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 Vampire Movies

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Nakia the Rogue
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PostSubject: Re: Vampire Movies   Tue Aug 23, 2011 3:27 am

Vampire lore is rooted deep in our history. Most seems to come originally from Eastern Europe. I wonder if anyone has made an in depth study of this. We are fascinated by these undead creatures. We role play them in our games, writes myriads of books about them, make movies and TV shows featuring them. I also wonder if there has been any good psychological study made.

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PostSubject: Re: Vampire Movies   Tue Aug 23, 2011 10:21 am

I've read a few as I've studied Bram Stoker's novel thoroughly at university. There are genetic conditions such as xeroderma pigmentosum or porphyria that may have inspired the lore.

Vampirism is not limited to Eastern Europe, it is indeed universal.

It all depends on the name you attach to the blood sucking monster. Some vampires don't even drink blood but prefer other fluids like the Brazilian Jaracaca that drinks a mother's milk before the suckling baby can feed, others don't necessarily prey on humans, for instance El Chupacabra which literally means goat sucker. The spirits known as Succubi and Incubi could also be added to the list since they share some similarities with vampires.

Myths differ a lot. Some vampires are immortal others are not, some are sensitive to sunlight while others can walk under the sun. In many cultures having red hair was considered a bad omen and often linked to vampirism. Other signs included an illegitimate birth or a baby born with teeth.

Throughout history we've known a certain number of real life vampires like Elizabeth Báthory who according to the lore bathed in the blood of virgins to retain her youth. Some serial killers became famous for drinking the blood of their victims like Peter Kürten the Vampire of Düsseldorf and we could also mention Vlad Tepes better known as Vlad the Impaler or Gilles de Rais a former companion of Joan of Arc.

Hematodipsia is a mental condition that urges people to drink blood and it is said that persons suffering from this condition get aroused by drinking blood.

When it comes to the lore we have to acknowledge the fact that there has always been a fascination with blood. Blood is very ambivalent, it is both a symbol of life and regarded as impure by certain cultures. In certain cultures consuming blood is regarded as a taboo because of the link between the soul and blood (bleeding animals is very important when following certain traditions). Blood has always been a major element of sacrifices we could evoke the Aztecs but it is not limited to one civilization.

Lilith is presented in many traditions as the forebearer of demons and spirits, according to Jewish lore she was Adam's first wife (before Eve!). She has been linked to the Greek Lamia, a spirit that originally preyed upon children but evolved in literature to seduce young men and drink their blood.

There is a connection with witchcraft as Lamia, Mormo or Empusa are all associated to Hecate the goddess of witchcraft and necromancy.

Failure to give proper burial has been said to create vampire like creatures. For instance the Sumerians believed the Edimmu would rise from the grave as vengeful ghosts to prey on people while they sleep and sometimes possess them. The Chinese Jiangshi is another case of a reanimated corpse that hides below the ground during the day and drain people of their lifeforce at night.

Whether it's the German Blutsauger or the Hebrew Motetz Dam, most languages have many names to refer to what can only be translated as bloodsuckers. Interestingly enough the lore doesn't always discriminates between vampires and werewolves.

Although Eastern Europe is rife with vampire tales and vampiric creatures you can find them all over the world. The Scottish Baobhan Sith like the Banshee or White Woman is another example of a seductive spirit that preys on young men at night, inviting them to dance before drinking their blood which they draw with their fingernails rather than their teeth.

The lore is very diverse and defies any attempt at establishing a simple classification. It's a fascinating subject.


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PostSubject: Re: Vampire Movies   Tue Aug 23, 2011 1:50 pm

Cara, Gingers are STILL considered a bad omen...do you not watch South Park? lol!

When I was a kid my teeth used to scare people. Due to overcrowding in my mouth, my adult canine teeth grew before my milk teeth fell out so they used to come down over my lip, just like the 'fangs' you get for Halloween.
It took a lot of extractions and about 3 years of wearing fixed and then removable braces before they went back to normal

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PostSubject: Re: Vampire Movies   Tue Aug 23, 2011 2:04 pm

Good thing you werent a redhead Sil. Wink

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PostSubject: Re: Vampire Movies   Tue Aug 23, 2011 4:21 pm

Gadzooks, Carabas! I thought I read a lot but you have me all beat. When do you have time for things other than readin and interesting movies? How do you find time to play games? Although games can be educational. I found Prince of Qin added a lot to my knowledge of Chinese history. Oblivion I find thought provoking and some of the City Building games can be very informative.

