NBC’s upcoming “Dracula”, starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers as the titular character, premieres this Friday, October 25th. The series “finds Dracula living a double life in London as an American businessman interested in bringing modern science to Victorian society. But his true plan — to exact revenge on those who burdened him centuries ago — is derailed when he falls in love with Mina (“Arrow”‘s Jessica DeGouw), who seems to be a reincarnation of his dead wife. Van Helsing (Thomas Kretschmann) is a brilliant professor obsessed with revenge and power. He may be a greater threat to the public than the titular count.”
While I haven’t seen the show, I’m hoping that it’s a return to having some truly violent vampires onscreen. “True Blood”, for all of its gore, is still fairly silly. And actual vampire films still haven’t recovered from Twilight, all of our cinematic bloodsuckers are still fairly mopey. But it hasn’t always been this way. In fact, it wasn’t even this way five years ago.
Head below for a sponsored look at 5 Of Horror’s Most Violent Vampires!!!
Dracula – THE HORROR OF DRACULA (1958)
Christopher Lee’s performance as the title character of this 1958 Hammer film is truly an iconic one. This film also marked one of the first times that gore began taking the center stage in mainstream vampire films. This messy, bloody, version truly shocked audiences back in the day. Based on the script alone, British censors were super sensitive to the film remarking, “The curse of this thing is the Technicolor blood: why need vampires be messier eaters than anyone else? Certainly strong cautions will be necessary on shots of blood.”
Jerry Dandridge – FRIGHT NIGHT (1985)
Chris Sarandon’s Jerry Dandridge was able to have his cake and eat it too. Not only was he as suave as Billy Dee Williams, he was no slouch in the carnage department either. Not only did he chop the heads off the prostitutes he invited to his house, he was able to pick up and throw a 250 pound bouncer without even thinking about it. And his ultimate form was truly grotesque, with fangs spread out every which way for maximum damage. I also love that he has a temper tantrum and destroys Charlie’s car – just because.
Severen – NEAR DARK (1987)
Out of all the characters on this list, Severen is probably my personal favorite. He’s messy, he’s rude, he’s hilarious and he takes total glee in his gory escapades. Whether or not he’s mocking a soon-to-be victim, using boot spurs to slit people’s throats or ripping the engine out of an 18-wheeler Severen is never less than watchable. One of the signature performances of Bill Paxton’s career and one of the most oddly charismatic vampires out there.
Marie – INNOCENT BLOOD (1992)
John Landis’ 1992 vampire film Innocent Blood really is quite underrated and Ann Parillaud’s Marie has to be one of the more violent vampires of her time, especially in the 90’s when creature features were trying to appeal more to “adults.” Her bloodlust was palpable and insatiable and she was almost like a feral animal when feeding. She also manages to turn Robert Loggia into a hilariously physical bloodsucker himself.
Eli – LET THE RIGHT ONE IN (2008)
Lina Leandersson’s turn as Eli in Tomas Alfredson’s 2008 masterpiece Let The Right One In is masterfully deceptive. She often appears like a sweet natured kid, but once her minder gets taken out of commission the gloves are off. When she attacks the old man near the bridge, that’s intense. But she really saves her A-game for that glorious 30 seconds where she beheads and/or otherwise dismembers three bullies at the pool.
What are some of YOUR favorites?