Sunday, November 17, 2013

Top 21 Vampire Movies; a Poll of Polls, the Fan’s Choice

There are three major problems with polling; the extent of the polling data, the integrity of the vote counting, and the agenda or point the polling company may be trying to prove or push.
Let’s face it; we all know you can make statistics say anything.
So for this truly representative poll, I didn’t ask the public to vote. Instead I went to a huge list of already existing polls, and took a poll of the polls. Doing so, hopefully, I cut out these pitfalls, and provided a more accurate, consistent poll.
1. I automatically used polling data from many representative sources, cutting out any bias that one poll might have for a certain subdivision or single movie within the genre (One poll had the “Fearless vampire Killers” in top spot, a film that only just makes our list).
2. I automatically polled a huge amount of data, far greater than I could have done on my own (At least three of the lists had polled over one thousand fans of the genre).
3. Looking for a true picture, and not having a pre-existing agenda, I truly counted every vote, whether for obscure films, or genuine genre favorites. This was a poll constructed to provide me information, not to push an agenda, because, basically, on vampire films, I don’t have one.
Whether you peruse the list for your own favorites, or to get suggestions for future viewing, I hope you find something interesting.
• 20. The Fearless Vampire Killers (1967)
Or Pardon Me, But Your Teeth Are In My Neck, is a rare Roman Polanski comedy. It just scrapes into the list and no more.
• 19. Salem’s Lot (1979)
A TV movie starring David Soul. I remember this from my teenage years. Watch the lengthy 180min version for full plot arcs.
• 18. 30 Days of Night (2007)
Directed by David Slade, (Twilight Saga; Eclipse) with a relatively high $30m budget, based on the comic book of the same name. Vampires attack a remote Alaskan town as it enters polar night.
• 17. Black Sunday (1960)
An Italian gothic horror flick, also known as La Maschera del Demonio, and The Mask of Satan. Considered ‘bloody’ in its day, it was banned in some countries (UK) and holds 40th place in the Scariest Movie Moments poll.
• 16. Horror of Dracula (1958)
The only Hammer movie to make the list, starring, of course, Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee. Directed by Terence Fisher who also did over 50 other movies, mainly Hammer Horror.
• 15. Martin (1976)
Directed by George A Romero (the Godfather of Zombies), his only delve into the vampire lore. Super low budget, yet critically acclaimed, it’s almost a film you have to see, just to say you’ve seen it.
• 14. Underworld (2003)
A four part series mainly directed by Len Wiseman who is married to Kate Beckinsale who stars. (Kate is the daughter of Richard Beckinsale of British Comedy’s Porridge and Rising Damp)
• 13. Shadow of the Vampire (2000)
Stars John Malkovich and Willem Defoe and actually got nominated for two Oscars. It tells the fictional story of the filming of the original 1922 Nosferatu.
• 12. Cronos (1993)
Guillermo de Toro’s first attempt at Direction. Frederico Luppi and Ron Pearlman team up (Blade II) in this sci-fi/vampire crossbreed.
• 11. Nosferatu the Vampyre (1979)
A classic version of the Dracula tale, starring Klaus Kinski, directed by Werner Hertzog. Cost $2.5Million, but grossed $53Million in Italy alone.
• 10. Blade (1998)
Loosely based on the Marvel character, Wesley Snipes stars as Blade, a vampire hybrid, protecting people from vampires. Kris Kristofferson supports. Did well enough for two sequels.
• 9. From Dusk Til Dawn (1996)
I’m not sure that director Quentin Tarantino aimed for a vampire movie, but it’s ranked in every poll. Fast-paced, great dialogue, and a nice cast keep the juggernaut rolling.
• 8. Fright Night (1985)
Far better than its 2011 remake, this b-list cast make a good script great. Tom Holland directorial debut laid the groundwork for many more horror flicks.
• 7. Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1982)
Directed by Francis Ford Coppola, and starring an A+ cast (Gary Oldman, Winona Ryder, Anthony Hopkins, Keanu Reaves) it’s probably the most stylish and accurate to Bram Stoker’s original.
• 6. Dracula (1931)
Starring Bela Lugosi in the title role, it set the bar for the rest of the genre. It makes every list I encountered, and tops a few. Based on the stage play of Bram Stoker’s novel.
• 5. The Lost Boys (1987)
A teen classic, starring Jason Patric, Corey Haim, Kiefer Sutherland, Jami Gertz, Corey Feldman and more. Directed by St Elmo’s Fire Joel Schumacher, it has reached cult status.
• 4. Interview With A Vampire (1994)
Written by Anne Rice, this book launched nine sequels called the Vampire Chronicles. The film starred Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, Kirsten Dunst, Antonio Banderas and Christian Slater.
• 3. Near Dark (1987)
Although this movie tanked initially, it has achieved cult status. Kathryn Bigelow’s first film, and was one of the eighties big vampire 'pushes' including Lost Boys and Fright Night.
• 2. Nosferatu (1922)
A totally unauthorized version of Stoker’s Dracula. The title got changed (Nosferatu), the characters got changed (Count Orlov), and most copies got burned when missus Stoker sued, but one remained. It’s still a classic, and surprised me by being consistently high in every single poll.
• 1. Let The Right One In (2008)
A big surprise as the winner. It's the best of the new vampire films. A Swedish movie about a bullied twelve year old boy, who befriends a vampire. Stylish, moody, and well-directed. Consistently high in the polls, and topping a few. It’s a great movie; get the popcorn, turn down the lights and enjoy.

Once the list was completed, I noted a few salient points. Although most of the lists were fairly recent, and votes were cast for the new vampire movies, they never featured highly in most of the lists; Twilight appearing only once.
The list end up being a nice mix of old black and white versions of the genre, stylish 1970-80’s experiments, and modern newcomers. I’ve seen most of them, and have made it my goal to watch the rest. I hope you’ve found your favorite among its ranks, and have been prodded to watch a few of the others. Follow my blog with Bloglovin