Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat
Theatrical release poster
Directed byAnthony Hickox
Written by
  • John Burgess
  • Anthony Hickox
Produced byJefferson Richard
CinematographyLevie Isaacks
Edited byChristopher Cibelli
Music byRichard Stone
Distributed byVestron Pictures
Release dates
  • May 11, 1989 (1989-05-11) (Cannes Film Festival)
  • October 23, 1991 (1991-10-23) (United States)
Running time
104 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$2.8 million

Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat is a 1989 American Western comedy horror film directed by Anthony Hickox and starring David Carradine, Bruce Campbell, Morgan Brittany, and Deborah Foreman. It was written by Hickox and John Burgess.

Its only public screenings were at film festivals in Seattle and Palm Springs, as well as at Cannes. Released in 1991 on VHS and in 2008 on DVD, it has earned a cult following.[1]


Under the leadership of the ancient Jozek Mardulak, a colony of vampires seeks a peaceful life in the desolate desert town of Purgatory. Key to the transition is repairing the town's artificial blood factory. Mardulak summons the human designer of the plant, who brings his wife and two young daughters along for what he thinks will be a pleasant desert vacation.

Ethan Jefferson is a vampire who wants to return to hunting and feasting on humans. Soon, the plant manager and his family are caught up in a civil war, as Jefferson organizes a revolution.

In the midst of the vampire civil war, a young descendant of the Van Helsing family arrives intent on destroying all vampires.



Parts of the film were shot at Moab, Spanish Valley, Thompson Springs, Hittle Bottom and Arches National Park in Utah.[2]


In Creature Feature, the movie received 3 out of 5 stars, noting that it was infused with cinematic vitality [3] TV Guide similarly gave the movie 3 out of 5 stars, finding the movie to be enjoyable, but that the ending collapses under its own cleverness.[4] Entertainment Weekly gave the movie a C−, finding it to be anemic.[5]


  1. ^ On DVD: Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat — A Lost Campy Fave Rises from the Grave
  2. ^ D'Arc, James V. (2010). When Hollywood came to town: a history of moviemaking in Utah (1st ed.). Layton, Utah: Gibbs Smith. ISBN 9781423605874.
  3. ^ Stanley, J. (2000) Creature Feature: 3rd Edition
  4. ^ TV Guide (1991) Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat Review. Retrieved 8/15/2020
  5. ^ Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat (October 25, 1991 ) Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat Retrieved 8/15/2020