10 Vampire Movies For Your Watchlist
Vampires are one of the scariest monsters that have ever been recorded. Their human characteristics mixed with their bloodlust and immortality make them terrifying characters. Vampires have been used since the beginning of film, and for good reason. Though they never completely disappear, vampires have seen a bit of a hibernation period in cinema lately, most likely due to the popularity of zombies over the past decade. I am here to remind you that there are a lot of great vampire movies out there that are just waiting to be revisited.
John Carpenter Presents: Vampires Los Muertos
When you think of vampire movies, you probably don't think of the flowing of Jon Bon Jovi, but that is exactly what you get with Vampires Los Muertos. This is a decent vampire movie which sticks closely to lore while playing around with some new ideas at the same time. It follows Bon Jovi's character; a vampire hunter hired to compile a team to hunt a big evil monster. The problem is that every team member he tries to recruit is dead before he gets there. Now it is up to him to compile a ragtag team of vampire hunting rookies to go after a seriously dangerous vampire. Vampires Los Muertos is definitely a B movie, but it is not the worst movie you are ever going to see.
Dracula 2000 is worth the watch for its contribution to vampire lore if nothing else. This film gives Dracula a unique backstory that I happen to love. It also stars a young Gerard Butler as the title Vampire which is both fun and a little funny. Dracula 2000 is actually full of young popular actors including Sean Patrick Thomas, Omar Epps, Danny Masterson, Jeri Ryan, Shane West, Nathan Fillion, and more. The movie has a satisfying ending that you would think put Dracula to bed, but it spawned two sequels.
Nosferatu was the first vampire movie ever made and still one of the best. This silent film will strike fear into the hearts of a generation that has become bored with gore and jump scares. It is an unassuming film that mastered horror before horror was even a genre. This movie should be required watching for anyone who calls themselves a horror fan. Luckily, the film is popular enough that it has been remastered and can usually be rented or streamed from multiple sources.
John Carpenter's Vampires
This film is unintentionally funny because it takes itself so seriously. It stars James Woods and Daniel Baldwin as seasoned vampire hunters who are hired for a new job. It turns out that their prey isn't just the run of the mill vampire and he plans on taking out Woods' character along with the rest of his team. The movie is a bloody action-thriller in the same vein as a Van Damme movie. You know it is going to be bad, but it is still worth watching at least once as a guilty pleasure.
Dracula II: Ascension & Dracula III: Legacy
I lumped these two together because the third movie picks up directly after the second one ends making this one long movie if you watch them back to back. Dracula II is the sequel to Dracula 2000, but we see a steep drop in production value between the two. There is also a decline in star power with Jason Scott Lee and Jason London being the leads. If you don't recognize their names, you will probably recognize their faces (especially London's since his twin brother is also an actor.) The movies see Dracula come back to life and a Blade like Priest (Lee) hunting him to try to end the reign of the OG vampire once and for all. They are pretty cheesy, but I can't help but revisit them every once in a while for some cheap fun.
I could - and might - write a whole piece on the wonder that is Monster Squad, but for right now it is going to be a gem on this list. The monster squad is a '80s classic which stars a lot more than just Dracula, even though he is the ring leader of a monster gang. It is up to a group of pre-pubescent teens to take out some of histories scariest villains. This movie is meant to be a kids movie, but it is a kids movie from a time when ratings were a little laxer. I would put the film right at the edge of PG and PG-13. As far as vampire movies this one may not be a true blood-sucker themed movie but it is the kind of movie that you want to own.
Do not be fooled; this movie has nothing to do with Dracula 2000 or its sequels. This is by far the worst film on this list, but it deserves a spot because it is so ridiculous that you have to see it. It takes place deep in space like a ship captained by Abraham VanHelsing - seriously - come across an abandoned ship with a strange past. Of course, they seize the ship and all of its contents including a room full of coffins. From there all hell breaks loose, and it is a vampire free for all. Dracula 3000 is a joke that tries to take itself seriously which makes it all the funnier. Don't expect a masterpiece with this film, but it is one of those movies that is so bad its good...ish.
As is somewhat common with vampire movies, BloodRayne is more of an action movie than a horror movie. It follows Rayne, a half vampire who escapes a freakshow and joins a group of vampire hunters to murder the monster who raped her mother and turned her into an abomination. This movie is pretty cheesy but it is still worth a good once over if you are looking for something to have on in the background, just don't expect a cinematic masterpiece.
The Lost Boys: The Thirst
The Lost Boys is one of the most iconic vampire movies of all time. In an attempt to reinvigorate the franchise they released two sequels in back to back years. The first one, The Tribe, wasn't that great. The story was pretty weak, and the antagonists were even weaker. Then came The Thirst and the franchise righted itself again with an interesting story which expanded the Lost Boys universe while reminding us how much we love the Frog brothers. The Tribe isn't the worst movie I have ever seen, but if you had to choose one or the other, I would choose The Thirst.
I don't think that Priest got the attention that it deserved, especially for a theatrical release. This isn't an Oscar worthy movie or anything, but it is a decent action flick. It is about a Priest who is also a vampire hunter in a post-apocalyptic future. It is based on a Korean graphic novel of the same name which shows in some of the artistic ideas in the movie. The Priest rocks some pretty sweet vampire slaying gear which is fun to watch him use to dispose of bloodsuckers. If you are in the mood for a solid action movie Priest will scratch that itch.
There are so many vampire movies out there I am sure I missed a couple of the better lesser known titles. Please let me know in the comments if there is one that I egregiously missed or if you think one of these titles doesn't belong on the list. Don't forget, with ghosts and ghouls there are no rules, but a vampire's bite only comes at night.