#10 – Edward Cullen and the vampires of the Twilight Saga
With Eclipse about to be released on DVD and Blu Ray, Edward Cullen and the Twilight gang just had to make the list. With their vegetarian diet and their diamond studded, dazzling-in-the-sun skin, these vampires certainly gave us a lot to talk about. Edward Cullen in particular made females swoon with delight all over the globe with his brooding good looks and his undying and fervent love for the awkward Bella Swan. Even this humble writer was not immune to his charms. Talk about a vampire dream come true.
#9 – Marlow and the vampires from 30 Days of Night
Absolutely terrifying. Danny Huston’s portrayal of Marlow in this movie gave me nightmares. He was cold, calculating, merciless, and hated the human race with such a fervent intensity that would make any human want to still their beating heart for fear that Marlow would hear it. He was ancient beyond belief and the leader of his clan, and his only goal was to eliminate every human in the freezing Alaskan town of Barrow. Absolutely terrifying to be sure.
#8 – Blade
Also known as Eric Brooks, this is one vampire who definitely has the best of both worlds. Although he is a hybrid, he had all the advantages of a vampire and was prone to none of the traits that made them weak. His journey to becoming a vampire was not a traditional one; his mother was bitten while she was pregnant with him, and he was born a dhampir. A fearsome warrior, this dhampir turned deadly vampire hunter’s only mission in life was to rid humanity of the scourge of vampires. Definitely a vampire I would want on my side – as long as he has his serum that prevents his thirst for human blood handy.
#7 – Selene and the vampires of Underworld
Selene is a Death Dealer, and a very good one at that. She is bold, intelligent, and able to leap from very tall buildings. Imbued with all the vampire appeal that draws you in against your will, Selene is a dark heroine, spectacular in every sense of the word. She is talented with any and all weapons that are made available to her, and Lycans should beware. Beautiful as she is strong, Selene makes being a vampire look easy and uber appealing. Infact, she seems to be indestructible and I am looking forward to seeing her in the next installment of the Underworld franchise. And in 3D no less!
#6 – David Van Etten and the vampires of The Lost Boys
Even though this movie was more of a comedy-horror, Keifer Sutherland’s performance as David, the leader of a gang of vampires, was definitely memorable. In this movie, vampires are alive and well in the fictional California town of Santa Carla. Sutherland’s depiction of a vampire was possessed of a laid back kind of charm, and it seemed like he was always in on some kind of private joke. Despite his easy going appearance, David was a vampire you wouldn’t want to mess with. There was always an underlying menace and unpredictability that would even make someone who had nerves of steel more than a wee bit nervous.
#5 – Count Dracula
Count Dracula was most memorably played by Bela Lugosi and Christopher Lee, complete with the cape and slicked back hair. These are the incarnations of the vampire we remember from our childhood. Maybe not as flashy, diverse, or scary as the vampires of the late 80’s, 90’s, and present day, but certainly imbued with vampire origin and based on Bram Stoker’s novel. Count Dracula was powerful in the sense that he was a noble Prince of Darkness, and evil incarnate masked in the slick guise of aristocracy. He was the classic vampire, a cold- skinned, undead marauder appearing in the rooms of hapless maidens with the sole intent to drink their blood and own their very souls. A true devil indeed!
#4 – Nosferatu
Max Schreck as Count Orlok, or better known as Nosferatu is one of my earliest memories of vampires. How clearly I remember being fascinated by this creature rising from a non descript coffin, huddled and hands curling and tucked close to the body, looking more comical and scared than scary. But he was indeed the feared dark one, a demon of night, surviving on the blood of humans. Woe to anyone if his hunched shadow appeared upon the walls of your house. Whether or not this Nosferatu inspires fear in you, you cannot think of vampyre without the image of Nosferatu entering your mind.
#3 – Lestat and the vampires of Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire
Anne Rice introduced vampires of the like we hadn’t seen before. She gave us the iconic vampire Lestat, a true acolyte of vampire hedonism; Louis, a vampire who pondered the existence of a human soul living within the body of a vampire; Armand, a vampire immersed in decadence and the archaic while longing to feel alive once more; and Claudia, a forbidden child vampire who embraced her vampire nature with the kind of whole hearted capitulation only the young are capable of. Yet it is Lestat and all his carefree and roguish antics and irreverence towards the vampiric code that makes him standout amongst this crowd of fangs.
#2 – Queen Akasha the Queen of the Damned
Although Queen Akasha is a vampire of the Anne Rice universe of vampires, I feel that she deserves to be ranked all on her own. She was a queen after all. She was also a most powerful female vampire who enjoyed wreaking havoc upon the world when she was awoken by Lestat’s rock music. She certainly instilled terror in human and vampire alike. Aaliyah’s sylph-like performance as the queen of the undead was almost serpentine and definitely iconic. Ancient and tyrannical, Queen Akasha was the mother of all vampires, the very first vampire to ever be created. She hailed from ancient Egypt where she was made a vampire when an evil spirit entered her body. Merciless, compassionless, and determined to fulfill all her desires, Queen Akasha was a force to be reckoned with.
#1 – Vlad III Draculea
Gary Oldman as Vlad the Impaler, Vlad III Draculea, or simply Dracula in Francis Ford Coppola’s sumptuous depiction of Bram Stoker’s Dracula is by far the most compelling and decadent vampire of them all. Vlad ends up as #1 on our list and is in my estimation, the best movie vampire of all time. Here is a vampire immune to day-walking, can change shape, control the elements, minds, and animals. Complex, sexy, suave, driven by eternal love, dark, villainous, evil incarnate, doomed by the curse of eternal life yet worthy of redemption; Vlad is the epitome of what it means to be a vampire. The list goes on and on. Gary Oldman’s Draculea is legendary and everything that Bram Stoker could have hoped for his fictitious vampire to be.
And there you have it; the 10 best movie vampires of all time. Deserving of honorable mention of course is Salma Hayek’s vampire dancer in From Dusk Till Dawn, Stephen King’s Barlow in Salem’s Lot, and though they aren’t movie vampires, the vampires of TrueBlood deserve a nod just because they break all the vampire rules and have fun doing it!