Vampire films

Vampire films

, the "Blood Countess" has also been an influence. By 2005, Dracula had been the subject of more films than any other fictional character.

History

The earliest cinematic vampires in such films as "The Vampire" (1913), directed by Robert G. Vignola, were in reality 'vamps' or femme fatales deriving inspiration from a poem by Rudyard Kipling called "The Vampire", composed in 1897. This poem was written as kind of commentary on a painting of a female vampire by Philip Burne-Jones exhibited in the same year. Lyrics from Kipling's poem: "A fool there was . . . ", describing a seduced man, were used as the title of the film "A Fool There Was" (1915) starring Theda Bara as the 'vamp' in question and the poem was used in the publicity for the film. [ Per the Oxford English Dictionary, "vamp" is originally English, used first by G. K. Chesterton, but popularized in the American silent film "The Vamp", starring Enid Bennett]

A genuine supernatural vampire features in the landmark "Nosferatu" (1922 Germany, directed by Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau). This was an unlicensed version of Bram Stoker's "Dracula", based so closely on the novel that the estate sued and won, with all copies ordered to be destroyed. It would be painstakingly restored in 1994 by a team of European scholars from the five surviving prints that had escaped destruction. The next classic treatment of the vampire legend was in Universal's "Dracula" (1931) starring Bela Lugosi as Count Dracula. Five years after the release of the film, Universal released "Dracula's Daughter" (1936), a direct sequel that starts immediately after the end of the first film. A second sequel, "Son of Dracula", starring Lon Chaney, Jr. followed in 1943. Despite his apparent death in the 1931 film, the Count returned to life in three more Universal films of the mid-1940s: "House of Frankenstein" (1944), "House of Dracula" (1945) both starring John Carradine and "Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein" (1948). While Lugosi had played a vampire in two other movies during the 1930s and 40's, it was only in this final film that he played Count Dracula onscreen for the second (and last) time.

A link between the Universal tradition and the later Hammer style is the 1957 Mexican movie El Vampiro that actually showed the vampire fangs (Lugosi did not) and introduced other now common cliches (like the backwards spelling of the name as a vampire's way to hide its identity). Dracula was reincarnated for a new generation in the celebrated Hammer Horror series of films, starring Christopher Lee as the Count. The first of these films "Dracula" (1958) was followed by seven sequels. Lee returned as Dracula in all but two of these. A more faithful adaptation of Stoker's novel appeared as "Bram Stoker's Dracula" (1992) directed by Francis Ford Coppola though also identifying Count Dracula with the notorious medieval Balkan ruler Vlad the Impaler [Wayne Bartlett and Flavia Idriceanu (2005) "Legends of Blood: The Vampire in History and Myth": 42] . A distinct sub-genre of vampire films, ultimately inspired by Le Fanu's "Carmilla" explored the topic of the lesbian vampire. The first of these was "Blood and Roses" (1960) by Roger Vadim. More explicit lesbian content was provided in Hammer Studios Karnstein trilogy. The first of these, "The Vampire Lovers", (1970), starring Ingrid Pitt and Madeleine Smith, was a relatively straightforward re-telling of LeFanu's novella, but with more overt violence and sexuality.Later films in this sub-genre such as "Vampyres" (1974) became even more explicit in their depiction of sex, nudity and violence. Beginning with the absurd "Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein" (1948) the vampire film has often been the subject of comedy. "The Fearless Vampire Killers" (1967) by Academy Award winner Roman Polanski was a notable parody of the genre. Other comedic treatments, of variable quality, include "Old Dracula" (1974) featuring David Niven as a lovelorn Dracula, "Love at First Bite" (1979 USA) featuring George Hamilton and "" (1995 USA, directed by Mel Brooks) with Canadian Leslie Nielsen giving it a comic twist.

Another development in some vampire films has been a change from supernatural horror to science fictional explanations of vampirism. "The Last Man on Earth" (Italy 1964, directed by Ubaldo Ragona) and "The Omega Man" (1971 USA, directed by Boris Sagal), both based on Richard Matheson's novel "I Am Legend", are two examples. Vampirism is explained as a kind of virus in David Cronenberg's "Rabid" (1976 Canada) and "Red-Blooded American Girl" (1990 Canada, directed by David Blyth).

Race has been another theme, as exemplified by the blaxploitation picture "Blacula" (1972) and several sequels.