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PostSubject: Re: Vampire Movies   Tue Aug 23, 2011 5:04 pm

I'm pretty sure you've read much more on other subjects (I'm really not well versed in religions for instance). As for reading, my mom is to blame, she's the one who taught me how to read before I went into primary school and I've been fond of mythology since I was 8 (she always has good books around the house). I used to read a lot more than I do now unfortunately. I wish there were 40 hours in a day. Wink

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PostSubject: Re: Vampire Movies   Fri Jan 11, 2013 2:13 pm

A thead on Vampire films? Oh I'm in heaven

I am a horror film fan and have attended Fightfest in London for the past 3 years and Vampire films as a body are just fantastic.

I've watched most of the films mentioned here, but there are a couple I'll be looking up. However, I know a few you might have missed. Before I list them, Nakia wondered if there had been any psychological studies. There are a couple of books worth looking at. Reading the Vampire by Ken Gelder looks at the cultural context of a range of films; Dracula (Contemporary Critcal Essays) Ed. Glennis Byron contains a range of theoretical perspectives including psychoanalysis. I have used a psychoanalytical approach to read a number of Dracular films to good effect.

Films that may be of interest are:

Vampyr - The Strange Adventure of Alan Gray (1932)
A surreal, expressionistic experience. This film has been very influential to many directors and was loved by Hitchcock.


Blood the Last Vampire
Not the glossy Hollywood remake, but the original manga cartoon which is just supurb. It has atmosphere, pace and is incredibly stylish even today.

Dark Prince - The Legend of Dracular
This is not bad and examines how Vlad became known as 'The Impaler', but it is hard to tell how historically inaccurate it is! Very Happy Well worth a wach if you're a vampire fan tho'.


Rise - Blood Hunter
This stars Lucy Liu in a tale of revenge and retribution. Again, not bad and an interesting watch.


Martin
This George Romero film was re-released on DVD in 2010. It is a master piece of 1970's alienation and a must see.


Other films to consider are the Rec series, espcially 1 and 2 which tell a story in two parts. Here, vampirism is viewed as a virus, which isn't new, but the documentary styling of the films and the background story which emerges make these a quite a shocking watch. Best to watch these one after the other so you don't lose momentum.

Also, quite a few of Bava's Gothic films incorporate vampire elements, but his signature is the cinematic style of his films and the emergence of the Gallio thriller from his initial interest in horror.

Enjoy!

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PostSubject: Re: Vampire Movies   Fri Jan 11, 2013 2:27 pm

I've seen Blood but I don't recall ever seeing the others. Smile

This makes me really happy. It's getting harder and harder to find new vampire movies (at least vampire movies that are not rubbish).

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PostSubject: Re: Vampire Movies   Fri Jan 11, 2013 5:43 pm

Vampyr is available on Youtube, as it is public domain. Dreyer is one of my favorite directors, and his silent classic, The Passion of Joan of Arc, is one of my favorite films.

Spoiler:
 

Let the Right One In is my favorite vampire film from recent years. I also saw the American version, which was practically a shot-for-shot remake (which is better than mangling it and turning it into an action movie).

The vampire movie that scared me the most was Tobe Hooper's Salem's Lot. While it is quite slow and plodding by today's standards, one scene in particular gave me many sleepless nights as a child.

Spoiler:
 
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PostSubject: Re: Vampire Movies   Fri Jan 11, 2013 6:51 pm

I've already listed Salem's Lot and Let the Right One In on page two of this topic but it never hurts to mention them again as they are really good.

I will watch Vampyr thanks for the link Kana.

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PostSubject: Re: Vampire Movies   Mon May 05, 2014 11:05 am

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Undead is a 2009 movie about an adaptation of Hamlet in modern day New York and it has a vampiric theme. It's rather light hearted and there are enough references to the classics to make a fan chuckle.

