So there are a lot of different types of vampire movies out there and I have to admit I'm an 80s girl at heart and love a good 80s vampire movie. I also prefer my vamps with fangs and if they have glowing eyes too, all the better. I make no excuses, it's a kink. However, I have been known to enjoy some other types of vampire movie too and I thought I'd share some that I think are well worth watching and I will share some that I think you should avoid at all costs in another post :) [Edit have now posted it here: Vampire Movies That Suck (and not in a good way)].
Remember, this is just my humble opinion, so feel free to completely disagree with me.
Vampire Movies I Love
The Lost Boys an 80's vampire movie at its best - high budget, well written, funny in places and the vamps are hot.
Sam and Michael have just moved with their Mom, in with their Grandfather in Santa Carla after an acrimonious divorce. However, that is the least of their worries as Sam finds out their are vampires in town and Michael ends up, up close and personal with them.
This was the movie that made me love vampires - I saw it when I was 15 and never looked back. I can still quote it.
The Lost Boys III - The Thirst - after #2 I did not hold out much hope for this movie, but it's superb. It's not an instant classic, but it is well worth watching. Corey Feldman is brilliant and all the characters are entertaining. Not only is Edgar Frog back, but also Alan Frog and the combination is what it needs. The idiot reality TV vampire hunter is also superb. Has good twists.
Edgar is hired to destroy the vampire DJ X, who is creating lots of vamps using his blood. He sits as head vamp and runs raves and it's up to Edgar to stop his little plans of corrupting all the young people.
Vamp - vampire humour at it's best with Grace Jones as the head vamp, who manages to get through the whole film with n'ere a line.
Keith and AJ need a stripper to get into a frat house, so they borrow a car from Duncan (the college go to man who pays people to be his friends) and head to the city with Duncan in tow. What they didn't count on was a bar full of stripper vampires and a neighbourhood that is less than friendly.
Love this movie, exciting, funny and totally 80s.
Blade | Blade II | Blade Trinity - high budget, great plots, good acting - everything you don't often get in a vampire movie.
Blade is the Daywalker, born after his mother was infected by a vampire, just as she died. He has vampire powers, but not their biggest weakness to daylight. Along with Whistler he hunts vampires as they create their little empires and take human familiars. In the first movie Blade is up again Deacon Frost, who wants to use Blade's blood to become the blood king. In the second movie Blade has to team up with the vamps to combat the threat of a new type of vampire that is superior to the normal, but forever hungry and wild. Then in Trinity Blade teams up with the Nightstalkers, a band of vampire hunters against Drake, the original vampire himself.
Love the Blade movies even though I don't often find Wesley Snipes overly dynamic. The first movie was brilliantly done and is the one that is the most serious and down to earth - they get wilder as they go on. Trinity is my fav, but I won't lie, it's probably because I fancy both Drake and King :).
Underworld | Underworld Evolution - Brilliant movies with great writing, great characters and superb effects and costumes.
Selene is a death dealer - a vampire who kills Lycans (werewolves). She lives for it because Lycans killed her family. Michael Corvin, a medical student ends up in the middle of the vamp/lycan war because the Lycans want him for something. Selene wants to know why.
This series of movies pushes so many of my buttons. Vamps and werewolves and halfbreeds and I love both movies. Haven't seen #3 so can't comment on that and I hope #4 is as good as the first 2.
Interview With the Vampire - beautiful acting, beautiful sets and costumes and superb story line. It's a real shame Anne Rice went off the deep end, she had a real talent.
Louis, a plantation owner of the 1800s, loses his wife and child and turns to Lestat, a vampire for solace. They end up moving through the south together, but while Lestat eats people, Louis eats rats and animals. Then they find Claudia, a dying girl that Lestat makes a vampire. They become a bizarre family, but of course all families have problems.
This is a magnificent film. Moving from America to France and back again through time it it stunning to watch and heart wrenching in places. I love the book and the film does it justice. It also has one of the best soundtracks ever made IMHO.
Fright Night | Fright Night II - more 80s horror at it's best.
Charlie Brewster is a normal teenager, he just happens to like horror movies, expecially those show on Fright Night, a late night TV show hosted by Peter Vincent - Vampire Killer. When new neighbours move in Charlie isn't really expecting Jerry Dandrige to be a vampire, but when said vampire realises Charlie knows Charlie has to defend himself. In number 2 Charlie has put the vampires behind him and is at college, problem is, a vampire has her eye on him. Regene and her entourage are after Charlie.
Where as Lost Boys is my first vampire love, I think these movies are the ones I love the most. They are funny in places, exciting in others and they are brilliantly done.
Near Dark - Adrian Pasdar and Bill Paxton at odds with Lance Henriksen egging them on.
