Let’s face it, vampires have been in popular culture for centuries. From ancient mythology to “The Vampire Diaries,” humanity cannot get enough of these blood-sucking fiends.
While you may get the occasional person who scoffs at the idea of anything vampiric, most of us have a top five vampires list handy (whether that be top five to date or have on your side during a bar fight is entirely up to you).
Below is my top five list of movie vampires. I avoided going by sexiest or strongest, but used my own biased idea of “awesome.” Think my list sucks (last pun, I promise)? Let us know who your top five are in the comments.
First, however, a couple of shout-outs to vampires in the television category:
Angel (David Boreanaz) — “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”/”Angel”
At this point in history, the idea of a “vampire with a soul” seems a little redundant. However, when Angel was first introduced on “Buffy” in 1997 the concept was relatively fresh. Angel’s love for the Vampire Slayer is epic, but it wasn’t until he got his own spinoff that his character got to kick creature of the night butt with a sense of humor.
Eric (Alexander Skarsgård) — “True Blood”
In contrast to Angel, Eric is hardcore. He can rip a guys limbs out and then ask his hostage if he got blood in his highlights. It doesn’t hurt that the ridiculously good-looking Alexander Skarsgård portrays Eric with zest and confidence that gives the character more depth than his bad boy description.
And here are my top five movie vampires:
5. Lestat (Tom Cruise/ Stuart Townsend) — “Interview with a Vampire”/ “Queen of the Damned”
Anne Rice has been credited for creating the more idealized, romantic vampire. However, unlike the whiny Louis, Lestat does more than brood (and still manages to look good doing it.) While he can be seen as heartless, he provides a good foil to Louis in “Interview with the Vampire” and is the ultimate rock star in “Queen of the Damned.”
4. Puppet Dracula (Jason Segel) — “Forgetting Sarah Marshall”
For some, putting puppets and vampires together would never be thought of. Luckily for us, the geniuses behind “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” realized that it was a winning combination. Puppet Dracula is equal parts adorable and creepy. The Dracula rock opera brings a new light to the Prince of Darkness, who really just wants to be loved. Did I mention the awesome singing?
3. Severen (Bill Paxton) — “Near Dark”
It was a hard choice between two iconic ’80s vampire films. However, in the end, Severen from “Near Dark” won out over David (Kiefer Sutherland) from “The Lost Boys.” A lot of it has to do with the intended audience. Severen is for the older crowd. His sadistic hedonism shows us why we should be afraid of vampires instead of falling in love with them. Plus, you definitely want him on your side in a bar fight.
2. Eli (Lina Leandersson) — “Låt denn rätte komma in” (“Let the Right One In”)
Contrary to what the media shows us, being an adolescent vampire would be awful. You’d be stuck in the developmental stage of your life, while mentally you age. You can’t strike out in the world, because of society’s need to protect the young and vulnerable. Enter Eli from the Swedish film “Let the Right One In.” We never get the background behind how she became a vampire, but Lina Leandersson portrays Eli with wisdom beyond her years and a gentleness that makes it hard to believe Eli has to kill to survive. Eli finds a friend in the young Oskar and risks her undead life to save him in a way more touching than the “Twilight” series could hope to replicate.
1. Dracula (Bela Lugosi) — “Dracula”
Could you even doubt the Dark Master would make No. 1 on the list? Bram Stoker’s creature of the night has spawned countless adaptations, but they all pale against Bela Lugosi’s Dracula. The film itself is exemplary of the B horror movies during the Hollywood Studio Era. The cheap props and dimly lit shots can’t diminish the brilliance of Lugosi’s Dracula. Not only can he seduce Lucy and Mina, but the audience is definitely in his thrall. It is with lament that we watch Van Helsing and Harker finish Dracula off.
In the 80 years since the film’s making, however, we know that eventually — in one form or another — Dracula will be back.
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