Last night my movie buddy QUINN and I did a double-feature of ‘PSYCHOMANIA’ (1973) and ‘NEAR DARK’ (1987). The theme, summed up THUSLY: Immortal anarchist-psychopaths roam the earth and terrorize the living because what the hell else are you going to do for all eternity??
‘PSYCHOMANIA’ isn’t great . . . but it also rules a lot. It’s like a no-budget B movie about a violent motorcycle gang who all commit suicide so they can come back from the dead and not fear pain and death anymore. Now invulnerable to gunfire and stabbings and otherwise fatal motorcycle accidents, they are free to indiscriminately kill people and piss off the local police force. I have written about the intro several times on this godforsaken website because, let’s face it, it is mind-bendingly good. Insane motorcycle gang in skull helmets and black leather circling a miniature stongehenge at dusk . . . come onnnnnnn, man. That’s the good stuff right there. That’s the stuff I like a whole lot. Man and also there are some scenes where the gang leader unlocks a sealed room in his mother’s house where his father had died 18 years earlier, and the door disappears once he’s inside, and in a mirror on the wall he sees visions of himself as a baby in the miniature stonehenge, and a huge frog appears and it may or may not be Satan. . . . Dude. Come on.
‘NEAR DARK’ is Kathryn Bigelow’s vampire movie that never uses the word “vampire”. That rules. Basically: Some square-jawed cornfed horse-wrangling hunko with tweezed eyebrows approaches a blue-eyed CUTIE eating an ICE CREAM CONE outside a bar and offers to give her a ride home in . . . uh, kind of a creepy way, which is the most charitable way of describing their interaction. She’s all weird and shit, and definitely has a weird-ass secret which will soon be revealed to us, the captive audience. These two midnight lovebirds hang out with Hunko’s white horse (the pale horse of Death??), who is frightened of the girl because horses hate vampires (whoops) . . . and as DAWN approaches, Blue-eyed Cutie starts freaking out and asks Hunko to hurry the hell up and drive her back to her people. He, uh, coerces her into making out with him, she bites his neck kinda by accident, and soon he’s coming down hard with THE SICKNESS. Who the hell else is this poor sucker gonna get along with, if not a pseudo-family of psychopathic feel-nothing vampires who have been doing this shit for way too long . . . who have been satiating their nihilistic instincts for hundreds of years? Man, and one of them is a leather-clad punk cowboy who also happens to be Bill Paxton, who is my spirit brother. (Rest in peace, baby.) There’s a lot of blood, some searing flesh, some smoking flesh, some honky-tonk bar gore, and more than a few hot scenes of vampire kissin that had me reaching for a pillow to put over my lap more than once (sorry Quinn~). This movie is very good and cool. Yeah. Kathryn Bigelow would go on to direct ‘POINT BREAK’ (1991), so hell, I guess we can just go ahead and declare her a genius.
What did I learn? I learned that death is necessary, and that only an absolute psycho would want to live forever.
Blue-eyed Cutie says to Hunko: “The light that’s leaving that star right now will take a billion years to get down here. You want to know why you’ve never met a girl like me before?”
Hunko says: “Yeah, why?”
Blue-eyed Cutie says: “Because I’ll still be here when the light from that star gets down here to earth in a billion years.”
Thanks for reading!