one on a guy doin pushups. They took what spirit they could from the original and tried to be inventive with it, tried to come up with new angles.

VAMPIRES: LOS MUERTOS doesn’t seem to be trying as hard, though. They do a surprisingly good job of capturing the look of the original, but then the story is just a half-assed rehash. You got another master vampire trying to steal the same cross for the same reason. You got another tough guy vampire hunter leading another ragtag team with another tense relationship with another catholic padre vampire expert. Again, they have a woman they pick up because she’s been bitten and can help them track the master vampire (as in the first movie and in Bram Stoker’s book about the vampire, can’t remember the title). And again, one of the slayers gets bit and tries to hide it. He’s the closest thing to a convincing badass in the movie but 5 minutes after they introduce him he falls for the ol’ “strange woman appears out of nowhere and tries to give him a blowjob, and he doesn’t realize she’s a vampire” routine.

The twists they try to add are minor and unimaginative. They made the master be a woman this time (played by the blonde vampire from BLADE, but now she’s brunette, so she looks like the CIA ex-girlfriend gal from 24). Instead of being bit and slowly turning like the Twin Peaks gal in the first picture, the female character this time has been semi-cured by an experimental drug. Nobody seems surprised or impressed that vampires can be cured, maybe because they’ve already seen NEAR DARK and BLADE and BLADE II.

Later Jon Bon Jovi (whose character is named “Derek Bliss” by the way. Jesus.) uses the vampire cure on himself – in reverse. Whatever that means. It slows down his heart so he can infiltrate the ritual. I guess he hasn’t seen VAMPIRES or he’d know that James Woods infiltrated the same ritual without slowing down his heart. And how did he take the medicine in reverse? I just don’t get it.

And then you just don’t have the same texture as the first one. Everything is the same amount or less. There’s no new vampire mythology, very little new ways of killing vampires (or vampires killing), less detail about the organization of vampire slayers, very little gore or goreless scares to replace the gore.

You get a couple more padres but they back away from the theme of weird secrets and corruption in the Catholic church, even though it would be more resonant now. And the slayers don’t seem to come from the same macho world, they’re just generic pretty boys in leather jackets. Bon Jovi even gets scolded for calling Natasha Gregson Wagner a “girl” instead of a woman. And since they don’t have much charisma or presence you don’t give a fuck what happens to them and you lose the macho male bonding angle, like in the first one when James Woods gave whichever Baldwin brother it was a headstart before hunting him. You get none of that.

So you got nothin. Nothin to convince you that there was some reason to make this.

The movie was written and directed by Tommy Lee Wallace, who has worked with John Carpenter since the old days. He was “associate art director” on DARK STAR, he edited HALLOWEEN, he was production designer on THE FOG, etc. As a director though he hasn’t really distinguished himself. He did HALLOWEEN III which was okay, and I guess somebody probaly still likes the mini-series of Stephen King’s IT. Otherwise his filmography is full of stuff you never heard of and some episodes of BAYWATCH and THE NEW ADVENTURES OF FLIPPER starring Jessica Alba. Which I guess is why he got stuck with this job.

That considered I guess LOS MUERTOS coulda been worse. But unless you’re a completist with low standards I’d say stick with your original plan of just renting a bunch of porn.

thanks,

Vern

Originally published at Aint-It-Cool-News: http://www.aintitcool.com/node/12734

View the archived Ain’t-It-Cool-News Talkback

  • July 15, 2002, 1:30 a.m. CST

    I can’t wait…

    by Roj Blake

    …or can I?

  • July 15, 2002, 1:34 a.m. CST

    Already on Cable

    by Malcolm_Brass

    Saw this on the Starz Action channel last week and gave up on it fast. Might watch the whole thing as it’s on virtually every other day.

  • July 15, 2002, 1:36 a.m. CST

    Bon Jovi and Van Halen….no relation….

    by NKG

    and first

    and indeed…who cares about a vampires sequel….

