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 Vampire Movies

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Carabas
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PostSubject: Vampire Movies   Thu Feb 10, 2011 4:08 pm

Let's talk about blood suckers in the night and their numerous cinematic incarnations. What is really fascinating is the sheer number of vampire movies made throughout the world. Some are good, most are bad. A few age very gracefully and many just drift back into oblivion or are forgotten as soon as they're released. Who remembers that Buffy the Vampire Slayer was a teen movie before it became a successful TV series? Who will even remember Daybreakers in two years? Who can say that they remember The Forsaken?

I'm probably getting carried away as I can remember these movies while I can't remember exactly the titles of that forgettable vampire flick with Lance Henriksen or that other vampire movie I've watched on a long winter night on the Sci Fi channel... But I can say that I remember watching the Pakistani version of Dracula.

Anyway only a few movies deserve a place in the Vampire movies "Hall of Fame" for various reasons. I don't expect that people will agree on such choices so I will suggest tallking about movies that we like and movies that we know fellow posters may like or may have missed. There are many movies worth putting on such a list.

We could (and probably should) get started with Tod Browning's Dracula (although I think it's far less entertaining than the Pakistani Dracula). It was nevertheless a major influence on Hollywood movies as it was based on a play that took important liberties with the the original plot of Bram Stoker's seminal novel. John Badham's 1979 Dracula can be said to owe a lot to the 1931 movie (and the same could be said about. Dracula Dead and Loving It).

The other "original" Dracula is probably even more interesting. I'm referring to Murnau's Nosferatu, a silent and yet gripping movie. Max Shreck's performance is still potent today. Amusingly enough Shadow of the Vampire was based on the shooting of this movie. I should also mention Werner Herzog's Nosferatu (that tends to prove that 1979 was a great year for vampire movies).

Of course one can't discuss vampire movies without mentioning the Hammer movies featuring Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee, especially Terence Fisher's Dracula. The Hammer movies may have aged (Dracula A.D. 1972 is a case in point) but they still retain some charm that other more recent adaptations will never possess (think about Dracula 2000).

I have only brushed the subject of vampire spoofs. The most significant movie in that category is most certainly Roman Polanski's the Fearless Vampire Killers. Its appeal resides in its take on the clichés and the irreverence that is displayed in many unforgettable scenes. It can also be seen and analyzed seriously (the mirror scene is hilarious but it is a bold statement as well as it exposes the otherness of vampires but sets the humans as being the trespassers, the aliens). There are some very interesting spoofs out there. If you can get your hands on it I'd like to recommend a French movie, Les dents de la nuit, it is hilarious and clever but never takes itself seriously. It is probably the right time to mention The Lost Boys which deserves its cult status. The same can of course be said about From Dusk Till Dawn especially if we ignore the (rather mediocre) sequels. It's over the top and clichéd but fun nevertheless.

Long before Twilight (which I must confess I haven't seen) there was the whole vampire chronicles series by Anne Rice which brought us two interesting movies. Neil Jordan's Interview with the Vampire succeeded in translating the book to the screen (faithful adaptations are rare enough so this should be stressed out -of course the author did write the screenplay -of course it should be pointed out that since Tom Cruise is playing Lestat there is no real sexual ambiguity in the movie whereas in the novel Lestat had a much more complex and interesting sexuality). The other movie based on Anne Rice's novels was very different but enthralling if not as perfect. Queen of the Damned is probably underrated because of some flaws (at times it's way too showy) but it did encapsulate the essence of the character and brought to the screen what had been missing in Interview. I just love the soundtrack, it is amazing (if you like Jonathan Davis).

There is also the vampire superhero trend. The Blade trilogy is somewhat interesting and effective (and funny at times, the whole sunlight scene is hilarious but I'm not sure it was meant to be that funny) but the vampire superhero genre can also lead to really bad flicks like Bloodrayne (trust me that one is reeeeally bad). In comparison Underworld or Van Helsing are masterpieces.

I've been listing movies without going into too many details and this looks a bit random. There are many movies that I should mention but for now I should point out a few more like Tony Scott's The Hunger, a very daring and provocative vampire movie (the lesbian element in vampire stories had been a major theme in literature long before Dracula with for instance Sheridan Le Fanu's Carmilla).

