2009 has been the year of the Vampire movie on the big and small screen, – the Twilight juggernaut keeps rolling on with the release of New Moon and True Blood has been a huge hit on the goggle box.
Vampires are a perrenial favourite, it’s the heady mix of emotional anguish, constant danger and of course lashings of free and easy sex.
Here’s our ten best vampire movies (plus a chance to win a copy of each).
1. The Lost Boys (1987)
One that those of a certain age remember with a misty eyed fondness. An achingly cool sound track that’s now been round long enough to be in vogue again, it’s worth picking up the sound track for ‘People are Strange ‘ by Echo and the Bunnymen alone. A young Keifer Sutherland plays moody and sexy (rather than deranged and torture-y as in 24 Series 7) and there’s a slightly homo-erotic under-text a la Top Gun but in an EMO style. This is the film that started the teen vampire craze and so hits the top of our list. Also worth watching for the amusement factor of some very, very bad mullets.
2. Buffy the Vampire Slayer Series Three (1997)
Joss Whedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer ran for six seasons starting in 1997 and if you look back at series one you realize how young Sarah Michelle Gellar and Alison Hannigan were (so shame on you for those improper thoughts). As with any long running series there were ups and downs but by series three they’d got the wise cracking, the hormonal angst, the adult in-jokes and the unrequited love story down to a tee. In fact the only thing that really spoiled Buffy were the low budget special effects when the Vampires did actually turn up.
3. Twilight Double Disc (2008)
High School romances are difficult enough at 17 if you’re human, let alone if you’re dealing with the undead…which could have been exactly the intro for Buffy the Vampire Slayer but let’s not hold it against them. Based on the best selling Stephanie Meyer novel Twilight is a phenomenon and is a hugely enjoyable tale of forbidden love between some very good looking young people menaced by their own kind unable to accept change.
A stunning film that disorientates on first view, switching suddenly from Tarantino style heist job to full on horror movie. The segue is the high point with Salma Hayek doing one of the most erotic dances in cinema history, Hayek’s perfect, curvaceous form writhing on stage covered only in a very flimsy black bikini and a snake caught the imagination of every cinema-going male in the English-speaking world when From Dusk Till Dawn was released. The fact that she subsequently transforms into a hideous monster and bites a huge chunk off Quentin Tarantino’s neck has done little to diminish her appeal as one of the sexiest vampires of all time.
5. Bram Stokers Dracula (1992)
A stellar cast in a reasonably faithful adaptation of Bram Stokers original novel. Directed by Francis Ford Coppola the cast features Anthony Hopkins, Gary Oldman, Winona Ryder and Monica Bellucci playing a semi clad siren in a scene that definitely wasn’t in the original book! What could have been a great film under delivers due to the casting of Keanu Reeves as Jonathan Harker however it’s sumptuously shot and always enjoyable.
6. True Blood (2009)
Sex and Vampires. Six Feet Under Director Alan Ball clearly has a whole heap of fun playing with the genre and this plays out like Twilights older and much naughtier cousin. The star of the show is British actor Stephen Moyer who plays Vampire Bill, a lonely and emotionally vulnerable character cut adrift in a modern day U.S. True Blood is funny, sexy and scary and if you’re after a less pubescent male lead to lust after this is the series for you.
7. Interview with the Vampire (1997)
If there’s such a thing as a ‘Brat Pack’ Vampire movie this is it. Based on Anne Rice’s hugely entertaining novel Interview with a Vampire stars Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, Antonio Banderas and Christian Slater. Phew, calm down girls! This is one of Brad Pitt’s break out roles playing the ultimate reluctant vampire against Cruise’s blood thirsty lead. Pitt’s brand of handsome, brooding anguish is the reason why vampires play on our heartstrings in a way that zombies and werewolves never could. Vampires aren’t always bloodthirsty monsters, but unfortunate creatures whose hunger compels them to kill and direct Neil Jordan uses all his skill to turn Pitt’s ‘Louis’ into such a sympathetic character. Plus… worth a look if you fancy seeing Kirsten Dunst in one of her first roles (warning – you may come away feeling really old if you remember this from first time around!)
8. Let the Right One in (2009)
The anti – Twilight vampire movie. Set in modern day Sweden this is a tale of a bullied 12 year, Oskar struggling to be accepted as school who meets a new neighbour, a similarly disaffected 12 year old girl, Eli and believes he’s found a friend he can relate to. However Eli’s appearance co-incides with the disappearance and death of a number of local residents. There is very little glamour or even light in this dark and gritty, very Scandinavian film – and it’s all the better for it.
9. Underworld (2003)
They probably spent as much money on Kate Beckinsdales skin tight leather catsuit as they did on the whole of Let the Right One. Underworld is very Hollywood, it’s loud, action packed and very much style of substance. That’s not to say that it isn’t any good, there are some genuinely scary parts and Michael Sheen (unrecognizable from the Damned United) excels as Lucian in this battle between Vampires and Werewolves.
10. Cronos (1993)
Cronos is probably the least known of our list however if you know that it’s directed by Mexican genius Guillermo del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth, Hellboy II and soon to be the Hobbit) this might persuade you to have a look at this film. The film is about an antique dealer who finds an ancient device that essentially turns him into a vampire. Moody, atmospheric, and very dark, Cronos clearly heralded the arrival of a talented new filmmaker when it premiered in 1993. Check out one of the best vampire movies ever made
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