Thursday, October 4, 2018

Ten of the best vampire films (or at least the ones I like)

It's October and that means things are going to get a bit creepy around these parts. I'm already in the midst of an Atomic Werewolf tale and the first story in my Horror Universe project. But I also thought it would be a good time to throw some focus on the creepier parts of the universe with a few posts on subjects weird and spooky.

First up, vampire movies. Why? Because I still like a lot of vampire flicks and I happen to be writing about the rebirth of a bloodsucker or two as I'm also writing this here blog post. So without any more ado, here's the list of the best vampire movies in my humble opinion, presented in no particular order.

Blacula: A surprisingly in-depth film with a title that makes it feel like a quick cash in. William Marshall took the role of Mamuwalde seriously, and in the process brought a vampire with more pathos than most to the screen in the middle of a strange hybrid of blaxploitation and horror.

Blade: The quintessential film of its type, no other movie has used the vampire hunter trope to greater effect than the initial installment of this franchise. Stephen Norrington worked with a David Goyer script to produce maybe the perfect version of the Marvel hero ever brought to any format.

BloodRayne: I wanted to include at least one "oh so bad it's good" movie on the list and Uwe Boll's insane video game adaptation fits the bill. From strange stunt casting to a plot best described as nonsensical, this one is a mess of cheese and gratuitous nudity and violence.

Bram Stoker's Dracula: The Francis Ford Coppola adaptation of the original novel stays as close as any adaptation I've ever seen, but still strays in weird directions away from the original, mostly to give the director the over the top visuals he wanted to use. Outside poor Keanu Reeves, the cast sells every moment of the tense plot. And the direction makes it one of the most lush films ever put to camera.

Dracula 2000: I can best describe this one as fun, with a strange set of young cast members - a trope of late 90s horror - either helping or battling a Dracula played by Gerard Butler at his scene-chewing-est.

From Dusk Til Dawn: Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez's film is pulp cinema re-imagined for a new generation. When a bevy of great characters are thrown into a war with an entire vampire cult, action ensues in a film that turns schlock into a masterpiece.

Innocent Blood: Directed by John Landis, this 1990s era vampire flick features a sexy French vampire as she arrives in America and continues her quest to only feed on the criminal. This backfires as she accidentally turns a crime boss. She has to team up with a local undercover cop to stop the crime family and the possibility of a vampire uprising!

Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires: Peter Cushing's Van Helsing travels to China and assists several young kung fu masters in their battle with seven evil vampires in a Hammer / Shaw Brothers production. Sadly Dracula here isn't played by Christopher Lee, the only thing that might have made it an even stronger piece of sheer crossover insanity.

Lost Boys: I'm an 80s kid and an introvert, so this tale of the cool kids turning out to be vampires was right up my alley. The two Coreys were great as the would-be monster hunters, but it is Kiefer Sutherland that oozes every ounce of awesome from his veins to make this one work.

Shadow of the Vampire: A movie set behind the scenes of the filming of Nosferatu, which surmises that the villainous lead Max Schreck is actually a vampire. Willem Dafoe makes a world class creepy monster in an instant classic.

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