Every now and then you get a memorable performance in a forgettable film. Willem Dafoe’s in the gory new vampire flick Daybreakers is one of them.
SPOILER ALERT! The year is 2019, and most humans have turned into vampires. Slight problem: That means the blood supply is about to go extinct. A decent, chain-smoking vampire hematologist (Ethan Hawke) at a greedy corporation that farms humans for their plasma, needs to find a blood substitute to save both the human race and his toothy brethren. (Starvation degenerates the latter into naked, screeching, winged, bats— crazy beasts.) After a not-clandestine-enough meeting with Dafoe’s Elvis, a former vampire/gruff mechanic who became human again and rolled his jeans following a daytime car accident that involved burning and water, he learns there’s something better: A cure. Together — along with a woman you thought for sure would let a pointy-eared Hawke feed on her during sex but who only ended up cutting her wrist and bleeding into a cup (boo!) — they go on the run until they can recreate the conditions necessary to get Hawke a heartbeat. The situation gives a deadpan Dafoe the opportunity to deliver awesomely bad lines like the one he utters when Hawke asks him if the humans’ hideout is safe: Being human in a world of vampires is “about as safe as barebackin’ a $5 whore,” he says. Dafoe’s response when the human-hunting vampire army has zeroed in on their location, and Hawke wants to stay behind to finish the experiment while the others flee to a new place: “F— it, I do love a good barbecue.” READ FULL STORY