The other movie I have to mention is interesting for many points. Bram Stoker's Dracula is really Francis Ford Coppola's Dracula. It stresses the relevance of the vampire to the 90s by underlining the link between blood and STDs. It also operates a reversal as far as genre is concerned. The vampire's story is fleshed out and the alien, the stranger, the enemy becomes a tragic romantic figure much like Beauty and the Beast. It is Mina who takes charge of the physical dimension in the movie she is the one begging to be fed the count's blood (interestingly enough the count is called a prince -Prince Charming?) whereas in the book we have a scene that is more akin to a rape. The fairy tale dimension can also be said to be reinforced by the theatricality of the sets (especially at the end). It is both faithful to the original and completely modifies its substance especially with the redemption and the Elisabeta storyline.

Last but not least I have to mention John Carpenter's Vampires. This movie breaks up with the tradition that shows vampires as seductive if rather pale Europeans with freaky accents and ungodly wardrobes. The fact is that the movie was made with a very low budget but it still manages to pull it off. The acting is good and if you like John Carpenter movies (and vampire movies) this is a real treat.

I'm pretty sure that I've left out many movies but that is at least a start. There are so many vampire movies that it's a rather daunting task to try and list a few of the most memorable ones. I'm glad to say that I managed to remember the title of the vampire movie with Lance Henriksen though, it is Near Dark and it wasn't that bad actually.


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PostSubject: Re: Vampire Movies   Thu Feb 10, 2011 4:49 pm

The best vampire books/TV series is (IMO) True Blood. Very tongue-in-cheek, VERY funny.
The majority of vampire movies take themselves far too seriously. Plus you get all the idiot emo brats who think that it's true and not a story that started off because Bram Stoker met some bloke with an attitude problem and bad teeth!

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PostSubject: Re: Vampire Movies   Thu Feb 10, 2011 5:09 pm

I forgot the Nicholas Cage movie: Vampire's Kiss...

Anyhow, I've listed more than twenty movies (probably closer to 30) and I know that most of them are not about the emo Twilight crap. By the way Bram Stoker's Dracula was very successful but vampires in literature and before that oral tradition go back to the dawn of time.

I also forgot to include Abel Ferrara's The Addiction. Very interesting movie focusing on blood and... addiction (blood being a drug). No emo kids with Christopher Walken (it's not Balls of Fury).


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PostSubject: Re: Vampire Movies   Thu Feb 10, 2011 5:11 pm

Yes but the modern day emo shit view appears to have evolved from there!

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PostSubject: Re: Vampire Movies   Thu Feb 10, 2011 5:34 pm

If you read Bram Stoker's novel you have to recognize the fact that the vampire is not seductive but repulsive. I could go back to the text and quote passages but I'm too tired.

I'd blame the modern day stuff partly on Anne Rice (although she didn't take it that far her vampires were pretty boys), partly on Coppola's movie which focused on the Beauty and the Beast take on the classic vampire story and partly on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel (for obvious reasons).

I haven't read the Twilight books but it doesn't take a specialist of Freudian psychology to see what could be the "appeal" of emo vampire boys. In the original book Dracula could walk in sunlight, in the Twilight stuff vampires sparkle in sunlight... Sparkling cry babies? No thank you.

Vampires should be about trying to cope with madness, violence and feral needs... Not sparkling in the sunlight.


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PostSubject: Re: Vampire Movies   Thu Feb 10, 2011 5:55 pm

i like true blood and twilight.(each for their own reasons i will not get into) and i like just about every movie you posted there.
my father is renting me Blackula because i have always wanted to see it XD

my father does not like twilight because he says vampires should only be out at night and they cant be out in the sun. I am glad someone made a change because if not the show being human would not be around ( the BBC and the us remake)
as for vampires and light. there have been a few games where you can be out in the light as a vampire with weakened stats. with added rain damage.

as for twilight and the sparkle i think it was a good idea. because the vampires in there do not get effected by the sun. that was a good way to make a reason for them to hide.

i like Jasper ^_____^


-------Vampires should be about trying to cope with madness, violence and feral needs... Not sparkling in the sunlight.

they do. just sparkle-y-er
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PostSubject: Re: Vampire Movies   Thu Feb 10, 2011 6:11 pm

Dracula (in Stoker's novel) walked in sunlight.

Sparkling is fine in movies like Velvet Goldmine or The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (great movies by the way). Sparkle is a bit like glitter. You don't just shine, you glitter, you sparkle. When vampires start sparkling then colour me unimpressed.

