Favorite Vampire Films - Your Suggestions

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pktrekgirl
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Favorite Vampire Films - Your Suggestions

Post by pktrekgirl »

I'm not really that huge of a fan of horror...but for whatever reason, I do like vampires. I think it comes from watching so many years of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel.

Anyway, I've seen DRACULA (1931) and some more recent vampire movies...but I was kind of curious about possible recommendations of vampire films from the 30's through the 50's.

What are the 'must-see' vampire films? And what are some of your favorites?
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Post by Mr. Arkadin »

I'm not really a fan of Dracula. As far as great vampire films you should see, number one on my list would be Carl Dryer's Vampyr (1932).

I also love the original Nosferatu (1922) and Herzog's beautiful 1979 color remake with spooky mellotron.

Lets jump to the 60's here (I know you said 50's, but these are the ones I enjoy).

Black Sabbath (1964) is three short stories in one film. These are all introduced by Boris Karloff who plays a vampire in the last tale. Black Sunday (1960) was made by the same director (Bava) and is generally considered his best film.

Blood and Roses (1961) was a film that had similar origins to Vampyr, (the novel Carmilla), but is much truer to the book. The Hunger (1983) is an interesting film along similar female lines, but in my opinion the best thing about that film is David Bowie's performance (which is astounding!) when he leaves the film I usually turn it off.
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Post by MikeBSG »

I think that "Dracula's Daughter," from 1936, is terrific. Although it lacks Lugosi, it is better in every other way than the 1931 "Dracula" and makes "Mark of the Vampire" look obsolete.

"Son of Dracula," 1943, is pretty interesting if you can get past Lon Chaney Jr. as a vampire. He is just too heavy-set for the part. But if you watch the film and pay attention to the female characters, you find that this is a bit subversive (one woman wants to become a vampire.) A mix of horror and noir.

"The Vampire Lovers," from 1970, has been unjustly forgotten in recent years. Directed by Roy Ward Baker, based on "Carmilla," this film has fine performances by Ingrid Pitt and Peter Cushing and is one of Hammer's best.

"Vampire Circus," from 1972 or so, is also a very good Hammer vampire movie. It is very violent but also more stylish than the usual Hammer film of this era.

Christopher Lee shines in "Horror of Dracula," 1958 and "Dracula Prince of Darkness" 1966. These are the best of Hammer's Dracula series. Lee isn't in "Brides of Dracula," 1960, which has some very good scenes but doesn't cohere as well as the two I mentioned.
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Post by jdb1 »

I saw Mark of the Vampire last night on TCM for the first time, and now that I realize how much of it was the basis for Mel Brooks' "Dracula: Dead and Loving It," it will henceforth be my favorite vampire flick.

I especially liked Carol Borland as Luna, the vampire woman. In some scenes the lighting revealed that she was wearing even more makeup than Lugosi.
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Post by MikeBSG »

There's an interesting story about Carol Borland in "Mark of the Vampire." Apparently, MGM had two make-up departments in those days, one for men and one for women. Having gotten the vampire role, Borland (who was not even 20 or so) went to the Women's Make-up department where she was turned away.

"We make women beautiful," they told her. "We don't make women ugly."

In tears, she went to the Men's Make-up department. They had a big laugh at their colleagues in women's make-up and gave Borland her "look," which basically became the "look" for Morticia, Vampira, Elvira and most subsequent female vampires and horror hosts. (The details are in "hollywood Cauldron" by Gregory Mank.)
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Post by traceyk »

Here are a couple of later movies--1980's I think--but I love "Fight Night" and "The Lost Boys." Funny and frightening at the same time and with the "LOst Boys" you get both Corey's in theri prime. LOL

"Look at your reflection in the mirror. You're a creature of the night Michael, just like out of a comic book! You're a vampire Michael! My own brother, a goddamn, s***-sucking vampire. You wait 'till mom finds out, buddy!"