  • July 15, 2002, 1:41 a.m. CST

    Blade Dos

    by spookyanders

    Okay, I know you are all big BLADE fans, I don’t get it. Both BLADES sucked. Don’t get me wrong, they had great ideas, based on a damn fine comic. But come on, Wesley Sucks, er, Snipes actually gave a vampire a suplex! What the hell was that! As for this movie, well, I guess Jon Bon should have given the Vampires a dose of BAD MEDICINE! (sorry, couldn’t resist)

  • July 15, 2002, 1:53 a.m. CST

    And I thought Woods was slumming in the original

    by NeoAngelus

    Now we get Bon Jovi. How’s he supposed to be a bad-ass? He’s a cowboy. On a steel horse he rides.

    I’m just speaking jibberish. The thought of this movie has rendered my brain incapable of saying anything worthwhile.

    That and it’s almost 2AM and I’ve been awake since 9. Time for a little Jenna Jameson action.

    ROCK!!!

  • July 15, 2002, 1:56 a.m. CST

    butts

    by spookyanders

    I think that seymour butts is really getting into the autuer stage of his carrer, although I prefer his earlier, Global Warming days.

  • July 15, 2002, 1:56 a.m. CST

    I just saw BLADE 2 three hours ago, why should I give a f**k abo

    by Cash Bailey

    And are you honestly telling me that they are putting Carpenter’s name above the title of this? Is there nothing that man won’t do for a paycheck?

  • July 15, 2002, 1:56 a.m. CST

    Vern needs to bring back his retarded grammer. He sounds more l

    by Critical Bill

  • July 15, 2002, 1:59 a.m. CST

    ‘It stars Jon Bon Jovi’…

    by Dru

    Has any more damning phrase been penned, like, ever? Out.

  • July 15, 2002, 2:01 a.m. CST

    What’s this rumour about Carpenter and Russell doing DAY OF

    by Cash Bailey

    Since ESCAPE FROM LA ate ass it looks like they’re trying to re-capture their THE THING glory days. I’m not a hater, I’d love to see those guys re-charge their batteries and make a kick-ass flick, but I just think carpenter is incapable of it. And when the fuck does DARK BLUE come out?

  • July 15, 2002, 2:02 a.m. CST

    dru

    by spookyanders

    In answer to your question dru. Yes, a worse phrase has been uttered: “Halloween: Resurrection” starring Busta Rhymes and Tyra Banks! Directed by Rick Rosenthal. Took five years off my life just hearing it.

  • July 15, 2002, 2:24 a.m. CST

    The award for best director who has become a hack and hasn’t

    by Monkeybrains

    There is nothing sadder then having to warch one of his movies, with the hope that some spark of the old magic will show up, and then to shake my head in disgust while viewing another of his recent shit. THIS MAN MADE HALLOWEEN!!!, THE THING!!!! BiG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA!!! WHAT THE HELL HAPPEN???????? ..and yes i know he did not direct this latest one, but his name being on it is all thats needed to know that its best to stay far, far away. ….How sad

  • July 15, 2002, 2:26 a.m. CST

    Again, they have a woman they pick up because she’s been bit

    by Dru

    Vern, you are the ambassador of all things cynical + beautiful. Best review I’ve read- ever. Ever ever. Keep it up. As for this movie, I will rent it along with DTD2 + get stoned with some shiny people, some pizza + Slurpees in clear cups. Who loves you Vern? Out.

  • July 15, 2002, 2:32 a.m. CST

    God, just remake the original, PLEASE

    by Fawst

    Please, god, someone give me $20 million, I’ll make VAMPIRE$, and we can forget that Carpenter fucked up the book so horribly. The story in VAMPIRE$ was absolutely mint. Characters you really gave a fuck about, the most realistic vampire hunting techniques ever conceived… hell, they even left a gaping wide opening for a werewolf story set in that universe. Jesus that book is golden. What a waste of money Vampires: Los Muertos sounds like. I gotta shut up or I’ll just never stop ranting. Suffice it to say, Carpenter took a hammer to a stained glass window, and the studio dropped a nuke on the pieces.

  • July 15, 2002, 2:35 a.m. CST

    Osirus…

    by Dru

    ‘How many guys on this talkback have complimented the tattoos of a women who let you fuck them’ Dude, who wants to fuck a tattoo?