Since the time of Bela Lugosi's "Dracula" (1931) the vampire, male or female, has usually been portrayed as an alluring sex symbol. Christopher Lee, Delphine Seyrig, Frank Langella, and Lauren Hutton are just a few examples of actors who brought great sex-appeal into their portrayal of the vampire. Latterly the implicit sexual themes of vampire film have become much more overt, culminating in such films as "Gayracula" (1983) and "The Vampire of Budapest", (1995), two pornographic all-male vampire movies, and "Lust For Dracula" (2005), a pornographic all-lesbian adaptation of Bram Stoker's classic.

There is, however, a very small sub-genre, pioneered in Murnau's seminal "Nosferatu" (1922) in which the portrayal of the vampire is similar to the hideous creature of European folklore. Max Schrek's disturbing portrayal of this role in Murnau's film was copied by Klaus Kinski in Werner Herzog's remake "" (1979). In "Shadow of the Vampire" (2000, directed by E. Elias Merhige), Willem Dafoe plays Max Schrek, himself, though portrayed here as an actual vampire. Dafoe's character is the ugly, disgusting creature of the original "Nosferatu". Stephen King's "Salem's Lot" (1979), notably depicts vampires as terrifying, simple-minded creatures, without erotism, and with the only desire to feed on the blood of others. This type of vampire is also featured in the film 30 Days of Night.

A major character in most vampire films is the vampire hunter, of which Stoker's Abraham Van Helsing is a prototype. However, killing vampires has changed. Where Van Helsing relied on a stake through the heart, in "Vampires" 1998 USA, directed by John Carpenter, Jack Crow (James Woods) has a heavily-armed squad of vampire hunters, and in "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" (1992 USA, directed by Fran Rubel Kuzui), writer Joss Whedon (who created TV's "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and spinoff "Angel") attached The Slayer, Buffy Summers (Kristy Swanson in the film, Sarah Michelle Gellar in the TV series), to a network of Watchers and mystically endowed her with superhuman powers.

