We’ve always had a bit of an obsession with the blood-thirsty, fanged creatures that leapt from the books and legends onto our screens. Whether they’re hilariously over the top, dark and brooding or making young girls swoon, they’ve always managed to win a place in our hearts.
So, in not particular order, here are ten of the best vampire flicks for you to really sink your teeth into…
From Dusk Till Dawn (1996)
Written by Quentin Tarantino, who stars alongside George Clooney, From Dusk Till Dawn is a devilishly outrageous film, which almost verges on parody. Taking a family hostage in their own mobile home, the Gecko brothers flee from the law, only to find themselves trapped in a nightclub crawling with vicious creatures of the night… Achieving cult status, the movie has now spawned a new TV show (trailer above), which starts this month on Netflix.
The Lost Boys (1987)
After brothers Michael (Jason Patric) and Sam Emerson (Corey Haim) move to Santa Cruz – California, the local biker gang, lead by the enegmatic ‘David’ (Kiefer Sutherland) begin to arouse suspicion. When following mysterious deaths and chilling initiation ceremonies, the pair soon discovers that being wild is something that’s just in their blood… This film is an 80’s cult classic, and is one of the first pair up between the 2 Coreys – Feldman & Haim. It also produced one of the most kick-ass movie soundtracks of all time!
Interview With The Vampire (1994)
Some people complained about Neil Jordan’s Interview with the Vampire, but I think it does great justice to Anne Rice’s ‘Vampire Chronicles’ bestseller (and so did Rice… eventually). With a star cast including Tom Cruise as the flamboyant Lestat, Brad Pitt as the whiny annoying interviewee Louis, and an early appearance from Kirsten Dunst as child vampire Claudia, the film focuses on Louis relating his life.. and non-life story to a journalist (Christian Slater). Rice hated the idea of Cruise playing Lestat, but after seeing his performance, took out a full page ad in Hollywood trade paper apologising for the negative comments she made over his casting.
Queen of the Damned (2002)
Although called ‘Queen of the Damned’, the film is a loose adaptation of Anne Rice’s 2nd and 3rd ‘Vampire Chronicles’. The late Aaliyah stars as the Queen herself, appearing on the silver screen in a wreath of dry ice. Armed with a ridiculous plot and a toe-tapping soundtrack, the film follows Lestat (this time played by Stuart Townsend) as he awakens from his coffin to pursue a rock star lifestyle in the modern age.
30 Days of Night (2007)
British director David Slade terrifies and thrills audiences with his horror flick, 30 Days of Night. The remote Alaskan town of Barow falls prey to 30 nights of ravenous ruthlessness, leaving Josh Hartnett as the local sheriff to save the townsfolk from a gruelling demise.
Ahh yes… The movie that started a franchise focusing on Kate Beckinsale running around in tight leather and kicking butt. A dark epic marking the debut of director Len Wiseman, Underworld is definitely one to watch. The beautiful vampire warrior Selene finds herself entrenched in a vicious war between vampires and werewolves, but her heart is torn when she finds love on enemy lines.
Although he may only technically be half vampire, Wesley Snipes as Blade is undoubtedly all action. Boasting an array of lethal talents, this beast of brute force unleashes them all against the vampire overlord (Stephen Dorff) hell bent on watching the world burn. Also spawned a couple of decent sequels.
Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)
Based on the book that launched the vampire genre, this Oscar-winning film stays true to the classic tale. Following Gary Oldman as Count Dracula, viewers will find themselves thirsty for more of the terror and seduction that runs throughout this dark adaptation. Keanu Reeves’s performace as Jonathan Harker may have been so wooden it’s surprising Anthony Hopkins’s Van Helsing doesn’t try to use him as a stake, but it’s worth watching for Oldman in full scenery chewing mode!
Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992)
The year was 1992, and little did we know it then but 5 years later Joss Whedon would create one of the most popular television series of all time. Featuring Kristy Swanson as the cheerleader-turned-vampire-hunting-heroin, instead of Sarah Michelle Gellar, the Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie was not good. However, if you’re a fan of the TV show, it’s worth watching just so you can see how bad direction and studio interference can totally mangle a perfectly decent script.
As much as it pains me to admit it, no vampire list can now be complete without mention of the Twilight Saga. Love it or hate it, the trilogy has come to define a generation of blood-sucking fans, giving rise to a franchise that has branched into merchandise, fan fiction and even inspired the www.butlersbingo.com video slot ‘Immortal Romance’. Director Catherine Hardwicke brings Stephenie Meyer’s creation to life and, despite facing a lack of budget, manages to merge Dracula with Romeo & Juliet in a visually compelling love story… I still maintain that vampires shouldn’t sparkle like you’ve rolled them in glitter though!