The Halloween Horror List: 10 Essential Vampire Films

With Halloween approaching soon, kids are getting their costumes ready for trick or treating for one of the greatest nights of the year. Other people get down with costume parties that rival Mardi Gras. The holiday and the month it’s in is also a great time to share¬† and watch horror films. Throughout the week, I’ll share some of my essential horror lists with you guys. So grab a snack, a pen and paper, your favorite cuddle animal in case things get scary and aaawwaayy we go!

10 Essential Vampire Films (in no particular order)

Nosferatu clip

Nosferatu (1922): Pretty much the first vampire film. When Albin Grau and FW Murnau couldn’t secure the rights to Dracula, they made up their own version. Nosferatu, The Symphony of the Night. The film shows the vampire in true form, pre eurotrash, as a plague vermin that hides in the day. This was a highly influential film at a technical standpoint as well.

Addiction poster

The Addiction (1995): Abel Ferrara’s take on vampirism as addiction. Lilli Taylor stars as a college student who is bitten and must live with the fact that she is a vampire. Abel cunningly takes the shortcomings and they sad maladies of being an addict and shows them to up in black and white grittiness. Watch for the clever cameo of one Christopher Walkin.

Near Dark Trailer

Near Dark (1987): The definitive vampire Western. A guy falls in love with a century year old woman. Next thing he knows, he’s now a vampire and must prove to her family that he can survive or die. Bill Paxton’s character was part inspiration for the character Cassidy in the comic series Preacher. Very underrated horror movie from the 80’s.

Dracula poster

Dracula (Spanish Version) (1931): A lot of people like to call 1931’s Dracula the definitive Dracula and rightfully so thanks to Bela Lugosi, if we were to judge on movie alone, the Spanish version of Dracula, beats the English version hands down. While it was filmed at night by Geroge Melford, who didn’t speak a lick of Spanish, the film is better because it feels like a film where as the English version felt like a stage play. It was rumored that FW Murnau helped Melford film the movie.

Martin trailer

Martin (1977): George Romero’s vampire movie. Martin is very deconstructionist and open ended. Martin says he’s an 84 year old vampire, but all we have to go by are his words. Is he really a vampire or just a delusional young man with a blood fetish? Romero also has a lot of fun with symbolism and stereotypes of vampirism. Very underrated classic.

Cronos trailer

Cronos (1992): Guillermo Del Toro’s feature film. It deals with vampirism as a man made malady of sorts by way of alchemy. Claudio Brook and Ron Perlman really shine in this movie. It has a somewhat Hammerish tone to it mixed with Guillermo’s style. Be sure to watch a couple times to catch the subtle hints and details.

Zinda Laash poster

Zinda Laash (1967): Known as The Living Corpse, this was Pakistani’s version of Dracula. A doctor tries out an elixir to cure disease only to die and come back as a vampire. Even though this movie has song and dance numbers, it is balanced out with suspense and chills. After this movie was made, the critics were shocked enough to ban horror to be created in Pakistani film. The ban lasted for forty years.

Vampiro DVD cover

El Vampiro/Ataud del Vampiro (1957): You’re asking why I have two movies for this entry. The two films were meant to be two separate films, they fit together so well, you might think it was halves of one movie. The Mexican version of Dracula, produced by AbSa Prods. is a very underrated pioneer in furthering the vampire myth. German Robles was the first true aristocratic vampire. It was also the first time we see a vampire physically get out of a coffin as well as draw blood. It’s worth mentioning Ataud‘s great chase sequence which plays with light and shadow. These movies predated the Hammer scene.

From Dusk Till Dawn trailer

From Dusk Till Dawn (1996): A decent high tension getaway and hide out turns into a night long battle with vampires. Rodriguez introduces the concept of Aztec vampires in this homage to Assault On Precinct 13. This movie is chock full of references to films shown in grindhouses. Even the name of the film is a reference to the weekend policy of drive ins. Top on the list of Vampire Action.

Last Man On Earth.

Last Man On Earth (1964): Vampirism as viral plague. This first film rendition of Matheson’s I Am Legend stared Vincent Price as Roger Morgan. The last human on earth. While the vampires don’t look quite right, they do have a chill to them. The inner monologue Vincent Price has is absolutely brilliant.

GS Reporter: Royal

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