The Good, The Bad And The Terrible ; Vampires

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Welcome to the The Good, The Bad and The Terrible in this feature we will take a well known horror movie trope and look at the films that excelled and did something wonderful with the concept, those that well, didn’t and those that monumentally cocked it up..Today’s topic is Vampires

 

The Good

 

Interview With The Vampire (1994)

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Brad Pitt reportedly had a rubbish time during filming, with complaints involving itchy wigs, naff clothes, annoying contact lens and having to deal with Tom Cruise’s Napoleon complex but Neil Jordan’s vampire epic was a wonderful genre reviving success. It had deliciously dark humor, effecting horror and brought Ann Rice’s compelling characters to terrifying life. Having Rice write the script was a genius move and she gave us vampires that were both relatable and frightening.

 

 

Let The Right One In (2008)

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This Low budget Swedish shocker was a surprise hit. Juxtaposing the innocence of children with the bloody violence of vampires created a twisted gory love story. Vampire Eli is compellingly terrifying and the gore of the film is sharp, fast and unforgiving. 

 

 

Nosferatu (1922)

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Don’t call him Dracula..unless you want to get sued. During the mid nineteen twenties in Germany film producer Albin Grau wanted to back a vampire picture that could be an expressionistic retelling of Bram Stoker’s Dracula. But Stoker’s widow Florence Stoker was not impressed and refused to sell Grau the rights. Deciding not to let that stop him, Grau went ahead with the film, changed a few names and hoped he wouldn’t get sued. Unfortunately he did, spectacularly ; a judge ordered that ALL copies of Nosferatu be destroyed, ouch. Historically one copy of the film managed to escape to the U.S and it was from that copy that all others were reproduced, since the Judge’s order had no jurisdiction in the states. And so the world was given a wonderfully gothic, fantastically creepy silent film that helped define the vampire genre. Nosferatu is famously the very first time that a vampire was seen to be killed by sunlight on film, as it originated the idea of sunlight being fatal to vampires.

 

Dracula (1931)

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Universal side stepped the notoriously thorny Stoker estate and instead bought the rights to the 1927 Broadway play of Dracula adapting it for the screen. And so we were given the legendary Bela Lugosi in arguably his most iconic role ; Count Dracula ( which he had originated in the Broadway production) it was so iconic that upon his death in 1956 Lugosi was buried in the black silk cape that he wore in the film.

 

 

Martin (1976)

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Though the true vampiric nature of the eponymous Martin remains ambiguous, the film serves as a disturbing take on the desire to drink blood. George A. Romero’s take on vampirism was a quiet, introspective journey that remained chilling to the end.

 

 

Daybreakers (2009)

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Daybreakers puts a futuristic spin on vampirism, that sees almost all of humanity turning into vampires and controlling the remaining human population. Great make up gave us vampires that were uniquely beastly, animalistic and surprisingly terrifying. The film was also lifted by a fantastically chilling turn by Sam Neil.

 

 

Blade (1998)

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Wesley Snipes turn as a human/vampire hybrid intent on ridding the world of blood suckers, remains iconic, as does his bloody tussle with a shit ton of them on a strobe lit dance floor, epic!! Shame about the sequels..

 

 

The Lost Boys (1987)

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Did we need an 1980’s take on vampires, with gangs and leather? By gosh we did and it was marvelous! The Corey’s (Haim and Feldman) were on fantastic form here as they battled Kiefer Sutherland’s sinister bad boy vampire David. 

 

 

30 Days Of Night (2007)

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Steve Niles and Ben Templesmith’s gory graphic novel was brought to fantastically bloody life by director David Slade (lets all pretend that he had nothing to do with the third Twilight fillm..he made Hard Candy!) Genuinely scary, it brought hardcore gore and terror back to the vampire genre.

 

 

Stakeland (2010)

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A hell of a lot more intelligent then you would have thought from the poster,premise and trailer, this tautly directed vampire horror managed to be scary and deliver a straight faced and sobering moral message.

 

 

Fright Night (1985)

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Rollicking good fun that put a Rear Window twist on vampires. The remake isn’t awful but it is the absolute definition of pointless.

 

 

 

Bram Stokers Dracula (1992)

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Despite it’s luscious sets, incredible costuming, a fantastically versatile turn by Gary Oldman, taut pacing and precise, beautiful direction by Francis Ford Coppola this film almost ended up on the bad list for one simple (wooden) reason and that reason ladies and gentlemen goes by the name of Keanu Reeves. Coppola has openly admitted that he regrets casting Keanu Reeves who at the time of filming had the acting range of a chair. Coppola claims he wanted the character of Jonathan Harker to be played by a Hollywood Hunk ‘for the girls’. Seriously? Helloo how about Johhny Depp, Christian Slater, Brad Pitt, Rob Lowe, for crying out, Cary Elwes was still young and hot when this thing was filmed!! Honestly. But no, we were given poor,poor Keanu who looks straight up terrified every time the camera is on him and surfer dude’s his way through a ridiculous British accent that makes his every scene unintentionally hilarious. Oh Keanu, you’re still a beautiful, beautiful man.