I think that moviemakers and novelists are desperately trying to find something different to renew the genre... But vegetarian vampires who sparkle? At least in Daybreakers vampires were nasty smokers (in our society smoking is more and more frowned upon so that wasn't such a bad idea).

I don't mean to rant Jez so I'd better stop taking shots at Twilight.

The truth is that the whole dark mysterious stranger who harbours a deep secret is a bit of a cliché. Jane Austen and the Brontë sisters did it (pretty well I might add) more than a century ago. There is nothing new under the sun.

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PostSubject: Re: Vampire Movies   Thu Feb 10, 2011 6:36 pm

take all the shots you want ^^ i am a fan that does not mind people saying why they don't like it. i too was someone who made fun of it until i watched it XD

as for vegetarian.. they are not. drinking blood is drinking blood. some of the vampires in twilight drink animal blood and not human. in being human one of the vampires drink blood bank blood. in both cases they are not as strong as they can be XD ( they give up their strengths for a peace of mind)

as for the sun. Dracula seems to be the only one originally to be a sun walker.
other then Dhampirs. ( and kain form legacy of kain.)

its not just vampires that have changed. some people are upset over werewolfs that can change when they feel like it. (the lycan)

i have always loved vampires.. i have no idea why ^_____^ in a way- they at one point where all emo.
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PostSubject: Re: Vampire Movies   Thu Feb 10, 2011 7:20 pm

Jezdamayel wrote:
in a way- they at one point where all emo.

Not really no, the following quote is taken from Bram Stoker's novel:

Quote :
His face was a strong, a very strong, aquiline, with high bridge of
the thin nose and peculiarly arched nostrils, with lofty domed
forehead, and hair growing scantily round the temples but profusely
elsewhere. His eyebrows were very massive, almost meeting over the
nose, and with bushy hair that seemed to curl in its own profusion.
The mouth, so far as I could see it under the heavy moustache, was
fixed and rather cruel-looking, with peculiarly sharp white teeth.
These protruded over the lips, whose remarkable ruddiness showed
astonishing vitality in a man of his years. For the rest, his ears
were pale, and at the tops extremely pointed. The chin was broad and
strong, and the cheeks firm though thin. The general effect was one
of extraordinary pallor.

Hitherto I had noticed the backs of his hands as they lay on his knees
in the firelight, and they had seemed rather white and fine. But
seeing them now close to me, I could not but notice that they were
rather coarse, broad, with squat fingers. Strange to say, there were
hairs in the centre of the palm. The nails were long and fine, and
cut to a sharp point. As the Count leaned over me and his hands
touched me, I could not repress a shudder. It may have been that his
breath was rank, but a horrible feeling of nausea came over me, which,
do what I would, I could not conceal.

Or in the words of Jack Crow from John Carpenter's Vampires:

Quote :
Well first of all, they're not romatic. Its not like they're a bunch of fuckin' fags hoppin' around in rented formal wear and seducing everybody in sight with cheesy Euro-trash accents, all right? Forget whatever you've seen in the movies: they don't turn into bats, crosses don't work. Garlic? You wanna try garlic?

You could say some of them were emo (Angel from Buffy the Vampire Slayer for instance) but not all of them.

What annoys me is that people have been ripping off Vampire the Masquerade and the World of Darkness which totally ripped off Anne Rice's writings before.



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PostSubject: Re: Vampire Movies   Thu Feb 10, 2011 7:32 pm

oh i meant "emo" as in fighting within ones self.(not looks) i meant it loosely but i will change it so some.
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PostSubject: Re: Vampire Movies   Thu Feb 10, 2011 7:38 pm

For wimpy cry babies we may have to go back to Louis (Brad Pitt's character in Interview) although to be frank this character could be fierce in his vengeance.

If you remember the end of the movie Lestat is laughing because he says Louis keeps whining and he starts playing a tape with Sympathy for the Devil as they drive toward the rising sun. Wink

Dracula in Stoker's book was definitely evil and didn't bother about being who he was...