Tracey
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Post by pktrekgirl »

^ Yes. I've seen LOST BOYS. That was one of the more current films I was referring to in my initial post.

Good film!

I think I'm gonna try to get ahold of some of the films in this thread. I know I own VAMPYR, so I could watch that...but the rest I'll have to try and locate....

Thanks for the suggestions everyone! :)
My wife said she'd help young people, ... That's what I'd do. Help young people, then buy a big motor home and get out of town.
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Post by SSO Admins »

From everything I know of MGM, the Borman tale has the ring of truth. that was pretty funny.

And i love Vampyr, but I'm a Dreyer fan.
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Post by traceyk »

If you like to read about Vampires, the Anita Blake books by Laurell K Hamilton (at least the first 7-8 or so) are good. They're written in the old detective novel style (at least the first 7-8 of them) and are about a woman who raises the dead and helps the police solve preternatural crime. Also Kim Harrison's books, which take place in an alternate Cincinnati, OH and have titles like like Dead Witch Walking and A Fist Full of Charms. You gotta love a series of book with names that are plays on Clint Eastwood movies.

Tracey
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Re: Favorite Vampire Films - Your Suggestions

Post by MichiganJ »

Okay, I'll bite. Although maybe not "favorites', here are a few of the more unusual vampire films I've recently watched:

Thirst (1979)
A surprisingly creepy Australian vampire flick, it's about a cult that has various farms around the world, which harvest humans for their blood. These self-proclaimed "superior beings" kidnap the unsuspecting Kate Davis, who shares a bloodline with the notorious vampire, Elizabeth Bathory (Daughters of Darkness, among others), but when Kate refuses to fulfill her destiny, well, the cult has their ways….

The late 70s clothes and 'dos do date the film some, but stars Chantal Contouri, David Hemmings and the rest of the cast are low key and terrific. More atmosphere than actual scares, this is the kind of "believable" vampire flick that may haunt your thoughts just before dropping off to sleep; what more can you ask of a film?

Lifeforce (1985)
I return to the British treat often, for plenty of reasons (including that one). A space shuttle (remember those?) investigates Hally's Comet and find--two naked male and one naked female humanoids among, what appear to be dead prehistoric bats. So why not take 'em back to London? Well, because the humanoids are space vampires, that's why!

Insane, ridiculous, and wacky as all get out, Lifeforce is also absolutely compelling visually and even mentally--at least so far as you try and figure out what the devil is going on.

The pre-CGI effects are terrific fun, and go a long way in making this film as great as it is. Director Tobe Hooper never could duplicate the visceral scares he got in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (and I don't believe he directed much, if any, of Poltergeist), but he does maintain a strong visual sense, which is on full display in Lifeforce. Steve Railsback's performance is pivotal but unfortunately unconvincing, but so much is going on you may not even notice. Luckily so much of the budget went into the special effects that they could not afford wardrobe for Mathilda May.

Vampire Girl vs. Frankenstein Girl (2009)
With a title like that, who could pass this Japanese vampire flick up? Not me!

Even before the credits, more blood is spilled (or rather gushes out) than in the entire of Taxi Driver. Clearly not for all tastes, but all of the violence, while graphic, is also playful, cheesy and frankly funny. Nothing in the film is taken very seriously, even when the plot kicks in (it's basically two high school girls fighting over a boy). There's some eye-brow raising racism, which is interesting to see in an international film (and is actually explained later in the film, but still) but it's pretty much what the title says: Vampire Girl vs. Frankenstein Girl. Oh, they battle on what looks a lot like the Eiffel Tower with Mt. Fuji in the background.
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Re: Favorite Vampire Films - Your Suggestions

Post by Mr. Arkadin »

A few more that spring to mind:

Martin (1978)
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Ganja and Hess (1973)--Coming to TCM in November! I will try to remember to post something on this amazing film before the showing.
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Vampyres (1974)
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The Addiction (1994)
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Return of the Vampire (1944)
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