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November 03, 1998 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1998-11-03

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a t e 'seal' finale 1odikj att Urr w in Daily Arts:
Check out the final show of "Real World: Seattle." Don't miss the U Come back to Daily Arts on Wednesday for reviews of the
tearful goodbyes of the cast, which includes one of the Wednesday night pity party of "Beverly Hills 90210" and
University's own, LSA senior Lindsay Brien. The show starts at "Party of Five."
10 p.m. on MTV.
A RTS Tuesday
November 3, 1998
Tampires' does nothing but suck

By Ed Sholinsky
Daily Arts Writer
Since the release of"Scream,"the hor-
or genre has recded from hard edged,
tore movies to teen slasher flicks. "John
Ca nter's Vampires" seemed as if it
be a welcome return of an old
master to the genre that made him a leg-
"Vampires," however, is bogged down
by problems early on and never recovers.
Sandwiched between two intense action
cenes is a piece of drivel that takes itself
ntirely too seriously and is built on diffi-
ult thematic material.
What should have been a grisly, kick-
s ampire Western ends up being taken
st. ly by the writer, director and cast.
nstead of having fun with the naterial,
eads James Woods (Jack Crow), Daniel
Baldwin (Montoya), Sheryl Lee
Katrina), Tim Guinee (Father Adam
Guiteau) and Thomas Ian Griffith
Valek) play their parts as if "Vampires"
s high art.
"Vampires" is the story of a Vatican-
ponsored group of vampire hunters,who
et ambushed by vampire Valek after
h destroy his nest. While celebrating
M booze and hookers, Valek attacks
ack Crow and his team of vampire
unters, leaving only Crow and Montoya
live. In addition to that, Valek bites

Jack's hooker, Katrina, leaving her as a
pre-vampire. Jack decides to take her
along as they hunt for Valek because
Valek has a psychic link with all of his
victims. In his own words, Jack uses
Katrina asa "surveillance camera."
While this material is ripe for a great
horror movie, it
should never be
presented as
John "Vampires"'s
Carpenter's subtext is even
Vampires more problematic.
* The movie comes
At SBiarwood across as anti-
and Showcase AIDS patient,
anti-Catholic and
misogynistic. The
characters consid-
er vampirism a
"virus" that infects
through the erotic
act of the vam-
pires' bite. Like AIDS, the virus is slow
acting, but present in the blood before the
person shows signs of being infected.
And like society, "Vampires" make a
point of connecting the virus with homo-
sexuality. Jack constantly connects vam-
pirism and the vampires themselves with
homosexuality, accusing them of being
gay every opportunity he gets. And of

course, the only way to rid the world of
the virus is to destroy everyone who car-
ries it, because the vampires spread it to
the rest of the "normal" people - the
Further, the film blames the Catholic
church for the creation of vampires. -It
seems that Valek was a priest who reject-
ed the church and was considered pos-
sessed. To rectify the situation, a group of
priests performed an exorcism, which
ended up being an "inverse exorcism,"
creating a person whose body is dead but
whose evil soul is still alive - the vam-
pire. Even though Jack and his team work
for the Vatican, Jack is not above dis-
obeying the Church and torturing priests
to get information.
In addition to harboring aggression
against AIDS victims and Catholics,
"Vampires" promotes violence against
women. Not only is every woman in the
film a prostitute, but the main female
character, Katrina, becomes a victim of
vampirism. After taking her as a
hostage/psychic link to Valek, Jack and
Montoya are not above tying up Katrina
and beating her when they deem it appro-
For all its problems, which are plenti-
ful, "Vampires" has two tremendous
vampire slaying scenes that bookend the
movie. Showing the skill he has devel-

