Hail to the Bloodsuckers! Eternal, sexy (usually), and back from the dead. The vampire is a proud staple of the genre, and there is great breadth to the genre. Hear the Scariest Things Crew chime in on their favorites.
Mike points out early in our podcast that a list of vampire movies could go 100 deep should we try and do a dead list. (And don’t be surprised if we try!) From the very dawn of the genre, with Nosferatu and Dracula audiences have gravitated to the vampires and each passing generation has added their own twist to the type. The rules got set with those two monumental movies, and for the most part, their undead progeny have followed suit. You know the traits, but it is remarkable how many of the vampire elements have become essential. Let’s take a quick look at what makes a movie vampire:
- They drink blood. ALL vampires drink blood.
- They don’t eat flesh. Leave that for the zombies and cannibals.
- They are usually undead, though some may be mentally disturbed people who want to be vampires.
- They are usually nocturnal. Daylight often destroys a vampire.
- Stake to the heart!
- They are seducers by nature.
- Holy water is a near sure winner vs. vampires.
- Believe it or not, not all vampires have fangs. In fact Bela Lugosi did not have fangs. It’s a pretty good indicator though.
Some traits that have been less dependable:
- They don’t have a reflection. This trait seems to be less played in current vampire movies.
- Transformational power. The early vampires liked to turn into bats and rats. The What We Do in the Shadows TV show lovingly has brought this trait back.
- Flying is a trait that is a vampire option that seems to have been lost.
- Crosses sometimes work, but contemporary vampires seem to be a bit more resistant to Christian symbols. I wonder if a fish would work?
- Garlic repels them. Not sure why, but that one has had surprising staying power
When picking what vampire movies to watch there are many flavors within this bloody buffet. The classic vampires got a shot in the arm with the popularity of Anne Rice’s novels. There’s the leather clad cyberpunk kung fu fighting vampires. You’ve got your bosomy lesbian euro-vampires. Goofy comedic vampires? Plenty of them. Sparkly teenage angsty vampires… well, yeah those too.
One thing that has to be mentioned, and here’s a head’s up to the fellas out there, women love them some vampires. The classic vampire is tall dark and handsome, and the notion of a lonely European royal alone in his castle has a certain allure to it. There is something rather soap operatic with vampires. The idea of clans and cliques that permeate the works of Anne Rice, Twilight, Underworld, and the live action role playing game Vampire the Masquerade emphasizes the societal dramas internal to vampire life, and these stories really resonate with a female audience. Vampires are certainly the most romantic of all horror films, with a nod to the werewolf film.
So, gentlemen, make a date of it and get a Vampire movie! She will appreciate it. You can always get something like Blade or From Dusk Til’ Dawn if you want to sneak in an action vampire flick. (wink!) There are so many vampire movies we could very well do another vampire podcast… if we can convince Mike to do so.
Without further ado… Episode 79, Vampires, at long last!