JOHN CARPENTER'S VAMPIRES
About The Production
"I've always wanted to do a vampire movie," states John
Carpenter, director of John Carpenter's Vampires. "This book,
Vampires, came along and it really did some things I'd never seen
before. It's set in the American Southwest and has certain western
elements to it. I decided this would be the perfect chance to
do something different.
"Part of the theme is the dualistic irony of the good guys
and the bad guys. It has all the classic ideas that you've seen
in a vampire movie-the humans versus the vampires, the hidden
sexuality, the idea of blood. All that's at work in this film.
But in essence, I've always loved westerns, and one of the reasons
I'm doing this movie is that this is the closest I've come to
being able to do a western." "It's been said that all
of John's movies are westerns," adds producer Sandy King.
"If you substitute the situations-urban or period or space
or, in this case, the southwest with vampires-and you instead
think Howard Hawks' Rio Bravo, what you see is that John very
much follows in his idol's footsteps."
"It's about hunting vampires instead of whomever the bad
guys of the day were in classic western cinema," offers James
Woods. "We have set pieces in this movie that are homages
to the early works of Howard Hawks and Sam Peckinpah, with the
Henry Fondas and John Waynes and William Holdens out braving the
ultimate challenge. It's The Wild Bunch meets vampires."
"The vampire slayers are gunslingers, and the vampires are
gunslingers in their own way," says Thomas Ian Griffith,
the actor who won the plum role of master vampire Valek. "John's
taken the western and added dark overtones we haven't seen before."
It may be hard to envision vampires clashing with slayers in a
western setting, but under John Carpenter's direction, it becomes
very natural and real. James Woods' description of a scene helps
bring the idea into focus: "Daniel Baldwin and I come into
the town of Santiago on a wide, open street," explains Woods.
"There's nobody around, but there are signs that somebody
was there. It's quiet. We take out our guns and look around. I
signal him. He signals back to cover me when I go into this little
bar. There's about a minute or so where the tension reads that
our characters are going to be slaughtered right there. All of
a sudden, we realized it was Rio Bravo."
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