With Halloween coming up, I guess it only makes sense that I have vampires on my zombie-free brain. As I was eating my lunch today, I realized that vampires and chips are very much alike in that you can’t have just one. For decades the lore of vampires in film has varied and changed so dramatically from their vulnerabilities to style, intelligence, and even nutritional intake.
The original 1931 Dracula starring Bela Lugosi shows us where vampires first got their reputation for being the horror creatures you just really did not want to mess with. He was sophisticated and charming, yet terrifying, and made elongated vowel sounds the coolest thing since sliced bread.
In years since, vampires have gradually taken on a more modern look and appeal when left up to the creative direction of writers and producers. Take 1987’s The Lost Boys. Now here were some vampires who could terrorize you one minute, and then stand in for Bon Jovi the next; total rock star vampires.
In 1996, From Dusk Till Dawn showed us a tattooed George Clooney fresh from the ER, along with vampires that looked like they had been hanging out at the truck stop a little too long. Chainsaw powered stakes, crossbows, and water guns filled with holy water took this action vampire flick to a whole new level of semi-cheesy awesomeness. Did I mention the rat-Chihuahua-vampire hybrid thing? No? Well you should probably see that for yourself…
The late 1990’s presented us with a version of vampires who care. Blade was a hybrid vampire whose mother was attacked and bitten by a vampire while giving birth. Blade grows up to become a hunter of vampire baddies who, unlike Blade, are susceptible to garlic, sunlight, and silver.
If you’ve ever found yourself asking “what would Buffy do?” then you probably know about Angel, the vampire with a soul. While vulnerable to sunlight, crosses, stakes, garlic, and holy water, Angel, cursed with a soul by Gypsies, opted to help the helpless and solely drink animal blood. He even saved the world a couple times to boot.
The year 2000 brought us the ‘emo-vamp’. Donning all black and damp tendrils, Gerard Butler starred as the titular character in
Dracula 2000 as a more modern version who looked, more than anything, in need of a hug. 2007 brought us back to a fierce, barbaric dynamic of vampires in 30 Days of Night. What could be more frightening than being secluded in an Alaskan town with super strong vampires where the main weapon source, the sun, is on vacation for an entire month?
Most recently, the main vampires circulating throughout the media are in Twilight and True Blood. Both are dominating television, film, and literary markets, but are vastly different in terms of content. Twilight is a sappy, sweet take on vampires, for young adults, where the vampires are bedazzled in the sunlight and opt to go with the corn-on-the-cob approach to biting their victims.
HBO’s hit series True Blood is more mature and graphic in nature with vampires vulnerable to silver, the sun, a stake to the heart, and requiring an invitation for entrance into one’s home. They have also revealed themselves within society and when they’re not lusting after humans, are typically drinking synthetic Tru Blood.
While dozens of versions have been created, the original 1931 Dracula, for me, will always hold the title of ‘top-dog’ of vampires. How many guys do you know can rock a permanently popped collar and turn into a bat? Exactly.
Kimster is a Modern dancer, model, college tutor, bookworm, and lover of movies that make you want to run down the street shouting their titles.
When she’s not watching movies, or saving the world one runway and college essay at a time, she’s often blogging about said films so they get the fan base they deserve.