With vampire flick Byzantium due to be released in UK cinemas on 31st May 2013, I decided to take a look at 5 of my favourite vampire movies.
Novelist Ben Mears (David Soul) returns to the small town of Jerusalem’s Lot, Maine to discover all is not what it seems. With increasingly odd things going on, he suspects the Marsten house overlooking the town contains many of the answers along with its mysterious owner Mr Barlow.
Salem’s Lot is one of those cracking films adapted from a Stephen King novel and is different to most vampire movies in that the main culprit isn’t to be seen for most of the film, though the consequences of his actions certainly are. A certain scene with Ralphie Glick at the bedroom window has terrified many and even made it into our scariest scenes list. Terrific film with one of my favourite vampires ever.
A young man falls for a woman who he discovers is a vampire and reluctantly joins her group of travelling bloodsuckers who cause chaos wherever they go.
Kathryn Bigelow’s more humane take on vampires and the struggles in which they live is every bit captivating as it is enjoyable. Starring Adrian Pasdar as farm boy, Caleb and the brilliant Bill Paxton and Lance Henriksen as members of the wicked family of vampires, Near Dark is full of bad-ass charm wrapped up in a road movie.
As the title suggests, Bram Stoker’s Dracula follows the novel very closely. Young lawyer Jonathan Harker travels to Transylvania to meet with Count Dracula, to finalise the details on a property acquired by the nobleman in England. The Count imprisons the young man in his castle and departs for England to woo Joanthan’s fiance, Mina Murray, who he believes is the reincarnation of his lost love, Elisabeta.
Bram Stoker’s Dracula, directed by the great Francis Ford Coppola is one of my most-watched vampire movies. With the terrific Gary Oldman as Dracula, he’s both dashing and enigmatic as he strolls around town as his ‘younger’ self, and positively frightening as his real older self. This 1992 film has been spoofed many a time, most notably by The Simpsons in which Mr Burn’s adopts the same hairdo as Oldman’s Dracula. The film has a cast to die for (Winona Ryder, Anthony Hopkins, Richard E. Grant, Cary Elwes, Sadie Frost, Tom Waits) and even features Monica Bellucci in the role as one of Dracula’s vamp women who seduces Keanu Reeves’ Jonathan Harker in one of the Count’s bedrooms. Reeves’ English accent has been the source of ridicule for many years but I think this adds to the film’s charm. A classic.
Criminal brothers Seth (George Clooney) and psychotic Richie (Quentin Tarantino) Gecko are on the run from the law when they kidnap a family of three, headed by former minister, Jacob (Harvey Keitel). Dragging their hostages to a roadside bar named Titty Twister across the Mexican border, Seth promises to release the family after his rendezvous with Carlos who’s meeting him at the bar the next morning, but will they survive the night?
A bit of a comedy-action take on the vampire genre, Robert Rodriguez’s From Dusk Till Dawn is very much a murderous drama for the good first half of the film before turning into something much more supernatural in the latter half. How can you dislike a film where Danny Trejo, Cheech Marin and Salma Hayek are vampires doing battle with George Clooney, Quentin Tarantino, Juliette Lewis and Harvey Keitel? Awesome.
A journalist (Christian Slater) interviews vampire Louis (Brad Pitt) on his life, from the beginning to present day.
I can’t quite remember if Interview with the Vampire or Bram Stoker’s Dracula was the first vampire movie I watched but both take a special place in my film-loving heart. I can’t say I enjoyed this movie for Brad Pitt, as I felt his character turned a bit whiney half way through, but Tom Cruise’s Lestat was definitely the highlight. Scary and powerful, his moments lit up the screen. My most haunting memory of the film is where little Kirsten Dunst turns to ash.
Neil Jordan directed INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE in 1994 and 19 years later he returns to the vampire genre in BYZANTIUM, in UK cinemas from 31st May 2013.
On the run for murder, two young “sisters” arrive penniless at an English seaside town. Clara is a fiercely modern woman who has her eyes on the future and no time for the past. Teenager Eleanor is shy and innocent. Yet they both hide the same secrets: they are really mother and daughter, and they are both … vampires!
Eleanor is exhausted by 200 years on the run and desperate to settle down. But little does she know that her mother has been protecting her all of the years from their own kind, “The Brotherhood”. To escape them, they must either blend in or continue running away. But just as they think they may have escaped, their past rapidly catches up with them.