Saturday, October 20, 2007

Excuse Me, But Your Fangs Are In My Neck

I just got home from seeing "30 Days of Night", which got me to thinking of all my favorite vampire movies. I enjoy making lists, so here's a list of my top 13 favorites. You'll notice that quite a few of them fall into the realm of humor, or are the type of movies that are scary but also poke fun at the genre. Why? Because a good, terrifyingly scary vampire movie is hard to find. So many have been made, but so few of them are good. . .


1. Nosferatu (1922)
2. Dracula (1931 w/ Bela Lugosi)
3. Shadow of the Vampire
4. The Lost Boys
5. 30 Days of Night
6. John Carpenter's Vampires
7. The Fearless Vampire Killers
8. Dracula (1958 w/ Christopher Lee)
9. Fright Night
10. Vampire’s Kiss
11. Buffy the Vampire Slayer
12. The Blade Trilogy
13. Underworld: Evolution

I also thought I'd include some of my biggest vampire movie disappointments, since I know these movies will immediately come to mind and you'll wonder why they didn't make my list.


From Dusk ‘til Dawn
I love Quentin Tarantino. I love Robert Rodriguez. But I guess neither one was meant to make a horror movie. I must say that I really enjoy the first 30 minutes of the film which, ironically, has nothing to do with vampires. Quentin's dysfunctional criminal character is scarier than any of the vampires that show up later.

Interview with the Vampire
Don't even get me started on this movie. This is a film based on one of my all-time favorite books, so maybe it was doomed from the start as far as my expectations are concerned, but come on - Brad Pitt? Tom Cruise? The only three compliments I can give to the film is 1. Kristen Dunst is amazing as Claudia, 2. Antonio Banderas makes a better vampire than Brad and Tom put together and 3. its fairly faithful to the novel as far as plotline goes.

Francis Ford Coppola’s Dracula
Yes, this one makes the list, even though I’m a big fan of Gary Oldman, Anthony Hopkins and Winona Ryder. Don't even get me started on this movie either. I sat in line for hours to see the first showing on opening weekend, I was so excited, then found myself wanting to get up and walk-out during the middle of the film, I was so unhappy. What a tragic mess.

Dracula 2000
It's the year 2000 and we still can't make a decent, scary movie vampires? I had such hopes. Although their revelation of Dracula’s ‘true” identity was very creative and an intriguing idea.

Again, I had high hopes, as the previews for this movie looked awesome. Unfortunately, the only thing the vampires in this film do is stand around and pose in the latest goth club wear. Oh, and their eyes turn blue. (yawn)
The best thing about this movie was Bill Nighy as the creepy master vampire. He was intimidating and scary. I did like the back story about the werewolves and the vampires. Too bad the werewolves got all the cool fight scenes and supernatural powers. The only supernatural power the vampires had was Kate Beckingsale in skin-tight latex.


Laura said...

I am not a horror movie fan. In fact, just reading your post made me a little uncomfortable. When I was about 12, I saw Stephen King's Salem's Lot on TV. It scared me to death and I've shied away from horror movies ever since.

I have to confess that I've only seen four vampire movies, and unfortunately three of them are on the "suck" list.

From Dusk 'til Dawn
I don't remember anything about the movie except that I hated it.

Interview with the Vampire
This was my first experience with Anne Rice so I didn't have anything to compare it with. I thought the movie was ok. However, it was also my first experience with Kirsten Dunst and I was very impressed with her performance. I also remember that I didn't like the makeup or Tom Cruise, but I don't like him anyway.

Dracula (Coppola)
This was the last vampire movie I dared to see. It was a little creepy but was mostly a "ho hum" experience for me.

The Lost Boys
I thought the story was perfect, the location was awesome and Kieffer Sutherland was the best actor on the planet. Well... some of that might be because I was 18 when it first came out, but even after 20 years I still think Kiefer Sutherland is "totally rad"!

D.L. White said...

"'Salems Lot" is hands-down one of the scariest vampire novels I've EVER read. I was a little disappointed in the made for TV movie adaptation - but I watched it many years later (not when I was 12. I'm sure it would have freaked me out if I'd watched it when I was younger). The production value just wasn't there. And the vampire was blue...???

Yeah - I agree with you about "Interview". The makeup was terrible! So was the bad hair bleaching job they did on Cruise.

LOL about your "totally rad" comment! :P

Kathleen said...

Ok, You have posted about one of my favorite subject at my favorite time of year, so I am just dying to "sink my teeth into your post" so to speak.

Here is my list, based on your list...

Vampire films that I haven't seen yet: Shocking I know!

1. Nosferatu (I saw a short clip of this online one day and I just wasn't impressed, but if you like it, AND it is your number 1, I'll just have to see it sometime.
3. Shadow of the Vampire
5. 30 Days of Night. The preview for this one looks soooo scary to me.
7. Fearless Vampire Killers ??? I have never heard of this movie.
8. Dracula (Lee)
9. Fright Night
10. Vampire Kiss (I may have seen this but can't remember for sure).

Vampire Flims I Hate:
6. John Carpenter's Vampires. I hate this flim because I can't stand James Wood and therefore I just couldn't get pasted that. :( Otherwise, I might have liked it.

