1) Near Dark – A surprisingly good film, Near Dark was a small budget 80’s film that was near perfect in its execution. I remember watching this on video tape in the late 80’s with my then girlfriend and several other friends and thinking, ‘This movie changes the whole vampire world!’. Too bad only true horror fans know of it or have watched it. If anything, get it for Bill Paxton’s crazy, bloody, over the top rampage in the bar. Genius!
2) Lost Boys – I know, I know! Cheesy Joel Donner film with the Coreys and rock music. I know I should be embarrassed to have it on the list, but I just love this movie. Again, it’s tied up with high school for me. God how I wanted to be like Jason Patric in this movie! Too bad my cop dad wouldn’t let me grow my hair long, get an earring, leather coat, and a dirt bike. By far one of the most quotable movies of all time.
3) Nosferatu – Murnau’s silent classic. Max Schreck brings a creepiness to his role that has yet to be rivaled. By way of this, I must add the 2000 movie, Shadow of the Vampire. It’s take that Schreck was REALLY a vampire makes it even more resonant.
4) Dracula 1931 – The classic. Bela Lugosi’s suave eastern European accent and the lack of any music cinch this up as one of the greatest horror movies of all time.
5) Hammer’s Dracula – Christopher Lee, like Samuel L. Jackson and John Malkovich, is quite simply one of the baddest mother fuckers on the planet. ‘Nuff said.
6) Coppola’s Dracula – More faithful than the score of movies that came before it, it added a layer of sensuality that poor, Victorian Bram Stoker only hinted at. Like Max Schreck, Gary Oldman brought pathos to the character and, after watching it, you could not imagine any other actor in the role. Includes one of my favorite lines, “I have traveled across oceans of time for you.” Finally, it had that inexplicably sexy scene where Dracula, as a Wolf creature has sex with Lucy in the thunderstorm. There’s something about that scene… Also, it had absinth. Mmmm…absinth…
7) From Dusk til Dawn – It should be obvious why this movie was so great. Robert Rodriquez, Quentin Tarantino, Tom Savini, Cheech Marin, Harvey Kietel, and Salma Hayek...Dear, sweet Salma.
8) The 1979 Salem’s Lot miniseries – Scared the piss out of me as a kid. This was also the first Stephen King book I'd ever read. The book scared me worse, but the movie was almost as good. The double slam of the movie and the book ensured that I NEVER slept without drawing the curtains. To this day, I still can’t sleep with a window open for fear of hearing a screeching on the pane and a whispered, “Let me in...”
9) The Hunger – The first time I realized that vampires could be sexy. God how I loved Catherine Deneuve.
10) Blade – What can I say, I’m a sucker for vampire flicks. If there’s ass-kicking mixed in with that, I’m yours. I know I’m easy, let’s just move on!
That’s all for now, dear reader. You may want to hang garlic around the windows tonight…