After Near Dark, You'll Never Look At Bill Paxton The Same Way

Illustration for article titled After Near Dark, Youll Never Look At Bill Paxton The Same Way

If there's anything that will ruin Big Love forever for you, it's a psychotic, vampiric Bill Paxton eviscerating a bar full of hillbillies in 1987's Near Dark.

Advertisement

A new season of HBO's Big Love premiered this week, but I have an impossible time taking that program seriously. It's not that Big Love is a bad show. No, it's simply that I can't picture Bill Paxton as a genial polygamist paterfamilias after his role as hemoglobin-guzzling Severen in Kathryn Bigelow's directorial debut, the 1987 vamp-western, Near Dark.

For those readers sick of 2010's Tiger Beat take on the Nosferatu legend, Near Dark is your panacea. It's got plenty for cinematic aesthetes (Gorgeous cinematography! A soundtrack by Tangerine Dream!) and horror fans (Blood'n'guts! Lance Henriksen!) alike. And despite a facile ending, it's one of the best vamp flicks out there and deserving of a new audience given the plaudits Bigelow's garnered for The Hurt Locker.

Advertisement

Anyway, back to Paxton. In the best scene of the movie, Jesse Hooker (Henriksen) and his nomadic vampire clan try to teach unwilling novice vamp Caleb (Adrian Pasdar) to hunt. It begins with Severen instigating a bar fight with an unlucky shitkicker and goes horribly downhill from there:


PS: Did Severen's wayfarers remind you of another famous comic book bloodsucker?

Illustration for article titled After Near Dark, Youll Never Look At Bill Paxton The Same Way
Advertisement

Share This Story

Get our newsletter

DISCUSSION

Favorite vampire movie ever. I wish they would make more dirty, living by the edge of their fingernails, running from the law, gypsy type vampire movies. Pretty and emo or rich, powerful and overclassed vampires are boring these days. Plus, I think Near Dark is the one vampire film that could be remade only in America. You could easily reset Lost Boys in Australia with minor changes for a remake. A remake of 30 Days of Night would work in a Canadian or Greenland setting. Twilight would have worked in England. But Near Dark is too Americana to be set anywhere else. I would love to see more American styled vampire movies.