Kathryn BigelowUSA94 minutes1987English
Long before Bella mooned over Edward, Kathryn Bigelow made the definitive teen-vampire romance — though it could be argued that her justly revered and much-imitated second feature may be more of a western at heart. Consider the abundance of sun-scorched scenery and the aw-shucks way that Adrian Pasdar's young cowboy falls for Jenny Wright's sweet-seeming damsel, prior to discovering that she travels in some seriously bad company: a savage gang of bloodsucking outlaws that rides the range in a blacked-out RV, slaking their thirst on unwary cowpokes and raining down death and destruction upon anyone who happens to be in the wrong road house at the wrong time. Making excellent use of three key cast members from her future husband James Cameron's hit Aliens — Lance Henriksen, Bill Paxton and Jenette Goldstein, who make for some of the baddest big-screen vamps in film history — Bigelow stages some spectacularly vicious set pieces, but also brings a startling tenderness and sexiness to the romance at the core of all the carnage.
Print courtesy of the American Genre Film Archive.