  • July 15, 2002, 3:48 a.m. CST

    Carpenter absolutely SUCKS!

    by mooncake

    after seeing his films like ESCAPE FROM LA, VAMPIRES & GHOSTS OF MARS, i can safely say this director sucks donkey *ss!! he doesn’t have any talent. he’s not able to do a cheap B movie that’s at least a bit entertaining. i’ll avoid his movies from now on.

  • July 15, 2002, 3:56 a.m. CST

    the movie can’t be as bad as that review

    by Louis P.

    First, “Vampires” is awful so the sequel can’t be much worse. It’s this guys cheap attempts at irony that left a bad taste in my mouth. Bon Jovi= Van Halen/ whatever Baldwin brother?/ and the other line I thankfully have already let slip my mind; my God! Plus he likes the “From Dusk Til Dawn” sequel. Can we really trust this guys opinion? I’m gonna rent it just to spite him.

  • July 15, 2002, 3:58 a.m. CST

    Critical Bill

    by Vern

    Jesus there is no pleasing you newsies… I write like a man and everybody pisses all over me, I write like a sissy and you’re calling me a sellout. A man tries his hardest to meet the high grammatical standards of the Ain’t It Cool News and this is what he gets? I treated the English language like a SON and it comes back and FUCKS ME IN THE ASS! Anyway onto other topics. First of all, ha ha Harry, swamp gas. That means I’m a kook. I expect an apology some day when you find out whatever it is I said was right. Second of all, I would like to recommend JEWEL RAIDER. Third of all, everybody knows that John Carpenter still makes some good ones now and then. Well, VAMPIRES was good anyway, and I liked that basketball scene in ESCAPE FROM LA. Not all of them are gonna be THEY FUCKIN LIVE but they’re still gonna be good. With the exception of GHOSTS OF MARS, IN THE MOUTH OF MADNESS, and probaly VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED and MEMOIRS OF AN INVISIBLE MAN because I don’t believe in watching Chevy Chase movies.

  • July 15, 2002, 3:58 a.m. CST

    Dusk Till Dawn 2

    by iSeeEvilDEAD

    Sombody thought Dusk till Dawn 2 was good ? HOLY SHIT The world is ending…

  • July 15, 2002, 4:40 a.m. CST

    I long for the days when I was excited about the prospect of a n

    by St.Buggering

    The last movie I even somewhat enjoyed was “Memoirs of an Invisible Man”. “Ghosts of Mars” was second only to “Battlefield Earth” in its complete ineptitude on every possible level. Well, maybe “Dungeons & Dragons” too, but I didn’t see that. There are limits to my tolerances.

  • July 15, 2002, 6:26 a.m. CST

    Carpenter a has-been?

    by jackburtonlives

    well, ol’ jack has his own opinion on that one. sure, john’s done some good ones. he used to be famous for hacking out set genre pieces and making them fun. but let’s face it, it’s been a while since he’s done anything worthwhile. vampires II? hell i would have forgotten vampires I if it weren’t for vampires II. maybe that’s why he feel’s obliged to keep hacking them out. i can’t wait to get back into the saddle for BTLC II. until that time, we’re going to just put up with the dreck that’s out there my friends. jack out.

  • July 15, 2002, 7:25 a.m. CST

    Vampires is a good movie

    by VincentSpain

    not for pussy techno fan ladies. Carpenter is too good for american audiences, just like Woody Allen. Go in mass to see your Pearl Harbour and give me more Carpenter.

  • July 15, 2002, 7:38 a.m. CST

    HOLD ON HOLD ON: LET’S SETTLE THIS ONCE AND FOR ALL…

    by jackburtonlives

    is carpenter a washed-up hack or not?

    let’s see:

    1. Precinct 13

    good flick. very simple. bunch of guys fighting off psycho gang in an abandoned police station. good start, john.

    2. Escape from NY

    very cheesy. kurt’s got the 80s big hair and the whole thing looks like a butch road warrior, but that’s okay. it’s good quality.

