As a film, John Carpenter’s Vampires leaves a lot to be desired. The story is average and has been done before, and the acting is questionable at best. I just cannot appreciate James Woods as a bad ass Vampire Killer. Vampires does contain a number of scenes that build tension and effectively instill some horror, but you will not be traumatized by the scariness of this film. Yes, there are a few sequences that look very good in terms of the cinematography, and there is some nice gore and violence, but you w…uld be much better off viewing a film such as Dog Soldiers if you are looking for a quality horror flick.
“Hired by the Vatican, supernatural bounty hunter Jack Crow (James Woods) meets his match in Valek, the 600 year-old leader of a band of vampires terrorizing the American Southwest. When Valke kills most of Crow’s team of mercenary vampire slayers in a surprise attack, the bounty hunter turns to help from Katrina (Sheryl Lee), a beautiful prostitute with a psychic link to the deadly vampire, who leads him to Valek’s lair for the final showdown.” – Columbia-Tristar
With Columbia-Tristar’s amazing track record in regards to the video quality on Superbit releases, I was quite surprised and disappointed with the video transfer on this disc. Sure, the higher bit rate allows for some nice definition and sharp contrast, but the overall feel was marred by a number of original source defects. There is a slight grain in a number of scenes, and you will notice a number of specks/scratches/debris throughout the entire film. This is not to say that this disc does not look good, but it does not compare to most other Superbit releases in the past.
As can be expected from such a film released in the Superbit line, the audio on this disc is very powerful. The DTS and Dolby Digital 5.1 mixes are near identical; with a small edge going to the DTS track for a little more liveliness. The surrounds are used nicely to fill the soundstage, and the dialog is clean and nicely positioned around the center channel. Usually I am a huge fan of an assertive audio track, but I felt that this track was a little bit over done. The base is sometimes overpowering, and this took away form some of the more subtle nuances of the soundtrack. All-in-all, this disc sounds very good.
It should come as no surprise to your that this disc does not contain any special features… since this is standard for basic Superbit releases.
This film is a good watch, but is nothing to write home about. The action is good, but the story and acting are lacking. This DVD does not shine as well as it could… the video transfer is flawed, and the audio is occasionally overpowering. Superbit titles are usually reference quality releases, but that is not the case with Vampires.
Special Features List