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Near Dark, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Once Bitten, Blacula, Love at First Bite, and Jesus Christ: Vampire Hunter (review)

Of course, most respected anthropologists and biologists recognize that the New World Vampire, or *vampirus americanus*, differs greatly from the European species, or *vampirus continentalus*, but few films have recognized that the wide-open spaces of the U.S. produce a vastly altered creature than Europe’s dense urban spaces or intimate, if remote, medieval villages. But years before John Carpenter and the team of Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez documented the vampires that dwell in the lonely stretches of the Americas, the criminally underappreciated ethnographer Kathryn Bigelow did it — spookily, grimly, hilariously, gloriously — with 1987’s *Near Dark,* in which a coven of nasty bloodsuckers roam the deserted American Southwest.

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