20 Things You Didn't Know About Near Dark
Vampires, bullets and Bill Paxton - Kathryn Bigelow's Western horror is a bonafide cult classic.
If you're a fan of vampire movies and you haven't seen Near Dark, you'll need to remedy this immediately. This early Katherine Bigelow masterpiece was totally overshadowed by the other vampire film released in 1987, The Lost Boys, and deserved significantly more credit than it received upon release.
Caleb, a young, red-blooded farm hand is enthralled by mysterious beauty Mae, whom he meets while scouting for girls at the local truck stop one stormy evening. Little does he know that he isn't the one doing the seducing: Mae is a vampire, and as appealing as an eternity with her may be, it's her 'family' that Caleb must win over. Unfortunately for the newly turned Caleb, they are a crew of hell-raising psychopaths with an unquenchable thirst for mayhem and human blood.
Near Dark is packed with interesting snippets from the production; the studio were infamously reluctant to let Bigelow off the leash, yet she went on to become one the most celebrated female directors in the business. Bill Paxton's one-liners are now legendary and Lance Henriksen went full method with spectacular results. Here are twenty of the best tales from one of the most underrated cult horrors ever made.
20. The Word 'Vampire' Isn't Used Once
Near Dark is a genre bending, revisionist horror for sure, but this isn't your average blood sucker flick either; in fact, the word 'vampire' isn't mentioned once in the entire 94 minute running time.
In 1987, the horror genre was going through necessary change - the 1970s had seen the fall of lavish, vaguely camp Hammer productions, and the rise of the slasher flick. The cliches were out and the reinvention of the terror experience was in full swing again.
It's clear from the outset that Bigelow wanted a totally fresh approach, eschewing almost every accepted vampire trope going. No mirrors, garlic, holy water or crucifixes to be found here; Near Dark is only recognisable as a vampire film through blood drinking and an aversion to sunlight.