Caleb meets a girl, Mae, and falls in love with her. Problem is she had something of a blood lust and after she bites him he is forced to join her bizarre, mismatched 'family'.
Now this is dark 80s horror and it's brilliantly done. Great actors and a much more realistic take on vampires rather than all the sleeping in coffins and crawling up walls idea. I'd say it was grittier than that type of movie. It's superb.
Bram Stoker's Dracula - yes the Keanu Reeves and Gary Oldman one. It's kitchy and has bits that make you laugh outloud when you're not supposed to, but it's still brilliant.
It's the normal story of Dracula, with Jonathan going off to Romania and being trapped in the castle and Lucy being seduced by Dracula while Mina is all virtuous and only succumbs at the last.
The costumes and sets in this are brilliant and it is very sensual in places. Dear ole Keanu has the worst accent on the face of the planet and most of the other cast out act him, but I love him as Jonathan. Anthony Hopkins is just insane enough as Van Helsing and Winona makes a sufficiently innocent and yet wanting Mina. However, it's Gary Oldman's Dracula that makes the movie for me; he is brilliant. Creepy and yet loving and so racked by grief.
Vampires (John Carpenter's) - gritty, bleak vampire hunters, lost of violence, swearing and dark themes. It's magnificent.
Jack Crow, a Vatican vampire hunter goes after revenge when he loses his team to a master vampire. However, it turns out that everything is much more complicated, because the master is Valek - the original vampire and he seems to be looking for something.
I adore this movie. The vampires are nasty and powerful and the humans are really onto a losing battle except for the advantage of sunlight. There is mythology and explaining the origins of vampires and it's brilliant. James Woods is fabulous as Crow and Tim Guinee is brilliant as Father Guiteau as he goes from church naive to battle field scarred. Superb film.
Vampires: Los Muertos - technically the sequel to JC's Vampires, but very different in some ways. Still love it though.
Dereck Bliss is a lone vampire hunter who makes his living by killing vampires and being paid by a mysterious society. He meets Zoey, a girl who is half turned, but keeping the vampire at bay with pills designed to stop viral infections. Along with Rodrigo, they must fight Una, a master vampire with her eye on walking in daylight.
This film is not really of the same level as it's predecessor, but I love it to pieces. I think Jon Bon Jovi is superb as Derek and the plot is action filled, the characters likeable and the script not bad at all.
Salem's Lot | Salem's Lot (remake) - I think Salem's Lot is Steven King's best book, hands down and both adaptions are brilliant.
Ben Meers returns to the small town of Salem's Lot to write a book. He lived there as a child and had a run in with the Marsten House ... the house on the top of the hill. He tried to rent it, but finds that it has been rented to Mr Straker and Mr Barlow. When Ralphie Glick goes missing the trouble starts.
These are two fabulous mini-series. The story explores small town life and its incestuousness and what can happen when rot sets in. When Danny Glick was floating outside Mark Petrie's window it scared the hell out of me as a child - it is one of the things I will always remember and the remake did the story complete justice too. It seems to me the cast of the remake were much prettier than the original ;).
Innocent Blood - mobsters and vampires; sheer brilliance.
Joe is an undercover cop after mob boss Sallie Macelli and all is going well until Marie (the vampire) eats Tony, Sallie's first lieutenant. Marie is a picky eater and likes to go after bad guys, but when she fails to disconnect Sallie's central nervous system after sucking him dry things get difficult. Joe ends up right in the middle of it.
This film is exciting and funny and just brilliantly done. It combines great vampire lore with mobsters and runs with it. You'll also recognise most of the cast from lots of other things. This is just a fabulous film.
Sundown: The Vampire In Retreat - this is funny and so very, very entertaining.
In a small town in America, vampires are trying to exist peacefully on synthetic blood. Unfortunately their plant is not working correctly so they call in the inventor, David Harrison. David and his wife and two daughters travel to help fix the plant, not knowing what it is for. Unfortunately all is not well, and Shane, David's old rival it there to greet them, now also a vampire. It's only a matter of time before the truth comes out.
This film has Bruce Campbell and David Carradine as Mardulak - it's funny and touching and just all round great. For Highlander fans, Elizabeth Gracen is in it too. Everyone should watch it.
Moon Child - Gackt and Hyde and vampires ... need I say more.
Sho is on the streets and fighting to survive with his brother and friend. Then he finds a man lying in some old waste ground; the man seems to be strange and dying, but Sho helps him. The man is Kei and Kei is a vampire. As Sho grows Kei watched over him and then eventually Sho watches over Kei.
It's brilliant, that's all I have to say. Vampires, Asian mobsters and a plot that is so slashy even though there is a girl in it.
Higanjima - I did a post about this the other day.
There are many other vampire movies I like, but these are the ones I really love. Later I will be pointing out some ones I think should disappear and never, even be seen again ;).