Parallel Editing

Parallel Editing Parallel editing, or the ability to make two separate actions happen at the same time, was innovated by D.W. Griffith and is exclusive to films. Action films are a good source for these, as they give the impression of tensely reaching a climax in the film. In Vampires, by John Carpenter (1998), there are two sequences which include parallel editing. The first example happens rather early in the movie.

At this point, a team of vampire slayers commissioned by the Catholic Church are having a party at a motel. this occurs after they slayed all the vampires in a nearby nest, losing the head vampire, Valek. The parallel action begins when the three survivors come back to the motel during daylight in order to bury the The sequence goes as follows: The jeep Montoya and Katrina are in drives onto the road. you see Montoya snaking on some food Jack is putting decapitated heads in a blood-stained white sheet. The jeep continues driving down a small road. Jack sets the motel on fire, and buries the bag of heads in a shallow grave. Shot of Jack in a truck.

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Some rosary beads with a crucifix are violently swinging from the rearview mirror of Jacks truck. He stares at it. It gives the sense that Jack has done something that he should be disturbed by, but he is successful at blocking out his emotions. Montoya and the dazed Katrina check into a hotel room. Montoya is made to be very impatient and unnecessarily vulgar.

Jack is at a payphone talking to someone. He says that his team was killed. In the background across the street is a large brick wall with a very colorful mural of the Virgin Mary. It cuts to Montoya watching the news in the hotel room, and he is watching the news coverage of the burning motel room. It gives the effect that although there is a definite supernatural element, the incident was very real and many innocent people were brutally killed. Jack is at a church being treated for his wounds at a church or somewhere religious.

This creates the feeling that Jack turns to religion when he needs it, and he feels burdened by it at other times. The sequence ends with a shot of Valek on top of a moving train. The whole sequence lasted only a few minutes. The second sequence is towards the end of the movie. Katrina has been infected by the Valek, and she maintains a psychic link with him.

Just before every shot of the vampires, there is a shot of Katrinas face, signaling that it is being viewed by her. The sequence goes as follows: Jack, in the bathroom of the hotel, is asking Father Adam what the vampires are looking for. Shot of Valek and his team of vampires awakening from the ground and walking to a monastery in a desertous area. Jack argues with Father Adam because he does not want to tell Jack. He violently convinces Father Adam to comply.


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