John Carpenter's Vampires Movie Poster

Trivia for John Carpenter's Vampires

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  • The symbol on the necklace that Daniel Baldwin wears in the movie is the Nordic rune meaning "Protector".
  • Just before production began the studio cut the budget by 2/3, and the filmmakers had to furiously rework the story to fit. According to John Steakley, who wrote the novel, the finished film contained much of his dialogue and none of his plot.
  • Alec Baldwin had briefly accepted the role of Montoya before declining it early into pre-production and passing it onto his brother, Daniel. John Carpenter had not seen any of Daniel Baldwin's work and had the actor read for him.
  • Katrina has a snake tattoo on her back. Snake Plissken had a similar tattoo on his chest, the character from John Carpenter's Escape from New York (1981) and Escape from L.A. (1996).
  • There are many similarities with this and another vampire film made the same year, Blade (1998). Both are about a vampire killer, and they both have a similar plot of vampires trying to complete an arcane ritual that would allow them to move about in daylight. They also both feature a female character slowly turning into a vampire throughout. In addition, Tim Guinee appears in both films.
  • There are also similarities to the TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1996). They use similar terms like slayers and a Master vampire.
  • The film that convinced John Carpenter to stay in directing. Feeling burnt out after a string of critical and financial failures, John Carpenter had lost his love for filmmaking and was heavily considering going into retirement following the failure of Escape From L.A. because in his words "it stopped being fun". However, when Carpenter was offered the job for Vampires, he was intrigued by the promise of making a horror-western hybrid, something he had wanted to since the 70's. He made a deal with himself: make one more movie, and if it still isn't fun, retire. Carpenter would later go on to heavily enjoy his time on directing Vampires.
  • John Carpenter had a good working relationship with James Woods on set. Apparently Woods has a reputation for being difficult to work with, but Carpenter got along with him just fine. They had a deal: Carpenter could film one scene as it was written; the other Woods could improvise. Carpenter found to his delight that many of Woods' suggestions were brilliant.
  • This was John Carpenter's last feature film of the 20th century.
  • Despite being a horror movie, John Carpenter stated on the audio commentary that he did this movie because it closely resembled a western to him.
  • When Largo Entertainment approached John Carpenter with this project, they gave him two scripts, one by Don Jakoby and another by Dan Mazur. Carpenter read the scripts and the novel and saw a potential in the movie that he had been interested in, which was to do a western disguised as a horror film. So Carpenter and friend Larry Sulkis worked together to create a new screenplay, taking elements from both Jakoby's and Mazur's scripts, the novel, and some of their own ideas. Jakoby, for whatever reason, received sole writing credit.
  • For this film, John Carpenter wanted to stay away from the stereotype of gothic vampires and wanted to make his vampires "savages" and not be "brooding loneliness in their existence. They're too busy ripping and tearing humans apart."
  • John Carpenter cast James Woods because he wanted his character Jack Crow "to be as savage as the prey he's going after." Woods himself took interest in the project because it was something different for him.
  • Producer and John Carpenter's wife Sandy King cast Thomas Ian Griffith as Valek because they both wanted "someone who looks formidable, but is also alluring. There always has to be something alluring about the evil nature of the vampire."
  • The only film in the 90's that was financially successful for John Carpenter.
  • According to STARLOG magazine, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa was unhappy with his role in the film. He tried speaking to John Carpenter several times about his character's back story and motivation, but Carpenter rebuffed him. This left Tagawa feeling like he was little more than a glorified stuntman.
  • When the film was first set up in the early 1990s, with Russell Mulcahy at the helm, both Willem Dafoe and Dolph Lundgren was being eyed for the lead.
  • John Carpenter cast Sheryl Lee after seeing her on Twin Peaks (1990).
  • According to John Carpenter, Gary B. Kibbe was shortlisted for the Best Cinematography at the 71st Academy Awards.
  • According to John Steakley, the film contained much of his dialogue and none of his plot.
  • The MPAA took issue with the film's over-the-top violence, threatening to give it an NC-17 rating unless some of the gore was cut. Sandy King said, "We satisfied the ratings board by just cutting short of a few things that went into really gruesome stuff."
  • James Woods was interested in doing the film because it was something different for him.
  • Jack Crow's handgun is a Jericho 941 R.
  • Anthony Montoya's revolver is Smith & Wesson Model 629 "Classic Hunter".
  • The shotgun Father Adam Guiteau finds and uses at the end is a J.C. Higgins Model 21 Deluxe.
  • John Carpenter did a uncredited rewrite on the script.
  • Tim Guinee (Father Adam Guiteau) starred in another vampire movie the same year Blade (1998).
  • (Cameo) Frank Darabont: Man With Buick.
  • Katrina (Sheryl Lee) was chosen by as one of the "Top 50 sexiest vampires" [2008].
  • Jack Crow is also the name of a character in the book Armor.
  • Back when Russell Mulcahy was attached to direct, one possible idea was that the film would take place in a distant future, where a decent amount of the human population has been turned into vampires, and vampire hunters are as abundant as police officers. The vampire hunters would've used futuristic high-tech gadgets and equipment to hunt down the vampires, who were plotting to take over the world by transforming the Pope into one of them. Dolph Lundgren was slated to play protagonist Jack Crow while Willem Dafoe was being eyed to play the vampire antagonist Valek.
  • James Woods accepted the lead role because he had never played an action hero before.
  • Gene Siskel enjoyed the film and James Woods in such a radical departure from his usual fare so much, he suggested that Woods be nominated for an Oscar for his performance in this film.
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