Wednesday, 30 October 2013

The Cardboard Dog Halloween Movie List Part 5: Vampire Movies

Mwa-ha-ha-ha! I vant to suck your blud! Thankfully (or not depending on how nostalgic you are), all things vampire have evolved since some European sex pest lurked in the corners with his cape flowing. We have regretful vampires hooked on existentialism, bat-shit crazy murdering vampires, mexican vampires, rock and roll vampires and sophisticated vampires. They're all here - five of the best blood-sucker movies you can see this season.

Top 5 Vampire movies

5. Nosferatu (1922)
One of the earliest vampire films made (so in no way influenced by Twilight) a vampire film so bad-ass that not even the Stoker estate could kill it after they discovered it was basically ripping off Dracula (they demanded all copies be destroyed but, like any good vampire, it rose from the grave). The movie is fascinating even from a historical point of view – it's SO old! But it's age only adds to the atmosphere. The actors all emote a naivety and enthusiasm typical of many silent movies, but this doesn't detract from the ride; Count Orlok is one of the most iconic and creepy screen vampires - so effective that rumour had it that Max Schrek, who played Orlok, was actually a genuine vampire...

4. Fright Night (1985)
As much as we like Colin Farrell, the recent remake of Fright Night cannot be recommended. When it's held up against the original – there's no comparison. Full of typical 80's spirit, Tom Holland's original follows high school student Charlie Brewster as he discovers that his new neighbour is indeed a vampire. The effects are great old-school fun (not going to call them fang-tastic) while the peripheral characters of Peter Vincent and Evil (as the reluctant TV host and best friend Brewster enlists to help him) are spot on as the comic relief. There's an obligatory chase-through-a-disco scene midway through but hey, it was the 80's. Too much fun to miss.

3. Near Dark (1987)
Kathryn Bigelow's very modern take on the vampire movie is sexy and dangerous. Full of dark synth courtesy of Tangerine Dream, Near dark follows Bigelow's ragtag band of vampires, led by Lance Henriksen as they take in new blood Caleb. We see farm-boy Caleb's struggle to adapt to his new nocturnal life and his shock as the reality of needing blood to live slams home – best illustrated in the notorious bar scene about half-way in. If you're expecting the pop-gore of Fright Night, forget it – when the blood is extracted it's ugly.

2. The Lost Boys (1987)
So, the chances are that this is most people's favourite vampire film (unless you have Robert Pattinson as your wallpaper). It's just the tonic for the October blues; set in Sunny California, it's got a pumping rock n roll soundtrack, a cranky grandpa, a video store, an atmospheric water-pistol showdown, two Coreys and a muscular saxophone player. And the coolest vampires known to pop culture. You know the score, go watch it.

1. From Dusk Till Dawn (1996)
Whenever you see something like “Special Effects by: Howard Berger And Gregory Nicotero” you know you're about to see something awesome (check them out on Google or Youtube to get an idea). From Dusk till Dawn is crammed full of eye-popping, repulsive, amazing gore sequences but this is only a small part of why it's so epic. Ready? Let's go; screenplay by Quentin Tarantino, directed by Robert Rodriquez, George Clooney has rarely been cooler, we get introduced to Sex-Machine, Danny Trejo is in it, Salma Hayek parades around in lingerie, our curiousity about what it'd look like if one used another man's midriff to pump a shotgun is satisfied, Danny Trejo is in it, the soundtrack rocks, if you have to battle a horde of vampires - the Titty Twister is one of the finest places to do it, Danny Trejo is in it.

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