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PostSubject: Re: Vampire Movies   Thu Feb 10, 2011 7:49 pm

cry babies LOL! yes. sorry that made me laugh. I would so regret turning someone who just complained all the time. ( i do admit Edward from twilight is quite the whiner)

if i ever was to write a vampire story ... yes at first the man ( or lady) would be filled with regret. , try to change(no human blood all that), anger ,but over the hundreds of years they just would not care anymore. losing ones self in the seas of time XD
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PostSubject: Re: Vampire Movies   Thu Feb 10, 2011 8:01 pm

That's pretty much Anne Rice's take on vampires. Old vampires need younger vampires to establish a connection with new eras. Time changes but they are still the same and that's the irony that they have to accept or face true death. In Interview Armand needs Louis because Louis can help him relate to the times whereas Armand is growing jaded.

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PostSubject: Re: Vampire Movies   Thu Feb 10, 2011 8:15 pm

very very true my friend.
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PostSubject: Re: Vampire Movies   Thu Feb 10, 2011 8:39 pm

The funny thing is that Dracula is both more powerful and less complicated as he doesn't seem to need other vampires to mingle with mortals (except his brides but his relation with them is not the same Dracula doesn't seem to need them as much as he dominates them):

Quote :
"You think to baffle me, you with your pale faces all in a row, like
sheep in a butcher's.  You shall be sorry yet, each one of you!  You
think you have left me without a place to rest, but I have more.  My
revenge is just begun!  I spread it over centuries, and time is on my
side.  Your girls that you all love are mine already.  And through
them you and others shall yet be mine, my creatures, to do my bidding
and to be my jackals when I want to feed.  Bah!"

Dracula doesn't talk much in the novel but when he does he is such a badass.

In the first Dracula with Christopher Lee, Dracula is not that talkative either. Being silent always confers more charisma on the silver screen.

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PostSubject: Re: Vampire Movies   Fri Feb 11, 2011 12:22 am

My favourite vampire movie is Interview with the vampire, I know it didn't follow the book closely but the acting I felt was good.
I didn't like Queen of the Damned because
a) It skipped 'The vampire Lestat' so it tried to ram segments into the movie from both books
b) In relevance to a - it confused the history of a lot of the characters.
c) In my opinion the acting could have been stronger

I think the only good thing about that film was the soundtrack Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Vampire Movies   Fri Feb 11, 2011 12:33 am

oh yes i forgot all about Queen of the Damned.
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PostSubject: Re: Vampire Movies   Fri Feb 11, 2011 1:25 am

I disagree with you Sakura777, apart from Lestat not being gay Interview was very close to the book.

Queen of the Damned is very short and brings together two books (and both are much thicker than Interview), it introduces Talamasca as well... Doing so in less than two hours was a feat (100 minutes that's 20 minutes less than Interview). Have you watched the deleted scenes? The director didn't keep anything that would have ruined the pace of the movie and that alone was rather bold.

By the way the major issue is that Marius didn't embrace Lestat in the novel (it was Magnus) but that didn't detract that much from the story.

As far as the acting... Well, Marguerite Moreau wasn't a treat to watch that is for sure (she was mosty bland and at times rather awful) but the others were good if not great -especially Aaliyah and Stuart Townsend. I think Vincent Perez and Lena Olin gave good performances too (not such easy parts to pull off). Claudia Black (aka Morrigan from DAO) could have had a few more lines though.

I'm not saying it's a better movie than Interview, I'm just saying that it is not a bad movie. It's different and if Interview follows the novel very closely Queen is swiftly paced and filled with energy. Tom Cruise's Lestat is a world weary dandy whereas Stuart Townsend's Lestat is a rejuvenated Lestat living to the fullest, the sort of Lestat who can awake an ancient goddess. They are different characters and they were different in the novel. By the way bear in mind that Interview is all about Louis and told by Louis (filtered narration) whereas Lestat the Vampire and Queen of the Damned are focused on Lestat himself (the same can be said about The Tale of the Body Thief).

As I said before the soundtrack is great so we agree on one point. Wink

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PostSubject: Re: Vampire Movies   Fri Feb 11, 2011 4:50 pm

Sakura777 wrote:
I know it didn't follow the book closely but the acting I felt was good.
Yeah I know Interview followed the book, I meant it wasn't exact with all the alterations e.g Armand - a dark haired man huh what happened to the ginger boy. Other then that I think Interview was a good movie, a lot better then other movies made from books I must say.

I have nothing against Vincent Perez, he could act horrendous in any movie but I'd still watch it and drool over him Smile

Yeah it annoyed me they made out Marius made Lestat, they could have at least made him jump into the fire or something epic.

