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Tuesday, 18 September 2018

My Top 50 Vampire Movies

My Top 50 Vampire Movies

So it's not a secret I love vampires, I also collect vampire films and have lost count how many I own. However, I do know which ones I really like, so I thought I would share. I have a very simple system for rating films which has nothing to do with quality or ground breaking film making - it's just how much I want to watch them again :).

Synopses taken from IMDB - unless I thought they totally missed the point ;)

Here are my top 50 vampires films (titles are links to Wikipedia articles):

50 - 41

#50 True Bloodthirst (aka Night Breakers - Vampire Nation) 2012


This is an Andrew Lee Potts special - not the highest budget, but just has something which makes it watchable.

Set in a not-too-distant future in which a synthetic blood substitute, dispensed by the Romanian government, allows humans and vampires to potentially co-exist.

#49 Queen of the Damned 2002


Stuart Townsend makes a very sulky Lestat and Aaliyah is superb as Akasha - the Queen of the Damned. However, never watch this film thinking it is the book - it's one of those movies that take 'based on' to a whole new level. I enjoy watching it as if it is a stand alone film that just happens to use the same names as one of my fav books ;). It's a decent vampire flick, but Anne Rice's Queen of the Damned it is not.

The vampire Lestat becomes a rock star whose music wakes up the queen of all vampires.

#48 The Breed 2001


I have a big soft spot for Adrian Paul because of Highlander: The Series, so I was doubly excited he was playing a vampire. This movie is entertaining. I wouldn't say it's high art, but I do enjoy watching it.

In the future vampires have come out of the shadows and try to live among people as a special and peaceful breed. When a series of murders happens, a cop and his vampire colleague are assigned to arrest a dark figure who tears the throat of the victims and strains their blood off.



#47 Blood Ties 1991


This is clearly a pilot for a series that was never made, but it ticks my boxes. It's a kind of knock off Kindred: the Embraced, without all the depth that being based on Vampire: The Masquerade gives it. It basically fun.

Carpathian Americans are just like any other expatriate organization, they enjoy family get togethers, and share business opportunities. There is just one minor difference, the Carpathian Americans seem to have a predilection for drinking human blood.

#46 Van Helsing 2004


Hugh Jackman in a long coat with long hair and a cross-bow ... what, do I need another reason for enjoying this film? Okay, I love the whole thing Van Helsing and Dracula have going on too, and the plot is fun.

The notorious monster hunter is sent to Transylvania to stop Count Dracula who is using Dr. Frankenstein's research and a werewolf for some sinister purpose.

#45 The Twins Effect (aka Vampire Effect) 2003 (Chinese)


It's silly, it's fun, it has martial arts and Jackie Chan.

It's a high-kicking battle on the dark side when an ace vampire slayer and his beautiful sidekicks wage the ultimate martial-arts showdown with one of the most dangerous of the undead.

#44 I was a Teenage Vampire (aka My Best Friend Is a Vampire) 1987


This is an old favourite - I original saw this on Sky movies, I think, around 1991. Robert Sean Leonard is really good as the confused, conflicted Jeremy. It's a classic example of the 80s vampire genre.

After a sexual encounter with a beautiful client, a teenage delivery boy finds himself being turned into a vampire.



#43 Lost Boys 3 - The Thirst 2010


Lost Boys 2 is terrible, however, Lost Boys 3 is far better, much more fun and highly entertaining. I suspect this is what you get when the executives no longer care, Corey Feldman gets more of a say, and no one just tries to remake the Lost Boys.

In San Cazador, California, the clumsy vampire hunter Edgar Frog is evicted from his trailer. But the best-seller writer Gwen Lieber offers him a job to destroy the head vampire DJ X that promotes worldwide raves to increase his army of undead.

#42 Byzantium 2012


This is a stylish vampire movie focused on the female of the species. It has a lot to say with some superb ideas.

Residents of a coastal town learn, with deathly consequences, the secret shared by the two mysterious women who have sought shelter at a local resort.

#41 30 Days of Night 2007


I'm not fond of the end of this movie, which is probably why I don't watch it as much as the others, but it has a fabulously interesting premise and some great characters.

After an Alaskan town is plunged into darkness for a month, it is attacked by a bloodthirsty gang of vampires.

