Although there are so many great movie vampires (just the Dracula movies alone could drive an entire blog post—or maybe even an entire book), I’ve narrowed down my list to five films that will always remain among my favorites.
The Lost Boys
The Lost Boys came out when I was twelve, and I was so taken with the movie I felt compelled to write a sequel to it. A fun mesh of horror, humor and sex appeal, the story was geared toward my generation—and it became an immediate pop culture icon. Sleep all day. Party all night. It’s fun to be a vampire…. What young girl my age wasn’t taken by David and crew’s expressive and carefree lifestyle? They made bad look good. Complete with a phenomenal supporting cast including Dianne Wiest and Edward Herrmann (and, of course, the heartthrobs of their generation, the Coreys) The Lost Boys had all the makings of a cult classic.
Near Dark, in my humble opinion, never received the respect it deserved. It was a b-movie with a b-cast, but it had a fantastic script and was executed masterfully. The few people I know who’ve actually seen it agree: It’s the perfect combination of gritty horror and existential philosophy. Lance Henriksen does a particularly fine job playing the role of the cold and creepy vampire “family” leader, Jesse Hooker. Why it was a box-office flop is beyond me.
Shadow of the Vampire
I’ve never seen a movie starring Willem Dafoe that I didn’t love, and Shadow of the Vampire, a fictionalized account of the making of the classic horror (and Dracula rip-off) Nosferatu is no exception. The concept is brilliant: The director, played exquisitely by John Malkovich, happens to find an actual vampire to play Count Drac… ahem… Count Orlok—convincing the rest of the cast that the man is a “method actor” who must stay in character (which includes only coming out at night, in full make-up, of course) during the entire shoot. Of course, the crew members start dropping like flies, but that doesn’t stop the dedicated director from completing his masterpiece. This movie is filmmaking at its finest, a must-see for all horror fans.
I had low expectations going in when I saw this movie—which bases its vampire-“lycan” feud on that which was introduced in the ’90s live-action role playing game Vampire: the Masquerade. It turned out to be quite the gem. The acting is excellent, the script solid, and the depictions of the two “clans” artfully displayed. The first sequel, Underworld: Evolution, is just as good, although I must say I lost interest with Rise of the Lycans.
Juxtapose children with anything creepy, and the creep factor multiplies at least tenfold. In the case of Let The Right One In, this factor is doubled: A very old vampire trapped in a little girl’s body (with also, seemingly, a fitting mindset) pairs up with a little boy who is primed for grooming to be her next keeper—a job that entails being a serial killer, hunting and exsanguinating people on a regular basis to satisfy her hunger. The characters’ feelings of detachment from society allow us to feel sympathy for both, despite some of the gruesome acts performed on the vampire’s part (and how disposable she proves her current keeper—who’s obviously been with her for decades, ageing alongside her forever youthful self—is to her). The story is extremely dark, bittersweet, and as haunting as they get.
What’s your favorite Vampire movie and why? Leave a note in the comments for your chance to win an electronic copy of Jane the Hippie Vampire, Volume 1: Revival. Stop by tomorrow for an excerpt from Flower Power, which is available exclusively in Revival, and be sure to check out other participating blogs (the list on the right) for chances to win other great prizes.
About Flower Power: She’s broke and homeless. She’s a vegetarian. She’s undead.
Jane has had one hell of a time ever since she happened upon the wrong guy during the Summer of Love, but she's taken it all in stride. Wandering from town to town, she seeks out the needy and the broken in hopes of breaking the curse that's left her bloodthirsty and forever seventeen.
In this volume-exclusive episode, Jane teams up with an astral traveler in order to banish a dreamwalker from her past—and in the process, she must confront her greatest nightmare.