dir-scr JS Cardone|
with Kerr Smith, Brendan Fehr, Jonathon Schaech, Izabella Miko, Carrie Snodgress, Phina Oruche, Simon Rex, Marc Vann, AJ Buckley, Alexis Thorpe, Sara Downing, Matt Reid, FJ Flynn
release US 27.Apr.01; UK 7.Sep.01
Screen Gems 01/US 1h31
The Hitcher meets Near Dark in this derivative vampire romp which is vaguely entertaining and scary, but ultimately just unnecessary. Sean (Smith) is driving from L.A. to Miami, delivering a vintage Mercedes and attending his sister's wedding. But in the middle of the desert he picks up Nick, a hitchhiker (Fehr) with a secret: He's hunting vampires. Namely a quartet of loud thugs led by Kit (Schaech). And when Sean and Nick pick up a delirious recent victim (Miko) as bait, things start to get rather grisly.|
There's nothing overtly wrong about this film--it's efficiently made, written with a degree of wit and nicely played by a fresh, atypical cast--but for virtually every minute of its running time you simply wonder why anyone bothered making it. There's not a shred of original thinking here. It simply rehashes scenes and story elements from every vampire/desert thriller ever made. Why when a movie character drives across the American southwest do they never use the Interstate? No, they always take those desolate two-lane roads through the middle of nowhere, stopping in fleabag motels in creepy little towns where motorcycles are forever revving and rusted-out Dodge Chargers full of the undead are prowling the night. Ho hum! There's even a sudden lightening storm just in time for the big climactic sequence, which naturally involves hallowed ground and convenient shafts of sunlight. Cinematic junk food.