Road to Halloween: Top 5 Movie Vampires

Written by Jesse Gelinas October 11, 2012

The first sign of the vampire

A real vampire does not sparkle!

With Halloween fast approaching, I figured we should all take a few moments to give some appreciation to the fellas who make the holiday what it is. All those dark figures lurking just outside our peripheral, hiding under the bed, reaching out from the closet. The ghoul, ghosts, and goblins that have been embedded in the human psyche since the dawn of time. These guys are why we’re so afraid of the dark. So, in the spirit of the season, I present the first in a series of Top 5 Movie Monster lists. We begin our saga with a classic, the vampire.

5. Nomak (Luke Goss, “Blade II”)

Luke Goss as the genetically engineered vampire Nomak, in "Blade II"

“Vampires… I hate vampires.”

Nomak is a strange case. While he may not technically fall into the traditional vampire category, he has most of the trademark signs and is technically an offshoot, the first in a new breed of horror. Nomak differs from the classical vampire. He’s in it purely for the blood, like a junkie needing his fix every few hours. This makes him desperate, and dangerous, spreading his new strain of vampirism quickly like a plague. He’s tough as nails and scary as all hell when he and his minions are charging you down a dark sewer tunnel, especially when you realize that as a self-hating creature he slaughters both humans and vampires indiscriminately.

4. Jerry Dandrige (Chris Sarandon, “Fright Night”)

Chris Sarandon as vampire Jerry Dandrige in "Fright Night".

“You shouldn’t lose your temper. It isn’t polite.”

This guy. Don’t you just hate this guy? He’s just what we need, a vampire taking on the persona of that jackass who hits on your girl at the bar- in front of you. Yet, loathsome as he is, Jerry is a smooth operator. He slimes his way into town and starts thinning the female populace immediately. This guy doesn’t muck around. As a man, he’s charming, witty, and I hate him I hate him I hate him. As a bloodsucking fiend, the man is a force to be reckoned with. Even without his live-in ghoul manservant.

3. Eli (Lena Leandersson, “Let the Right One In”)

Lina Leandersson as the childlike vampire Eli, in "Let the Right One In"

“I’m twelve. But I’ve been twelve for a long time.”

Eli. What do we say about Eli? She looks like your average, innocent, remarkably pale youngster. Nothing about her really screams ‘vampire’ except for the nightly bloodlust and tendency to rip the locals’ throats out when her caretaker fails to bring home the bacon– er, plasma. Yes, beneath the innocent, naive exterior lurks a dark hunger that cannot be sated, and a powerfully sharp mind with the wisdom of generations. This girl is the real deal… can I say girl?

2. Marlow (Danny Huston, “30 Days of Night”)

Danny Huston and gang as the invading vampire brood in "30 Days of Night"

“There is no escape. No hope. Only hunger and pain.”

Oh my, do I love me some “30 Days of Night” vamps. With “Twilight” approaching on the horizon I had high hopes that this flick would remind people that vampires are MONSTERS. Animalistic, sadistic, grab-you-by-the-throat-and-tell-you-there’s-no-God MONSTERS! My prayers were answered (and quickly extinguished when “Twilight” became “The Twilight Saga”). Marlow and his brood sweep into town and wipe out almost a whole population within hours. Talk about efficient. At this point, they’re no longer ordinary vampires; they’re ‘death approaching’.

1. Dracula (Gary Oldman, “Bram Stoker’s Dracula”)

Gary Oldman as the titular vampire Dracula in "Bram Stoker's Dracula"

“I have crossed oceans of time to find you.”

Dracula is truly the king of bloodsuckers. He just can’t be beat. Whether it’s Nosferatu, or Vlad the Impaler, Count D just embodies everything we think when we hear vampire. Following in the footprints of the greats like Lugosi and Christopher Lee, Oldman brings a certain humanity to the classic character, making us truly feel for his heartbreak, and the loss of faith that followed. His take on Dracula allows us to look past the fangs, and the wings, and the ridiculous hair, and see the man. Of course, when he actually vamps out it is a horrifying sight and we’re reminded quickly why he is so feared, even to this day. When it comes right down to it, the Count just can’t be beat.


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About Jesse Gelinas

After years attempting to escape the Matrix, Jesse has accepted his fate as a writer and Senior Editor. Now that's he finished with his film degree, it gives him something to do while waiting for the machines to get careless.

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