Vampire Films I like:
2. Dracula: Just Classic!
4. Lost Boys: I love this flim, just because. The ending is so great, the acting is fun. The actors are all so good in their own elements. Fun fun fun!
11. Buffy the Vampire Slayer: I loved the movie. Just adorable and funny. Can you say Rutgar Howard?
12. The Blade Trilogy: I liked the first two very much, but I haven't seen the third. It is on my List of things to see.

I also love:
From Dusk Till Dawn! I am a Quinten fan, I can't help it. I liked the set up. Quinten's character IS more scary then the squishy vampires, but that is ok in my book. This film was the first time I had ever seen Selma and I thought her, "introduction" was classic. I love the ending...but dont' want to give away to anyone who hasn't seen it. Vampires that go squish! Hahah, just makes me laugh everytime I see it.

Interview with a Vampire: I was a huge fan of the book. Tom Cruise as Lestat? No way! But the scene when he comes back from the swamp was FANTASTIC! Still scares me to this day. I hated all other actors especiall Christan Dusts! But this film was the first time I had ever seen Antonio Bandaras and I thought he was Fantastic! He makes a great vampire, even if he doesn't match his character in the book.

Dracula Coppola's: I love Gary Oldman as Dracula. Everyone else was terrible! I mean terrible. In the theater I saw this in everyone laughed at Keanu's first line. uggg. I can't even talk about how awful the acting was, it is unspeakable. uggggg. But I still watch this movie because of Gary Oldman's performance. Fantastic! He is my favorite Dracula!

Underworld: I liked the premise behind this film and enjoyed watching it. I know there were not very many speical effects involving the vampires, but I was ok with it. I love the warewolf mythos and romance. I also love the sequal, Evolution.

Ok, ok, I have to ask, what about "The Hunger" with David Bowie? This has got to be one of my favorite Vampire films of all time! Susan Surrandon makes a great Vampiress! I love this flim. What happened to it on your list?

Anonymous said...

Well, I'm afraid I must comment too. This topic is, of course, near and dear to the stake in my heart. Davina - I have to disagree with how highly you placed 30 days of night. While entertaining, my guess is that ranking is based more on nostalgia for how good the comic book was. Ok, here are my top 5: Fright Night, Fearless Vampire Killers, Nosferatu, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Shadow of the Vampire.
And of course, I must agree with the movies you despised Davina. Particularly Coppola's Dracula, which non-horror fans seem to be hypnotized by like unthinking Renfields. No, no, resist this temptation. This is a bad movie. And of course, Dusk 'til Dawn suffers from being a mishmash of whatever occurred to Quentin and Robert at the time of its unholy conception. "Dude, wouldn't it be cool if we pulled back from the last shot and there were, like, corpses everywhere." "Dude that would rock!" Dudes, it sucked. Kathleen, I once started The Hunger, and didn't finish it. You make me think I should reconsider.
And while I didn't include Lost Boys in my Top 5, it did have the endearing quality of making me forever fearful of stuffed rodents. Happy Halloween to everyone!!! -Chad

D.L. White said...

Kathleen - "Fearless Vampire Killers" is a hilarious and sometimes scary movie that Roman Polanski made with his wife Sharon Tate. It has one of the best ballroom scenes ever - an idea that was later totally ripped-off and recycled in the "Van Helsing" movie. I used the tagline of the film for my blog title.

"Vampire Kiss" stars Nicholas Cage and is a weird, indie type of movie. The whole question is - is he really a vampire or is he crazy and just thinks he is? It's mostly a dark comedy.

Btw - I can't stand James Woods either. I just ignore him in that movie.

I'll forgive you for liking "Dusk Till Dawn". lol

I watched "The Hunger" a long time ago. I fell asleep in it. It was all style and no substance. Although it is hard to hate on Mr. David Bowie...but it just didn't hold my attention.

Chad - you're probably right about my ranking for "30 Days of Night" being influenced by my love for the comic. These rankings have changed over time. I'm sure it will fall.

Loved your description of Quentin and Rodriquez discussing their movie. Hilarious. My guess is that's probably pretty close to how the conversation actually went.

Oh and btw - Chad and Kat - I'm loving all the vampire puns/metaphors! You made me smile. :)

astraughnomer said...

great post...i love halloween!! :) although i haven't really seen many vampire movies. i loved "interview with the vampire"--the book. i think i saw the movie awhile ago and wasn't that impressed. i did like Dracula. it's been awhile since i've read it...but aren't there some vampires in The Dark Tower series? stephen king is awesome. :)'s not vampires...but i have to say that my favorite non-scary halloween movie has to be Young Frankenstein. hilarious.

D.L. White said...

Gotta love "Young Frankenstein"!!! Actually, for the past couple of Halloweens, we've sat around, ate pumpkin pie and watched "It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown" and then "Young Frankenstein" as we handed out candy to the neighborhood kids.

Kathleen said...

I like Young Frankenstein too. :P


Gene Wilder! The BEST!

Laura said...

Oh... the best Everybody Loves Raymond episode is the Halloween one where Frank (Peter Boyle) dresses up as Frankensteins monster and says "Rrrrrr...." just like in Young Frankenstein. Absolutely hilarious!