Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Thirty Days of Night

I read the Twilight series and I enjoyed it. Even though there are those reading those words who will sneer, I write them because long ago I decided I would not go the route of the literary snob or the pretentious twits who choose to associate themselves with books and films they feel enhance their literary cred. I chose to be honest about my likes and dislikes. I don’t like lies.

I also enjoy films like Interview with a Vampire and From Dusk Till Dawn because I love the ideas of immortality and the superhuman, especially with the added spice of those concerned being somewhat amoral, or immoral. Until now, my favourite vampire has always been Mr Barlow from the film of Salem’s Lot – the scene locked in my mind being the one where we first see him in a prison cell – but now he’s been knocked into second place.

Last night I watched Thirty Days of Night which in atmosphere was a bit like John Carpenter’s The Thing, what with the dogs, the cold and the desperation. It’s set in a small Alaskan town in the dead of winter, when they lose the sun for a month. It’s a town that gets cut off from the rest of the world. It becomes a feeding ground, and there you’ll find the best vampires ever, but not in a good way. If you want an antidote to the pretty, angst-ridden vampires of recent times, get this film and watch it.


vaudeviewgalor raandisisraisins said...

vampire fan opinion: this movie could've been amazing. the whole cabin hide out in the snow was very much like THE THING-thought the same. the vampires were bad ass vinyl fans, and ended up in hollywood by the end. what a swell build up though.

nothing surpasses NEAR DARK though, and i've seen maybe 80 vampire movies or more. it's a bohemian death party. not perfect, but still, the shoot me-fuck you attitude is wonderful.

quick quacks:
THE THIRST was decent for a recent, LET THE RIGHT ONE IN was brilliant, MARK OF THE VAMPIRE looks good (at least/money troubles cut the pic short it seemed), INNOCENT BLOOD has its moments, RAPE OF THE VAMPIRE is nutty-almost abstract Bunuel-ish, VAMPIRE'S KISS had me laughing in it's un-reality weirdness (great use of wtf music), and TRUE BLOOD/TWILIGHT puts me to sleep -quick.

there are a lot of Chinese stiff legged vampire movies, cant really recall any that were worth recommending more than the next one.
post scribble:
the Willem Dafoe MOSFERATU tribute is incredible when he is on the screen; SHADOW OF THE VAMPIRE. the rest of the crew is miscast with lousy accents. have the remote ready.

Anonymous said...

Neal, just don't watch the follow up film, which was straight to DVD.

AngryMurloc said...

I loved thirty days of night. Baddies so monstrous and bestial, yet they're clever enough to use bait to get at any survivors. Fantastic!

Hitch said...

Vampires do my head in, well, modern day teen ones anyway. I do applaud you for enjoying the books though and admitting to it.

Now, whilst vampires, bar Dracula, are not for me... Ok, and beckinsales character in Underworld... Zombies work for me on any level.

We need more, good, zombie books. The best one I think I have read in recent years being, Cell, by Stephen King. Not strictly a zombie book because they are not your defacto 'undead' merely semi auto caricatures who turn out to be part way on the next evolutionary step for mankind but still, brilliant writing.

Its kinda weird, there are many awesome Zombie movies about yet very few decent books and there are many decent vampire books yet very few decent films, IMO.

ILTYT_Adventure said...

Loved this film. Gritty, nasty and clever.

I can't do Zombies, they bother me in ways I really can't get to grips with. I regret utterly my bravado as a 13 year old watching Dawn of the Dead, I have an irrational fear that has stayed with me for three decades. I even found some of the Jain infestations running close to the bone.

Neal Asher said...

I may well look out for a few of those, Vaude. Thanks.

Thanks for the warning, Skar - though I may take a peek at Amazon reviews.

Angry, what I liked was the obvious thought that went into them. Real predators, with teeth for the job, speaking, I dunno, ancient Romanian? Also loved the attitude put across by the leader: 'The things they believe...'

Hitch, zombies only work for me with cybernetic implants, balm for blood, suitable preservation routines and minds stored in crystal.

You surprise me, Graeme. Generally I just don't 'get' zombies as I've seen them portrayed. But then I guess I haven't seen them as anything more than rather silly lurching about creatures who only get to feed on human flesh because the humans concerned are so daft.

Unknown said...

I admit I'm a bit of a sob. I don't looked down my nose at people who read certain genres (I'm a firm believer people ought to read as much as they can of anything) but I avoid the books. Vampires and werwolves is one of these genre.

And yet, I'm the first person in line to watch a vampire/werewolf movie. Go figure.

I watched this movie and thought it was pretty scary but I'm a self admitted chicken.

Hitch said...

I admit Neal that the old fashioned zombies are quite pathetic in one sense but I believe the fear they evoke is similar to the Terminator.

