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Plot, Details & Awards

Sundown

(1990)
104min.
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Plot & Details

Director Anthony Hickox (Waxwork) crafted this entertaining bit of horror-western fusion about the vampiric residents of a remote, dusty desert town who have chosen to derive their sustenance from a plasma-manufacturing plant in an attempt to put aside their monstrous nature and peacefully co-exist with humans. When the plant begins malfunctioning, the town's leaders summon the designer, David Harrison (Jim Metzler), to look into the problem. Soon after Harrison and his wife Sarah (Morgan Brittany) arrive, however, they find themselves in the thick of an escalating rivalry between two vampire factions -- one led by peaceful Count Mardulak (David Carradine), who ordered the blood plant as part of his plan to integrate the dying vampire race into human society; and the old-school bloodsuckers, under the sinister Jefferson (John Ireland), who consider Mardulak and his followers traitors to their predatory heritage. While the Harrisons' fates hang in the balance, the scales are jostled further by the arrival of a man named Van Helsing (Evil Dead star Bruce Campbell, in a surprisingly low-key performance), descendant of the legendary vampire hunter, whose disorganized efforts at wiping out town's undead populace are impeded by his growing attraction to a pretty young vampire (Deborah Foreman). With tongue firmly in cheek, this semi-parody plays off audiences' familiarity with the conventions of the vampire genre, but it seldom sacrifices creepiness and suspense when needed. It marked a creative step forward for Hickox (who would later stumble with Hellraiser III), who clearly tailors his projects to seasoned horror buffs.

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