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Trivia / Near Dark

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  • Acclaimed Flop: Despite crashing and burning at the Box Office, Near Dark received high praise from critics for its astonishing cinematography, themes and character work. Nowadays it ironically has better critical reception than the movie that destroyed it in the box office (The Lost Boys).
  • Actor-Inspired Element: Jesse's visual was mostly conceived by Lance Henriksen, from the jagged fingernails, the dirty leather coat with a Confederate flag sewn inside it, the razor-thin appearance and the ponytail. Bill Paxton also ad-libbed a lot of of Old West lingo to Severen's lines ("Finger-lickin'-good!" was apparently one of them).
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  • Breakthrough Hit: For Kathryn Bigelow.
  • Dueling Movies: With The Lost Boys. It lost. A proposed remake was put on hold to avoid this with Twilight.
  • Dyeing for Your Art: Lance Henriksen stopped eating in order to make his chest bones visible and drove to the filming set in order to get into character better. Jenette Goldstein had a bad peroxide blond hair-dye done to reflect the fact the characters are poor and constantly on the move.
  • Method Acting: Allegedly there was an instance where Lance Henriksen and Bill Paxton were out joyriding off-set in their on-set costumes and were pulled over by a cop. Lance, who was driving, spoke and reacted to the officer in full-character as Jesse. He ended up scaring the officer so badly that at one point the officer started touching his firearm. They ended up not getting a ticket, however. The DVD extras also have Lance Heriksen telling about his Method Acting experiences like picking up hitchhikers to freak them out by acting as Jesse, and Bill Paxton's own Method Acting leading to him execute some cruel pranks in line with Severen's dark sense of humor. To a lesser extent, the entire main vampire cast did some Method Acting by living the way their characters would (i.e sleeping in a van, only going out at night, staying with their costumes, hanging out together) during the filming.
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  • Production Posse: Kathryn Bigelow (James Cameron's then-partner) helms, with Aliens co-stars Henrikson, Paxton, and Goldstein co-starring (and Cameron in The Cameo). One of the guys in the bar also reappears as the main biker in Terminator 2: Judgment Day.
  • Throw It In!: Apparently the iconic line "Finger-lickin'-Good!" uttered by Severen during the bar fight was an ad-lib by Bill Paxton. As was most of Severen's lapses into Old West lingo ("Smells just like a dead polecat!").
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Both Johnny Depp and D.B. Sweeney auditioned for Caleb.
    • Michael Biehn was offered the role of Jesse Hooker but turned it down because he was not satisfied with the script.
    • According to Kathryn Bigelow, one ending considered was for Caleb's younger sister Sarah to follow him and Mae into the sunlight only for her hand to start burning, implying she was bitten by Homer during her abduction and is now infected. However this was eventually dropped as it would have had little impact given she could be easily cured via blood transfusions.
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  • Word of Saint Paul: Due the extensive Method Acting done by the vampire gang, a lot of the characters backgrounds was created by the actors. According to Lance Heriksen, Jesse was from the Confederate Navy, and during a giant bloodbath of a naval battle, he fell into the sea, wounded and dying, where he was whisked away by "dark sirens" who then turned him into a vampire. According to Bill Paxton, Severen was a lowlife who Jesse stumbled into during the 1870s and subsequently chose to turn because he reminded him of his brother who died during the Civil War. The cast also largely agrees Homer, the child member of the gang, was turned during the 50's. Jeanette Goldstein believes Diamondback may have been turned in the Depression Era and may have been a former prized beauty, but Kathryn Bigelow seems to think Diamondback was older than that.


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