The Twilight Saga has become a pop phenom in its brief lifespan. Names like Bella Swan, Jacob Black, and Edward Cullen have become household names, and besides being a mega-popular book series, The Twilight saga has also has been adapted into a blockbuster movie series. The cinematic version of the Twilight saga is perfectly respectable, and doesn’t deserve a jab in the nose for being what it is, but its kind of a shame that the modern crowd seems to think that the Twilight saga is the beginning and ending of the vampire genre in cinema. Do any of you find it a little strange? If you’d like to share the vampire films you’re familiar with, leave a comment at the bottom of the page!
What would you think would be the most notable entries into tthe he cinematic pantheon of bloodsucking adventure that are not recognized today? There are a lot to choose from, and your favorite might differ from the majority, but here are a few of the most established classics.
While its status as a modern classic is certainly debateable, the 1994 oscar-nominated Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles featured some noteworthy thespians: Louisville’s own Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, Antonio Banderas, Stephen Rea, Kirsten Dunst and Christian Slater. A bit of a grim tale, not suited for most tastes, it is nonetheless fairly noteworthy.
F.W. Murnau’s 1922 German Expressionist Horror film, Nosferatu, and its remake, Werner Herzog’s Nosferatu the Vampyre, elicit such affection and regard from critics, that they are probably still the biggest 1-2 punch in vampiric history. It could have something to do with the fact that Murnau and Herzog are two of cinema’s greatest directors. But Max Schrek’s portrayal in the original film is so terrifyingly strange that his performance itself actually elicited a film devoted entirely to the myth that Schrek was a real vampire, called Shadow of the Vampire, itself a modern classic.
The 1931 version of Dracula, starring Bela Lugosi, and directed by Louisville native Tod Browning, is the most parodied and iconic rendition of Bram Stoker’s classic story. Lugosi didn’t know a word of english, and his portrayal of the Count has a very otherwordly feel to it. Watch out for the version with a musical score. The original had no music, and it was great that way. The results were atrocious. Phillip Glass may be a great composer, but whoever thought it was a good idea to put a musical score into the movie must also put salt and pepper in their ice cream. Terrible idea.
In 1932, Carl Theodor Dreyer, one of cinema’s most acclaimed directors, gave the world Vampyr. Upon its release, Vampyr was met rather negatively by critics initially, but over the many years since then, it has aged like a fine wine. Its unique effects and thick atmosphere make it stand apart from most other films of its type.
Probably the greatest of the Hammer vampire films, The Horror of Dracula sank its fangs into the moviegoing world in 1958, putting on fully display how depraved, ruthless, lustful, and cold-hearted the fiendish Count really was. Although they had teamed up together in Hammer’s first color-film venture, The Curse of Frankenstein, Christopher Lee (Dracula) and Peter Cushing (Van Helsing) would go on to star in countless films together. Upon its initial release, the film was rated X, however now, it would barely get a PG-13.
Nosferatu (1922), and Vampyr are both public domain, and the links from this article will take you to a YouTube copy of the full film, rather than a wiki page. Please leave a comment on any other vampire movies you think are the best, even if they’re recent, or even if the Twilight Saga is your favorite!