Oldman, Pattinson, Sutherland and more memorable on-screen vampires
Of all the bloodsucking immortals committed to legend in film, Dracula’s name stands out loud and proud. In new film Dracula Untold, the origins of the man who becomes the fearsome count are revealed. What better excuse, then, for us to look through a haunting back catalogue of horrors and thrillers to unearth some of the silver screen’s favourite vampires.
The Twilight Saga (2008-2013) Robert Pattinson He gave a new generation a reason to fall in love with vampires all over again. As Edward Cullen, the lead vampire in the Twilight franchise, all pale faced, chiselled cheekbones and piercing eyes, the great undead had never looked so good. His character became a vampire aged 17, hence the teenage good looks that have lasted him millennia. With telepathic abilities and superhuman speed, he’s also a brooding pessimist and doting father. The Twilight Saga broke box office records, bringing in billions.
The Lost Boys (1987) Kiefer Sutherland There’s a connection between teenagers and vampires, somewhere between their shared need for rebellion and independence, their raging emotions and fondness for sunglasses. Film-makers have tapped into this, making vamp flicks especially appealing to teens. When Robert Pattinson (and many of his fans) were a babe in arms, Kiefer Sutherland played teen vamp David in this ’80s horror classic. The story starts with two brothers who move to a new town with their mother. David is the leader of a gang of bikers in the town and he lures the elder brother into a bloodthirsty life.
Vampire’s Kiss (1989) Nicolas Cage He plays Peter Loew, a publicist who is slowly being driven insane by his frenetic lifestyle, juggling a busy office job with late nights and excesses. After being bitten by a girl he has just met, he begins to believe that he’s turning into a vampire. This is an over-the-top, hammy comedy that suits Cage’s style down to the ground. The film isn’t so much about vampires, but rather a tale about the effect that bad relationships can have on you. Loew does meet a sticky end with a wooden stake though.
Interview with the Vampire (1994) Brad Pitt Based on the worldwide bestselling book by Anne Rice, Interview with the Vampire has a top-quality cast – Tom Cruise, Christian Slater, Antonio Banderas, Thandie Newton and Kirsten Dunst. But it’s Pitt as Louis de Pointe du Lac, who became a creature of the night when he lost his wife and child, who really stands out. Pitt portrays Louis as a depressed character with an eternal life, but nothing to live for.
30 Days of Night (2007) Danny Huston Adapted from the graphic novel of the same name, 30 Days of Night is a thrilling horror movie that will give the faint-hearted the heebie-jeebies. Following a good old legend that every year an isolated town in Alaska is thrown into darkness for a month, as the sun sets on the last day the vampires swoop in and terrorise the town. Danny Huston plays Marlow, a ruthless vampire with no mercy who leads his clan in their bloody onslaught of humans.
Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992) Gary Oldman In this morbid fantasy, Oldman plays the dreaded Count Dracula. This version of the story shows how the count was once a loving husband, but on returning from war to find his beloved wife had committed suicide, performed a ritual that changed him into a vampire. Oldman’s performance in this film is outstanding as he conveys both Dracula’s tenderness and his ferocity.
From Dusk Till Dawn (1996) Salma Hayek Written by Quentin Tarantino and directed by Robert Rodriguez, this film had moderate success at the box office, but later became a cult favourite. With a an A-list cast including Tarantino, George Clooney, Harvey Keitel and Salma Hayek, this is a pulp-style bloody thriller with a good dose of black comedy thrown in for good measure. The film sees the criminal protagonists make an unfortunate pit-stop at a roadside motel that hides a lot of secrets. Hayek plays hilariously named dancer Santánico Pandemónium who has looks and fangs to kill. Dracula Untold is released October 2 in cinemas across Dubai