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Near Dark

A mighty purty lookin’ Mae (Jenny Wright) feels alone and wants a companion to spend the rest of eternity with. When she and her band of merry vamps wander through hicksville USA, a young buck named Caleb (Adrian Pasdar) spots her eating an ice cream cone. She sticks out in this sleepy ol’ farm town and Caleb takes an immediate fancy to her. They go out for a ride to talk and make out in his truck. She longs to make him hers and with a bite to his neck, the deed is done. He has been turned, but in order to become a full-fledged card carrying vampire, he must make a kill on his own. Every gang has their initiation rights, even Redneck Vampires. The only problem is that killing does not come easy to Caleb, and there is only so much blood that Mae can give of herself, before she dies. If he cannot step up to the plate to take that first bite and make a solo kill, the rest of the family of blood fiends are prepared to dine on a Caleb buffet.

Near Dark is chock full of rich atmosphere and stark beautiful cinematography. I love those backlit-silhouetted shots of the clan walking over a hill and entering town, looking for some fresh blood to drink. The film has some funny moments of humor of the darkest kind, but this movie is not played for laughs. The film is essentially a love story. You can really feel the longing and loneliness in Mae’s life. Jenny Wright is so wonderful in this role, it makes you wonder what ever happened to her and why did she give up acting. Director Kathyrn Bigelow and Writer Eric Red have created quite an interesting revisionist version of this well-known genre and created a realistic western vampire love story. The characters in this film are so memorable; you will be fondly daydreaming about them for days. Well, at least I did. How can you ever forget these bloodsucking freaksr

1. Jesse (Lance Henriksen): Leader/Father figure of this band of gypsies.

2. Diamondback (Jeanette Goldstein): Firecracker of a gal, with motherly instincts when it comes to her young’ns.

3. Severen (Bill Paxton): Loves to kill, and loves to fuck with people while killing them. Becoming a Vampire was the best thing that ever happened to him.

4. Mae (Jenny Wright): Beautiful, beguiling and longing for companionship.

5. Homer (Joshua John Miller): Turned by Mae as a boy out of lonliness. Now he is a man trapped in a child’s body and none too happy about it!

The DVD is a special edition that comes with lots of extras. The new 45-minute documentary has brought back the most of the cast with the exception of a M.I.A. Jenny Wright. Even Adrian Pasdar shouts out a plea for her to contact him if she sees this or hears of this documentary. The Directors Commentary is slow, but informative. Most fans of the film have been waiting for this disk for a long time, and it was well worth the wait.

Near Dark (1987)
Anchor Bay Entertainment
Length: 94 mins.
Rated: R
Format: Anamorphic Widescreen 1.85:1
Languages:English, French
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
Extras: Commentary Track, Retrospective Documentary, Deleted Scene, Trailers, Storyboards, Galleries, Screenplay, Screen Savers (It should be noted that this is a long lost review of the DVD that was turned in months ago, but got lost in the shuffle. We thank Dick for his patience.)

Rating: B+
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Dick remembers "Return of the Living Dead"

Oh what fond memories this film brought back to me. Watching horror after horror film in the video store where I worked in Aptos, CA. My co-worker Whitney and I would pop into the video player the latest and greatest fright fests. I remember cringing while watching the pencil in the ankle scene in the first “Evil Dead.” Or laughing when Farmer Vincent buried his victims alive up to their necks in his garden and fed them nutrients that would make for better-smoked meat in “Motel Hell.” “It takes all kinds of critters to make Farmer Vincent fritters.” One night I took home “Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things” for my girlfriend Georgia and some friends to watch. I remember it being just an ok movie, but there was one scene in the film that gave me an idea to play a “joke” on Georgia. While waiting for her to arrive at my parents’ home the following night, I decided it would be funny to lie down in the back of my sister’s pick-up truck and scare her as she walked by. I waited, she walked by, I jumped up, she ran screaming to the porch and burst into tears. Uh huh! What a “brilliant funny idea” that was. I am still in touch with her today, but I believe she has never forgiven me for the incident. It did seem like the right thing to do at the time. Oh the good old days such fondness they bring me.

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Big Ass Werewolves and F’ed-Up Fish People

So I was consulting the Squid List, a local Bay Area e-mail listing of independent and underground art happenings around town, when a small Film Festival caught my eye. It was the 4th CINEMUERTE INTERNATIONAL HORROR FILM FESTIVAL. The festival is based out of Vancouver, but the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco asked if they could showcase six of the films. The actual festival is small, but shows some pretty crazy films. The organizer labels them Transgressive Horror films. She started this small festival 4 years ago with no real sponsors or backing, just a love of the genre. Vancouver had a larger line-up than S.F., with films such as Jeff Lieberman’s “Blue Sunshine” and “Squirm,” and Claire Denis’ “Trouble Every Day.” Being a big ass horror geek (Editor’s note: I’ve known this guy for twenty years, and I can attest his not big. However, he is a real Dick.), I thought to myself cool, I am going to check out a couple of these sick puppies.

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The Real Dick Hollywood Gives It To Mrs. Thornton

Hackers

Well, well, well. In order for me to celebrate mediocrity within the film industry (and come up with my snappy one liners) I have to sail through a sea of visceral crap. I do this because I feel a responsibility to all of you film fans to let you know what films to wallow through. Someone has to be brave enough to take on this daunting and prestigious task (nobody else was willing), and that someone is me. For my part, I find myself laughing, crying and screaming obscenities while trying to separate the mediocre from the bad – viewing films that should never have been made in the first place. The celebration of mediocrity in films is, after all, fraught with contradictions. This genre has many more downs than ups and many more lows than highs.

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My Life as a Klown

It’s 1986 and another film crew has come to the laid back town of Santa Cruz. I previously had worked on a number of esteemed projects, including some piece of shit James Remar movie and that incredible Keanu Reeves TV movie “Brotherhood Of Justice,” which was partially filmed on the campus of our alma mater Aptos High. The Jerk claims his locker was used by Keanu but I know for a fact he’s blowing smoke up your ass if he tells you so. (Editor’s Note: He did.) Word on the street, (Editor’s Note: shorthand for “the lady who did all the casting for all the films that shot in the Santa Cruz/Monterey Bay area lived right across the street from me, so whenever filmmakers needed some American pseudo Elvis Costello act-alike, she knew who to call”.) is that the project is called “Killer Klowns from Outer Space.” For a B movie buff like myself, this is tantalizing information. “Certainly,” I imagined, “this film is destined to be a science fiction/schlock horror masterpiece.” I’d had luck weaseling other jobs out of the local casting company in the past (Editor’s Note: see second note above) Would it be possible to grovel my way onto this set as well? I not only wanted to be a Klown, I needed to be a Klown.

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Meet The Real Dick Hollywood

I wish that I could tell you that I give a damn about The Jerk’s fucking little site, but I do not! I told the rat fuck I would write something for him, and I have begun again and again with some lame ideas for some lame rants, but still I have yet to finish anything and send it off to old shit for brains. And I can come to only one conclusion as to why I have and always have procrastinated all of my life… I am a lazy, good-for-nuttin’, low-down hack of a writer who has and always will be striving for mediocrity. Therefore it is only fitting that I will celebrate with you all of the Mediocrity within the film industry. There is so much Mediocre talent to talk about, I should be able to help out FJ with pages and pages of useless information, or at least lines and lines of crap.

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