14 Fang-Tastic Vampire Movies
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Max Schreck is still the most frightening-looking movie vampire ever in this alternate take on Bram Stoker's Dracula (renamed because the filmmakers couldn't get the rights to the story). It also introduced the cool "rising stiff as a board on a hinge" maneuver of getting out of a coffin.
Bela Lugosi established the Dracula icon as we know him today: the red lips, the high-collared cape and the slick hair with a widow's peak -- not to mention the most legitimate accent of any actor portraying the count.
After Bela Lugosi, Christopher Lee is probably the actor most closely associated with Dracula, thanks to Horror of Dracula. This brightly colored, blood-splattered romp kick-started a series of horror films from Great Britain's Hammer Studios throughout the 1960s, or what I like to refer to as "Hammer Time."
Beyond the campy "Blaxploitation" title, this tale of an African prince turned into a vampire by Dracula is straightforward and at times genuinely creepy, propelled by the towering presence of William Marshall as the titular character. Can you dig it?
A thinking person's vampire movie, Ganja & Hess is an artsy, high-minded work that delves into the life of a "real" vampire -- that is, someone who doesn't have fangs and isn't affected by sunlight, but who has to drink blood to survive. Turns out it's a slow, cerebral existence with a lot of soft lighting.
Frank Langella is no Christopher Lee, but the legendary Laurence Olivier and Donald Pleasance, fresh off his turn in Halloween, carry this picturesque film.
What horror list would be complete without Stephen King? This made-for-TV miniseries adaptation of King's novel features a terrifying Nosferatu-like vampire and town full of nightwalkers in desperate need of staking.
Fright Night (1985)
Sort of like Rear Window with a vampire, Fright Night brings the undead to the scariest place on Earth: the suburbs.
Mr. Vampire (1985)
Everyone should see a Chinese vampire movie before they die, and it may as well be this hit, a wild and crazy mix of comedy, kung fu and horror with zombie-like vampires that hop after you!
The Lost Boys (1987)
Corey Haim + Corey Feldman + '80s rock 'n roll + mullets galore = the most fun vampire movie of the decade.
Stunning visuals and a tour-de-force performance from Anthony Hopkins obscure the fact that Keanu Reeves exists.
An epic tale befitting the best-selling Anne Rice novel, Interview With the Vampire is full of gorgeous sets and gorgeous people (Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, Antonio Banderas, et al.) doing gorgeous things to each other over a couple of centuries.
Blade II (2002)
Bigger and better than its predecessor, Blade II benefits from the vision of director Guillermo del Toro, who had previously helmed the Mexican vampire flick Cronos. With his help, the second Blade film turns into a live-action video game, drenched in blood and butt-kicking.
30 Days of Night (2007)
30 Days of Night reinvents the vampire with the sort of speed and ferocity that 28 Days Later and the Dawn of the Dead remake brought to zombie lore. You might want to reconsider those Alaskan vacation plans.
In the mood for a bite? How about 14? These movies are sure to give you what you need, but be careful you don't bite off more than you can chew. Why 14 movies? Because I couldn't narrow it down to 10...or 13, for that matter. Just think of it as taking a vampire a day for two weeks.
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