Hollywood’s Top Ten Vampire Movies — II

 

5. Near Dark (1987)

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This is a cross-bred movie between vampire legends, westerns and biker movies. The resulting combination is both outrageous and poetic. The plot is quite simple, which rises from the theme of never-ending love: A young man reluctantly joins a traveling “family” of evil vampires, when the girl he’d loved, tries to seduce and change him to be a part of that group.Kathryn Bigelow’s directorial debut with “Near Dark” is high-powered and is filled with the artful handling of the magic and menace of the night. It takes a different approach from “The Lost Boys” and attains a striking strange balance between thrills and dark eroticism.

 

4. Martin (1976)

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The Zombie master, George Romero’s quasi-comic vampire movie “Martin” remains as his artiest effort, and in some way, his most accomplished work. The lead character, Martin is a screwed-up, sexually unsure young man who believes he’s a vampire. He goes to live with his elderly and hostile cousin in a small Pennsylvania town, where he redeems his appetite for blood.Even though Romero is apparently limited by low budgets, the use of sepia-toned flashbacks and direction of the victimization scenes resembles a work of an auteur. A refreshing take on the Vampire legend. 

 

3. Let Me In (2010)

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How often do American remakes of foreign horror films come up short, both in courage and       execution? Well, most often. However, Matt Reeves’ “Let Me In” is a rare exception, where the Hollywood doesn’t turn a classic into crass desecration. The story set in the winter of 1983 is about Owen — a violently bullied boy, who lives with his alcoholic mother. He has no friends until the arrival of a mysterious next door girl, Abby, whose “meals” are provided by an elderly gentleman who at first looks like her father. What works so well in this vampire movie is the juxtaposition of youthful innocence and downright puppy love with monstrosity and murder.

 

2. Dracula (1931)

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Tod Browning’s “Dracula” is looks miserably dated in many aspects. But, what makes it dated for us doesn’t really have a negative impact on enjoying the picture overall.This is the first authorized one based on Bram Stoker’s classic tale (it follows Murnau’s unauthorized silent classic “Nosferatu” in 1922, and there must be at least 30 other modern-day versions). Bela Lugosi’s vampire is the benchmark character of movie villains. Dozens of actors have played the part well since Lugosi, including Christoper Lee, Frank Langella, Louis Jordan, and Gary Oldman, but no one has come close to eclipsing his image. “Dracula” is a motion picture for people who love motion pictures and vampires and it deserves its status as a classic.

 

1. Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)

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Coppola’s approach to the Bram Stoker’s “Dracula” is unique. Similar to the classic novel, the movie is a visual cornucopia, overstuffed with images of both beauty and grotesque horror. But, unlike the book, the film opens under the red skies of 15th-century Transylvania, where the noble Prince Vlad Dracul the Impaler (Gary Oldman) shoves spears into Turks on the battlefield, leaving their impaled bodies wriggling by the road in the name of Christ. He returns to his palace, only to find his wife dead (committed suicide), after receiving a false word on his demise. Vlad renounces God and begins his reign in the path of evil. The rest of the story is same as in classic version. Unlike the 1931 version, Coppola’s is not all about acting; rather the film shows evidence of brilliance on a technical level.

 

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