Friday, November 21, 2008

Vampire Day: Some Favorite Vampire Movies.

The Night Stalker starring Darren McGavin as Carl Kolchak (who along with Dr. Abraham Van Helsing and Robert Nevile have the dubious honor of being my childhood fictional heroes). About a reporter chasing a vampire in 1970s Las Vegas, this TV movie is one of the best vampire movies ever.

The best Stoker adaptation is Count Dracula with Louis Jourdan. It is faithful to the spirit of the book, though it has the common fault of collapsing the Holmwood character into Morris. This BBC production is quite good and finally available on DVD.

'salem's Lot. There have been two TV adaptations of this; one in 1979 and one in 2004. Both are good but the 1979 version directed by Tobe Hooper is more faithful to the book and still holds up well. The 2004 TNT version staring Rob Lowe tries too hard to be modern, topical, and socially relevant. (Trivia: there was a planned series based on the 1979 version that, much to Stephen King's relief, was never made.)

30 Days of Night. Gorey, dark, and flawed. But also scary as all get out. (The original graphic novel is better.)

Last and certainly least is The Deathmaster. This 1972 schlockfest is about a vampire who takes over a hippie commune. (See, I told you hippies were evil!) It troubled my sleep for weeks when I first saw it; of course I was nine.
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