40 - 31


#40 Blade 1998


Saw this movie in the cinema. It's definitely the grittiest of the Blade movies and it's Blade at his bleakest. Just the opening scenes are amazing. A must see for every vampire fan.

A half-vampire, half-mortal man becomes a protector of the mortal race, while slaying evil vampires.

#39 Vampires Los Muertos 2002


I love this movie because it pushes my buttons - I can't say how, because of spoilers, but it's awesome. It also has Jon Bon Jovi :D

A vampire hunter, a half turned woman, and a priest fight a band of the walking dead in Mexico.


#38 Blade Trinity 2004


This is my second favourite of the Blade films, and yes I know, lots of people hate it, but I love it. Abby, Drake and Hannibal - great characters, especially since Hannibal is basically Deadpool without the invulnerability, oh and much prettier :D

Blade, now a wanted man by the FBI, must join forces with the Nightstalkers to face his most challenging enemy yet: Dracula.

#37 Dracula (aka Horror of Dracula)1958


Sir Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing - it's a classic - need I say more?

Jonathan Harker begets the ire of Count Dracula after he accepts a job at the vampire's castle under false pretences.

#36 Subspecies 1991


This is another one I saw on Sky in the early 90s, and I loved it. Good vampires, bad vampires and Eastern Europe - a match made in heaven.

The evil vampire villain Radu returns to his hometown Prejnar, after spending years in exile. He steals the precious blood stone which is said to be bleeding from all saints, from his father and kills him. Meanwhile two American schoolgirls team up with a local girl for work on Romanian culture. Radu becomes attracted to them but runs into trouble when his brother Stephan helps the girls.

#35 Dracula 2001 (aka Dracula 2000) 2000


I love Gerard Butler as Dracula in this, he is so very intense, and this is a film without the perfectly straightforward storyline. It uses Dracula lore, but twists it nicely.

A group of thieves break into a chamber expecting to find paintings, but instead they release the count himself, who travels to New Orleans to find his nemesis' daughter, Mary Van Helsing.

#34 Fright Night 2 - New Blood 2013


Now this is actually the sequel to the remake of Fright Night, kind of, except it isn't at all really, it's more of a different take on a remake of Fright Night and I love it. In this one we have Jaime Murray as Gerri Dandridge and she is awesome, and Will Payne is great as Charley Brewster. A fun romp much more in keeping with the original.

By day Gerri Dandridge is a sexy professor, but by night she transforms into a real-life vampire with an unquenchable thirst for human blood. So when a group of high school students travel abroad to study in Romania, they find themselves ensnared in Gerri's chilling web of lust and terror.


#33 BloodRayne 2005


This is a movie based on a video game, which isn't often a great way to start out, but, unlike the sequels, this is a decently made movie. Rayne is an interesting character and the plot skips along nicely. It's not Shakespeare, but it's highly entertaining.

In the 18th century, a vampire escapes from the freak show she once participated in and teams up with a group of vampire slayers to kill the man who raped her mother.

#32 From Dusk Til Dawn 1996


Now this is a classic - a movie of two halves, one a gangster flick, the other a vampire horror movie. It's typically Tarantino with overt violence in both halves and it has something enticing about it.

Two criminals and their hostages unknowingly seek temporary refuge in a truck stop populated by vampires, with chaotic results.

#31 Nick Knight 1989


This is the original pilot to Forever Knight with Rick Springfield as the vampire cop who want to be human. I think the show with Geraint Wyn Davies struck a better balance between the characters, but I still really enjoy this film - except the flying, the flying is silly ;).

Detective Nick Knight is investigating a series of murders in which the bodies are found drained of blood - but the most recent one doesn't fit the pattern. Instead it involves the cure that Nick has been searching for for decades, so that he himself can face the light of day. Later remade as the first two episodes of Forever Knight.

30 - 21


#30 Vampire Hunter D 1985 (Japanese)


This film is an anime classic and one of the first anime movies I ever saw. It is stylish, action packed and intelligent. Well worth a watch.

A young girl requests the help of a mysterious dhampir, a vampire hunter, to kill the vampire who has bitten her, and thus prevent her from becoming a vampire herself.

#29 Buffy the Vampire Slayer 1992


Before the classic series was born, there was the movie. A lot of people rag on this film, but it's a great romp. In places it's silly, in others heart-wrenching with lots of action and lots of fun. It has an amazing cast and deserves more recognition than it gets.

