Friday, March 25, 2011

The Night Flier

**(out of 4 stars)

I'm really starting to despise Hollywood's latest versions of vampires. Where the fuck did all the cool vampires go anyway? Does anyone remember vampires that actually scared the living shit out of you? I do. How about Max Schreck's "Count Orlok", in the infamous 1922 classic, Nosferatu? Or maybe one of my personal favorites, Radu the Vampire, from Subspecies. Yeah... those were vampires.

It seems that if you want to watch a good vampire flick you've got to dig around a little. Although I won't say there hasn't been any good vampire flicks made recently, I'll simply state that most of the vampire movies are disposable. You can take them or leave them. Choice is yours.

But I recently revisited a film that I saw some years ago. Now, I'm not saying that this film is the greatest of all vampire flicks, because... it's not. I'm just saying that at least with this one your getting your money's worth. If - of course- you share my same tastes in vampires. That is saying that vampires don't twinkle in the sunlight or climb trees like spider man. They hide in the dark, they ravage victims, they are nasty, rat-like creatures with a hunger for blood.

The Night Flier is based on a Stephen King short story with the same name.

A mysterious black plane, a Cessna Skymaster 337, is landing at quiet, isolated airports during the night killing vicims with vampire-like fashion. The throats of victims are literally being ripped out. There are no strong leads and very few witnesses.

Eventually, Richard Dees [Miguel Ferrer] a selfish and miserable reporter for the local tabloid, Inside view, is ask to follow the story. Richard follows some leads and interviews local witnesses and eventually embarks on a personal mission to find out the true identity of the Night Flier. The only thing we know about the Night Flier is his name: Dwight Reinfield.

Meanwhile, Katherine "Jimmy" Blair, a new and hungry reporter is also put on the story. Katherine and Richard but heads throughout most of the film. It appears that Richard isn't following the same advise he gave to Katherine. He tells her not to believe everything she publishes and not to publish what she believes. Richard becomes obsessed with the story and eventually all his questions are answered. In, what I might add, is a pretty good ending.

This film has good pacing. It tells a good story and doesn't drag on at any point. The plot is simple: it's a cat and mouse chase. The acting, by Miguel Ferrer is very well done. I feel this certain type of role was meant to be played by Miguel. You can almost tell that this role was natural to him and he is very convincing.

I feel the character of Jimmy played by Julie Entwisle is a little over acted in certain spots. In fact, most of them. She looks unnatural and seems to be fresh out of acting school. One certain scene takes place in a bar where Richard is giving her advise on the new job she is taking on. She seems to be jumping in spots; almost over emotional as if she doesn't quite know how to naturally react to her situation. Overall her acting really doesn't take anything away from the film, but if you're watching for it you'll see it.

The special effects are stellar - and practical - no bullshit CGI. Instead of two little vampire bites in the neck, we get the whole effect of a throat that has been ripped out. Down right violent and visceral! And with the vampire, Dwight Reinfeld, you don't get that pretty, sparkling, sexual beast hiding in the dark. You get a horrid vision of what this vampire really is; revolting and perverse.

All in all this was one hell of a vampire movie. Again, not the best, but at least it's a glimpse of what a true vampire is. The Night Flier is a movie for any fan of the vampire. If you're sick and tired of being sick and tired of the romantic kind of vampire movie then give this one a chance. Yeah, have your girlfriend come over so you both can neck while watching the Night Flier! Get it? I know, I know, shit joke but I tried.

Starring: Miguel Ferrer, Julie Entwisle, Dan Monahan and Michael H. Moss
Directed by: Mark Pavia
Run time: 93 min

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