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Wednesday, 25 April 2018

AtoZ2018 - V is for ... #MovieMonsters #AtoZChallenge


V is for ... Vampire

Hands up who could have guess that :). Of course V is for vampire, after all it is my favourite genre and it gives me a chance to trot out some of my favourites for your reading pleasure.

Today there is no scariness rating, because I just don't find vampires scary. :)

Jerry (Fright Night 1985)

I have many vampire movies I love, but my favourite is probably Fright Night - the 1985 film that I go back and watch over and over again. Please not, this is not the remake, which, unfortunately not even David Tennant could save!

Jerry (Chris Sarandon) is the vampire antagonist who moves in next door to Charley Brewster (William Ragsdale). Now it's all very heterosexual because this was 1985, but Jerry has a live in guardian, Billy, who calls him 'Jer' and if I'd been writing it they would so have been a couple.

Charlie spots Jerry with one of his victims and sees Billy dumping the body and, being as horror fan, jumps to all the right conclusions. What follows is Jerry being sexy and continually getting one up on Charlie and his friends, as he becomes more and more annoyed with them.

The effects are all makeup, foam latex and wax, but they're really well done. Jerry is a calm collected vampire, who thinks things through and even tries to reason with Charley. He's an intelligent character, well written with depth and Fright Night is a great movie.

Regine (Fright Night Part 2)

My second favourite vampire movie is Fright Night Part 2 from 1988. It's actually a toss up as to which one I like best, since, in this case, the sequel is as good as the original.

The main vampire in this one is Regine, who masquerades as a performance artist, with a group of supernatural creatures around her as her entourage.

Unlike in the first Fright Night, Charley Brewster, now at college and believing that all the vampire stuff was mass hypnosis and PTSD, does not find the vampires, they find him. Regine is Jerry's sister and she's out for revenge. Again, she is one sexy, but intelligently written vampire, and she really kicks some arse.

This is one film that hits every vampire button I have and it is a must for vampire fans everywhere.

Dracula


There is of course no way I could do vampires without mentioning the great count himself - Dracula. He has been brought to the screen so many times in varied and wonderful ways. Above are what I consider the most famous and the best of his incarnations.

We have Luke Evans in Dracula Untold, the best Dracula film of recent years IMHO. This is a film about how Dracula becomes a vampire as he desperately tries to save his people from the Turks. It is brilliant.

Then Frank Langella being incredibly sexy in Dracula (1979). This is a slightly changed up version of Bram Stoker's story in that it all takes place in the UK. Mina is a Van Helsing and is Dracula's first victim, and Lucy is Jonathan Harker's fiance and the one who falls under Dracula's spell.

Next the late, great Sir Christopher Lee in his iconic role as the Lord of Darkness in Hammer's Dracula (1958). Here is a man who can say everything with his eyes.

Following him we have Bela Lugosi as Dracula in the Universal classic of 1931. This was based off the stage play, which is a cut down version of the story in the original book. In this Dracula is a sophisticated man who charms those he meets.

And finally, Gary Oldman in Francis Ford Coppola's Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992). Now this Dracula was popular when I was at Uni and we all loved it. I still really enjoy it, but I can admit that bits of it are very contrived :). The costumes and sets are amazing though, and there are some great performances, especially from Oldman.

What We Do In the Shadows

If you haven't seen What We Do in the Shadows and you are a vampire fan, you really should. This is a New Zealand mockumentary from Jermaine Clement and Taika Waititi about four vampires (Viago, Vladislav, Decon and Petyr) living together in a house in Wellington.

It's hilarious.

They're taken every cliche about vampires and put them together in a very funny way. These are centuries old vampires trying to fit in to modern Wellington and being very bad at it. Each is from a different time period and they've not really adapted as well as they think they have.

Count Duckula

Don't side-eye me like that, Duckula is awesome. For those who have no clue who he is, Count Duckula (voiced by David Jason) is a vegetarian vampire, way before Twilight.

The generations of evil Count Duckulas have ruled over their lands in Transylvania for centuries, however, for this incarnation there was a slight hickup in the reanimation process. Nanny gave Igor ketchup instead of blood during the ceremony, so the new count is neither evil, nor blood thirsty.

With a castle that can travel anywhere and returns to its mountain top at dawn, Count Duckula and his friends have adventures all over the place. It's zanny, from the same people as Danger Mouse and very much worth a watch.

Reapers (Blade II)

Now while I enjoy all the Blade film, my favourite has to be Blade II, and one of the reasons is the Reapers. The vampire like creatures are a genetic mistake where vampires were trying to make themselves stronger and immune to many vampire weaknesses.

The big problem for normal vampires is that the Reapers do not just feed on humans, they feed on vampires as well, and vampires bitten, as well as humans, become Reapers too. The virus is transferred from their sucker like tongue, which comes forward when their jaw opens like a maw.

With a bony structure around their heart it is almost impossible to stake a Reaper, and they can take a huge amount of damage. Their only real weakness is very bright light and sunlight. However, they have very fast metabolisms and if they do not feed every night they begin to die, their systems consuming themselves.

These are great monsters and even make other vampires fear the dark.

Q: Who is your favourite movie vampire? Does a movie vampire have to have certain traits for you to watch them?

AtoZ List of All Participants

25 comments:

  1. Hari OM
    Duckula of course! As you gathered, it's not really my genre, but due to mother being fond of him, Christopher Lee got a fair few viewings. YAM xx

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    1. Duckula is indeed awesome :) He could find trouble just by walking around a corner ;)

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  2. Hi Tasha - I could do Duckula ... and yes a bit of Dracula occasionally (Lee and Oldman) ... cheers Hilary

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    1. I always thought Oldman was so sexy as Dracula, and he acted his way off the scene in that one too. Lee is simply a classic.

