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NEAR DARK (1987) – Episode 186 – Decades of Horror 1980s

“I hate ’em when they ain’t been shaved.”  Take that however you want. Join your faithful Grue-Crew – Crystal Cleveland, Chad Hunt, Bill Mulligan, and Jeff Mohr –  as they check out Oscar-winning director Kathryn Bigelow’s Near Dark (1987), a western-tinged vampire film starring Bill Paxton and Lance Henriksen.

Decades of Horror 1980s
Episode 186 – Near Dark (1987)

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A small-town farmer’s son reluctantly joins a traveling group of vampires after he is bitten by a beautiful drifter.


Near Dark is Chad’s pick and he loves the dirty, gritty, and nasty version of vampires depicted in this modernized western, calling it one of his favorite vampire movies. Tangerine Dream’s soundtrack is also a big plus in Chad’s book. Crystal loves a good vampire movie and ranks Near Dark alongside Fright Night (1985) and The Lost Boys (1987). For her, Bill Paxton’s performance is a big part of what makes this movie so good and, of course, Adrian Pasdar’s presence in the cast doesn’t hurt either. Bill loves how Near Dark nails the kind of miserable, addictive, grimy existence vampires would have instead of glorifying them. He also thinks the film is perfectly cast, especially the Aliens (1986) alumni. Jeff also loves Bill Paxton’s performance and points out this is the last film produced by DEG before it went bankrupt, severely hampering the film’s marketing.

The 80s Grue-Crew also recommends the first Decades of Horror 1980s podcast on Near Dark, recorded live from DragonCon 2017 and featuring Thomas Mariani, Christopher G. Moore, Doc Rotten, Bill Mulligan, and special guest C. Robert Cargill. You can check it out at Decades of Horror 1980s Episode 116.

If you haven’t seen it for a while or maybe if it just slipped through the cracks for you, Near Dark is currently streaming on Shudder. Check it out! 

Every two weeks, Gruesome Magazine’s Decades of Horror 1980s podcast will cover another horror film from the 1980s. The next episode’s film, chosen by Jeff, will be Children of the Corn (1984). You won’t want to miss that one!

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Jeff Mohr
Jeff lives smack dab in the middle of the cornfields of Iowa and is a long-time horror fan. His first remembered encounters with the genre were The Wizard of Oz, Tarzan gorilla chases, and watching the first broadcast of The Twilight Zone episode, "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge." While he now qualifies as an old fart, he strives to be an Old Boy. Paraphrasing Robert Bloch, he has the heart of a small boy. He keeps it in a jar on his desk. Jeff has written for and SQ Horror Magazine. He currently writes for Gruesome Magazine and is a co-host of the Decades of Horror podcasts - The Classic Era, 1970s, and 1980s - and the Gruesome Magazine Podcast.