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Hi all! It’s Erin from Wild Archaic. And my guest post for Marlize is about vampire movies. (Don’t worry, I won’t use the “T” word at any point in the post. ;p)
I’m by no means an authority on vampire movies. I have a list somewhere of ones I still want to see. However, like thousands (or perhaps millions) of people over the past several centuries, I’m somewhat fascinated by vampires. And I love movies. Put the two together? The results can be very, very bad—or very, very good. The following are my seven favourite vampire movies.
In chronological order:
Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens (1922) is the earliest extant film adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula and is still one of the creepiest vampire movies. The makers changed the characters’ names (Count Dracula becomes Count Orlock, Harker becomes Hutter, Mina becomes Ellen), but they still ran into copyright issues with the Stoker estate. The German expressionist elements—with the Count’s long-fingered shadow, the strange movement of inanimate objects, and even the day-for-night sequences—contribute wonderfully to the eeriness of the film. The music can make or break the movie, though, so if you watch it, hopefully it’s a version with a suitable soundtrack.
The Fearless Vampire Killers (1967) is strange, silly, creepy, and beautiful—everything a (comedy) vampire movie should be. The first time I saw it, it was dubbed into French, which made it even weirder. A professor and his sidekick go to Transylvania in search of vampires, and they find what they’re looking for. Sharon Tate is ridiculously gorgeous in this movie; the decorations in the castle are fabulous, the music is mad, and the ballroom scene for which the movie was originally named (Dance of the Vampires) is certainly memorable.
Love at First Bite (1979) is the vampire movie to watch if you’re in a disco mood. Dracula is kicked out of his castle by communists, so he moves to New York City in search of his one true love. Some of the jokes seem dated (which is fine if you look at it as a period piece), but there’s enough madcap humour that I still love this movie every time I watch it. Richard Benjamin is especially good as the psychiatrist, and the final car-chase showdown is pure zany action-packed goodness.
Nosferatu: Phantom der Nacht (1979) seems a million miles away from Love at First Bite, though it was made the same year, and it comes in as a close second for my favourite vampire movie, after Bram Stoker’s Dracula. I can’t watch the opening sequence (a room of mummies) without getting shivers. It’s brilliant to see how the mood changes from bright and hopeful to gloomy and desolate. Klaus Kinski probably makes the most convincing and realistic vampire ever, and Isabelle Adjani is hauntingly beautiful. The plague rats, the lines of coffins, the doomed men and women at the feast . . . this is memento mori at its finest. Don’t go in looking for a lot of action, though. This movie is more about thoughts and atmosphere.
The Lost Boys (1987) is good solid family fun. Or almost. Michael, Sam, and their mom move to Santa Carla to live with Grandpa. What they don’t know is that the town is infested with vampires. The funniest part is how ’80s it is, ha ha. (And to be fair, there are a lot of funny parts.) I love Echo and the Bunnymen’s cover of “People Are Strange,” and Dianne Wiest is super fab as the mom. Oh, and in case you’re wondering? I’d pick Michael over David any day! ❤
The much-maligned Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992) is still my favourite vampire movie. Gary Oldman is at his very coolest and very sexiest here, and Winona Ryder has rarely been more beautiful. And I would never have noticed Keanu Reeves’ acting if everyone and their mothers hadn’t gone on and on about it (British, stuffy, wooden: it seems fine to me! =p). Throw in Cary Elwes, Tom Waits, Anthony Hopkins, and a scrumptious song by Annie Lennox, and I’m head-over-heels in love. Everything is over the top: the sets, the acting, the music, the costumes . . . and for some people, it doesn’t work. For me? It has been far too influential in my life. I’m going to be so disappointed if an eccentric Transylvanian prince doesn’t cross oceans of time (and just plain old oceans) to find me. Har har.
Dracula: Dead and Loving It (1995) is the Dracula movie to end all Dracula movies. Well, not really, but if you’ve seen this, I promise you won’t be able to take the original Dracula (1931) starring Bela Lugosi seriously. Mel Brooks is a genius, and this is his last masterpiece (to date). Leslie Nielsen is wonderful as the Count and Peter MacNicol is way too funny as Renfield. I don’t go through very many weeks of my life without quoting something from this movie.
So! There you have it.
What are your favourite vampire movies? If you’re not into vampires, is there another subgenre you really love?
Hmmmm, I think I should rename this post to ‘Movies I want to watch’ !!! Thanks again Erin! =]