  

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PostSubject: Re: Vampire Movies   Tue May 06, 2014 10:17 am

Finally got a chance to watch Neil Jordan's Byzantium and it's a really beautiful movie (which doesn't come as a surprise Neil Jordan also directed Interview). It offers a slightly different take on the myth and although IMO the end isn't as strong as the beginning it's definitely worth watching. Plus it has Gemma Arterton (and any movie -even Clash of the Appalling Titans- gets better with her). Smile

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PostSubject: Re: Vampire Movies   Tue May 06, 2014 1:05 pm

My favorite vampire movie is definitely Interview with the Vampire. I was a fan of the books (I've actually seen the movie before reading the books. But I've read the series twice now (Interview to Vampire Armand. I know they released more books now, but you need to have read Anne Rice's Witch series and I didn't feel like going into another series at the time). I thought Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise were actually very good. Like you said, Cara, it's Louis' point of view, so it's normal the character's not the same between Interview and the Vampire Lestat.  I haven't seen Queen of the Damned. I saw the trailer and it looked horrible. There was a Twilight/emo teenager feel to it that was absent in Interview. And the idea of both Vampire Lestat and Queen of the damned compressed in one movie was a terrible idea IMO.

I can also say the worst vampire movie I've seen is Dracula 2000. Dear. God. You'd think, with all the good actors in it (Gerard Butler, Christopher Plummer, Johnny Lee Miller and cameos by Nathan Fillion, Jeri Ryan (Seven of Nine in Voyager) and Danny Masterson from That 70's show). But... Dear. God. On the up side, we got to see Vitamin C topless...  Twisted Evil 

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PostSubject: Re: Vampire Movies   Tue May 06, 2014 1:08 pm

I just remembered another vampire movie. Have you seen Vampire in Brooklyn? It's a Wes Craven movie that stars Eddy Murphy (???) and Angela Bassett. I saw it when I was 15 or so. The only thing I remember is it was bad. Laughing I'd have to see it again.

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PostSubject: Re: Vampire Movies   Tue May 06, 2014 2:42 pm

Dracula 2000 is as bad as they get (it is known in France as Dracula 2001 because it was released in 2001). Smile

Still, the next movie on my list is Vampire Academy... And I'm expecting a whole new level of bad. I still have to watch the Twilight movies though.

And I do remember Vampire in Brooklyn but it's definitely the sort of movies you want to forget.

Quote :
I haven't seen Queen of the Damned. I saw the trailer and it looked horrible. There was a Twilight/emo teenager feel to it that was absent in Interview. And the idea of both Vampire Lestat and Queen of the damned compressed in one movie was a terrible idea IMO.

That's what most people assumed without even watching the movie. I've read the books before and I can say that they did a splendid job of summing things up in 100 minutes (you have a number of shortcuts but still it was quite a feat).

It's a bit over the top, a bit campy, certainly a bit too goth and incredibly pretentious at times but that is EXACTLY what Lestat is all about. The way the movie was made only reinforced that element. It's clear from the get go that Lestat in QotD is not the same Lestat from Interview (after all he was the antagonist in Interview).

It can also be a bit cringy because of the poor performance of Marguerite Moreau but it's definitely one of my favourite vampire movies and I enjoy watching it even more than Interview (and Interview is a great film).

Last but not least the music is excellent. In fact I've been listening to the soundtrack for almost 12 years now and I'm still loving it.

EDIT: I've just watched the trailer on youtube and it's terrible. I hate trailers. lol! 

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PostSubject: Re: Vampire Movies   Wed May 07, 2014 11:17 am

I've watched Vampire Academy and it's what you could expect if you took bits and pieces from Harry Potter, added a vampiric theme à la Underworld (but without lycans) and made your main character act and talk like Buffy. Gabriel Byrne does a decent job as usual but he can't lend some gravitas to a film that looks more like a pilot than a feature release. Olga Kurylenko has some pretty terrible lines that are supposed to be funny. It's not terrible (it's much better than some of the movies listed in this thread like Dracula 2000 for instance) but it's definitely a teen movie. I expected more Twilight crap and I got Buffy meets Harry Potter.