Dracula and his legacy

. Fact|date=February 2007

* "Nosferatu" (1922; starring Max Schreck, remade 1979 with Klaus Kinski) – unlicensed German adaptation of Bram Stoker's novel; featuring "Count Orlok", a thinly veiled allusion to Dracula.
*"Dracula" (1931) – the first Universal Studios Dracula film, starring Bela Lugosi
*"Dracula (Spanish Version)" (1931) – Spanish-language version starring Carlos Villar, made simultaneously with the Bela Lugosi film, using the same sets on a timeshare basis
*"Dracula's Daughter" (1936) – Follow up to the 1931 film, starring Gloria Holden
*"Son of Dracula" (1943) – further sequel to the 1931 film starring Lon Chaney Jr.
*"House of Frankenstein" (1944) – John Carradine plays Dracula as part of an ensemble cast in this Universal Studios film
*"House of Dracula" (1945) – The final serious Universal Studios Dracula film, starring Carradine
*"Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein" (1948) – Lugosi played Dracula on film for the second and final time in this comedy-horror hybrid that concluded the Universal Studios series.
*"Drakula Istanbul'da" ("Dracula in Istanbul") (1953) - a rarely seen Turkish film on the subject. In order not to offend Muslim sensibilities no crucifixes were depicted.
*"Dracula" (1958; aka "Horror of Dracula") – the first Hammer Horror Dracula film, starring Christopher Lee as the Count. Followed by the sequels::* "The Brides of Dracula" (1960) - the only one in the sequence which doesn't feature Christopher Lee in the lead role:* "" (1966) - in which Lee returns from the dead:* "Dracula Has Risen from the Grave" (1968):* "Taste the Blood of Dracula" (1969):* "Scars of Dracula" (1970):* "Dracula AD 1972" (1972):* "The Satanic Rites of Dracula" (1973)
* "Dracula (1968)" a made-for-television version starring Denholm Elliott.
* "Count Dracula (1970 film)" was the Jesus Franco-directed adaptation.
* "Countess Dracula" (1970)
* "Blacula" (1972) – a blaxploitation cult film in which an African prince is turned into a vampire by Dracula. The film is also notable for featuring the first two gay male vampires in film history: both victims of Blacula.
**"Scream Blacula Scream" (1973)
* "Leptirica" (1973) (The Butterfly) directed by DJor
* "Dracula (1973)" was directed by Dan Curtis and starred Jack Palance in the title role.
* "Blood for Dracula" (1974) - also released as "Andy Warhol's Dracula" (x-rated)
* "Count Dracula (1977)" was the second BBC production, this one remarkably faithful and starring Louis Jourdan.
* "Lust at First Bite" (1978) - (x-rated)
* "Zoltan, Hound of Dracula" (aka "Dracula's Dog") (1978), a low-budget film in which the descendant of Dracula takes second billing to a vampiric Doberman
* "" (1979) was Werner Herzog's remake of Murnau's silent classic.
* "Dracula" (1979) – a film in the gothic romantic tradition starring Frank Langella and remake of the 1931 film with Bela Lugosi
* "Love At First Bite" (1979) – romantic comedy spoof starring George Hamilton.
* "Dracula Blows His Cool" (1979) - a bizarre German film in which the vampire's castle becomes a tourist trap and the Count is reduced to providing oral service for his guests.
* "Gayracula" (1983), an all-male pornographic film
* "" (1990) is a comedy western about a ghost town populated by vampires.
*"Bram Stoker's Dracula" (1992) – attempt at filming the story quite close to Stoker's novel, but merging the medieval story of Vlad Tepeş; starring Gary Oldman as Dracula
*"" (1994) – While no appearance or rendition of Dracula is made, the vampire Louis denounces the Dracula legend as "the vulgar fictions of a demented Irishman."
*"Monster Force" (1994) – an animated television series featuring Dracula as the mastermind of Evil, the Prince of Darkness and the main antagonist of the series
*"" (1995) – a parody of Dracula films by Mel Brooks; Leslie Nielsen as Dracula
*"Dracula 2000" (2000) - a modern reworking of the story.
*"Buffy vs. Dracula episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (2000)
* "Dracula (2002)" was an Italian miniseries which updated the story to modern day.
*"Hellsing" (2002) - Alucard is Dracula, controlled by the descendent of Abraham Van Helsing, Integra Hellsing.
*"Dracula, Pages From a Virgin's Diary" (2002) - a silent interpretation of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet's take of Bram Stoker's Dracula.
* "League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" (2003) - Mina Harker, vampiric thanks to her encounter with Dracula, is a member of the League.
*"Van Helsing" (2004) – action movie only loosely connected to the original "Dracula"; Richard Roxburgh as Dracula. Van Helsing's appearance is heavily based on the look of Vampire Hunter D, a dhampir vampire hunter who is the implied son of Dracula.
*"" (2004) - Drake the vampire is supposed to have had many forms throughout the centuries, Stoker's Dracula being one of them.
* "Lust For Dracula" (2005) is an all-lesbian, very surreal adaptation (x-rated).
*"Hellsing Ultimate" (2006) - Remake of Hellsing following the original manga series more closely.
* "Dracula (2006)" is the third BBC version, starring Marc Warren as the title character and reworking the plot.
*"Bram Stoker's Dracula's Curse" (2006) - A direct to video release from The Asylum and director Leigh Scott with special effects by Almost Human Inc., the company who did creature effects for Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
*"Fangland" (2009) - Dracula returns.

