Wednesday, October 24, 2007


I have just returned from the movies, where I witnessed the spectacle called "30 Days of Night." It's based on the graphic novel by Steve Niles and Ben Templesmith, in which a bunch of vampires prey on the tiny town of Barrow, Alaska, as it is so far north in the Arctic circle, that the sun never rises for a whole thirty days. I'm not sure how much of this is based in actual astrological fact, but hey, that's the idea, so here we go.

It's sort of a bad movie, and also good one. The dialougue is all exposition and plot movement, which sounds necessary, but if done badly is, well bad. And I'm more a fan of the vampires in Coppolla's "Bram Stoker's Dracula," and especially Elizabeth Kostova's "The Historian"--who are rooted in generations of intelligentsia and fabulous costumes--than I am these new-fangled vampires, who seem to have no class, no sense of the theatrical outside of slow walking. 30 Days' vampires look like a bunch of overly-dramatic goth kids who haven't taken a shower in a while. Or is that redundant?

What's good about it is that it delivers on various fronts. Explosions, blood and gore, hideous vampiric yelps screetching from the maws of the undead. That sort of thing. The trouble for me, however, is that in such formulaic pictures, I already know (basically) whose fate will be what, and I often just want to skip ahead and see how it ends. Like, get to the fighting back part already. But, really, I bought the ticket. I knew what I was in for.

Perhaps the most exciting thing about the movie is that the head vampire looks just like my friend Tom. If Tom were totally cracked-out and had horrible vampire teeth, etc. Maybe he'll tear my throat out for saying that, but I think he could have played it much better. More camp, less heaviness.

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