Bloodsuckers are back, baby! If you happen to own a television, visited the fantasy section of your local bookstore, or clicked onto a certain high-quality film site (*ahem*), then you've probably noticed the pigment-challenged are everywhere. Before you get all worried, I'm not just talking about the Twilight saga, which has become the scourge of so-called 'serious' vamp fans everywhere. Nope, this trend goes way beyond the Cullens, and vampires are now everywhere.
Just yesterday we got our first look at the trailer for Cirque de Freak: The Vampire's Assistant, and now that Guillermo del Toro's Strain is also on its way to TV screens, I doubt our fanged friends are going to be disappearing anytime soon. Which is fine by me, because I always thought the best thing about vampire mythology was that everyone has their own take on which kind of monster they want to create -- I mean, how else could we have Abe Lincoln: Vampire Hunter? So whether you like your bloodsuckers funny, romantic, or just downright bloodthirsty, there's a little something for everyone these days.
I have to admit, though, I'm a little picky about my vampire movies, and there are just certain things I cannot abide. So, because there is nothing I love more than a list, I decided to compile the best and the worst when it comes to bloodsuckers on the big screen.
After the jump: my picks for the top five best, and worst vampire movies...
1. Let the Right One In
Coming in at number one is the Swedish vamp flick about a young boy and the mysterious little girl who moves in next door. This flick did my little vampire-loving heart proud, and there were all the usual talismans of a vampire flick like avoiding daylight and the importance of an invitation. But, it also managed to inject a little realism into the genre believe it or not, and when the cold light of reality shines on a vampire myth, it is never pretty.
2. Near Dark
My love for this flick is pretty well known around these parts. Kathryn Bigelow's vamp-western strips the romance and the glamor of the frock-coat vampire and makes them a bunch of white-trash hell-raisers. Plus, I like it when my vampire movies are nice and violent -- and brother, does Bigelow deliver.
3. Fright Night
Whoever said that vampire movies have to be chock full of gloom and doom never saw Fright Night. This horror-comedy classic starred the awesome Roddy McDowall as the host of a late night horror show who's enlisted by a plucky teen to fight the vampire next door (played by Chris Sarandon).
4.Interview with The Vampire
OK, this is a tough one. Because there's one very big reason why this film should not be on my best list, and that reason's name is Tom Cruise. But, in this case, the film was the perfect match of director and subject. Neil Jordan realized all of Rice's purple prose in his adaptation, and even though Cruise almost put a big old stake into this movie, Kirsten Dunst's Claudia and Brad Pitt's ennui-soaked Louis were enough to earn the flick a spot on my list.
5. Love at First Bite
This selection is pure guilty pleasure. But it was thanks to films like this and The Monster Club that helped me realize as a little girl that vampires weren't really all that scary. In fact, they seemed kind of cool -- and in that moment a little Goth was born.
You had to see this coming. That's right, good old Twilight is the hands-down winner when it comes to the worst vampire flick, but maybe not for the reasons you would think. Unlike other critics, I don't dislike the Twilight saga because of a hatred of romantic vamps. Hell, I watched Buffy for seven seasons. No, the reason I don't like Twilight is that they never seemed like vampires. I sat through that entire movie and didn't catch a whiff of bloodshed; vamps were frolicking in the light of day, and I didn't see so much as a fang. In the words of the great Tyler Durden: "Sticking feathers up your butt does not make you a chicken."
2. Queen of the Damned
I'm enough of an Anne Rice geek that I could probably re-enact Queen of the Damned for you and it would turn out better than this 2002 flick. But I will hand it to Stuart Townsend for making Lestat's turn as a nu-metal rock god slightly less embarrassing than I would have imagined.
People love these movies, but I have to tell you I don't get it. Believe me when I say I tried, if for nothing else because of my love of Michael Sheen. But the vamps in this franchise seemed kind of, well, lame. I'm definitely 'Team Vampire', but even I was rooting for the wolves in this one.
4. Dracula 2000
Where do I begin with this one? Granted the movie is a nightmare from start to finish, but when you've got Dracula making a grand entrance by head-butting someone, you know you're not in for a good night at the movies. Even the charms of Gerard Butler couldn't make me sit through this film again -- once was enough, thank you very much.
5. From Dusk till Dawn
This is a personal thing, but to this day it just irks me that the film goes and wastes their villain in the first half of the flick leaving our gang just sort of hanging. Oh, and what a waste of Salma Hayek.
Where do these flicks rank on your best and worst vampire movie list?