Other vampires in movies and television

* "The Vampire" (1913) - directed and co-written by Robert G. Vignola
* "Les Vampires" (1915) - a 10 part silent-film serial
* "London After Midnight" (1927) - a lost silent film.
* "Vampyr" (1932) - a classic silent film.
* "Mark of the Vampire" (1935) - a remake of "London After Midnight", this time as a talkie. At the conclusion of the film the vampires are revealed to be fraudulent.
* "The Return of the Vampire" (1944)
* "The Vampire's Ghost" (1945)
* "Not of This Earth" (1957)
** "Not of This Earth" (1988 remake, with Traci Lords)
** "Not of This Earth" (1995 remake, with Michael York)
* "Curse of the Undead" (1959)
* "Blood and Roses" (1960) by Roger Vadim - the first of the lesbian vampire genre, based on Le Fanu's "Carmilla".
* "Black Sunday" (1960)
* "Black Sabbath" (1963) - a portmanteau Italian horror movie, introduced by Boris Karloff, in three segments, the last of which is based on Alexei Tolstoy's vampire story "The Family of the Vourdalak" (1839) about a father (played by Karloff) who returns to the family home as a vampire.
* "Carmilla" (1964) - an Italian film, starring Christopher Lee, very loosely based on the story of the same name by Sheridan Le Fanu
* "The Last Man on Earth" (1964) - based on the novel "I Am Legend"
* "Kiss of the Vampire" (1964)
* "Dark Shadows" TV series (1966 and 1991)
* "Blood Bath" (1966)
* "The Fearless Vampire Killers" (1967) - a semi-spoof of the genre directed by Roman Polanski.
* "Le Viol du Vampire" (1968) - vampire erotica by French director Jean Rollin.
* "La Vampire Nue" (1969) - more vampire erotica from Jean Rollin.
* "House of Dark Shadows" (1970)
* "Count Yorga, Vampire" (1970).
**"The Return of Count Yorga" (1971).
* "The Vampire Lovers" (1970), based on the story "Carmilla" by Sheridan Le Fanu and featuring Ingrid Pitt as a lesbian vampire. This was the first of Hammer's Karnstein Trilogy and set a trend for lesbian erotica in the genre.
** "Lust for a Vampire" (1971) - the second film in the Karnstein Trilogy.
** "Twins of Evil" (1971) - the third film in the Karnstein trilogy.
*"Vampyros Lesbos", (1971) a West German entry in the "lesbian erotic vampire" sub-genre
* "Le Rogue aux Levres (Daughters of Darkness) & (Children of the Night)" (1971)
* "The Omega Man" (1971) - also based on the novel "I Am Legend"
* "The Night Stalker" (1972)
* "Vampire Circus" (1973) - a Hammer Horror.
* "Leptirica" (aka The Butterfly) (1973) - a Yugoslavian classic horror film directed by Djordje Kadijevic
* "Vampyres" (1974) - an erotic film which features two lesbian vampires who inhabit a Gothic mansion in England: includes much in the way of bloody violence.
* "" (1974) episode 4 "The Vampire"
* "The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires" (1974) - a kung fu vampire movie.
* "Rabid" (1976)
* "Martin" (1977) George A. Romero's film about clinical vampirism ambiguously confused with folkloric vampirism.
* "Salem's Lot" (1979) - based on the novel of the same name by Stephen King.
** A Return to Salem's Lot (1987)
* The serials "State of Decay" (1980) and "The Curse of Fenric" (1989) from the BBC science fiction television series "Doctor Who".
* "The Monster Club" (1980) - this British film features horror legend Vincent Price as a vampire for the first and only time in his career.
* "Dr. Slump" (1981) - episode 17 part 2
* "The Hunger" (1983)
* "Fright Night" (1985)
** "Fright Night II" (1989)
* "Real Ghostbusters" (1985) episode "Transylvanian Homesick Blues".
* "Once Bitten" (1985)
* "Vampire Hunter D" (1985)
* "Dragon Ball" (1986) - episodes 69 and 70
* "Vamp" (1986)
* "The Lost Boys" (1987)
* "Near Dark" (1987)
* "My Best Friend Is a Vampire" (1988)
* "Vampire Princess Miyu" (1988)
* "Vampire's Kiss" (1989)
* "Red-Blooded American Girl" (1990)
* "" (1990)
* "Little Dracula" (1991, 1999) - a children's animated series
* "Subspecies" (1991)
** "Bloodstone: Subspecies II" (1993)
** "Bloodlust: Subspecies III" (1994)
** "Vampire Journals" (1997)
** "Subspecies 4: Bloodstorm" (1998)
* "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" (1992), the TV show of the same name and its television spinoff "Angel"
* "Forever Knight" TV Series (1992)
* "Innocent Blood" (1992)
* "Samurai Vampire Bikers From Hell (1992)
* "Cronos" (1993) - by Mexican director Guillermo del Toro, features a vampiric parasite encased inside a clockwork beetle, cunningly devised by a medieval alchemist to pierce the skin of those who handle it, turning them into blood-thirsty vampires. Vampirism in the film is also used as a metaphor for the predatory financial exploitation of Mexico by the USA.
* "" (1994) - based on the book by Anne Rice.
* "Embrace of the Vampire" (1994)
* "Nadja" (1994)
