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Vampires: why do we love them? Part of it is the allure of their flawless features and animal sexuality mixed with their craving for blood and there’s also the idea of one becoming immortal which is very seductive. Since 1897 when Bram Stoker published Dracula, we have been swept up by these dark creatures. The celluloid era brought us vampires in silent form like London After Midnight and Dracula. Every decade has had vampire movies that stand out and still stand the test of time; other films should have stakes driven through their hearts.
The Twilight Saga is one of the more contentious of these vampire films and number three comes out Wednesday. As such, we have the list of the best and worst vampire movies. Notice there are no Dracula films listed below, since he has over 30 films to his name I thought we could make a list for him in another article.
The Five Best
5. 30 Days of Night (2007)
This recent film is based on the sleeper hit comic of the same name by Steve Niles and Ben Templesmith. Four years later it was made into what was never seen before in a vampire movie: gore, blood, and non-stop suspense. The movie may not scare the crap out of you, but you have to admit, the snowy white backdrop in a small town in Burrow, Alaska soaked in blood is enough to get anyone’s blood to chill. There is a sequel that just finished shooting and will be out next year titled Dark Days.
4. Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles (1994)
Based on the best-selling novel by Anne Rice, the film is of a reporter (Christian Slater) conducting an interview of a 200-year-old vampire named Louie ( Brad Pitt). The story would be the first of the Lestat (Tom Cruise) books in Rice’s Vampire Chronicles. The cast is rounded out by great performances by a young Kirsten Dunst and also Antonio Banderas. A sad but strange fact about the film is River Phoenix, brother of Joaquin Phoenix, was set to play Lestat but died of drug overdose. He has an in remembrance credit at the end of the film.
3. Blade (1998)
Wesley Snipes did something for vampires that had been washed away with teen pop shows like Buffy: he made them bad ass. Blade (Wesley Snipes) is the tale of a half-vampire half-human hunter. He was bad ass with a sword and sharp with his wit. The best part of the movie is in the beginning during the blood shower at the club. When the vamps are done with their blood orgy, Blade takes it to them with his assortment of vampire-hunting weaponry. This was the movie before X-Men that started getting Hollywood into comic book movies, but most people who saw it had no idea he lived in the same universe as Spider-Man and the X-Men.
2. Vampire Hunter D (2000)
Another story of a half-human half-vampire hunter, this is one of the best Anime movies out there. Weird setting as it takes place in 14,000 AD so a good 12,000 years into a war-torn future. D is hired by a couple of young farmers to stop the local count from turning one of them into a vampire. We get the impression that D is of major nobility and is not the hunter to mess with. The art style in this movie may look crude by today’s standards of animation. There is no denying, however, how many vampire genre fans can say how they got hooked on Anime because of this masterpiece of a film. There are actually 17 Vampire Hunter D novels, all recently translated into English. The third book is the sequel to this movie.
1. The Lost Boys (1987)
If there was one vampire movie fans would say hooked them on the vampire “subculture,” this is it. It’s about a mother and her two sons who move in with their grandpa in a town that happens to be the murder capital of the world. This was a break out film for Keifer Sutherland as the lead vampire David. The two Coreys (Feldman and Haim) made this the first of many films they would star in together. Its awesome ‘80s soundtrack and setting in California make it a great summer movie. There’s humor, drama and suspense. The best part of the whole film is Corey Feldman and Jamison Newlander as the dimwitted vampire hunters. They really have no idea what they are doing but they try anyway. It’s funny that Joel Schumacher, who made one of the worst superhero movies of all-time in Batman and Robin, made one of the greatest vampire movies ever.
The Five Worst
5. Vampires: Los Muertos (2002)
The term sequel should mean next chapter in the story arc, not “let’s repeat the same movie direct to video.” Why they made this who knows? Jon Bon Jovi does nothing to make us think he’s a better slayer than Jack Cross played with the bad-asseness of James Woods in the original film, Vampire$. John Carpenter had to be pretty had-up for money to put his name on this garbage. The vampire chick is much hotter than the male villain form the fist film, but that’s the only reason to watch and that pretty bad.
4. Queen of the Damned (2002)
What do you get when you recast all the roles from your hit movie from eight years ago? One of the biggest most poorly written pieces of garbage of all-time. I am not sure what happened during production of this next installment of Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles. Maybe part of it was the tragic death of pop star Aliyah, or maybe it was that the movie was doomed to fail in the beginning. For some reason they combined two stories in one, unlike the Harry Potter and Twilight films which at least take it one step at a time. You would expect something better from the woman who wrote the books in the first place. Sadly, Anne Rice is not as good a screenwriter as she is a novelist.
3. Dracula 3000 (2004 – TV)
Really the title says everything. It’s not a sequel to the film starring Gerard Butler so don’t think of it that way. It’s like Dracula in Space. This is the only Dracula title I put on here. Regardless, don’t watch this movie.
2. The Lost Boys: The Tribe (2008 – V)
For years they kept saying there would be a Lost Boys. First it was the Lost Girls, ( which would have been dumb but hot surfer Vamp Babes) Then a film based solely on the Frog brothers. Alas we got this piece of dribble. We have a sequel that almost has nothing to do with the first one other than Edgar Frog coming back played by Corey Feldman. Angus Sutherland Keifer’s younger brother plays the head Vampire in this movie, but they make no connection to the fact he might be David’s brother. Why ??? The two siblings in the movie are also cousins of Sam and Mike the two brother from the first film. Again not explained at all. Worst line in the film is by Feldman ” Did somebody order some steak”
1. The Twilight Saga
Yup, sorry, I am throwing this under a bus and hoping it ignites into flames. Not since Dracula the TV series have vampires been destroyed by such dribble. First big reason these are the worst films about vampires is that vampires don’t SPARKLE. What is up with that? The lovey-dovey stuff in these films is just too much to handle. The acting is so wooden and awkward it just blows my mind as to how these tweens can sit through this. I understand Buffy and Angel were a bit campy in their day ten years ago, but let’s make them look good with fangs. If you really have to sit through these films download the Rifftrax commentary; it makes them into the best comedies ever made. Weird fact about these films is Martin Sheen plays the leader of the vampires when in the Underworld films he plays the leader of the Werewolves, their arch nemeses.