    3. Hallowe’en

    didn’t see this one. spooky jack-o-lantern. jamie lee curtis walks around in a skimpy t-shirt. hmmmm… sounds interesting.

    4. The Thing

    exploding body bags everywhere! this one is over the top! but you gotta love it.

    5. Big Trouble in Little China

    this one was so good i don’t even believe carpenter did it; the music was actually half-decent; the editing right on; the script is quotable; the action scenes were straight from beijing. was this one really yours, john?

    5. Escape from LA

    going downhill now. kurt rides a surfboard to escape a tidal wave. uhhh yeah dude, catch that wave.

    6. Ghosts from Mars

    bad acting, cheesy locations and bring your own clothes for costumes. this one is in the spirit of an indie production.

    7. Big Trouble in Little China II

    shot in Bangkok and only released in asia. starring gary busey as jack burton and lorenzo lamas as the bad guy wearing a really pathetic fu-manchu face mask. this must be carpenter’s nadir. i think you sold out on this one, jonnie boy.

    8. Vampires II

    no more james woods. Jon Bon Jovi gets his kicks whuppin’ vamp ass.

    you guys be the judge. washed up or what? i think the writing is on the wall…

  • July 15, 2002, 7:57 a.m. CST

    Hey, wait a second…

    by Darth Pixel

    I kind of enjoyed Vampires. James Woods kicking that priest around was some funny shit. And, that Head Vamp was awesome.

  • July 15, 2002, 8:16 a.m. CST

    Herzog’s NOSFERATU THE VAMPYRE is the greatest vampire movie

    by Cash Bailey

    No-one has matched the pathetic humanity and ferociousness of the vampire that Kinski gave to the role. That scene where the plague-carrying rats move freely through the stricken villagers who are casually picnicing and dancing among them is one of the most down-right fucked up and disturbing images that has ever been burned into my brain. THIS is what a vampire movie should be, not that velvet and lace shit that exists only for fat, horny teenage lesbians.

  • July 15, 2002, 9:09 a.m. CST

    Yes DRU I take up your challenge…

    by Dr.Zeus

    While it is true that Jon Bon Jovi can lead to damnation of a film. The one true “all hope is lost” and “boy I can’t believe I spent money for this” pinnacle of film damnation….. Matthew Broderick!!!!!! Look back at his long and illustrious road to HELL, for a true look at Damnation Alley!!!!!

  • July 15, 2002, 10:16 a.m. CST

    Why does someone not just make a version based on the book??!!

    by 0007

    For all you unenlighted out there, Carpenter’s movie was halfway based on a really cool John Steakley movie.

  • July 15, 2002, 10:17 a.m. CST

    Uh, I mean ‘John Steakley’ book…

    by 0007

    reading it was sure like watching an epic movie. It had a wonderful atmosphere to it…

  • July 15, 2002, 10:18 a.m. CST

    Hey Vern! Your swamp gas dissipated!

    by Sith Witch

    Try out your own link. Forgot to pay the bill this month?

  • July 15, 2002, 10:27 a.m. CST

    TOM SERVO: It’s Kenneth Branagh’s, Mary Shelley’s, W

    by Osmosis Jones

    Isn’t it the height of perversity to include a director’s name IN THE TITLE of a movie whan said director didn’t even make it? I actually thought that Vampires was Carpenter’s best since the early 80’s (Big Trouble In Little China isn’t all that, folks), but this is completely unneccesary.

  • July 15, 2002, 10:42 a.m. CST

    Fawst and GreatOne: You’re both insane. The book sucked.

    by FatPaul

    The Vampires movie may have been a little bland, but its main accomplishment was being better than the book it was based on. As far as I know, only Election and Los Sin Nombre have managed to do the same. I’ll admit that the bit with the magic cross was kind of silly. I’ll give you that much, but the characters in Steakley’s novel were the worst kind of bland cookie-cutter heroes, the storyline veared into silliness just a few too many times (that excessive cheerfulness, how all vampires hate rock music, the weird bit at the end with the pope), and the dialogue was funny in all the wrong places. Also, if Jack Crow was supposed to be the greatest vampire hunter who ever lived, why did becoming a vampire turn him into a retard (the only possible explanation for him walking into the Vatican without a plan)? If it was just a matter of him not being old enough to form rational thoughts, why didn’t the vampires keep him around a little longer instead of sending him to his death? You’d think that a vampire hunter would make a good recruit. Carpenter’s version, with the vampire hunters as mean-spirited assholes, at least gives us believable characters in a straightforward story. Even the openly misogynistic attitude of the heroes was a welcome relief from the patronising way that the characters in the book treated women. The movie wasn’t exactly great, but at least it didn’t suck as much as Vampire$.

