So this isn’t really a giallo. But then again, Near Dark really isn’t a gothic horror movie, but it does a damn good job of updating that genre too. That’s due to Kathryn Bigelow, the only woman to ever win a Best Director Academy Award.
From Point Break to Strange Days and the film that won her that honor, The Hurt Locker, she’s able to take the conventions of film, remix them and come up with her own unique take. She also doesn’t shy from the ballet of violence, either.
Back when Vestron Pictures tried to go legit, this movie was almost released under their auspices. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer got the rights and the film died in theaters.
Interestingly enough, Roger Ebert saw this movie as a sequel of sorts to Halloween, while remaking that it was more interesting than just another replaying of the Michael Myers formula because “the filmmakers have fleshed out the formula with intriguing characters and a few angry ideas.”
Ron Silver, one of cinema’s greatest assholes, plays Eugene Hunt, a mystery man who falls for rookie cop Megan Turner (Curtis) the moment she blows gigantic bloody holes into a young Tom Sizemore. He takes the criminal’s gun away, which in effect makes Turner a criminal instead of a cop, shooting an unarmed man with such deadly force over and over again.
Turner finds herself torn between Hunt and the man investigating her, Detective Nick Mann (Clancy Brown, the Kurgan in Highlander). It’s an intriguing idea, as nearly every male relationship in her life is abusive, from her father to even the way that Mann speaks to her upon their first meeting. She’s trying to achieve in a male-dominated field as well and the only positive relationship — with her friend Tracy (Elizabeth Pena) — is also brutally torn away.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that Louise Fletcher plays her mother. And also doubly guilty if I didn’t remark that she is also in Exorcist II: The Heretic. But I digress.
The end of this film plays nearly as a parody of action movie cliches. There are no people in Times Square, usually the most crowded of spaces and each character has too many bullets in their guns. That said, we’ve come too far, Turner has given up too much and Hunt must pay in blood. So much blood.