A flighty teenage girl learns that she is her generation's destined battler of vampires.


#28 Near Dark 1987


Another classic from the 80s, where as most of my other choices from the decade have an element of comedy to them, this definitely doesn't (probably why it gets more recognition from outside the genre). This is a gritty tale with nasty vampires who do whatever they have to to survive. It also offers an interesting take on how it might be possible to cure a vampire.

A small-town farmer's son reluctantly joins a traveling group of vampires after he is turned on by a beautiful drifter.

#27 Underworld 2003


I love this movie for Selene and Michael and all the history and structure it gives the vampire and lycan societies. The world building for this film is superb, and the characters are awesome.

Selene, a vampire warrior, is entrenched in a conflict between vampires and werewolves, while falling in love with Michael, a human who is sought by werewolves for unknown reasons.

#26 Lair of the White Worm 1988


This is a film with some quite silly bits in it, although it is anything but silly when taken as a whole. It has dream sequences, flashbacks, snakes, vampires and everything you could want from a British movie without the highest budget in the world.

When an archaeologist uncovers a strange skull in foreign land, the residents of a nearby town begin to disappear, leading to further unexplainable occurrences.

#25 Dylan Dog: Dead of Night 2011


This is just my kind of movie, humans, vampire, werewolves, zombies all messing up a Southern town. There's action, there's backstory, there's plot and there's good special effects. There's also a twist in the tale, which it always fun.

The adventures of supernatural private investigator, Dylan Dog, who seeks out the monsters of the Louisiana bayou in his signature red shirt, black jacket, and blue jeans.

#24 Dracula's Widow 1988


This is another movie that tries to be a gritty horror, but it's hard to take it as seriously as Near Dark. It is, however, a great movie. The special effects leave a lot to be desired, some of the acting is a little off, but it's a really good story and I love Lenny von Dohlen as Raymond.

A shipment of crates bearing artefacts from Romania arrives at Raymond Everett's Hollywood House of Wax for a Dracula display. Inside one of the crates is Dracula's wife Vanessa who is enraged to discover that she is a widow.

#23 Captain Kronos - Vampire Hunter 1974


This is a classic of the 70s Hammer vampire genre - Kronos is an ex-soldier and vampire hunter who comes to the aid of a community where young women are suddenly becoming old. It is a different take on vampires that is captivating.

A master swordsman and former soldier and his hunchbacked assistant hunt vampires.


#22 Interview with the Vampire 1994


Melodramatic, full of beautiful music and fantastic imagery - Interview with the Vampire is lovely to watch and enthralling. The highlight for me is Kirstin Dunst as Claudia - she is simply brilliant.

A vampire tells his epic life story: love, betrayal, loneliness, and hunger.

#21 Bram Stoker's Dracula 1992


Another example of the 90s vampire movie, like IwtV it's melodramatic in places, and full of the most amazing imagery. The costumes are spectacular, especially Lucy's wedding dress, and the special effects are clever and engaging. This is Dracula, with a bigger backstory, and it is well worth a watch. If nothing else, Gary Oldman's performance is simply amazing.

The centuries old vampire Count Dracula comes to England to seduce his barrister Jonathan Harker's fiancée Mina Murray and inflict havoc in the foreign land.


20 - 11

#20 Sundown - The Vampire in Retreat 1989


This movie is a little silly and a lot entertaining. We've got a town full of vampires trying not to kill people, a love triangle, a misguided vampire hunter and lots of action. It's a romp with David Carradine, Bruce Campbell, Morgan Brittany and more.

Reclusive vampires lounge in a lonely American town. They wear sun cream to protect themselves and drink synthetic blood, but their plant is having production issues. The inventor of the blood substitute and his family arrive, along with a descendant of Van Helsing arrives resulting in hilarious consequences.



#19 Vamp 1986


Yep, another 80s vampire movie, this one with Grace Jones as Katrina, the head vampire. This is a movie that combines comedy and horror as only 80s movies seem to be able to do. There are silly bits and horrific bits and it has such a great plot and great characters.

Two fraternity pledges travel to a sleazy bar in search of a stripper for their college friends, unaware it is occupied by vampires.