 

 

 

The Bad

 

 

Lesbian Vampire Killers (2009)

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If the film had just stopped trying to be Shaun Of The Dead it might actually have been good but unfortunately it couldn’t and it wasn’t, it was crap. 

 

 

From Dusk Till Dawn (1996)

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Yes it is painful to put a Tarantino film on the ‘Bad List’ but lets be honest with ourselves the film didn’t live up its mad cap potential. Lets blame the curse of the ‘Tarantino Cameo‘ (I’m trying to enjoy Pulp Fiction Quentin, STOP CHEWING ON THE SCENERY!) This time he stretched a cameo to a lead role it didn’t end well,neither did the film for that matter..

 

 

Blood The Last Vampire (2009)

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A great anime got straight up ruined in this confused, pointless adaptation, that deserved so much better!

 

 

 

Underworld (2003)

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We were told that we were going to see an epic bloody battle between vampires and werewolves, with a Romeo and Juliet love story woven through and we were given this. WTF is this??

 

 

 

Dracula 2000 (2000)

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Right so Judas was the first vampire and Gerald Butler thinks (by his portrayal of one) that vampires behave like pissed off kittens..Rrrrrright, what?!

 

 

Buffy The Vampire Slayer (1992)

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Let me quickly clarify something I am referring to the camp, ridiculous nineties film which took Joss Whedon’s brilliant idea out of his hands and stamped it to death NOT Whedon’s fantastic television series (which he created to regain control over his idea). It is a well known fact that Whedon despises the film. One day during filming after weeks of trying to remain in control of the project which he had conceptualized he finally couldn’t handle what a stupid shitfest the film was becoming and he stormed off set and never returned. Yes it is allowed to crawl back to popular culture now and be viewed as a ‘camp classic’ but it is still a bad film and always will be.

 

 

Cirque Du Freak : The Vampire’s Assistant (2009)

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No I’m sorry I can’t even, just having to write down the film’s title bored me. Yawn. There’s a reason they haven’t adapted the other books in the series.

 

 

John Carpenter’s Vampire’s (1998)

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Right John so you’ve put your iconic name in the title and gotten us all excited, what have you got for us? James woods, Dinner Theatre vampires and a non sensical plot? Go home John you’re drunk.

 

 

 

The Terrible 

 

John Carpenters Vampires : Los Muertos (2002)

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John you’re back with the vampires! What have you got for us this time? Bon Jovi..? Really? Really John?!! Ugh, seriously go home and for the love of all that is holy stop putting your name in the title of naff movies especially when you only produced them (while probably playing Angry Birds) John Carpenters The Ward anyone?

 

 

 

Twilight (2008)

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You knew it was coming. Twilight gave us rubbish vampires that had more in common with a My Little Pony than Vlad The Impaler (You sparkle, really? thats your big secret, that you sparkle? Seriously?!) Robert Pattinson has yet to call this the  biggest mistake of his career (probably because it made his career) but he has no problem calling Twilight Fans fat losers, true story.

 

 

Dracula.3000 (2004) 

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No relation to Dracula 2000 unless you count the fact that they’re both shit. It’s Dracula in space! Oh god no, stop, seriously. Casper Van Dien we get it Starship Troopers was a fluke stop publicly killing your career, you have abs we know, PUT THEM AWAY and stop making straight to dvd dreck! Also Leprechaun In Space was better.

 

 

A Vampire In Brooklyn (1995)

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It was supposed to be a comedy horror wasn’t it? So why wasn’t it funny? 

 

 

 

Dracula Dead and Loving it (1995)

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Same as above. *shakes head*

 

 

 

Vamps (2012)

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Clueless’s Amy Heckerling and Alicia Silverstone reunite for what was clearly supposed to be a fun, light hearted take on vampires. Silverstone affectively plays ‘Cher the Vampire’, but what was cute and sweet in 1995, is now embarrassing and twee and it doesn’t help that the film is just plain awful.

 

 

BloodRayne (2005)

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From the poster you initially think it’s a badly named Porno but then you see that Sir Ben Kingsley is in it and how bad it actually is becomes downright insulting.

 

 

Queen Of The Damned (2002)

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It had so many good elements ; the late great Aaliyah, a fantastic soundtrack, Anne Rice’s source novel but they just didn’t come together and we were left with one long confused music video. 

 

 

The Forsaken (2001)

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The film basically tries to use a bunch of attractive T.V actors to make vampires sexy and cool and unintentionally presents one of the creepiest love stories ever as Kerr Smith’s character gets the hots for an assaulted traumatized girl who’s in a catatonic coma..whatever you’re having yourself..

 

What do you think? Let me know in the comments!

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