oped since "Halloween," Carpenter mas-
terfully handles the suspense and action,
creating a tension that is palpable.
Unfortunately, Carpenter doesn't work as
well with the rest of the scenes. Even a
horror movie can't rest solely on its bru-
tal action sequences. Instead, it needs to
have a certain excitement running
throughout. "Vampires" lacks this.
Most of the tension is supposed to
revolve around Valek's search for the cru-
cifix used during his exorcism, so he can
use it to walk in the light. Coupled with
Jack, Montoya and Guiteau's frantic
attempt to keep Valek from succeeding,
"Vampires" comes across as a complete
bore. For the 20 minutes of excitement
from the first and last action sequences,
yog still have to sit through more than an
hour of this filth.
In the two biggest roles, Woods and
Baldwin do nothing to help his movie.
The multiple Oscar-nominated Woods
hams up his role, coming on way too
strong as he tries to spice up his role.
Baldwin proves he can do more than
trash a New York hotel room while high
on crack, he can also wreck vampires and
a movie. Throughout the movie Baldwin
is so dead Woods should've kept check-
ing for a pulse. Lee - immortally Laura
Palmer - has no business being in
"Vampires." A talented actress who has

Courtesy at Columbia Pictures
Sheryl Lee plays a prostitute bitten by a vampire, In "John Carpenter's Vampires."

been building up indie credibility over
the past several years, Lee is a disaster as
Katrina. Another atrocity is Thomas Ian
Griffith's role. As a vampire, Griffith
makes a good statue. Instead of bringing
any sexuality and etherealness to the part
of Valek, Griffith bares his fangs a lot.
By the end of "Vampires," it's very

obvious Carpenter has failed in both gen-
res he attempted to work within.
"Vampires" is neither as cool as "From
Dusk 'til Dawn;' nor as gritty as "The
Wild Bunch" nor as elegant as "Dracula?"
What we're left with is one great big
mess that only die-hard horror and
Carpenter fans will love.

Colas novel checks, and
rechecks, obsessive disorder

Drive 5' passes the racing test

Just Checking
Emily Colas
Pocket Books
At some point everyone gets paranoid. This usually
feels ridiculous and comes in the form of checking to
see if the stove is on or the door is locked. But most peo-
ple are not constantly checking everything for blood in
fear of getting a disease. Most people do not lock the
door or turn off the stove more than once. Emily Colas
however, had no problem with constantly examining
people's hands for cuts and making sure all packages
were tightly sealed. In her book, "Just Checking:
Scenes from the Life of an Obsessive-Compulsive," she
chronicles her experiences with Obsessive-Compulsive
Disorder, or OCD, in a humorous, yet somewhat dis-
turbing, way.
Colas' life revolves around the
types of unnecessary worries that
most people can talk themselves
out of without too much trou-
ble. The book is a collection of
witty short stories from her life,
mainly about living with OCD. One
of the enjoyable aspects of the book is
that now, after taking medication that
drastically improved her condition, she
can appreciate how other people must have
been responding to her extreme paranoia.
The book traces the disorder throughout her life,
starting with her childhood. Colas shows how the disor-
der is inherited with a story about her mother turning
off a light switch and continuing to flick the already off
switch in numbers of four until it "felt right." This
obsession with numbers continues in Colas' life in the
form of stars. She starts out the book by explaining that
when she is having a conversation with someone she
does not listen to what they say, instead she draws stars
in her head and for every word that they say. Her con-
versations must end on a multiple of five.
The disorder becomes severe during her marriage and

