When I was a kid, I wasn’t allowed to watch scary movies. But elements of those films became well-known to me through friends and TV shows. So I knew what vampires were before I ever saw a horror movie on TV or at the theater. There were certain aspects that sounded funny. I recall laughing with friends about lines like “I want to drink your blood!” and the whole garlic keeping vampires away. When I did finally see the Bela Lugosi Dracula, I was surprised that it really was very creepy -- and a little scary. My mom was right in not letting her imaginative child see those movies at an early age.
The movies that I was familiar with a few decades ago present vampires in one way. They were vicious, amoral, ugly blood-suckers who enthralled people – especially women -- by means of supernatural powers. But something strange happened in the last couple of decades. Vampires became young, handsome men and beautiful women. Sometimes they were even – gasp! – the heroes of movies and TV series! How did that happen?
With Halloween coming, I thought it’d be fun to take a look at the evolution of vampires and how we view them. I’ve listed several below, along with the stars.
Vampires as evil
Nosferatu (Max Schreck)
Dracula (Bela Lugosi)
Dracula (Gary Oldman)
Horror of Dracula, Dracula Has Risen from the Grave, Taste the Blood of Dracula (Christopher Lee)
The Lost Boys (Kiefer Sutherland, Jason Patric)
From Dusk Till Dawn (George Clooney, Quentin Tarantino)
Slaying vampires for fun/profit/because they're bad guys
Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Sarah Michelle Gellar)
Blade (Wesley Snipes)
Van Helsing (Hugh Jackman)
Hellsing (anime series)
Vampires, a.k.a. John Carpenter’s Vampires (James Woods)
Vampires who walk among us
True Blood (Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Alexander Skarsgard)
Daybreakers (Ethan Hawke, Willem Dafoe, Sam Neill)
The Vampire Diaries (Ian Somerhalder, Nina Dobrev)
The Vampire’s Assistant (Josh Hutcherson, John C. Reilly)
Vampire Knight (anime series)
Vampires with a conscience – and they’re usually gorgeous, too
Moonlight (Alex O’Loughlin, Sophia Myles)
Angel (David Boreanaz)
Being Human (Aidan Turner)
Twilight series (Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart)
I guess it doesn’t matter what kind of vampire you prefer for entertainment. Scary, creepy, sad, angst-driven, or even funny. In fact, I probably left out one of your favorites. Who of the undead is your choice?