#18 Fright Night Part 2 1988


This is the direct sequel to the original Fright Night where Charley has moved on the college. In this one Charley is up against the mysterious Regine who is out for revenge. It is brilliant, and a case where the sequel is as good as the original, it would be further up the list if I didn't have so many favourite vampire movies ;)

Charley Brewster and Peter Vincent must face more vampires, out for revenge.

#17 Vampire Hunter D - Bloodlust 2000 (Japanese)


This is the sequel to Vampire Hunter D, although it is not necessary to see the first one to understand this one. The reason I have it higher up my list is because I prefer the animation style. It is similar to the first, but not as stylised. It has lots of action and explains more about vampire and humans.

When a girl is abducted by a vampire, a legendary bounty hunter is hired to bring her back.

#16 Higanjima - Escape From Vampire Island 2010 (Japanese)


This is a live action manga with all the classic character types and the vaguely bleak outlook on vampires and their consequences. It's full of action and is highly engaging with a great plot. It is most frustrating that the subsequent TV show is not available with English subtitles!

Higanjima is an eerie island occupied by vampires, from where none has ever come back alive. When teenager Akira hears that his missing brother has been seen in the island, he decides to investigate with several friends.


#15 Vampires 1998


This is a film that takes no prisoners. It's gritty, full of cursing and there is not a whiff of sparkly vampires in this one. The vampires are cold blooded, evil and only out for blood. It has great characters, good plot and superb special effects.

Recovering from an ambush that killed his entire team, a vengeful vampire slayer must retrieve an ancient Catholic relic that, should it be acquired by vampires, will allow them to walk in sunlight.

#14 Abraham Lincoln - Vampire Hunter 2012


It's a concept straight out of left field, and yet this film makes it work. This is no parody, this is a serious vampire film, with plot, action and special effects, where the hero just happens to be a young Abraham Lincoln. It's well worth a watch.

Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States, discovers vampires are planning to take over the United States. He makes it his mission to eliminate them. (actually, that's only half the plot, but it'll do)

#13 What We Do In the Shadows 2014


This is a great, great, great film. It's hilarious for a start. It's done in a mockumentory style, totally deadpan and very, very funny. It has to be seen to be believed. Also Taika Waititi!

Viago, Deacon, and Vladislav are vampires who are finding that modern life has them struggling with the mundane - like paying rent, keeping up with the chore wheel, trying to get into nightclubs, and overcoming flatmate conflicts.

#12 LifeForce 1985


This film is a cross between a vampire movie, sci-fi and a zombie flick. The vampires aren't blood drinkers, they take the life force of their victim, and they come from outer space. I know, probably not a ringing endorsement, but this movie pulls it off. It is very of its time, so there are naked people wandering around for no real reason, but I have watched this more times than I care to count.

A race of space vampires arrives in London and infects the populace, beginning an apocalyptic descent into chaos.

#11 Blade II 2002


The best of the Blade movies IMHO. I love the Reapers, and the blood pack and, well, everything about the film. The way the characters evolve, how they interact and the underlying plot are all brilliant. It's directed by Guillermo del Toro and it is superb.

Blade forms an uneasy alliance with the vampire council in order to combat the Reapers, who are feeding on vampires.

The Top 10 (with images, because they deserve it)


#10 Innocent Blood 1992


I love this movie - a vampire gets mixed up with mobsters and an undercover cop, which can only result in chaos. Marie is such a great vampire and this is not a movie that has delicately feeding vampires.

Marie is a vampire with a thirst for bad guys. When she fails to properly dispose of one of her victims, a violent mob boss, she bites off more than she can chew and faces a new, immortal danger.



#9 Rockula 1990


Now I don't expect many people to have heard of this one, although I have just discovered it's out on Blu-ray (the only copy I had before that was VHS!). This is half music vid, half vampire movie and it's very funny and entertaining. To start with the hero's name is Ralph, and his reflection (which he shouldn't have) gets more sex than he does.

A vampire cannot lose his virginity because of a curse imposed upon him centuries ago.



#8 Dracula 1979


This is my favourite traditional style Dracula movie (i.e. based of Bram Stoker). It is based on the stage play, rather than the book, so it changes a lot of things, but it still has the core feel of Dracula, and Frank Langella is super sexy as the count.