I've got all the books up to Blood Canticle but forgive my lack of knowledge because I'm still on The Queen of the Damned :S
Personally I find Louis annoying, Lestat on the other hand wow I love his character!
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PostSubject: Re: Vampire Movies   Fri Feb 11, 2011 5:23 pm

I liked Louis because he was a very interesting character but it is obvious that the main character is Lestat and not Louis despite the fact that Louis narrates the story.

An important point that I've been trying to make is that when comparing the films/books we have to bear in mind that it can be argued that Lestat is not the same character in these movies (or in the books for that matter).

Sakura777 wrote:
e.g Armand - a dark haired man huh what happened to the ginger boy.

Quite true. I guess they didn't want to take the focus away from Claudia (and her youthful appearance). Antonio Banderas is certainly not a bad actor but he made me cringe in Interview.

I just want to stress out that Neil Jordan is a very talented director and he made some incredibly beautiful movies -I've watched Ondine on a plane last summer and it is a wonderful Irish movie.

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PostSubject: Re: Vampire Movies   Sat Feb 12, 2011 10:17 am

There is another vampire movie that I have failed to mention, The Wisdom of Crocodiles, it's quite different from your average vampire movie.


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PostSubject: Re: Vampire Movies   Mon Apr 11, 2011 6:23 pm

Finally found another movie to add to the list: Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant. Unfortunately it's not that good and the ending is just rubbish.


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PostSubject: Re: Vampire Movies   Tue Apr 12, 2011 6:38 am

Nosferatu, that movie was F'N awesome. So epic it doesn't even need sound!

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PostSubject: Re: Vampire Movies   Wed Apr 13, 2011 2:46 pm

Probably scarier than many modern flicks.

I'd really like to watch 30 Days of Night again as I don't remember it too well except the fact that it wasn't that bad. The setting made perfect sense and was a nice touch. It's definitely a long night.

There are at least half a dozen vampire movies I'm actively looking for so the list is not finished.


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PostSubject: Re: Vampire Movies   Mon Aug 22, 2011 12:51 pm

I had a chance to watch 30 Days of Night again and it's definitely not a bad pick, some parts may feel a bit contrived but the ending makes up for it. I haven't seen the sequel but I don't expect to be as good (let's face it sequels are rarely any good).

I've watched a few more vampire movies including some classic movies and others that don't enjoy a cult status.

Salem's Lot is hard to find but it's worth it if you enjoy the 70s atmosphere. The fact that it was made for TV shows but it's probably part of the fun. I haven't seen the remake but I doubt that it possesses the charm of the original.

Let's move on to Fright Night, there is a remake due in a few weeks. As a rule I find remakes boring but this particular story may benefit from a reboot. The original is a bit dated but that adds a nostalgia factor for viewers who remember the 80s. It's a really funny movie with a great atmosphere both campy and fun and I'm glad I got a chance to watch it before the remake is released.

Nadja is a very original vampire movie. Some people will find it very artsy and may be bored by the slow pace and the rather introspective elements that are developed throughout the film. It's a black and white movie that is best described as post-modern. At times it may seem like it tries too hard but it's still a fascinating film that you should consider if you're looking for something different.

Let the Right One In is a very disturbing piece. I haven't seen many Swedish films but there is something different about this movie. I can't really post much about it without spoiling it, let's say it revolves around a lonely kid who is bullied at school and befriends a strange girl. It's in turn rather sweet and at times almost horrific and very disturbing. Of course a remake has been made but I won't comment it as I haven't seen it.

I thought I would mention Bloody Mallory here. It's a French movie that is totally over the top, zany and campy and also bears similatities with Buffy the Vampire Slayer as it features a strong female lead that kills vampires and other demons while looking stunningly good. It shouldn't be taken seriously at all but as a diversion it is not that bad. It's the kind of movie you watch to unwind while having drinks with friends, it's not the kind that will require you to think much afterwards.

Last but not least, Cronos. This movie was written and directed by Guillermo Del Toro and is a riveting and fascinating tale of horror. It may not have benefited from a large budget but the film manages to tell a story efficiently and is definitely marked by Del Toro's style and visual quirks. It's also fun to see Ron Perlman making the most of yet another supporting role (this movie was made in the early 90s long before Blade 2 and Hellboy).

EDIT: if you don't mind Urdu with subtitles you can watch Zinda Laash aka the Pakistani Dracula on Youtube. drunken
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Belle Sakura Saloon :: The Saloon :: The Silver Screen-
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