  • July 15, 2002, 11:22 a.m. CST

    Vampire$

    by Hyde01

    I saw the John Carpenter flick last year and thought it was sort of cool for a low-budget no-brainer, especially since it was close to Halloween. So I decided to pick up the Steakley novel. The first book I ever quit halfway through. The prose was too choppy, the Steakley spent too much time telling us about the characters instead of having them reveal themselves, and there was this long passage about a drunken party that seemed too geared at making the reader think “Whoa, what a cool bunch of dudes!” rather than for any logical, dramatic purpose. And why make your main character such a bad-ass, only to have a even badder-ass usurp him halfway through the book? Did Steakley just get bored with Crow or something? That’s about when the story became fatigues and I just lost interest. It was going nowhere. Steakley’s idea about a Vatican-affiliated/mercenary team of vampire hunters was such a good one. It deserved better than both the Carpenter movie and the original book. And probably this sequel, which I guarantee I’ll see if it shows up on USA or FX or something this October.

  • July 15, 2002, 11:23 a.m. CST

    Re: the above post…

    by Hyde01

    Somewhere in there, it reads, “the Steakley.” It should read, “The Oprah.”

  • July 15, 2002, 11:25 a.m. CST

    Hmm…

    by Hyde01

    I should proofread my posts better, especially if I’m criticizing someone’s prose in one. “Fatigued,” not “fatigues.” I still think someone could make a ripping flick out of the book, though… the idea screams out for it.

  • July 15, 2002, 12:28 p.m. CST

    Reviewer disqualified – something about “From Dusk ’til Dawn

    by WeedyMcSmokey

    Oh, oh From Dusk til Dawn 2 sucked so bad I thought I would be sucked into some kind of bad-taste vortex. Mercifully, it ended quickly preventing me from shoving that pencil up my nose, grabbing the hair on the back of my head and driving it into the coffee table. Carpenter does his own thing – fine. But he has been relatively hit or miss throughout his career. I didn’t actually think much of The Thing – but Halloween? That’s top ten all-time horror stuff – maybe the best slasher film ever. Excape from New York is a good pic and had some neat stuff – very cynical and hard for its time (now we have a million other flicks to compare it too). Big Trouble in Little China – fun, fun, fun – Kurt Russells best character ever. I say cut Carpenter some slack – but stay the fuck away from his recent efforts.

  • July 15, 2002, 1:08 p.m. CST

    Somebody PLEASE drive a stake through Carpenter’s hubristic

    by WarDog

    Now this master vampire has infected his minions with his loathesome affliction–swollen-ego syndrome. And–oh my God–I had no idea they’d done a “sequel” to Big Trouble in Little China. Ghosts of Mars tore it for me; it was a schlocky gorefest, not worth the dollar I paid at the discount theater to see it. WHAT THE HELL happened to the man? Or die he truly have very little talent to begin with and just fooled us all with stylish popcorn movies? I hope he never gets to adapt/adulterate any more good pieces of fiction, but has to hawk his own crappy ideas…IF he can.

  • July 15, 2002, 1:22 p.m. CST

    Big Trouble In Little China 2 – Gary Busey?

    by NapoleonWilson

    Hmmmm…no mention on IMDB….I suspect this might be fakery as I simply cannot picture a man who resembles an elderly (insert species here) molester as Jack Burton.

  • July 15, 2002, 1:49 p.m. CST

    The ol’ “strange woman appears out of nowhere and tries to g

    by RenoNevada2000

    How many times have I fallen for that one?