while she is raising her children. There are many amus-
ing stories concerning her relationship with here hus-
band who eventually becomes her only link to the out-
side world. Due to her extreme fear of diseases and con-
tamination, Colas rarely goes out in public or allows
people into her home.
Colas' relationship with her spouse started out as
quite social, but still bizarre. When she and her husband
first started dating, she would trick him into tasting
everything she ate. She had a striking fear of someone
spiking her food with LSD, so she tricked her husband
into being the tester. But even when she confesses her
fear, he still indulges her and helps comfort her in many
other ways such as checking for blood everywhere and
making sure everything is sealed properly. Colas also
has a ridiculous ritual of taking out the trash that
involves her husband throwing away the clothes
he is wearing while handling the garbage and
removing all of his soiled clothing on the
front porch.'
Colas' paranoia about food is so
intense that she does not eat anything
that is not pre-packaged and sealed.
Everything has to go through her
tests to see if any tampering has
occurred. If she buys 10 toothbrush-
es, only a select few will pass her
tests of sanitation. The rest would be
thrown out. Such extreme examples
run throughout the book and add to the
dark humor. In addition, they give the reader a sense of
Overall, the book is well written and darkly funny.
There are a few places where Colas feels the need to
write poems about OCD that do not really work well
with the rest of the book and serve to disrupt the flow.
"Just Checking" is a series of somewhat interconnected
events that, by most people's standards, do not make any
sense. Although it is an unsettling read, perhaps even
more so for those who suffer from OCD, most people
should find it amusing and even mildly familiar.
--Caitlin Hall

rest Drive: 5
aQny Playstation
Wing games must be both realistic
nd fun, a description that is hard to
chieve. So far, there's been the great
Gran Turismo," arguably the best rae-
ag game yet. "Test Drive: 4" was
nown as the best racing game of
994, so "Test Drive: 5" might just be
be one that retires "Turismo."
"Test Drive: 5" features cool graph-
s, excellent controls and good game-
laghe graphics are very crisp with
ifferent lighting, rain that splatters on
windows and impressive car crashes.
he very precise control leaves little
oom for error as the player races on
cenic routes of many different coun-
:ies around the world. Police can pull

The game's little differences, such
as the two-player mode that has the
option to include other computer cars
in the race, also make it superior to
others on the market. Another nice
detail is the fact that the computer cars
can screw up.The computer cars seem
to possess a mind of his own as they
push other cars and traffic out of their
way. The other cars on the road make
for great car crashes when a player or
an opponent is cruising at more than
150 mph and makes a small driving
But all this is not enough if
Accolade wants to be better than the
best in racing games. That's where the
extra features of this game come in
handy, such as play modes that include
tons of championships and races. The

secreis in the game also make it worth-
while. There is an interesting chase
mode where the player serves as the
cop and must bust reckless drivers,
allowing for the experience of what it's
like to be on the other side of the law.
The best features in this game are
the new and recent cars it includes: the
'98 Corvette, '98 Saleen Mustang
S351 and the Dodge Viper. For those
who are familiar with older cars, "Test
Drive: 5" also has a nice array of older
muscle cars including the '66 Shelby
Cobra 4275C and the '69 Camaro.
"Test Drive: 5" is awesome and
gives "Gran Turismo" a run for its
money. Those who like racing games
even to a moderate degree shouldn't
miss out on "Test Drive: 5."
- Stephen Ma

.1. .1 lIY Y Y Y II IY I rYIIY YI Y

player over, or at least try to,
Ithough usually they get caught in
-affic or crash into other cars. "Test
)rive: 5" also has great background
susic and tons of replay value,
the best just keeps getting
now you can read
got great
discounts on
demestic travel, too. 0J be rn r3 +IU Q

An Incredible Event. .
WIlen S Synposium
Date: Sunday, November 8, 1998
Place: Michigan League
Time: 10am-4pm
Don't miss out on the opportunity to hear U of M alumnae
Stephanie Takai and Dr. Anne Rowe speak, along with
Congresswoman Lynn Rivers!
Plus...lavish in a day of seminars relevant to all future leaders:
" How to get the job you want
* Managing a career and family
" The graduate school experience
" Women in Management: addressing age and gender disparities
" Health and safety issues
Free lunch will be provided to all participants who pre-register and
a reception will follow Ms. Takai's speech. All are welcome-
Please come and experience this unique and inspiring event...
To register for the symposium or if you have any questions, stop by the
Socie of Women Engineers Office in 1226 EECS Buildin g,
call (7 ) 763-5027, or email jwcho@engin.umich.edu
***Sponsored by the Society of Women Engineers and Women in Engineering Office***

(800) 777-0112
we'e been there.

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