The folklore and legends of various countries define the vampire as a demonic creature that feeds on the blood of other living beings in order to stay alive. The attributes of the traditional vampire, based on Slavic vampire (the word derives from the Serbian word vampire "Wampir" formed by "Wam" blood, "pir" monster) are based mainly in his capacity as undead or resurrected, people who are in an intermediate state between life and death. Namely, they are allergic to sunlight, and are not reflected in the mirrors nor cast a shadow (perhaps by the lack of a soul). Due to its demonic or sacrilegious nature, can't stand the Christian symbols and therefore can be scared or damaged using a Christian cross or holy water, but can not be destroyed by conventional means. They are described as skinny, pale, with long nails beings, although its most recognizable aspect is his pointed canines (fangs). According to popular mythology, they could only be destroyed by exposing them to the light of day, nailing a stake through the heart or decapitation and filling her mouth with garlic.
The recent death of British actor Christopher Lee (7 June 2015) who immortalized Dracula in several films produced by the legendary British producer "Hammer", brought it up again these creatures whose existence has been described extensively in hundreds of chronicles, treatises and books along the whole story. Indeed, as a modest tribute to Christopher Lee, the best Dracula in the history of the Seventh Art and to these feared and mythical creatures, I present the 10 best Vampire Movies of all time.
1. Horror Of Drácula (1958)
Horror of Dracula (1958) Directed by English director Terence Fisher and produced by Hammer, this absolute masterpiece of horror shot the actor Christopher Lee to fame, who personified here for the first time Count Dracula. The film, after its release, was an instant success due to its innovative combination of horror, fantasy, romance and sexuality, besides its explicit gore. Much of the success of the film was due to the counterpoint starring from Christopher Lee, with his 6' 5" tall and imposing bearing, with the English actor Peter Cushing, who masterfully portrayed his opponent, the energetic Dr. Van Helsing. The final showdown between the two adversaries, in one of the rooms of the vampire castle, is an anthology. George Lucas, creator of "Star Wars" and big fan of the Hammer films, would make tribut to these protagonist duo incorporating them in his unforgettable space saga. Peter Cushing played Grand Moff Tarkin in "The Wars" (1977), he starred Christopher Lee as Count Dooku in "Attack of the Clones" and "Revenge of the Sith". Horror of Dracula (1958), unlike the harmless vampire played by Bela Lugosi in Dracula (1931), entered the history of horror movies because a vampire never looked so evil (evil look with Lurking fangs and his bloodshot eyes continue to cause more than one nightmare) and exuded so much sexual power over his female victims. Absolute merit of Christopher Lee, an excellent script and the correct leadership of Terence Fisher, who billed his best film here.
Horror Of Drácula (1958) Trailer
2. Nosferatu (1922)
This silent film directed by the German director FW Murnau, over time, became one of the best films about the vampire myth and one of the leading paradigms of German Expressionism. Filmed on location, much of the success of this film, along with the direction of Murnau fell in the great work of German actor Max Schreck (whose name in German means "terror"), who personified the bald, skeletal and ominous vampire . Murnau, before shooting this film, intended to make a film adaptation of the novel "Dracula" by the Irish writer Bram Stoker, but the study failed to gain the rights to the story. Thus, he decided to film their own version of the novel and the result was a film that had a strong resemblance to Stoker's original story. The name was changed to Dracula Nosferatu, and had changed the names of the characters. Thus, Count Dracula became known as Count Orlok. After Stoker's widow sued the filmmakers for breach of copyright, the court ordered that all tapes of "Nosferatu" were destroyed. Fortunately, a small number of copies of the film had already been distributed worldwide, and remained hidden by people to the death of the writer's widow.
Nosferatu (1922) Trailer
3. Nosferatu The Vampyre, 1979 (Nosferatu: Phantom der Nacht)
Written and directed by German director Werner Herzog, this film was conceived as a sort of homage to the earlier film, a stylized remake of the classic directed by Murnau in 1922 (although this time the characters were able to use the names of the original novel ). This film, which was very well received by critics and enjoyed a relative commercial success, was characterized by its successful horror atmosphere, qualified by a funeral music, and give greater emphasis to the tragic loneliness of the vampire. The "Dracula" embodied here by German actor Klaus Kinski (who, like Max Schreck, wears a black suit, bald head, the rat teeth and long nails), is a pathetic and hopeless overwhelmed ghostly figure, condemned to immortality and craving some love that will never come. Among the most memorable scenes in this film the scene when the count recieve and attack Jonathan Harker in his castle (played by German actor Bruno Ganz, who years later would embody Adolf Hitler in the acclaimed film "The Fall") The sequence of thousands rats taking the streets and public spaces of a German city and the final scene, when the beauty and purity of Lucy (played by the beautiful Isabelle Adjani) make you forget Dracula the impending arrival of breaking Dawn. In a new and chilling final twist, the vampire eventually dies, but Jonathan Harker, now a vampire, is responsible for propagating this "disease" by other European cities.
