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Vampires at Hollywood – movies and style

Updated on December 13, 2012

Bela Lugosi - movie scene

Vampires were always preeminent figures in movies at Hollywood. As the myth start to rise and gained popularity amongst people, Hollywood followed the trend and increased even more vampire popularity through their films. It is maybe the most popular mythological creature because of the need of people to overcome fear of death, which made vampires models for people all around the world.

First movie made at Hollywood that had as a central figure a vampire was “Dracula” in 1931. The story was based on the action from the book “Dracula” by Bram Stoker, a book that stood at the base of the most movies from early period of 20th century. Count Dracula, the main character, was a vampire from Romania impersonated in the movie by the actor Bela Lugosi. The film was a huge box office success being received very well by the masses especially because a brilliant performance from Bela Lugosi’s part. In the movie the vampire was presented as a vicious creature, extremely cunning and brilliant, relentless in achieving his goals.

Another important movie was released in 1936, namely “Dracula’s Daughter”. Although was not a box office success as the first movie it was a new trend that was revolutionary at that time. The central character was the daughter of Dracula, also vampire, but opposed to her parent she is presented as someone repulsed by her condition, trying to escape from the curse that she considered to be the desire to drink blood. This new approach will be exploited more in movies from the second part of the 20th century.

Later on, in 1972 was produced a film called “Blacula”, named in that way because the main character was a vampire that originally was an African prince. In this movie vampire is pictured as a creature capable of deep feelings for others. At the end, after relentlessly looking for his former love, he commits suicide by going out in the day light after loosing her the second time.

Louis and Lestat

In 1994 another great movie was released, respectively “Interview with the vampire: The Vampire Chronicles”. For the first time a movie presents the duality of vampires in distinct characters, placing Brad Pitt in the role of the good vampire (Louie) and Tom Cruise in the role of the bad one ( Lestat ). Having both a good scenario and two great actors in leading roles the movie is considered one of the best in this category.

Late 1990’s, a new concept of was released, the TV series. It began with “Buffy, the vampire slayers”, a series with great success where Buffy, a young cheerleader, find out that her destiny is to fight with supernatural beings. Here vampires are the enemies, presented as bloodsucking mindless creatures in the most part. Another series called “Angel” derives from this one being a spin-off that present this time a vampire who regains his soul. Being tormented with guilt by his previous actions,

He works as a detective to save the souls of those who have lost their ways.

The first decade of 21st century brought couple of movies and TV series from which we recall “Twilight series” and “The vampire diaries”, both speculating the love that can sparkle between a vampire and a human. Here main characters are vampires presented more humanized, trying to not give in to their predator nature, only to be impended by other vampires that looks at human only as their prey.

Bill and Sookie

Another great series, “True Blood”, was released in 2008. Opposed to previous vampire models, the main character is a vampire named Bill who acts as most ordinary human being would. He is in love with a girl (well fairy but acts like a human) but is also capable of holding secrets from her. He is restraining himself to drink human blood, but in dire situations is capable of attacking a human. Mainly, he is a character that doesn’t see things only being black or white and because of that it is easier for everyone to be in his shoes.

So far, the myth of vampires was exploited in many ways in Hollywood. I’m eager to see what the future brings as I feel it is much more potential to be discovered in one of the most fascinating creature that filled our dreams and fuelled our fears.


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    • Catalin79 profile image

      Catalin79 6 years ago from Bucuresti

      Thank you for your comment Alastar; there are indeed fascinating aspects in old movies that make them so beautiful;

    • Alastar Packer profile image

      Alastar Packer 6 years ago from North Carolina

      Absolutely loved those 30's and 40' vampire movies. Back in the 60's in Charlotte,N.C.every Friday night at 11:30 pm 'Shock Theater' would come on for the kiddies with double feature movies- lots of vampire ones- and that's where so many of us became fans for life. Hammer studios in England put out some good ones later. Nice article Catalin79!

    • Catalin79 profile image

      Catalin79 6 years ago from Bucuresti

      You're welcome; and thank you for taking the time to read it.

    • UFO Alien profile image

      UFO Alien 6 years ago from Area 51, Roswell, Over Manhattan, China and SPACE

      It's very interesting how the image of vampires has changed over such a short period of time. Thanks for this hub.