So, fangs, had you noticed that not all vampires are equal in the fang department? Fangs are as many and varied as the vampires that go with them.
Let's start at the beginning with Nosferatu. This piccie is from the remake, but they did a good job of recreating the look. This critter is no bedroom stalking, sleep watching hottie; he's ugly as sin and has the fangs to prove it.
His teeth are rodent like, right in the front, although they are pointy not flat and chisel like. It's actually a very sensible place for fangs if you think about it, but let's be honest, fangs in the front just aren't sexy. Nosfeatu was designed to horrify and frighten, just like finding a rat in your bed. In traditional folk lore vampires spread disease, just like rodents and these fangs mirror that very well.
Next we have the traditional Dracula fangs. I think these are my favourite simply because they're a classic and they go on the natural fangs in the human mouth.
There are very few people who can make a vampire snarl look attractive and with these kind of fangs you have to snarl really wide. I've never actually found Christopher Lee hot, but he knew how to work a snarl.
I always think of big cats hissing and growling when I see Dracula fangs employed in a snarl.
However, even when it comes to Dracula fangs all vampires are not of the same styling. To the left is Valik from John Carpenter's Vampires and he's clearly compensating for something with those fangs.
Somehow he seems to make it work, I'm impressed. Wonder if he can actually close his mouth with those in?
Valik is sexy as hell, while at the same time being an insane, evil bastard, so I supposed he needed to fangs to go with it. Kind of like a snake waiting to strike and given that his bite is infectious without anything else, it's a good analogy.
Now, we're back to the Lost Boys again and this was probably the first movie where I realised that not all vampires are the same. I remember sitting in the cinema, seeing David on screen and actually thinking 'his fangs are in the wrong place'.
This may see a little irrelevant, but I'm all for experiences that broaden the mind. Even if it is only about vampires.
The vamps in The Lost Boys also have two sets of fangs, just like the lady to the left from Bordello of Blood. However, the designers have gone different ways with that simple idea as well.
David has longs fangs in the front and short fangs where you'd normally expect the fangs to be. Lilith has shorter fangs towards the front and longer ones where you'd expect them to be.
I'm not sure which would actually be more practical. For tearing I suspect David's fangs would work better (as shown by the scene with the Surf Nazi's demise in the movie), where as Lilith's would be more suited to a more refined nibble.
After the two sets of fangs, things can become a little more over the top. Some special effects people seem to think more is better.
For example this young lady to the right has a hell of a lot of teeth. Now I haven't seen the episode, but I believe she is a Supernatural vampire. She has way more teeth than entirely necessary. I would have thought that that many teeth would be a hindrance unless you were a flesh eating vampire.
If you're going for blood you want a decent hole, but you don't want a huge one or you're going to lose half your dinner. It seems somewhat impractical to me.
Then we go from impractical to just plain silly. This is an iconic image from Fright Night (the original 1980s version) and that's a lot of teeth and a very big mouth. They definitely weren't going for sexy with this shot, but then again that was the point. The vamps in Fright Night have a range of vampire versions from human, through human with fangs, through monster right up to animal form.
Nothing subtle about the fangs on this vampire and since she was going for the kill it made perfect sense. When I first saw Fright Night, that image scared the crap out of me.
As I have said before, I like vampires to have fangs and special effects artists all over the globe go out of their way to produce interesting versions of these blood sucking weapons. I love the lengths they will go to to make their vampires a little different.
Of course fangs don't just look different, they react differently too. You have three basic types in my experience:
- Vampires who look completely human and gain their fangs only when they vamp out.
- Vampires who have tiny fangs they can pass off as human that grow significantly when they're hungry.
- Vampires that always have fangs that are much longer than anything within human norms, that sometimes lengthen when they are hungry and annoyed.