  • July 15, 2002, 1:54 p.m. CST

    I saw InThe Mouth Of Madness at the cinema and rather liked it..

    by Praetor

    But then I’m a sucker for the Cthulu mythos. Still that bit with the ghoul on the pedal bike was pretty scary. OH er!

  • July 15, 2002, 2:18 p.m. CST

    Vampire$ and the Real “Jack Crow” Original Story

    by 2

    John Steakley’s “Vampire$” was pretty good, though not great, but it did contain a lot more of the “kick-ass ideas” that made the original movie decent…and could have made it even better.

    Even better though, would be if some non-hack director out there with access to a visual effects budget, would get off their ass and make Steakley’s original “Jack Crow” novel …. “Armor”. Classic butt-rocking sci-fi, with more cool plot twists than anything yet to hit the big screen. (And yes, though it is clearly not the same Jack Crow, the lead has the same name.)

  • July 15, 2002, 3:24 p.m. CST

    Best straight to video sequel of all time

    by Vern

    Fine, fine, you can criticize my choice of FROM DUSK TILL DAWN 2 as “best straight to video sequel off the top of my head”. But I dare you to name a better one. Maybe there is one, but it sure wasn’t Cruel Intentions 2, Vampires 2, The Crow 3, Mimic 2, or any of the other ones I’ve seen. I enjoyed FDTD2 on its own level for the reasons stated, and all you give me is “it sucked so bad.” Someone please tell me, is there a better straight to video sequel?

  • July 15, 2002, 4:49 p.m. CST

    Vern: Hangman’s Daughter

    by FatPaul

    From Dusk Til Dawn 3 was a hell of a lot better than part 2 and probably qualifies as the best straight-to-video sequel of all time. The whole movie was covered in sex and violence, with really corny special effects. It was perfect. Part 2 was okay in spots, but it was a little boring. To wendigofett: Tremors 2 sucked, and here’s why. No violence. The first Tremors wasn’t super-violent or anything, but it least it didn’t back away from violence. I’m not saying that it makes From Dusk Til Dawn 2 look like Repo Man or anything, but it’s maybe half a suck level above it.

  • July 15, 2002, 6:16 p.m. CST

    “…an analog man in a digital world.”

    by Declan_Swartz

    Carpenter gets it and it is on his offical site:

    www.theofficialjohncarpenter.com/pages/press/laweekly010817.html

    “At any rate, the question of what ever happened to John Carpenter seems misdirected. In a canonizing 1999 article for Film Comment, critic Kent Jones wrote that Carpenter is ‘an analog man in a digital world.'”

  • July 15, 2002, 6:24 p.m. CST

    Tremors 2 was MORE violent than the first

    by Osmosis Jones

    You had a pair of severed hands still clinging to a jeep’s rollbar, and one of the mutated(?) graboids chewing off someone’s leg. It’s actually very repectable for a D-to-V sequel (despite the lack of Bacon).

  • July 15, 2002, 6:32 p.m. CST

    Trancers II – V

    by Billy Talent

    Also highly recommended is a little something by the name of ‘Meatballs IV’. Maybe tonight I’ll check out ‘American Psycho Too’.

  • July 15, 2002, 8:29 p.m. CST

    Vern again

    by Vern

    Thanks for the comments boys. I disagree on the FROM DUSK TILL DAWN pictures though. I liked TEXAS BLOOD MONEY better because it was so over the top and goofy. HANGMAN’S DAUGHTER had a couple of great surprises – mainly that the hangman turns out to be justified in the whipping of his daughter, and the scene where the dude goes nuts in the bar and stabs a guy through the head and into the table. But overall I thought it was less interesting than TEXAS BLOOD MONEY, the characters were generic in a more lame and less pulpy kinda way, the new Santanico was no Salma Hayek and the quasi

  • July 15, 2002, 8:35 p.m. CST

    and again

    by Vern

    Oh yeah, and the Disney sequels? You gotta be fuckin kiddin me, Wendigo. THE LION KING was bad enough with all the wacky comic relief and the song about the farting warthog. Then you’re gonna stretch the story out with bad animation? I actually saw that one and there was one or two decent dramatic scenes, and the rest was like a student film version of the original. And RETURN OF JAFAR was worse. If you’re gonna bring up the LAND BEFORE TIME pictures that’s out of my range though I haven’t seen those ones. p.s. I like your screen name though bud

