I still have not learned my lesson when it comes to Don “The Dragon” Wilson movies, apparently, because tonight’s Friday Fangs movie has him fighting vampires in the 1996 action horror Night Hunter. Hell, Night Hunter isn’t even the first Wilson movie I watched this week, the other being Terminal Rush, but at least for that one I have the excuse that Rowdy Roddy Piper is in it. Night Hunter I watched just for the blog content. I found Night Hunter on VHS in a box behind my couch this afternoon, and I was going to blame my movie hoarding husband, but he says we actually have two copies of this sucker. So that probably means I’m the one responsible, since I tend to go into a frenzy when I start grabbing cheap VHS off the shelf at the secondhand store. Just yesterday I accidentally bought two copies of the same Michael Dudikoff movie. So I have no one to blame for owning Night Hunter but myself, but let’s go ahead and blame “The Dragon” as well, since he was one of the producers on this crap.
The film begins with a flashback, like all good ones do. In 1968 Jack Cutter was a mere child living in the middle of nowhere with his parents, who are vampire hunters. Night is coming, and so are the vampires. Mom and Dad ask their little partner to hide in the cabinet and hold onto an old book they own. The book is essentially a vampire yellow pages directory, with a list of all the vampire families on earth. Cutter had two things to do in this opening sequence: stay in the cabinet, and hold onto the vampire phone book. But just to prove that he can fuck things up, he does neither of those things, although Dad does manage to get the book back and send it out of the house, along with a gun, in the hands of his feeble son. His father’s last words to him: “Never Trust Anyone.” As the child escapes through a window only to stand awkwardly behind a mound of dirt in the front yard, the vicious vampires don’t even bother to go after him….
And suddenly, it’s the 90s! The same vampires who killed Cutter’s parents are having dinner in a human restaurant, the kind where someone walks around with a Polaroid camera selling pictures. So when Cutter comes in and shoots them all, the photographer manages to get his picture for the cops. I know what you’re thinking: you can’t kill a vampire with a gun! Hold on. In the universe where Night Hunter exists, you can slow them down with a shotgun blast, and then kill them by breaking their necks or backs. Of course, when the cops get there, they’re confused too, because there’s blood everywhere, but the gunshot wounds all appear to be about a month old because vampires heal so fast. Regardless, they have the picture, and the “people” are dead. So now the cops and the king of the world of the vampires, Christopher Guest’s better looking but less talented brother Nicholas, are after Cutter’s ass. Can Cutter kill all the vampires and avoid all the cops with the help of a beautiful tabloid reporter? I don’t know, because I fell asleep halfway through the movie!
I get tired of having to explain the B movie handicap, because if you’re reading an article that was published on a less-than-popular niche blog, written about a Don “The Dragon” Wilson movie, you know that there are these movies in the world that are cheap but have otherworldly qualities that make them more entertaining than ten Arnie movies kicking the asses of ten Steven Segal movies in a roadhouse in Bulgaria. Except that Night Hunter isn’t entertaining, it’s just cheap.
Night Hunter did have potential. It just fucked it up as badly as that kid fucked up hiding in a cabinet holding a book. The Dragon’s no actor, but damn, that sonofabitch can fight. So let’s have him do as little of that as possible. The idea of having the cops find a bunch of bodies with blood all over them and mysterious healed up woulds could have been intriguing as hell, if not for the fact that the movie was already weighed down by the stupid prologue. These vampires use their fangs mostly for chewing the scenery, and alas, poor viewer, they do that well. We didn’t need the dumb Vlad the Impaler as Gary Oldman as Nicholas Guest reincarnation subplot. Also, this was produced by Roger Corman’s New Horizons company. If anyone can make trash interesting, it’s that man. Unfortunately, Night Hunter fails on all counts other than that there are some good looking actresses. I would say that you should never trust Don “The Dragon” Wilson, but Bloodfist is awesome. So although I’m on a quest to see every horror movie of the 90s, starting with the vampire movies, I’ll probably watch Bloodfist and even Bloodfist 2 several more times before I ever finish this piece of hemoglobin.