Monday, 18 June 2012

5 Vampire Movies That Don't Suck!

Disappointed by Burton's Dark Shadows, terrified for the wrong reasons about Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter and Twilight isn't really my thing. (I'm not judging, but if I want vampire melodrama, I'll watch True Blood and even then...)  So where does it leave someone like me, who wants some real heavy duty vampire films, where the heart is in the chest and not on their sleeves.  I guess, I'll have to go back to the crypt, crowbar open a casket and resurrect some titles of the past until this night passes.

Here are 5 Vampire Movies that Don't Suck:

5. Dracula (1931) Renfield is sent to Transylvania to finalize the ownership of Carfax Abbey in London with Count Dracula.  Once inside the castle, Renfield falls prey to Dracula and becomes his obedient slave.  They travel back to London by ship and Renfield seems to be the only survivor on board, but is believed to be insane, so he is sent to the Seward Sanitarium.  A few nights later, Count Dracula meets Dr. Seward, his daughter Mina, Lucy Weston and John Harker at a theater.  Lucy finds Dracula fascinating and a few nights later ends up dead.  During the autopsy, Dr. Van Helsing notices two puncture holes around the neck area, which are similar to those of other victims that have been brought in lately.  He calls a meeting of prominent doctors and decide it must be a vampire and Van Helsing must find and stop him! Bela Lugosi is brilliant as Dracula and this is what he will be forever known for. Director Tod Browning does a brilliant job and creates the look a feel of the vampire that we've all come to know.  There is no scenes of blood shed but shadow shots and cuts to black that alludes to the violence going on, which is fine, because the real horror is the menacing stares from Lugosi or the scenes of maddening fits with Dwigth Frye playing Renfield.  A must see for all horror fans!

4. The Horror of Dracula (1958) - Jonathan Harker goes to Dracula's castle under the guise of becoming his Librarian.  Once inside he attacks Dracula and his wife and is killed, fortunately he had the good sense to leave his notebook outside hidden and sent a letter to the inn girl he met once to go retrieve it, if anything happened to him. Van Helsing arrives in town looking for his Harker and the inn girl gives him the notebook that he had hidden and sent..., you know.  So, Van Helsing runs to the castle and is passed by a carriage carrying a coffin.  When he gets to the castle he only finds Harker vampirized and waiting for a stake, which Van Helsing sadly provides.  Van Helsing returns home to inform Harker's fiance and her family of his untimely demise, only to find out that Lucy has fallen ill.  After Lucy passes away and Van Helsing discover she too has become a victim of the horrors of Dracula (see what I did  there) he promises her family that he will stop at nothing until Dracula is destroyed!  Director Terence Fisher brought gothic horror to a new level with this film at that time.  With sexual overtones and the violence, which might seem mild now was unheard of back then.  Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing are brilliant as Van Helsing and Dracula and really bring the characters to life in this film.  The story deviates nicely from the original, which gives it a fresh look at the characters.  Not a lot of blood shed but the tension that Fisher brings is palpable.  If you want to see why Hammer Horror is so revered this is a great place to look.

3. Blacula (1972) - While in Transylvania seeking help from Count Dracula (bad move dude) to stop the slave trade, African Prince Mamuwalde is turned into a vampire and locked away in Dracula's coffin, never to see his beautiful wife again.  Fast forward, 200 years later and two interior decorators are buying up all the antiques from Dracula's estate including the coffin with Mamuwalde in it and having shipped to LA.  The decorators unlock the coffin while going through their inventory and become the first victims of Blacula!  While checking at the funeral home on his new minion, he see a woman, Tina that resembles his late wife and scares the bejeezus out of her on her way home.  She tells her friends, Michelle and Dr. Gordon Thomas about it.  Coincidentally,  it just so happens that Dr. Gordon is working with the police on some cases of mysterious deaths and decides to start looking into this caped Mumuwalde cat to see what he's all about.  William Marshall plays an excellent Dracula.  He is very aristocratic, well spoken and any one that can tell a lady he is not only 200 years old and he's a vampire and she sticks around is pretty smooth.  When Blacula attacks, it's similar to Christopher Lee style in the Hammer films.  The editing is hilarious in the club scene and there are some plot points that could really be questioned but why?  It's a fun vampire flick, that you should check out if you get a chance.

2. Lost Boys (1987) - Micheal, Sam and their mom move out to their grandfather's house in the small coastal town of Santa Carla, California.  Their they're quirky taxidermist enthusiastic grandfather lets them know that they moved to the murder capital of the country.  Shaken but not scared Michael and Sam head out to the boardwalk to check out the local scene.  Right away, Michael falls in love with a girl and starts following her (creepy) and Sam heads over to the comic book store, where he meets the Frog brothers (creepy), who warn him about the truth about Santa Carlo, which is that it is filled with Vampires! dun dun duuuuuun!  Anyhoo, Sam heads back to find Michael, who has finished stalking the girl because she is leaving with a creepy white haired guy, David and his bike gang.  Oh and their mom, Lucy got a job at a video store and fell in like with some guy.  Eventually, Michael joins David and his gang and is turned into a vampire 1st class.  He has some vampire power and hates the sun but he's not real vampire until he feeds and probably pays a membership fee.  Later on, David and the gang bring him to all you can eat buffet of California transients, but Michael decides not to feast and creates a shit storm for him and his family. Now Michael and Sam, with the help of the Frog brothers must stop this viscous gang of vamps!  I love this movie, probably my favourite of the Corey Haim/Corey Feldman films.  Keifer Sutherland is perfect as the villain, delivering some of the lines in his career.  And you have to hand it to Joel Schumacher for changing the script from being children to being teenagers because a lot of people would have left the theatre.  What can I sat,  this is an awesome movie!

1. From Dusk Til Dawn (1996) - Seth and Richard Gecko are on the lam after a bank robbery gets bloody and goes wrong.  They notice an RV in the motel parking lot and figure that it could get them through to Mexico, so they kidnap the owner, Pastor Jacob Fuller and his two children Kate and Scott and force them to get them past the border.  Once past the border, they head down to the Titty Twister, a bar where Seth and Richard are suppose to meet their contact Carlos.  Seth tells Jacob that once Carlos arrives they can leave and go back to their normal lives.  Unfortunately, the Titty Twister is a vampire bar and they and a few other patrons have to fight their way through the night to survive.  Written by Tarantino and directed by Rodriguez, this film is an awesome mixture of Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction and El Mariachi. The cast is super cool, with Clooney, Keitel, Trejo, Juliette Lewis, Fred Williamson and even Tom Savini pops with a gun on his cock.  This movie is one of my favourites and instead of having to defeat one vampire, they have to stop an unrelenting wave of bloodsucking terror.  Fantastic film, spawned 2 forgettable sequals, but this is the one to see!

There are tons of great Vampire movies out there and these just scratch the surface.  So before you watch these films, hang up some garlic and wolfsbane, sit back and think about who you've invited into your house. And remember if you have a cross, that you got to believe Charlie, you got to believe.


  1. Only one not on this list the 100% should be is John Carpenter's Vampires. Easily one of the best vamp movies.

    1. Now that I think about it, I don't think I've seen it. I'll have to pick it up and watch. Let the chiding begin.

  2. Great list. I agree, JC's Vampires would have been a great addition. I love Hammer's Dracula. Great movie. Thanks for the post!