Sunday, January 29, 2006

Hitting and running

Eric Red is a screenwriter of horror and gore films. His films in the 1980s were moderately popular, especially The Hitcher and Near Dark. I did not know until today that they were written by the same person, which is interesting to me, since I found The Hitcher nicely scary, but too graphic, hideously so. In contrast, Near Dark is simply a terrific vampire movie. It should have been more popular than it was.

Near Dark was directed by Kathryn Bigelow, who was married to James Cameron at the time. It's interesting to see from the cast how many people in this film would appear as regulars in James Cameron films: Bill Paxton, Lance Henriksen, and the lovely Jenette Goldstein, forever the fierce Lt. Vasquez.

I never know what to think about Kathryn Bigelow. She is simply a great action director. So many of her movies have striking visual sequences that stick with me for months or years later. She gets fantastic actors, frequently at the start of their film careers. And yet, so many of her movies just don't make sense, like they're a series of separate scenes stitched together with common characters. Point Break and Blue Steel? Terrific looking movies, but ridiculous plots. Strange Days just didn't do it for me. Consequently, I've missed her two last big films. K-19: The Widowmaker had mixed reviews, but many people liked it. But The Weight of Water clearly annoyed some reviewers. (But how can I miss a movie with Sarah Polley and Sean Penn?)

In any case, let's return to Eric Red. Many of Eric Red's films have an emphasis on cars crashing into people, and it turns out he also has some family history in this area. This would pass without comment, except that he killed two people by crashing his car into them. It's a fascinating story.

(via firedoglake)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love Near Dark, it's my favorite vampire film.
The bar scene is a perfect horror scene.
I've always wondered why no one has ever heard of it.

Bigelow frustrates me, too. Near Dark is probably her best film.
And Point Break's foot-chase scene between Reeves and Swayze, after a robbery,
was technically brilliant--probably the best foot chase I have ever seen.

But you're right, her movies lack cohesion. The plots are muddled and just don't add up well.
I keep hoping she'll get her shit together and really nail one, even better thab Near Dark.


Sunday, 29 January, 2006  

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