  • July 15, 2002, 9:10 p.m. CST

    Vampires: Los Muertes, Dog Soldiers & Halloween:Resurrection

    by Squidlips

    These are actually linked comments. First, did anyone else mention that V:LM showed up on one of the digital cable movie channels before the DVD came out. I was shocked to see it on “Action” two Saturdays ago. Bizarre. Even more bizarre was the “Action” guide summary, which listed Tim Guinee in the casdt, even though he is nowhere to be seen in the film (except as a grave). I had thought one of the hooks of this film was that he was the returning character. Any answers out there.

    The movie itself was adequate…nothing special. Not an award winner, but OK for a late evening time killer.

    Which leads off on one tangent to Halloween: Resurrection. I know the film had a troubled history, but to me it looked like two films pasted together. The initial Jamie Lee Curtis segment doesn’t have anything to do with the rest of the movie (in fact you could argue it actually terminates the series as such). It even looks like it was filmed differently. was this segment constructed from a coda to Halloween:H2O shot a couple of years earlier than the rest of the film?

    The other tangent is that “Dog Soldiers” too has made a broadcast appearance prior to video. In this case the Sci-Fi Channel last June. Aside from a few profanity bleeps it appeared to be pretty uncensored.

  • July 15, 2002, 9:32 p.m. CST

    INFO ON BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA II

    by jackburtonlives

    i got a few emails on BTILC II and the scoop on this is there is no “official” BTILC II. you see, fellow talkbackers, i’m a bit of a hack, and well it’s a long story, but ol’ jack has found himself in SE Asia for the rest of his natural days. anyway, you go to any pirated VCD/DVD store and there are HUNDREDS OF SEQUELS to films you’re sure THEY’VE NEVER MADE SEQUELS TO. loser fish-bait throw-away studio backlot flicks. there’s Delta Force X, Skulls II, Anaconda II, Commando II, Towering Inferno II, etc. who is making these films? B or C grade actors like Gary Busey, Lorenzo Lame-ass, Cynthia Rothrock, Harry Hamlin, Eric Estrada. that’s right. these people are not all in the Betty Ford addiction center like you all think. they are in HK, Jakarta and Bangkok churning out this dreck. so to answer the numerous emails i got, i was kidding: to my knowledge there is no John Carpenter BTILC II, but there just MIGHT BE a BTILC II asian version…. there is a fake sequel to everything else out there, but believe me… you wouldn’t want to see it…

  • July 15, 2002, 10:45 p.m. CST

    Why did you pay for that POS?

    by loki965

    I just watched the exact same movie on Action channel last night. And everyone who thinks JC had anything to do with it, lay off. They just used his name. It was directed by some other schlub.

  • July 16, 2002, 10:53 a.m. CST

    carpenter’s problem is that he desperately wants to not suck

    by timothycarey

    …and, speaking of wanting, that’s would be his film career since, at least (or, even less, just the first half of), _they live_ — wasn’t the second half of this film just roddy piper and david keith fighting in an alley? that, plus blowing something up after meg foster betrays them? hubris, indeed — the _cahiers_ crowd never meant auteurism to equal autism on the order of everything “john carpenter’s”…how, exactly, has he been allowed to finance these abysmally undistinguished — unentertaining, even — films under his own possessive name for as long as it takes for them to make a negligible box office before disappearing forever into the racks at blockbuster, where his handful of defenders will appreciate his diminishing cinematic returns when not massing in the dozens to defend the master on talk backs like this? not all at once…he has certainly made interesting work (_dark star_, — no one remembers this, his low-budget, farewell-to-the-60’s-by-way-of-a-new-millenium, _big wednesday_-meets-_2001_, cartesian debut?; _halloween_; _the thing_ — still, his best work –; _starman_, sappy but well-made & heartfelt; _memoirs of an invisible man_ — chevy wasn’t always so bad; the first half of _they live_) although that stopped before the 80’s were out (the first half of _they live_). and, his overrated work — e.g., _night of the living assault on precinct 13_ “got a cigarette?” hell, man, got an original plot? — gets cannibalized for _john carpenter’s assault on warriors of mars_ (“got an ice cube?”). how about _john carpenter’s give my tired schtick a rest_? _john carpenter’s straight-to-video piece-of-s*&^_?

