Vampires are back in the lime light once again, with vamp extraordinaire Gemma Arterton making her mark in ‘Byzantium,’ and Jonathan Rhys Myers returning to the small screen as the eponymous Dracula. With critics falling over themselves to praise Arterton’s performance as an immortal stripper come brothel owner here are the best 10 blood suckers of TV and Film.
Wesley Snipes- Blade in Blade
Pre-Blade vampires were always the bad guys, the villains threatening the human race. Yeah Blade is only half vamp, and he doesn’t really like that part of him, but without it he wouldn’t have the anger or the skills that makes him the badass action hero that comic and film fans have come to love. His dependance on the serum makes him just fallible enough for the audience to give half a fuck, which isn’t easy when it comes to the undead. Blade won’t fuck about with women or his hair like those pussies in ‘Interview With a Vampire,’ he’ll slice some supernatural shit up and do it whilst clad in leather. He can also pull off sunglasses indoors.
David Boreanaz- Angel in Buffy
Angel is Buffy’s weakness. She may have seemed all tough and badass, then Angel came along, made her fall in love, then turned out to be a vamp, slight problem for a vampire hunter. Even being sent to hell couldn’t get rid of this guy, with him finally leaving after attempting a celibate relationship with Buffy. So that’s how you get rid of a vampire. He may have had his own show, which saw the struggles of being a supernatural single father, but he will always be remembered as Buffy’s Achilles heel, the first vamp to break her heart, and having a face only a teenager gurning their mug off could achieve.
James Masters- Spike in Buffy
Enter Spike, Angel’s ex partner in crime and Buffy’s next ‘awkward-star-crossed-hunter-loving-hunted’ fling. Spike is British, which immediately makes him a pretty great villain, and massively troubled, spending episode after episode switching allegiances and generally just being a bit punk rock and moody. His love affair with Buffy produced some of TV’s hottest moments, while his death, although morned by fans, was a testament to the characters’ relationship as well as his reluctant humanity. Another proud owner of a bass-face style visage, Spike is the vampire who’s too cool to do that whole crazy feasting on humans thing.
Denis O’Hare- Russell Edgington in True Blood
True Blood is full of brilliant blood suckers; there’s the Adonis that is Eric Northman, the enigmatic Pam and not forgetting post-bite Tara, but all of these pale in comparison to vampire King Russell Edington. Edingington is the vampire from your nightmares, he’s unpredictable, unreadable and unstoppable, having come back from the dead after apparently suffering ‘True Death.’ He beats the array of fanged beings in the HBO series purely on his maniacal tendencies and his choice to end the vampire/ human alliance via execution on live TV.
Kiefer Sutherland- David in Lost Boys
Vampires have to blend in with their surroundings. Lucky for us the 80’s occurred, forcing them to amalgamate with the leather clad, kohl eyed youth of the decade fashion wishes to forget. The Lost Boys is a piece of 80’s gold, moulding the decades signature teen rebellion with fangs. Sutherland’s David may be the only recorded vamp to sport a bleached mullet, but boy does he pull it off. With a vampire creep face that would send pangs of jealousy through Josh Whedon, Sutherland’s David is as much a product of the 80’s high school flick as his pals over at the Breakfast Club.
Josh Hartnett- Eben Oleson in 30 Days of Night
30 days of night is one of the best vampire flicks of recent memory, throwing away the gimmicks and sex and leaving us with a raw horror flick. 30 Days of Night is a tale of human survival, with vampires as the threat. Any other supernatural beast could have been used, but there is something uniquely terrifying about vampires. What makes Hartnett’s dramatic turn so special is the desperation behind it; he transforms himself in order to defeat the fanged daemons at their own game. He isn’t a glamorous, sexy or sparkly, he is gloriously human, driven not by blood but by love for his family and friends. Eben is possibly the most heroic vampire in film history, a massive fuck you to Edward Cullen and his shitty heart break sabbatical.
Max Schreck- Count Orlock in Nosferatu
The original Vampire. Schrek’s iconic and unauthorized portrayal of Count Dracula may have been parodied and emulated to death, but it is undeniably beautiful. When a genre has been reinvented over and over there is appeal in looking back to what made it great originally; Schreck’s gait, those long, clawed fingers and that slow, lifeless shuffle. Orlock wont burst out of wardrobes, announcing he is going to ‘suck yur bleud’; he is the uneasy feeling you get when you enter a darkened room, the monster hiding in your closet.
Lina Leandersson Eli in Let The Right One In
The vampire love story that Twilight would sell its own children to be. There’s no sex, Victorian ruffles or magic flying wires, the fear here comes from Eli’s innocence. She may 200 year old killer, but her doe eyes and weak frame suggest a need for companionship; hell, it’s lonely living for ever. The film and Lenadersson nail the balance between beastly inhibitions and lurking humanity. Eli is a compelling and endearing character to watch.
Gary Oldman - Count Dracula in Bram Stoker’s Dracula
Gary Oldman has been named the greatest actor of our generation. After recent turns in The Dark Knight trilogy and Tinker, Tailor, there is no greater pleasure than watching him ham it up a bit for one of the greatest directors around. It is Oldman’s Dracula, with the long capes, aged skin and lifeless voice that has shaped modern parodies of the genre, an amalgamation of all we’ve come to recognise as vampire. In Oldman’s hands and under Coppola’s direction, it is a pleasure to watch (well...anything would when Keanu Reeves is also on screen).
Count Von Count- Sesame Street
Who says vampires should be scary? Maybe we can learn something from our toothy friends.