For as long as I can remember, I have always loved horror flicks. I can remember watching them with my bro, as the two of us tried to frighten each other or get a good laugh at the bad acting. And as I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to appreciate the genre. My favorite films are the vampire flicks. Nothing says scary like the undead. So in the spirit of vampire movies, here are a few of my favorites.
Nosferatu: Symphony of Horrors (1922)
This was the first vampire film I ever saw, and as a teen, it creeped me out. The film is a classic as far as vampire movies go. Nosferatu is a Slavonic word meaning plague carrier. By all accounts, this film uses the terminology as a reference to Count Orlok, the vampire of the film. Played by Max Schreck, Nosferatu is a haunting figure. While he is to be reviled, at times one can’t help but to feel pity. Unlike the handsome, charismatic portrayals of most men in vampire movies, Schrek’s Nosferatu is the kind of vampire you’d want to cower in front of. It is a must see if you’re an avid vampire lover.
Bela Lugosi. Enough said. He paved the way for future vampires, and he did a splendid job. The movie was originally based on the Broadway play adapted from Bram Stoker’s book. Lugosi is charming, whilst eerie at the same time. The use of shadows helps to set the mood of the film. Also, the characterization of Renfield is sublime. Dwight Frye who plays Renfield puts the crazy in his character. While the film is campy at times, there are those moments that are quite creepy.
The Lost Boys (1987)
One of my favorites as a kid. Put a bunch of good looking guys in a movie, and you have my undivided attention. Two teenage sons move to California with their divorced mom, only to find vampires inhabit the city. You have to love Corey Feldman’s trash-talking character. Kiefer Sutherland plays a remarkable , charismatic vampire, that is a trademark signature for these kind of roles. The movie is smart and funny as far as vampire movies go, and has easily become a cult classic.
Interview with the Vampire (1994)
While this movie is epic in the portrayal of vampire characters, I must say Kirsten Dunst’s portrayal is what did it for me. A child vampire throwing a tantrum is quite a site to behold. With Louis and Lestat acting as father figures for the perpetual child-like Claudia, they put the dysfunction in dysfunctional. The story is told through Louis, recounting 200 years of love, death, betrayal, and the curse that it is to be a vampire.
30 Days of Night
I must admit, the acting was hard to get into. But it’s a horror movie, so what can you expect? It’s the idea of the plot that plays psychologically with your mind. Imagine being trapped in the middle of nowhere (Barrow, Alaska) during a period where the sun will not emerge from darkness for 30 days. Throw in some psychotic vampires, and you have what nightmares are made of. The vampire dialogue is hilarious when listening to their guttural discourse, and the gore is just out there. Nevertheless, it is entertaining at times.
Blood: The Last Vampire (2000)
I love anime. And as far as anime goes, this film is awesome. Saya, who herself is a vampire, is the last of her kind. Trapped in the everlasting body of a 16 year-old, she’s a sword-wielding, demon-killer who works for the U.S. government. Nothing is said of her background (why she became a vampire), but it doesn’t matter because the viewer becomes enraptured with the quality of techniques used in this animation film.
Near Dark (1987)
Oh the dilemma of becoming a vampire. Caleb is young man who is seduced by the “gentle” vampire Mae. Of course she bites him, and then Caleb is forced to learn how to kill, yet he can’t find will to do it. And Bill Pullman’s performance as Severen is notable. The film revolves around Caleb’s transformation, and his choice of living with the undead or his family.