I have a thing for vampires. There, I said it. Er, typed it. And, what better to way to get ready for Halloween than to curl up on the couch with a nice cozy bloodsucker flick? So, pour yourself some red wine, pull out those old black lace clothes from when you thought you were goth and get ready for 10 Vampire Movies That Don’t Suck. (Oh, vampire humor. It’s biting. Yes, I went there.) Let’s do this.
10. Shadow of the Vampire (2000)
This film is delightful and dark, just the way a vampire film should be. Far from your normal bloodsucker fare, this movie illustrates what could have happened during the filming of the classic film, Nosferatu (see #5 on this list). When an actual vampire is cast in the lead role, the result is a tale both clever and horrible. Great performances by John Malkovich, Willem DeFoe and Eddie Izzard. Even if vampire movies aren’t your thing, you’ll enjoy this one.
9. Blade (1998)
Terminator meets Buffy? This campy movie is heavy on the cheese but so much fun to watch. Virtual vampire fluff, this movie stars Wesley Snipes as Blade, the reluctant and noble vampire that is committed to saving the human race from his own kind. Be prepared for loads of snarky one-liners and brooding looks from Snipes. Fight scenes and bloody action sequences conspire to hold your attention. There’s even a vampire nightclub. You won’t be able to tear yourself away.
8. Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992)
Okay, it’s not the tv show but I’d like to argue that this film is bad in a good way. It’s, like, totally tubular. With the “Valley girl fights vampires” plot, reliable Joss Whedon wit and an excellent performance by Paul Reubens (yes, Peewee), you’ll end up sucked right in. Haha, I said “sucked”.
7. Nightwatch (Nochnoy dozor) (2004)
Even though there’s an obvious sci-fi/fantasy slant on this film, it is heavy on the vampires and thus, still counts as a vampire movie. This is the first film in a Russian trilogy chronicling your basic good vs. evil epic battle for planet earth. (Think vampires in The Matrix.) Nice special effects and an intriguing, bizarro plot to hold your interest and leave you thirsty for more.
6. From Dusk Til Dawn (1996)
Robert Rodriguez (director) and Quentin Tarantino (writer) at their wacky storytelling best here with a crazy cool cast (Harvey Keitel, George Clooney, Salma Hayek and Julliette Lewis, to name a few). Two fugatives cross the border and end up smack in the middle of a vampire nest. Vampire strippers? Check. Huge bloody showdown? Check check. If you’ve never seen this film, educate yourself immediately. Your life will not be complete until you’ve experienced the crazy that is From Dusk Til Dawn.
5. Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens (1922)
Chances are you’ve seen excerpts from this classic horror film, or at least caught one of the myriad of copycats out there. But, this is it, folks, the quintessential vampire film. Like the creatures themselves, this film is as old as dirt and still stirring. (Most people would place it at the top of this list but I stuck it in the center of mine, simply because I can only watch it every 10 years or so.) However, it still holds up as a haunting and dark tribute to the vampire. If you’re crazy enough to just watch one vampire film in your life, it should be Nosferatu.
4. Underworld (2003)
The premise alone takes me right to movie heaven. Lycans (Werewolves) vs. Vampires in a battle as old as time, right under the noses of us boring humans! Yes! I adore this film and will readily admit my dvd player is intimately familiar with it. Starring Kate Beckinsale and Scott Speedman, this movie grabs you by the jugular and doesn’t let go. There’s a nice history of vampires and werewolves that is quite interesting and even haters will admit the movie is visually stunning. You’ll love the intense performance by Bill Nighy as an old-ass vampire rising from an age-long slumber.
3. Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)
Francis Ford Coppala retells the classic story of Dracula and makes it even sexier! Gary Oldman stars as the coolest Dracula ever with Winona Ryder and Anthony Hopkins rounding out the cast. Gothic, dark and saturated with tragic romance, this movie convincingly captures the very essence of the book. Tom Waits as Renfield is an extra treat. When I think “Dracula”, I think of Oldman in this film.
2. Interview with the Vampire (1994)
I like to think this endorsement carries more weight coming from me, because I am the biggest Anne Rice fan in the history of the earth. Even with the strange casting, this film perfectly encompasses the spirit of the novel and holds its own amongst other vampire tales and good movies in general. There are surprisingly grand performances in this flick from Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise and, of course, Kristen Dunst, who’s interpretation of Claudia is nothing short of inspired. A full-bodied immersion into another universe, capable of making the viewer obsessed with the vampires instead of afraid of them. Stunning.
1. The Lost Boys (1987)
This wonderful film might just have more delightful one-liners than any other in history. How can it not be number 1? A young, hot vampire gang running rampant in California…what could be better? Starring Kiefer Sutherland, Jason Patric and (Holy crap!) both Coreys, The Lost Boys is campy blood drinking fun with just the right amount of creepy. “Don’t invite a vampire into your house, silly boy! It renders you powerless.” Hells yeah!
*To hear about vampire movies coming to a theater near you, check out this great post currently here on ScreenCrave.