Night Hunter (1996)

NightHunterCoverI’ve never seen any of the Blade movies. It’s a toss up as to which I’m less interested in – vampires or Wesley Snipes.

These vampires are always swishing their romance novel cover long hair around, resplendent in their European finery and prone to mucking about with goblets and come hither looks any normal woman would laugh off.

There’s also usually talk about vampire families that date back hundreds of years and how powerful they all are. If they’re really so powerful, why are they generally unknown to the world at large and getting killed by vampire hunters who couldn’t possibly have all the resources that these supposedly old, well-connected families have had centuries to build up?

I’m also not buying the concept that these vampires are getting ready to take over the world. If they’ve been around for hundreds of years and haven’t gotten it done yet, I’m not going to lose any sleep over the latest announcement of a plot to enslave humanity. Besides, if I’m still getting football on the weekends, what do I care who’s in charge?

And Wesley Snipes? Well, when your highest profile roll in the last several years is as Inmate #43355-018, what else is there to say?

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Night Hunter though is so feeble in its attempt to tell the tale of vampire hunter Jack Cutter, I found myself apologizing to Wesley, swearing I’d never bad mouth Blade again and wishing I was watching Drop Zone or Money Train!

Cutter has the ability to sense vampires (at least he says he does – there isn’t any explanation beyond that) and comes from a long line of vampire hunters.

He uses a handy-dandy guide book to vampire families that his dad gave him and wastes several bloodsuckers in a restaurant. As it happens, there’s still a few more out there and they’re irked that their friends have been killed by Cutter. The police are also irked and are after Cutter as well.

Even worse for the audience, a nosy reporter has been dispatched to harass Cutter and to be the potential bride for the head vampire. (When this vampire first sees the reporter and has a flashback to a time years ago where he was wearing a powdered wig and she was his bride, I died a little. Okay, I actually died a whole freaking lot!)

I don’t really feel comfortable saying that Don “The Dragon” Wilson was horrible in this since the part required him to do nothing but kick and shoot people and to alternate scowls with vacant stares. I also don’t feel justified criticizing him because he was dressed up like The Crow minus the make up!

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After all, what better way to hunt down vampires during the daytime in the heat of L.A. than dressed all in black complete with boots and trench coat? And if you’re constantly on the move, fighting to the death with the world’s most powerful monsters, shouldn’t you have really long, perfectly styled hair that you have to brush out of your face?

Once Cutter figures out there’s more vampires to hunt down, the movie follows his investigation into their location. His investigation consists of Cutter just showing up where the vampires are, fighting, shooting, and finally snapping either their necks or backs.

It’s a race against time since there’s an eclipse scheduled for later in the week and everyone knows that when there’s an eclipse, vampires can breed! That must explain why one of the vampires is hanging out at a party that Cutter has to crash!

Generally in movies like this, I rest my eyes during the filler scenes between the outbursts of violence I’m paying to vicariously experience. Thanks to director Rick Jacobson’s (Strategic Command)  innovative use of the Parkinson’s Cam though, I had to close my eyes whenever a fight scene broke out!

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What is Parkinson’s Cam? Parkinson’s Cam is where as soon as a fight scene starts, the camera begins to jerk uncontrollably, presumably to simulate how frenetic the action is. What it isn’t simulating is how real it’s making me have seizures! When Parkinson’s Cam was being used in combination with blinking lights, I could actually feel my brain being damaged!

If Parkinson’s Cam wasn’t awesome enough, you also got doses of fast editing, and spinning camera work, particularly when a vampire was running circles around Cutter. If you can manage not to pass out during the action scenes you’ll be rewarded with Cutter slamming a window closed on a vampire’s neck and another guy getting heaved off the roof of a building. We even get to see the dummy land!

All in all, a terrible effort from the stupid prologue showing Cutter as a boy with his parents holed up in an abandoned house where his professional vampire hunter parents are tricked into letting in a traitor, to the lady vampire with the French accent who is always trying to get into catfights with the reporter, to the cop who helps Cutter out by wearing his SWAT hat backwards for no reason and gets himself shot. (Fun Film Fact:  Night Hunter was not allowed to be viewed by Inmate #43355-018 during his prison sentence as it would have violated his Eighth Amendment rights against cruel and unusual punishments.)

© 2014 MonsterHunter

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