The movie was released in the United States on October 30, 1998 and received mixed reviews from critics. It was a moderate box office success, grossing $20.3 million against a budget of $20 million. It spawned two direct-to-video sequels: Vampires: Los Muertos (2002) and Vampires: The Turning (2005).
The movie begins with Jack Crow and his team of vampire hunters raiding an abandoned house where they find a nest of vampires. They kill the vampires with guns, stakes, and a crossbow attached to a winch that drags them into sunlight. However, they fail to find the master vampire who controls the nest.
Later, at a motel, the team celebrates their victory with prostitutes. However, the master vampire, Valek, arrives and slaughters everyone except Crow and his trusted lieutenant Tony Montoya, who escape with one of the prostitutes, Katrina. Katrina has been bitten by Valek and is slowly turning into a vampire. Crow hopes to use her psychic link with Valek to track him down.
Crow reports to his superior Cardinal Alba, who tells him that Valek is the first vampire ever created. He was a priest who rebelled against the church and was executed by a secret ritual that went wrong and turned him into a vampire. Valek has been searching for an ancient cross that was used in the ritual, hoping to complete it and become immune to sunlight.
Crow forms a new team with Montoya, Katrina, and Father Adam Guiteau, an archivist who knows about the cross. They follow Valek to a Spanish mission where he kills the monks and steals the cross. Crow realizes that Valek plans to perform the ritual at sunrise on the next day.
The hunters set up a trap for Valek and his vampire army in an abandoned town. They use Guiteau as bait and manage to kill some of the vampires with their crossbow and winch. However, they are outnumbered and overwhelmed by Valek and his minions at nightfall. Crow is captured by Valek, who reveals that he knows him by name because he is a descendant of one of the priests who tried to kill him centuries ago.
Meanwhile, Montoya and Katrina flee in their car, but Katrina fully transforms into a vampire and bites Montoya on the neck before joining Valek. Montoya cauterizes his wound with his gun barrel and decides to go after Valek with Crows crossbow.
Crow escapes from Valeks clutches and meets up with Montoya and Guiteau. They learn that Cardinal Alba has betrayed them and is working with Valek. Alba wants to become a vampire himself and has agreed to help Valek recreate the original ritual in exchange for eternal life.
The hunters confront Valek and Alba at an old church where they have set up the cross for the ritual. They engage in a fierce battle with the vampires, killing most of them with stakes, guns, and explosives. Crow manages to impale Valek with his crossbow bolt and drag him into sunlight with his winch. However, Valek survives because he has already completed part of the ritual.
Crow then uses his car to ram Valek into the cross, which explodes and destroys both of them. Montoya and Guiteau survive the blast and decide to continue hunting vampires together.
Vampires is a fun and action-packed movie that delivers what it promises: blood, gore, and violence. The movie does not take itself too seriously and has a dark sense of humor that works well with the genre. The movie also pays homage to classic westerns and spaghetti westerns with its setting, music, and style.
The movie benefits from John Carpenters direction and James Woods performance as Jack Crow. Carpenter creates a tense and atmospheric mood with his use of lighting, camera angles, and c481cea774