Adrian Pasdar stars as Caleb Colton, a young and somewhat passive small-town guy in Oklahoma who has his eye set on a visiting mysterious boyish beauty named Mae (Jenny Wright). Caleb and Mae spend the night talking and flirting, but Mae has to make it home before the sun comes up, for reasons that aren’t too clear for Caleb. Before the end of the evening, Mae bites Caleb on the neck, although she doesn’t really drink his blood, setting forth a reaction in his body that makes him very strong and agile, fry up in direct sunlight, and crave human blood himself. Before Caleb can get home, he is “adopted” by his new family, a clan of immortals with the same condition he is in, although they aren’t taking too kindly to Mae’s decision to “turn” Caleb into one of them, especially since she must feed him from her own blood. Caleb doesn’t want to kill other humans like the others, but to be part of them, he finds he must, because he can’t survive on his own. Tensions flare in the group, as well as within Caleb himself, as to what the proper thing to do is. Lance Henriksen, Jenette Goldstein, and Tim Thomerson, and Bill Paxton get supporting roles. Kathryn Bigelow’s debut as a solo director.
C. Thomas Howell stars as Jim Halsey, a young Chicago native driving a car cross-country to California. The Texas road he’s currently on is lonely and Jim is tired, but he spies a way he might stay awake in the form of hitchhiker John Ryder (Rutger Hauer). It doesn’t take long before Jim becomes unnerved by his new passenger, as Ryder claims he’s decapitated viciously the last person to give him a ride and that he will do the same to Jim. Jim finds a way to kick Ryder out of the vehicle, but he keeps showing up again, killing more victims along the way. Things go from horrific to maddening once the grisly body count rises and Jim becomes implicated in the murders, as all signs seem to point to him. Jennifer Jason Leigh gets a supporting role in this stylish and twisted cult thriller.