Written and directed by Lawrence Pearce, Night Junkies fashions itself a kind of
modern day hybrid cross between Dark
Shadows and a Jack the Ripper tale. Set against the squalid backdrop of
seedy nightclubs, the movie tells the story of a reluctant vampire who falls
for an exotic dancer and tries to help extricate her from her bad situation.
Ruby Stone (Katia Winter) does the bump-and-grind show at a
dingy club operated by her ruthless pimp/boss, Max (Jonathan Coyne, a budget
Bob Hoskins) and his snarling second-in-command, Matt (René Zagger, a budget
Michael Wincott). She’s being none-too-subtly pressured into giving away more
than closed-door lapdances when she meets up with Vincent Monroe (Giles
Alderson), a brooding addict whom she randomly pretends is her boyfriend to
help her out of a jam. They end up making love… and then he “accidentally”
Vincent isn’t a regular junkie, you see, he’s a vampire.
There’s no pointy teeth, or anything like that, though, and garlic and holy
water hold no special sway. Vincent merely has to feed on blood, daily. Once he explains
(and profusely apologizes), the newly “turned” Ruby is a little more understanding of Vincent. She
genuinely likes him, and besides, he affords her a protection against whoever
has been murdering prostitutes in gruesome fashion. Paying a visit to Max,
Vincent tries to negotiate Ruby’s freedom, but then ends up going on his own
rampage. When Matt (who has his own thing for Ruby) sets out to settle the
score, things get even bloodier.
a bit of a drip, actually — kind of like an English version of Bryan Greenberg.
But neophyte Pearce’s writing is actually above average, especially for a genre
picture of this ilk. There’s some frank, dirty sex talk, but he also has a
tendency to trend toward verbosity, though that’s not necessarily an unwelcome
quality. If the literate, comparative narration and
glowering emoting kind of cancel each other out, the direction unfortunately drags
the picture down a notch or two. There are a few moody set pieces, but the
movie is unfavorably weighted toward grainy close-ups and dirty two-shots, and its affected
action-horror cutaways come across as more grating than thrilling.
Night Junkies is
housed in a regular Amray case, and is presented in 2.35:1 anamorphic
widescreen. Its audio is presented in an English language Dolby digital 5.1
track, which seems mixed far too low, especially in terms of its dialogue.
Subtitles in English and Spanish help mitigate this to a degree; having tired
of pumping up the volume to catch personal exchanges, only to get blasted a few
minutes later with some bit of score or yelled expletive, I threw on the
optional captioning just to keep up with the story. There are unfortunately no
supplemental bonus features, save a quartet of trailers for other genre DVD
releases. C (Movie) D (Disc)