* "The Addiction" (1995 in film) A philosophical variant on the vampire film, that uses vampirism as a metaphor for AIDS and ends with a notorious and highly sexually charged orgy of blood-sucking.
* "Vampire in Brooklyn" (1995)
* "The Vampire of Budapest" (1995), a gay pornographic film from director Kristen Bjorn
* "From Dusk Till Dawn" (1996)
** "" (1999)
** "" (2000)
* "" (1996)
* "Kindred the Embraced (1996)
* "The Hunger (serial)" (1997-2000) - a TV series, loosely inspired by the film of the same name, has forty four non-connected episodes, some scripted by established horror writers, with most of stories having implicit or explicit vampiric themes, including a dramatisation of "La Morte Amoureuse" by Theophile Gautier
* "Ultraviolet" (1998)
* "Razor Blade Smile" (1998) - a very low budget independent British film which pays homage to the Hammer lesbian vampire films of the 1970s.
* "Blade" (1998)
** "Blade II" (2002)
** "" (2004)
** "" (2006)
* "The Wisdom of Crocodiles" (1998)
** "Immortality" (2000) US DVD title
* "Vampires" (1998)
** "" (2002)
* "Modern Vampires" (1998)
* "Hot Vampire Nights" (1999) (x-rated)
* "Shadow of the Vampire" (2000)
* "" (2000) Japanese movie about a vampire girl named Saya fighting chiropterans for a secret organization.
* "Port Charles" - daytime serial on ABC that utilized vampires in story arcs from 2001 - 2003.
* "Vampire Hunter D | " (2001)
*"The Forsaken" (2001)
*"Trouble Every Day" (2001) - Artistic, erotic take on the vampire myth by Claire Denis.
*"Vampire High" TV series (2001)
* "Queen of the Damned" (2002)
* "Hellsing" (2002)
**"Hellsing Ultimate" (2006) - new series that sticks closer to the original manga.
*"The Twins Effect" aka Chin gei bin (2003) - A Chinese martial arts vampire movie, with a special guest appearance by Jackie Chan.
* "Underworld" (2003)
** "" (2006)
* "Rosario + Vampire" (2004) A Japanese anime/comedy series, starring the vampire Moka Akashiya, who later transforms the other main character, Tsukune Aono into a vampire as well.
* "'Salem's Lot" (2004)
* "Night Watch (Nochnoi Dozor)" (2004) Russian fantasy film partially involving vampires
** "Day Watch (Dnevnoi Dozor)" (2006)
* "" (2005)
* "BloodRayne (2006)
* "Blood+" (Blood Plus) (2005-2006) A Japanese television series involving an alternate reality of still centering around Saya.
*"Trinity Blood" (2005) An Japanese anime shows that the story of a war between humans and vampires, and showing a new kind vampires popular as Krsnik.
* "Ultraviolet (film)" (2006)
* "Frostbiten" (2006) - Sweden's first vampire movie.
* "The Hamiltons" (2006)
* "Young Dracula" (2006-2008) - CBBC Television Series
* " (DVD - 2007)
* "Blood Ties (TV series) (2007)
* "Gothic Vampires from Hell (DVD - 2007)"
* "30 Days of Night" (2007) - Based on the comic.
* "Moonlight (TV series) (2007)
* "Reiri Kamura" of "Kaibutsu Oujo", A Japanese anime/comedy series
* "I am Legend" (2007) based on the novel
* "The Thirst (film)" (2008)
* "Twilight (2008 film)" based on a novel by Stephenie Meyer (2008)
* "Being Human (TV series)" (2008)
* "" (2008) A live-action movie based on the animated movie.
* "Let the Right One In" (2008) - Sweden's second vampire movie
* "Vampire Knight" (2008) - Japanese shoujo anime series involving a school that is separated into a 'Night Class' and a 'Day Class' with vampires and humans, respectively
* "Vampire Knight Guilty" (2008) - sequel series to Vampire Knight anime series
* "" - A Japanese anime based on Shido, a vampire detective who hunts the 'Nightbreed' while trying to stay a step ahead of his creator Cain.
* "True Blood" (2008) - HBO Television Series based on the "Sookie Stackhouse" book series by Charlaine Harris

References

* Christopher Frayling (1992) "Vampyres: Lord Byron to Count Dracula" (1992) ISBN 0-571-16792-6
* Freeland, Cynthia A. (2000) "The Naked and the Undead: Evil and the Appeal of Horror". Westview Press.
* Holte, James Craig. (1997) "Dracula in the Dark: The Dracula Film Adaptations". Greenwood Press.
* Leatherdale, C. (1993) "Dracula: The Novel and the Legend". Desert Island Books.
* Melton, J. Gordon. (1999) "The Vampire Book: The Encyclopedia of the Undead". Visible Ink Press.

External links

* [http://filmwalrus.blogspot.com/search/label/Vampire%20Series Reviews of vampire films] at [http://filmwalrus.blogspot.com/ The Film Walrus]
* [http://www.oddfilms.com/vampire.htm List of unusual vampire movies] at Oddfilms.com.
* [http://www.eclipse.net/~srudy/myths/vampire_myths.html List of vampire myths in fiction] at Eclipse.net.
* [http://www.vampyrus.com Vampyrus]
* [http://www.horrormusic.net Horror Music]
* [http://www.myspace.com/plogojowitz The Band Plogojowitz]


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