It should probably be noted that while I've seen my fair share of them, I haven't seen every vamp movie in existence, and truth be told I was always a werewolf kinda guy. Vampires are ok, but give me a savage, hairy, sharp-toothed man any day.......wait a minute....ok moving on. Yeah, I like werewolves better.
However there are plenty of fine examples in the vampire movie genre, and today I'm going to list my top 5 favorites. And no, Underworld isn't going to make the list, so all you Scott Speedman fans may as well just move along.
Top 5 Vampire Movies
5. Blade II - It's pretty much a given that regardless of what kind of movie top 5 I'm doing, I'll probably try to sneak a Guillermo del Toro movie in there somewhere. This one's easy, Blade is a comic book character who kills vampires. Blade II is a comic book movie featuring Wesley Snipes as Blade, who hunts vampires, one of whom is played by Ron Pearlman. In the first one, Blade killed raver vampires, and that was all well and cool, good movie. In Blade II, he joined forces with the regular vampires (Pearlman!) to hunt a new kind of vampire that fed on both humans and vampires and had a Predator-like hinging jaw. You could also word that sentence like this: "Blade II awesome, awesome awesome awesome Pearlman awesome awesome Predator-like awesome."
4. Near Dark - Near Dark has all of the following: Bill Paxton, a script by Eric Red, a vampire vomiting a bullet, vampires that burn in sunlight, a western motif, and Lance fucking Henriksen. If you need any more than that, then perhaps you're reading the wrong blog. I was admittedly late to this particular party, I first saw it back when I originally signed up for Netflix, and I only added it to my que because they recommended it. I was completely floored though, and sad that I had spent so many years without Near Dark in my life.
3. The Lost Boys - I don't know anybody my age that doesn't love this movie. All the vampires look like members of Skid Row, and that's totally meant to be taken as a compliment. You've got the Corey's, both Haim and Feldman at what unfortunately would turn out to be the prime of their lives, a badass hair metal soundtrack, vampires that sleep hanging upside down in a cave, and what is probably the first "what the fuck" ending I ever remember seeing as a kid. Grandpa was awesome. The Frogs were awesomer. And Kiefer Sutherland never once yelled about not having enough time. My God the 80's were such a simpler, far more wonderful time.
2. 30 Days of Night - Long timers may remember me gushing about this movie at the old Batcave before it was deleted in a depression fueled drunken stupor. I hold the comic series by Steve Niles and Ben Templesmith in the highest regard, in fact it's probably still my favorite thing that Steve has written, but I said then, and I'll reiterate now, this movie makes little changes that make so much sense that it actually puts the film version just a little bit ahead of the comic. I sat in the theater alone on opening night in absolute awe of this movie. EVERYTHING worked so well for me, the setting was exactly as I remembered it from the book, the dialog was especially nice given that I had re-read the comic just before heading to the theater and recognized lots of it being word for word, and I just can't say enough about the soundtrack, which was so damn good that I hardly even noticed it was there because it blended so well with what was on screen. The absolute best part though? Well other than the overhead scene when the vampires first attacked....this movie had the balls to decapitate an 8 year old little girl vampire, and I'm not talking about a swing of an axe with a quick cut-away, I'm talking about a little girl pinned against a wall, and a couple of whacks to the neck with an axe before her little head came tumbling off. This is the kind of vampire movie I want to see more of.
1. From Dusk Til Dawn - Finally, the cream of the vampire crop. From Dusk til Dawn is hands down one of the finest examples of movie making that our species is capable of. It has absolutely everything you could ask for in a movie, great plot, gore and violence, Danny Treo, Latina strippers, and Tom Savini with a gun on his crotch. This movie even goes above and beyond the call of duty and actually manages to make me like George Clooney for about 97 minutes. "Cloon-tang" (thank you Stan Smith) has never been as cool as he was as Seth Gecko. And then it does the unthinkable, and actually makes Quentin Tarantino, who is normally a huge douche bad, actually enjoyable to watch. Society most definitely owes Robert Rodriguez a debt of gratitude. I can sense your shock at my calling Tarantino a douche, and yeah he makes great movies, don't get me wrong. But have you ever heard the dude speak? Anyway, back to the point, vampires. These are the type of vampires I like. They're monsters and they absolutely love it. It takes a while to get there, but once Seth, Ritchie, and the gang all arrive at the Tittie Twister, all fucking hell breaks loose and the movie just keeps pouring on the blood and gore until the finale. Lots of limbs flying, blood splattering, and just overall nastiness...it's fun for the whole family. And it's also the greatest vampire movie of all time.
I'm going to do a couple of honorable mentions this time, as I actually had a hard time not mentioning a couple of films that I truly enjoy. So on any given day, one of these could possibly replace one of the ones listed above: Salem's Lot, Fright Night, The Night Flier, and Nosferatu.