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  3. How can you cover Dracula without mentioning Hotel Transylvania? Altho I have a memory that you mentioned it in a previous post.

    Love Duckula!

    Dena
    https://denapawling.blogspot.com/

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    1. You're right, I did, back in F is for Frankenstein. I humbly admit my error, how could I leave Mavis' dad out of this one. My bad! :)

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  4. And how can you miss Love At First Bite with George Hamilton? Not sure if this one is even available any more, but such a delightful film! Dracula is kicked out of his castle by the communist regime, which wants to use it for training athletes. He goes to America, where there is a beautiful fashion model he remembers biting in a previous life, but you have to bite someone three times to turn them. She is engaged to a dull accountant type, so of course, she is attracted to the sexy vampire... I loved it!

    Aussie Children's Writers: V Is For Voicing The Dead

    https://suebursztynski.blogspot.com.au/2018/04/a-to-z-blogging-challenge-2018-v-is-for.html

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    1. I'm afraid this is where I have to admit, I don't enjoy Love at First Bite. I do own it, but I just can't love it - I have tried - I try to love all vampire movies, but some just don't make it.

      I am very glad others do love it though :D

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  5. Love, love, love Fright Night with Chris, be still my heart, Sarandon as the sexy count. Loved the dance floor disco sequence and the nerdy kid turning back from a wolf to his young self was really freaky. I love Roddy McDowell in that film and the sequel. The one dude in the sequel who keeps naming the bugs he eats in their Latin form always cracks me up. Love all these Vampires and Gary Oldman should have been up for an Oscar for his role. I would add George Hamilton and Leslie Nielsen because I love dumb comedies. I would also add the great Bugs Bunny who ends up a Dracula’s Castle and thwarts the Count with Abraca-pocus ormaybe that was Hocus-Cadabra

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    1. Yay, someone who loves Fright Night as much as me :D
      Chris Sarandon is so very, very sexy, even in that polo-neck and sweater combo he dons to pretend he's born again.

      Roddy McDowell is so good as Peter too.

      Brian Thompson as Bozworth - yep, he's awesome - then again I don't think there's anyone in the films who is bad.

      Stephen Geoffreys as Evil Ed is amazing in the first one - that's one of the reasons I was so not on board with the remake - I thought the way they chose to do Ed was just wrong. His scenes are so poignant in the original, but didn't do anything for me in the remake.

      You're the second person to mention George Hamilton - he just wasn't my cup of tea unfortunately :). I do love Dracula, Dead and Loving It though - Leslie Nielsen is brilliant and Peter MacNicol as Renfield makes it for me.

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  6. "I don't find vampires scary." LOL shaaaade (I can't take them seriously either)
    I do love What We Do in the Shadows! I can't wait for the sequel.

    The Multicolored Diary: Weird Things in Hungarian Folktales

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    1. The only way a vampire can scare me in a movie, if by suddenly appearing - so it's only shock value - I am immune to anything else :) Maybe I have watched one too many ... nah! ;)

      I have everything crossed for the sequel to WWDitS - I so hope it stands up to the original.

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  7. I loved Luke Evans' Dracula story. It was so different to what I was expecting.

    V - I Won't Let You Go by James Morrison

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    1. Me too - it was such a great story with great characters - I really want more from the universe.

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  8. Count Duckula, ah fond memories! Recently watching the series Penny Dreadful, which has a selection of various monsters, including some pretty good vampires. You would love this show!
    https://iainkellywriting.com/2018/04/25/v-is-for-vienna-austria/

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    1. I have not yet tried to watch Penny Deadful - my sister started and really didn't like it, so I've never got round to trying. I suppose I really should :)

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  9. Barnaby Collins is my favorite vampire. I was so disappointed when that series abruptly ended.
    http://findingeliza.com/

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    1. Didn't the last season go a bit weird too? I've not seen it, but I've read about it and keep meaning to track it down.

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  10. I love the reapers in Blade II as well, they're really scary creatures. Vampires (and anything horror/supernatural really) aren't something that feature in a lot of the books I read or films I watch, but I liked the film Byzantium and how that presented vampires.
    My A-Z of favourite songs.

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    1. I thought Byzantium was a brilliant film - loved it when I saw it in the cinema. I wish there had been more hype about it, it was so different. Only Lovers Left Alive is an interesting take on vampires too.

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  11. Max Schreck as Nosferatu will always be the ultimate Vampyre for me. As overdone as they now are, I love real Vampyres, not the sparkly kind who hang out in high school.

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    1. I'm not overly into sparkly vampires either - it's most frustrating when you write a vampire novel and it instantly gets compared to Twilight, even when it has nothing to do with it!

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  12. As bad as the Blade series was, I really do love it. Solid choices! I might have also added the girl from Let Me In

    Song a Day
    V is for Velvet Acid Christ

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  13. Scariest vampire has to be Klaus Kinski's Nosferatu. Best has to be Willem Dafoe's vampiric Max Shreck - note the connection.

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  14. V definitely belongs to the vampires. To quote Bela Lugosi in "Ed Wood,": The women preferred the traditional monsters. The pure horror, it both repels and attracts them, because in their collective unconscious, they have the pain of childbirth. The blood. The blood is horror." "Ed Wood" is like an homage to Bela Lugosi, the best Dracula, expertly played by the late, great Martin Landau.

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