Movie Review: Vampires (1998)

by StevenHelmer

A review of the 1998 thriller starring James Woods and Daniel Baldwin.

Synopsis: Vatican-sponsored vampire hunter Jack Crow leads his team in search of a 600-year-old vampire in New Mexico. When the vampire, Jan Valek, ambushes the hunters, leaving just Crow and his friend, Anthony Montoya, alive, the pair continue the hunt with the assistance of a young priest and a vampire-bitten prostitute.


I came across this film on one of our movie channels the other night and, while I was admittedly skeptical about it, I decided to record it so my wife and I could watch it together. We did that last night and, overall, I have to say it was better than I expected it to be.

I will start out by saying this movie, at times, seemed to be a bit on the campy side of things. This is mostly because the various characters were very one dimensional.

For example, the movie goes out of its way to make sure the viewer understands Crow (Woods) is a bad ass. But, other than a very brief backstory about his parents being killed by a vampire, we aren't given any details that fill in the many blanks about his character. This includes how he ended up working for the Vatican and teaming up with Montoya (Baldwin).

That being said, the movie does have quite a few redeeming qualities. One of the big ones, for me at least, is the fact it isn't as predictable as I thought it would be. None of Crow's plans ever seem to work the way they are supposed to. And, the various twists, ranging from Montoya being bit by the infected prostitute, Katrina (Lee) to Valek (Griffith) always seeming to be one step ahead of him did keep things interesting, partly because I wasn't really sure how the movie was going to end.

In fact, probably the only thing that didn't surprise me about this movie was Cardinal Alba's (Schell) role. I kind of figured he would turn out to be a bad guy (it's just one of those plot twists that are obvious from the moment the character is introduced). But, to be fair, even then, I wasn't really sure of his motivation for betraying Crow or what kind of impact he would ultimately have. And, as a result of that, he proved to be just as intriguing as the rest of the movie.

Final Opinion

As I said before, I had some doubts about this one. But, it turned out to be an exciting and entertaining movie. It's one I would recommend if you haven't seen it before.

My Grade: B

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Updated: 05/18/2016, StevenHelmer
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