10. SHADOW OF THE VAMPIRE
The film begins as Murnau (John Malkovich) is ready to take his unauthorized interpretation of the Bram Stoker tale on location in Czechoslovakia. There, the director has arranged for his cast and crew to live in the same castle in which they will shoot their parts, as they all wait for their co-star, Max Schreck (Willem Dafoe) — Murnau’s choice to play Count Orlok — to arrive. Their leader has warned them that Schreck is a student of the Stanislovsky method of performance and will not respond to them out-of-character. Nothing, however, can prepare them for the real thing: when the actor arrives, he’s already in full Gothic regalia, asserting that he is indeed a vampire.
9. ONCE BITTEN
A sexy female vampire must drink the blood of three male virgins each year in order to stay alive — but finding them in modern-day Los Angeles proves rather difficult. This horror comedy follows the vamp as she attempts to seduce and conquer one particularly ripe, if socially awkward, target.
8. NIGHT WATCH
Two bands of warriors, one good and one evil, battle to keep the peace in Moscow in this cat’s cradle thriller from Russia. In 1342, the Warriors of Light (led by Gesser, Lord of Light) and the Warriors of Darkness (led by Zavulon, General of Darkness) declare a truce under which each side will form a law enforcement team to monitor the other side’s activities. The Warriors of Light, who enforce the powers of good, patrol the Night Watch, while the Warriors of Darkness, who openly embrace evil, staff the Day Watch. Each watch group also contains “Others,” mortals with supernatural powers from both sides that include vampires, shapeshifters, witches, and the like. Prophecy suggests that one day, a Great One will surface and permanently extinguish the threat of an apocalyptic war between the two sides by upsetting the balance, lending greater power to either good or evil (depending on his or her choice) and thus determining the future of mankind forever.
7. FRIGHT NIGHT
A suburban Las Vegas teenager realizes that his new neighbor is a charismatic vampire in this remake of the 1985 horror comedy hit. After years of climbing to reach the top of the social ladder, high school senior Charley Brewster (Anton Yelchin) finally rules the roost. Just as Charley ditches his best pal, “Evil” Ed (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), and starts dating the most popular girl in their class, however, a handsome new face appears in the neighborhood. It belongs to Charley’s new neighbor Jerry (Colin Farrell), an outwardly amiable guy with a quick smile and a sharp wit. But when Ed vanishes without a trace andCharley sees a side of Jerry that everyone else seems to miss, the nouveau popular teen becomes convinced that the nice-guy act is a cover for something truly sinister.
In the Tomb of Dracula comic book origin, just before Blade’s mother gave birth to Blade, she was bitten by a vampire, which made Blade immune to vampires. Now a vampire hunter, Blade, joined by vampire detective Hannibal King and Dracula-descendent Frank Drake, stalks vampires. In the 1990s (in Marvel’s Nightstalkers), Blade teamed with Drake and King in an agency created to fight a variety of supernatural beings. The Marvel origin is retold in this 1998 Norrington film with Blade’s mother dying as he is born.
5. THE LOST BOYS
In this hit ’80s hybrid of the horror movie and the teen flick, a single mom and her two sons become involved with a pack of vampires when they move into an offbeat Northern California town. Lucy (Dianne Wiest) and her sons, Michael (Jason Patric) and Sam (Corey Haim), move to Santa Carla to live with Lucy’s lovable but curmudgeonly father (Barnard Hughes). Lucy gets a job from video-store owner Max (Edward Herrmann), then begins dating him, while Sam hangs out with Edward and Alan Frog (Corey Feldman and Jamison Newlander), a pair of vampire-obsessed comic-shop clerks.
4. BRAM STOKER’S DRACULA
This film from Francis Ford Coppola and screenwriter James Victor Hart offers a full-blooded portrait of the immortal Transylvanian vampire. The major departure from Stoker is one of motivation as Count Dracula (Gary Oldman) is motivated more by romance than by bloodlust. He punctures the necks as a means of avenging the death of his wife in the 15th century, and when he comes to London, it is specifically to meet heroine Mina Harker (Winona Ryder), the living image of his late wife (Ryder plays a dual role, as do several of her costars). Anthony Hopkins is obsessed vampire hunter Van Helsing, while Keanu Reeves takes on the role of Jonathan Harker, and Tom Waits plays bug-eating Renfield.
3. FROM DUSK TILL DAWN
After a string of robberies that left a river of blood in the Geckos’ wake, the sadistic siblings head to Mexico to live the good life. To get over the border, they kidnap Jacob Fuller, a widowed preacher played by Harvey Keitel, and his two children, Kate (Juliette Lewis) and Scott (Ernest Liu). Once south of the border, the quintet park their RV at a rough-and-tumble trucker bar called The Titty Twister, where Seth and Richie are supposed to meet a local thug. After a couple of drinks, they realize that they’re not in a typical bar, as the entire place begins to teem with vicious, blood-sucking vampires.
A young man who has pledged his life to helping others finds himself in a pitched battle between two gangs of supernatural villains in this blend of horror story and action thriller. Michael Corvin (Scott Speedman) is a medical student who is heading home after a long day of school and work when he unexpectedly finds himself in the middle of what appears to be a rumble between two well turned-out street gangs. What Michael doesn’t know is he has witnessed a skirmish between two deadly underground communities, unknown to the mortal world, who are battling for supremacy — the Death Dealers, a tribe of vampires, and the Lycans, a band of werewolves.
1. DRACULA: DEAD AND LOVING IT
Mel Brooks does it again with this send-up of vampire films. That Leslie Nielson plays the great blood-sucking count gives viewers a good idea as to what they are in for. This Dracula takes himself very seriously despite the fact that he’s a bit of a klutz with a tendency to slip in the bat guano that adorns his castle floor. Staying very close to Bram Stoker’s original story, Brooks also pays sly homage to other major vampire film classics, including Nosferatu. Though silly but subtle gags abound in this outing, Brooks has taken great care to recreate the late 19th-century atmosphere in rich detail and harkens back to Hammer horror movies popular during the ’50s and ’60s.