In 1913, the charming, seductive and sinister vampire Count Dracula travels to England in search of new hunting grounds and wider horizons.



#7 Moon Child 2003 (Japanese)


The only real way to describe this film is vampires and gangsters like a live action manga. It will make you cry and have lots of feels, but it will also make you laugh out loud. Lots of action, lots of emotion and lots of angst. It's awesome.

The story of love and friendship on the harsh streets of 2014 Mallepa, a small corner in Asia.



#6 Dracula Untold 2014


I love tales of Dracula, and this is a fantastically done take on how Dracula began. I love it from beginning to end and really wish there was a sequel as the last scene seems to promise.

As his kingdom is being threatened by the Turks, young prince Vlad Tepes must become a monster feared by his own people in order to obtain the power needed to protect his own family, and the families of his kingdom.



#5 Only Lovers Left Alive 2013


Only Lovers is a literary vampire movie. It has little action, some plot and lots of characters. It is visually stunning and it will grab your heart. It also has Tom Hiddleston as an almost terminally depressed vampire.

A depressed musician reunites with his lover. Though their romance, which has already endured several centuries, is disrupted by the arrival of her uncontrollable younger sister.



#4 Let the Right One In 2008 (Swedish)


This is a masterful telling of a bleak story that is captivation from beginning to end.

Oskar, an overlooked and bullied boy, finds love and revenge through Eli, a beautiful but peculiar girl.



#3 Underworld Evolution 2003


It ticks the vampire box, it ticks the werewolf box and it ticks the hybrid box, plus there is equal opportunities nakedness and lots of action. Wins all around.

Picking up directly from the previous film, vampire warrior Selene and the half werewolf Michael hunt for clues to reveal the history of their races and the war between them.



#2 The Lost Boys 1987


The movie that made me a vampire fan. Soph and I were just old enough to see it in the cinema. Went in vaguely interested, came out hooked. Also one of the gayest vampire movies ever, apparently, innocent little me totally failed to notice as a teenager, but now I see it ;)

After moving to a new town, two brothers discover that the area is a haven for vampires.



#1 Fright Night 1985


This is most likely the vampire film I have seen the most times - so many, in fact, that I have lost count. It ticks all my boxes and hits all my buttons. All the characters are great and Chris Sarandon is so very sexy as Jerry Dandrige.

A horror-obsessed teenager discovers that his next door neighbour is a murderous vampire. He tries to convince the police, his family and friends but to no avail. Now, he must take matters into his own hands.



Let me know if I left off any of your favourites and what you think of my choices!

Friday, 7 September 2018

Flawed Design by Natasha Duncan-Drake #SciFi #FreeFictionFriday


Free Fiction Friday
Flawed Design by Natasha Duncan-Drake

August has been and gone, far too fast in my opinion, but there we are, which means we have reached the first Friday in September. The kids are back at school, the weather is turning just a little bit chilly and it's Free Fiction Friday!

Every month we give away a free short story to all the lovely subscribers of our Wittegen Press Newsletter.

It's very easy to subscribe and it's totally free and spamless - I promise. In fact mostly the emails to the Newsletter are all about Free Fiction Friday, with the odd competition or book launch thrown in for good measure.


We'll give you 2 free eBooks just for signing up as well as the password for this month's free short story.

This Month's Short Story

Author: Natasha Duncan-Drake
Genre: Science Fiction

Created in a lab, engineered to be the perfect killing machine, but she has a design flaw. They had no idea what they fashioned when they made her, but they soon found out.

If you have any questions about the newsletter or Free Fiction Friday, do drop me a comment.
Always happy to chat. :)

Saturday, 1 September 2018

Resources for Artists & Content Creators


I use resources from all over the internet to create covers and graphics, and to teach myself new techniques. These are some of the best sites I have found and used for completely free photos, fonts, textures, vectors, clipart, tutorials and more. Be warned - I thought I had kicked my font problem until I found DealJumbo ;).

Some have thousands of things, some just a few, but they all have something useful. I hope others may find them useful to.

If anyone has any to add, please do comment - always glad of new resources!

If I find more I will add to the list.

Royalty Free, Use for Anything (Personal & Professional) Image Sites

Textures

Clipart

Fonts (some free for commercial use - some only personal use)

Vectors

Tutorials

Other