This Day in Horror History: NEAR DARK Opened in 1987

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On this day in horror history, director Kathryn Bigelow’s vampire neo-western masterpiece Near Dark with Bill Paxton, Jenny Wright, Adrian Pasdar, Jenette Goldstein, and Lance Henriksen was unleashed into theaters back on in 1987.

Johnny Depp (A Nightmare on Elm Street) auditioned for the role of Caleb and Michael Biehn (The Terminator) was offered the role of Jesse but turned it down.

Produced for $5M, Near Dark was released in 262 theaters, grossing $635,789 opening weekend on its way to a domestic total of $3.4M.

The film marked Kathryn Bigelow’s first solo directorial effort. The producer told her that if she didn’t know what she was doing after 5 days of filming, he would replace her. She kept the job and went on to direct such classics as Blue Steel, Point Break, Strange Days, The Hurt Locker, and Zero Dark Thirty.

Written by Bigelow and Eric Red (The Hitcher), the film tells the tale of a cowboy who meets a gorgeous girl at a bar. But when she turns out to be a vampire and bites him, he is forced to leave his family and ride with a gang of vampires.

The film sports an 88% approval rating over on Rotten Tomatoes with a Critics Consensus that reads: Near Dark is at once a creepy vampire film, a thrilling western, and a poignant family tale, with humor and scares in abundance.

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