Nosferatu The Vampyre, 1979 Trailer
4. Dance of the Vampires, 1967 (Tanz der Vampire)
Dance of the vampires or The Fearless Vampire Killers, or Pardon Me, But Your Teeth Are in My Neck, Directed by director Roman Polanski, this film (the first color that made the Polish director) with a successful aesthetics has the distinction of playing with the seemingly opposite codes of comedy and horror. The argument, of course, is what triggers an absorbing and well filmed story: Professor Abronsius (Jack MacGowran) and his faithful assistant Alfred (the same Roman Polanski) come in the winter to a remote village in the region of Transylvania motivated by the strange events that occur there, caused by the alleged presence of vampires. They staying at an inn, where Alfred falls in love with Sarah (Sharon Tate), the innkeeper's daughter, but soon she disappears and begins to spread the rumor that has been kidnapped by Count von Krolock, an aristocrat who lives in a castle nearby. The couple, after a comedy of errors and to participate in a dance that gives the name to the film, achieved rescue the girl, but without knowing that it has already turned into a vampire. Thus, instead of ending the curse of vampirism, the well-meaning teacher Abronsiuns ends helping this evil spread throughout the civilized world. The tape is downright hilarious moments, like the scene where Alfred is seduced by Herbert, the homosexual vampire son of the Count.
Dance of the Vampires (1967) Trailer
5. Drácula (1992)
Directed by director Francis Ford Coppola and starring British actor Gary Oldman in the role of legendary Count, this film is considered the best adaptation ever made to the work of Bram Stoker. With a budget of $ 50 million, a fairly huge amount for a horror movie, the film would end up raising more than $ 215 million and won three Oscars (best costume design, best makeup and best sound editing), plus to mean a return to the success of Coppola, who had some comercial failures (but not critical), with movies like "Apocalypse Now" and "The Godfather III". The argument is quite faithful to the novel: In the nineteenth century, Jonathan Harker, recently received as a lawyer, must travel to Transylvania, Count Dracula had to sign some papers concerning a newly purchased properties in London. The only drawback is that the count is not who he claims to be, because it is actually a vampire and former Romanian nobleman who lost his love four years ago. And, unfortunately for Harker, his girlfriend is a spitting image of her. So, Dracula decides to travel to the British capital to conquer her, leaving a trail of blood and horror on his way. The film is notable for its successful atmosphere, good performances (especially Oldman and the big Anthony Hopkins, as the eccentric Professor Van Helsing), their successful special effects and some scenes of anthology, as the final duel against the vampire or the part when Jonathan Harker is vampirized in the castle of the count by three seductive Brides of Dracula, one of which was interpreted by the beautiful Italian actress Monica Bellucci.
6. Salem's Lot (1979)
This film based on the novel by Stephen King and which was premiered on broadcast television in our country under the name of "Night of the Vampire" was directed by Tobe Hooper, a effective craftsman of horror thriller (directed "Poltergeist" and "The Texas Chain Saw Massacre "). Starring actor David Soul (world famous for his role as Hutch, in the detective series of the 70's "Starsky and Hutch") and renowned British actor James Mason, the film tells the following: Bean Mears, a writer that returns to his hometown Salem's Lot, in New England, to write a book about the frightening "Marsten House" a haunted house in which he lived a frightening experience when child. But Mears finds that the house has been rented by Richard Straker, a mysterious foreigner that wants to open an antique store in town with his unknown partner, who is preparing to reach the village. Mears, after the disappearance of two children occur, immediately suspects about Straker because he knows that "the Marsten House is an evil house attracts evil men." In effect, what the people of Salem's Lot are unaware of is that Straker's partner, Kurt Barlow, is a horrifying European vampire that will soon leave a grisly trail of victims. The film is notable for its oppressive atmosphere of terror and the performance of a large cast, which stands Nalder Reggie as the vampire Barlow, while on the novel by Stephen King Barlow is portrayed as a refined and deadly vampire, in this tape is downright an atrocious and abominable creature, more animal than human, spit directly from the moors of hell.