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PostSubject: Re: Vampire Movies   Wed May 07, 2014 1:19 pm

There's one thing that always bugged me about Dracula 2000. It's spoilerish, so I'll add the spoiler tags, just in case.

spoiler:
 

I also remembered the Tales from the Crypt : Bordello of blood movie. While there was some funny moments (and a lot of topless women that overloaded my 16 year old brain), the movie was quite bad.

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PostSubject: Re: Vampire Movies   Wed May 07, 2014 1:43 pm

Haven't seen that one but you've just reminded me that I've been meaning to watch Lesbian Vampire Killers. Razz 

Also regarding your spoiler I guess that's when willing suspension of disbelief should come into play because
Spoiler:
 

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PostSubject: Re: Vampire Movies   Sun Jun 01, 2014 8:50 am

Time for another update!

Let's start with an Uwe Boll movie, Bloodrayne: The Third Reich. I must confess I've skipped the second Bloodrayne movie (the first is probably one of the worst "film" I've ever watched and I'm not saying that lightly). In any case the 3rd Bloodrayne movie is not completely awful. For starters it is rather short an it feels more like watching late night TV (with some softcore lesbian scenes) rather than an actual theatre release. Despite its really cheap look it has some redeeming features and it is watchable (which is rather a feat considering the director). The actor playing the Nazi doctor deserves some credit for overplaying his part and making his scenes much more fun than the rest.

I've finally managed to watch Lesbian Vampire Killers and it ranks with the best vampire spoofs. The humour is rather lowbrow but what would someone expect from a movie with that title. As someone who has watched many Hammer movies I had a lot of fun watching this. It's hard to say much without spoiling it. In some ways the movie could remind the viewer of Shaun of the Dead but it's certainly not as good. It certainly has its moments though. Don't watch it expecting something too clever but if you enjoy a cheap laugh it's worth watching.

I wish I could say the same about The Twins Effect but unless you're into Asian movies you should avoid it. Jackie Chan is great but he doesn't have many scenes and despite his great sense of physical comedy he seems a bit wasted in this. The beginning of the movie is really strange, it feels more like the end of a (bad) movie but things get better after that when the comic elements are introduced. This is definitely a comedy. Unfortunately it's not a very good one (even by Hong Kong standards). Still worth it if only to see how Jackie Chan deals with vampire freaks.


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PostSubject: Re: Vampire Movies   Fri Jun 13, 2014 12:02 pm

Time to talk about Kiss of the Damned an odd but flawed vampire movie. It goes for the artsy, indie take on the genre and it has its moments but the entire film lacks a sense of purpose and cohesion. Some scenes stand out but the whole ends up being very forgettable. The music is rather nice and it's used to punctuate what is happening on the screen but on occasions it is a little too present and it made me feel as if I was watching a music video instead of a film. It's not terrible but it's certainly not memorable.

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PostSubject: Re: Vampire Movies   Fri Jun 13, 2014 2:00 pm

Have you seen Let the right one in? I heard it's really good.

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PostSubject: Re: Vampire Movies   Fri Jun 13, 2014 3:34 pm

Actually I've mentioned it on page 2. Wink

It's a good movie but I didn't enjoy it that much. It's definitely worth watching if only because it's not your run-of-the-mill vampire movie. Make sure you watch the original, not the remake.

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PostSubject: Re: Vampire Movies   Fri Jun 13, 2014 3:39 pm

Haha, sorry, a lot of movies were mentioned... Laughing

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PostSubject: Re: Vampire Movies   Fri Jun 13, 2014 7:33 pm

The original is a really good film. I love the swimming pool scene.

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PostSubject: Re: Vampire Movies   Sat Jun 14, 2014 8:03 am

I've watched a rather odd vampire movie. Strigoi was shot in Romania and it offers a radically different backdrop. This film is not about glamour and action or campy heroes and it's not without some flaws but it is very different and charming (if you like indie movies and foreign settings). I don't want to spoil it so all I can say is that if you can find it, just watch it even if you don't like it you won't be wasting your time because it's not your formulaic vampire movie.

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