They never stop, are totally relentless in the chase for your... brains... This is think saves the old zombies even though I agree, walk fast enough and you should be fine :)

Now the modern day Zombie from the likes of games (Left4Dead) and modern remakes of 'the dead' films show a very different creature. One fast, prone to hive mind behaviour and 'flocking' with that same, Terminator, never ending, soul draining determination.

I guess I also like the humour one can get from a Zombie creation(Zombieland anyone?). You don't tend to get that in Vampires.

Hmm, perhaps a book about riefication gone mad due to a jain type subversion Neal? A whole planet being taken over as one by one more riefs are forced into creation... Maybe not :)

Fader209 said...

Yeah as far as old-school zombies go, lurching and slouching about at a crawl pace...nah not scary at all.

I'm with Hitch, modern day zombies or "infected" are much more terrifying. 28 Days Later and it's sequel show this the best.
Damn scary when they can run that fast.

And vampires...never really been a fan of them in movies apart from the Blade trilogy but then they are more comic action than horror.

Fright Night scared the absolute hell out of me when I was little :(

Fader209 said...

Oh and the first From Dusk Till Dawn is freaking amazing. Can't believe I forgot that when I'm a Rodriguez fan.

Which then reminds me to recommend Planet Terror for awesome action and laughs!

Hitch said...

Hmmm, TY Fader, Dusk till Dawn is indeed awesome, I forgot about that one!

That has the humour too, one of a very limited few.

ILTYT_Adventure said...

Hitch has it. It's the relentless thing and the numbers, you get bit your buggered, you get bit you go and hide yourself away, you're still buggered. How many people would if they were bitten find a tall building and chuck themselves off, or shoot themselves, or do that thing that destroys the brain. Probably not many, and that is why they spread. George A Romero found a seam of human self preservation instinct and denial of the facts of bite victims that cuts through all arguments about how zombies are slow, lurching whatever. And presented you with the fact, that if you get got, 99% percent of us would probably just try and hide the fact and then succumb.

Conceptually zombies are the worst, mindless, hard to kill singly, harder to kill in groups but only really dangerous in groups, or if you are cornered. Even the smallest nip is enough etc etc.

I've never put my finger on it but they really mess with my head. 28 Days Later zombies didn't, they starve to death eventually, George A Romero's beasties sit on the side of almost supernatural, unexplained whatever.

beak said...

Best vampire movie ever has to be Near Dark..

Lynn said...

I confess, I have sneered at Twilight but I've also read books that other people sneer at and other books that make people say things like, "Really? Why?" I read any books that I think I will enjoy regardless of whether or not they are considered cool, trendy or sophisticated. I lost interest in vampires, werewolves, witches and that sort of thing a long time ago though.

vaudeviewgalor raandisisraisins said...

after rabidly posting my faves, i got to retract on RAPE OF THE VAMPIRE. it's way too esoteric for ya. forget it, i'll get endless grief with that. if you've seen all the good Bunuel movies and then watch RAPE OF THE VAMPIRE all might becomes ouroboros. nor will i recommend BLOOD FREAK which i must have seen a dozen times for the sheer 'i cant believe the death call is a turkey gobble' factor. the most unwatchable vampire movie would have to be the Hershell Gordon Lewis' hard ichor turd A TASTE OF BLOOD. the opening credits were so boffo i sat through the whole film trying to stay awake. suffering. like stakes were being driven into my eyes very slowly.

the 70s movie THIRST was so odd and great i really tried to push this one for a month, but it's super obscure and the vhs loan vanished into some other collection. budget factor was kind of a problem, but the whole upper class vs prole thing was pretty damn good. hope you can get over the character stiffness and made for tv thing. the reviews at the bottom are better than the main rant at the top:

yes to ZOMBIELAND, fun!

Variant13 said...

Near Dark was a great influence on my teens/twenties. Had half the cast of Aliens in it and was the reason I started wearing spurs to nightclubs...! Cool film

vaudeviewgalor raandisisraisins said...

rut roh.

PaladinSB said...

BLADE - very action-oriented, comic book take on the vampire genre, this one wins for me on the stength of Stephen Dorff and Kris Kristofferson's performances (yeah, I know... I can't believe I said that either). Skip the sequels, the the first one rocks.

FROM DUSK TO DAWN - George Clooney and Quentin Tarantino stuck in a Mexican bar full of vampires. How can that not be good for an evening?

JOHN CARPENTER'S VAMPIRES - Typical amount of cheese from John Carpenter on this one, but at least he seems to know it and from beginning to end it's a stylish and fun romp in the world of professional vampire hunters.

Neil, if you want a good series of vampire books, check out David Wellington's vampire series: 13 BULLETS, 99 COFFINS, VAMPIRE ZERO and 23 HOURS. I've read the first three so far and they are an excellent take on the vampire genre. I tried reading his zombie series as well, but it didn't grab me the same way. Wellington got started by self-publishing on his internet blog, and several of his early books are still free to read online: