Great VampiresBy RodneyHatfieldJr for Movies
With most of us finally starting to get back to normal life(unless a 2 wave of Covid comes along). We hopefully have a better love for life in general. So let's look at one character in horror that in all intended purposes doesn’t really care one way or the other about life and death of mere mortals. Vampires have been a part of our history, literature, and myths since the beginning of time. Vampires began as folklore. An otherworldly creature that people believed lurked in the shadows and an explanation for unknown events or misfortune. Before long, vampires found their way into literature and they became more than just monsters but became a symbol for dark sexual desires.
Vampires are one of the most popular creatures that audiences love to watch. Let's take a look at 6 of the main archetype movie versions of these chilling monsters. Naturally, the list is in no way, shape, or form in order. These are just the top 6 people think of when someone says, Vampire.
Interview With The Vampire 1994
This gothic horror follows two vampires, Louis and Lestat, beginning with Louis's transformation in 1791 and following through to the present day. The vampires also turn 10-year-old Claudia into a vampire, creating a faux family unit. Interview with a Vampire is a unique insight into the inner-workings of creatures struggling with the remnants of their humanity and the new-found issues that accompany their evolution into vampires.
Interview gave new meaning to the word suave and debonair when vampires are concerned. This laid the groundwork for the sexy vampire for years to come. I blame this movie for sparkling vampires.
The Grandfather of all vampire movies(Sorry Max Schreck). Bela Lugosi as Count Dracula. This film version is actually based on the 1924 stage play version of Dracula, which in turn was of course based on Stoker's book.
Bela Lugosi's portrayal has become synonymous with the character and has given us the staple stereotype of Dracula ever since, providing a signature look and accent. His take on the character is one that stresses his regal bearing, his veneer of the aristocracy, and an age-old class. Considering he was born and raised 39 miles/62 km from Castle Dracula. He fit the part.
Vampires express a kind of hard-nosed brand of vampires that other directors have attempted to pull off but few have ever even brushed up against. Jack Crow, the leader of a gang of vampire slayers who are all but wiped out completely when they come up against Jan Valek, a powerful bloodsucker looking for a talisman that will allow him to walk freely in sunlight.
When you think of a vampire as a predator, nothing can compare to Valek. He views humans as snacks and treats them as such. This is like a Western with vampires. In the immortal words of Oliver Twist, "Please, sir, I want some more.”
Bram Stoker's Dracula 1992
I know, everyone has a love/hate relationship with this movie. But that isn’t why it is listed. It is because of Gary Oldman. The man is incredible. Do you want warrior Dracula? Got it. Old man Dracula? Yep. Sophisticated Dracula? Naturally. Sexy Dracula? It practically oozes it. Savage Dracula? In spades. The only Dracula we don’t see is the bald Vampyre. But we do get bat-creature, so that's ok.
The visual expression of immortality and insatiable lust that goes beyond mere sex, entering into a surreal realm of physical hunger. There’s a cutting sense of menace rather than play the classic tale as soberly frightening, the film goes for the psychological madness, disbelief, and uncertainty of becoming a creature that is sustained on blood alone.
Only the 4th vampire film ever made and the earliest existing film to this day, the absolute best by some accounts. Nosferatu does not attempt to romanticize his vampire but instead presents him as a diseased and weasely shell. Count Orlok is the physical representation of death. With pointy ears and nose, structurally, he has the face of a scavenger, and the long pale claws of a rat. The Count is not filmed in a manner that would imply that he used to be human; with his claws and hunched posture, his every movement appears as though he’s dragging hell within his shadow.
Almost 100 years old, and the film has not lost the magic and mystery. Will other films be able to make this claim?
What We Do in the Shadows 2014
But this is a comedy? Yes, and we are talking about vampires. What do they do after they feed? How do they live? What would a person born 600 years ago react to modern times? New perspectives are a good thing, especially with the old concept of vampires. Besides, it’s funny and a personal favorite.
WWDITS is a mockumentary about four vampire flatmates and it takes an absolutely delightful approach to explore creature clichés in a deadpan, reality show-like manner. Viago, Vlad, Deacon, and Petyr all turned during different time periods, which leads to some brilliant spins on familiar issues like doing the dishes, getting into nightclubs, adapting to new technology. And it represents the four archetypes of Vampire. Classic, Monster, Suave, and Rebel. It even brings in another archetype of the reluctant young vampire. He is a vampire but doesn't have all the fears of exposure, and really doesn't want to be a vampire, to begin with.
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