  • July 16, 2002, 11:43 a.m. CST

    Best Vampire films

    by WeedyMcSmokey

    I think are Near Dark, Vampire’s Kiss (Nik Cage as the screwed up weirdo we used to love), Lost Boys (80s staple), Nosferatu (really, the best despite its age), From Dusk til Dawn (#1 ONLY). Also – this debate about what the best direct to video sequel is – Isn’t that kinda like picking the valedictorian for summer school? Who fucking cares?

  • July 16, 2002, 11:47 a.m. CST

    VAMPIRE$

    by FrankCastle

    God, this film sounds shit.John Carpenter should never been allowed to make the first one with that shite story line that has sod all to do with the book.

    From what I can remember about the first film the only scene similar to the book was when the head vampire broke up the party they where having at the motel.

    What can I say a great book ruined by shite film making. shame really cause I like JC’s older films eg. everything before Escape from LA.!

  • July 16, 2002, 11:47 a.m. CST

    VAMPIRE$

    by FrankCastle

    God, this film sounds shit.John Carpenter should never been allowed to make the first one with that shite story line that has sod all to do with the book.

    From what I can remember about the first film the only scene similar to the book was when the head vampire broke up the party they where having at the motel.

    What can I say a great book ruined by shite film making. shame really cause I like JC’s older films eg. everything before Escape from LA.!

  • July 16, 2002, 4:45 p.m. CST

    Gah!!! Vampires was the worst.

    by Halloween68

    Why make a sequel? A horrible, horrible movie. Up there with Escape from LA and Ghosts of Mars as the least appealing John Carpenter movies ever made. Even the stuff the above reviewer mentioned as being cool sucked. Carpenter just didn’t think his ideas through. Why would you go through all that trouble to bring a vampire out into the sunlight when a simple stake in the heart will suffice? Can anyone say OVERKILL? Carpenter it seems has been trying to be too clever in his last few failed attempts. It’s like he’s trying to recapture what he had from old by committing to over-the-top action sequences. They’re just coming off as truely stupid now a days. It “is” hard to believe that the same man responsible for Assault on Precinct 13, Halloween, The Fog, Big Trouble in Little China, Escape from New york, and They Live, is also responsible for Escape from LA, Ghosts of Mars, and Vampires. A damn shame really, a damn shame. Carpenter used to be one of my favorite film directors, if not my most favorite. What the hell happened?

  • July 16, 2002, 5:02 p.m. CST

    Wendigofett

    by Halloween68

    To Sleep With A Vampire? The original, Dance of the Damned, is about a hundred times better. Try to get a hold of that one. TSWAV is a low budget remake of Dance of the Damned, which is kinda bad because Dance of the Damned is a low budget movie to begin with. But if you like that one, you’ll love this one. And it doesn’t have “Nick” from family ties in it either. Happy hunting.

  • July 17, 2002, 8:36 a.m. CST

    Hammer hits the nail on the head…..(sorry)

    by Vercklempt

    I pretty partial to all those old Hammer Horror Dracula Flicks. Lee might not have the Kudos but he owns that hackenyed vampire character.

    What I liked about the movies was the high breast count!

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.
This entry was posted on Monday, July 15th, 2002 at 1:23 pm and is filed under Action, AICN, Horror, Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

2 Responses to “Vern reviews JOHN CARPENTER’S VAMPIRES: LOS MUERTES!”

  1. Vern – You know, maybe you should also review THE FOG too. Underrated, like VAMPIRES of sorts.

  2. Since it will be rightfully deleted, let me tell everybody who wasn’t able to witness it, that this review got a spam comment from a website named “The Best Ways To Make Your Booty Big”.

    That’s all. Proceed.

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