7. The Lost Boys (1987)
The Lost Boys Directed by Joel Schumacher, punctuated by a superb soundtrack masterfully blending humor and horror, shot to fame at a handful of promising American actors , among them was a very young Kiefer Sutherland, who later would become famous playing the agent Jack Bauer in the series "24". The plot was this: Michael and Sam, two young brothers, with his newly divorced mother came to live in the coastal town of Santa Carla, California. The problems began when the eldest brother, because of a beautiful girl, accidentally mixed with a band of four young long-haired bikers, that proved to be ruthless vampires. The younger brother was trying to help his brother, who was starting to progressively become a bloodsucker after submission to the gang initiation dark rite, turning to the brothers Edgar and Allan Frog, two teenagers Vampire Slayers working in a comic book store . The film is rich in straight terrifying moments and humorous, as when Sam discovers that his brother is not reflected in the mirrors, "You are a Vampire, Michael!, my own brother, a goddamn shit-sucking vampire!" 'He said- "Wait 'till mom finds out!.
The Lost Boys (1987) Trailer
8. Fright Night (1985)
Directed by Tom Holland, this film, like "Dance of the Vampires", masterfully mixed comedy and horror. The tape tells the hard time Charley Brewster is going throught, a teenager fan of watching the horror TV show of Peter Vincent, "The great vampire Killer". One night, from the window of his bedroom, Charley discovers Jerry Drandrige his new neighbor who just moved. The only problem is that he saw him bringing a coffin. To make matters worse, the next night Charley heard a terrifying scream and with his binoculars sees Jerry biting the neck of a teenage girl. Scared, tries to tell everything to his mother, his friend "Evil" and his girlfriend Amy, but none of them believed a word. When Jerry realizes that Charley knows his secret he tries to murder him, but Charley miracle escapes and seeks help from Peter Vincent himself, who has just been fired from his program for low ratings and who, unlike his television character, is a coward character. Following the tragedy, the vampire becomes infatuated with Amy, who happens to be identical to a love that had centuries ago. But the coward Peter Vincent (whose name was conceived in the script as a tribute to Vincent Price and Peter Cushing, two iconic horror film actors) have a chance to redeem himself. The film, which had a sequel and a remake in 2010, drew attention for its story and its successful special effects.
Fright Night (1985) Trailer
9. Shadow Of The Vampire (2000)
Directed by E.Elias Merhige the tape recreates the filming of the famous silent version of "Nosferatu," 1922. The director Murnau (played by John Malkovich), decided to shoot the more realistic vampire movie of the history, looks for locations in Eastern Europe to shoot his film, he, accidentally, manages to found a real vampire (played by Willem Defoe), who lives in an abandoned castle in Czechoslovakia. Murnau convince the vampire to participate in his film, after promising to get the neck of Greta Schröder, the beautiful leading lady. To make things easier, Murnau tells the cast and production team that the vampire is an actor named Max Schreck who completely imbued with his role, at all times will appear dressed like a real bloodsucker. The problem is that the vampire, unable to control his bloodlust, start to slowly decimate the entire production team, but not before Murnau's film achieved its long-awaited finish. Willem Dafoe would get a deserved Oscar nomination for his amazing transformation into one of the most memorable vampires in recent times.
10. Vampires (1998)
Directed by the renowned John Carpenter, American master of horror cinema, the film tells the adventures of Jack Crow, leader of a group of vampire hunters from Catholic Church, who, aided by his faithful lieutenant Montoya and a prostitute who has been vampirised, attempts to prevent a centennial cross fall into the hands of Valek, a former priest that become a vampire and want to use the relic to perform a ceremony that will allow vampires to move on sunlight. The film reiterates one of the most original leimotivs from Carpenter, as is the notion that the Catholic Church itself can be a source of evil, because in the film it is revealed that Valek, a priest who in the Middle Ages led in Central Europe a revolt of the peasants against the nobles, became a vampire after he was condemned by the Catholic hierarchy and subjected to an exorcism gone bad.
Bonus; 11. Interview With The Vampire (1994)
Based on the bestseller of the same name writed by Anne Rice and directed by Neil Jordan, is the blockbuster film starring actors Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt that tried to revive the vampire genre in the great American film industry, a genre that had been relegated by other topics. The film started with Daniel Malloy, a reporter who gets the most important interview of his life: the vampire Louis de Pointe du Lac, a former young landowner from Louisiana plantation that decide to tell what happened in his life since, after losing his wife and daughter, was turned into a vampire by Lestat de Lioncourt, two hundred years ago. The film, which was not particularly well treated by critics of the time, anyway has some pros as the appropriate setting of time and the successful performance of Tom Cruise as the cynical and bloodthirsty vampire Lestat.