We at The Sassologist are celebrating Horrortober this month. You can expect lots of content on all things horror, like the best Halloween costumes for popculture lovers. So what better way to kick-off my contribution than with the mother of all monsters: vampires. There’s hardly any other mythical creature that gets more screentime. These blood sucking, garlic hating and often gorgeous undead are prominently present on the big and the small screen. So let’s take a look at some of the best and some of the worst vampires in the history of cinema and television.
The 5 best vampires on screen
Lestat de Lioncourt – Interview with the Vampire (Tom Cruise)
I have an undying (get it?) love for Tom Cruise’s Lestat de Lioncourt. And while Louis, Claudia, Armand and Santiago are all fine examples of awesome vampires on screen, Lestat is the best there will ever be. He is beautiful, cunning, well dressed, downright evil and mesmerizing. In other words: everything a vampire should be. This is one of Tom Cruise’s best roles and there will never be a time when I don’t want to see Interview with the Vampire. I’m gonna watch it as soon as I finish writing about all these lovely creatures.
Dracula – Bram Stoker’s Dracula (Gary Oldman)
Gary Oldman’s Dracula will always have a special place in my heart as I think this is the first vampire movie I actually saw. I remember being terrified of the trailers when it came around in theatres. But I was still drawn to it, like moths to a flame. Vampires are my number one mythical creature and I started liking them at a very young age. This film is a long sit with a feature lenght of over two hours. Still, it’s a dazzling adaptation of the classic novel and Mr. Oldman is amazing as the most famous of all vampires ever.
Spike – Buffy the Vampire Slayer (James Marsters)
You had team Angel, and you had team Spike. I was a part of the latter. Angel was always too soft and too wimpy for me. Spike on the other hand had everything you could wish for: he was punk, badass, had bleached blonde hair and to top if off, a British accent. It has to be said that at times he was over the top and hischip storyline was… well, not that great, but still Spike was one of the highlights of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and later of it’s spinoff Angel. Team Spike forever!
Eric Northman – True Blood (Alexander Skarsgård)
Yes, this list is very superficial. But vampires should be a bit glamorous and… pretty. It’s just part of the vampire charm! Eric Northman was the star of True Blood, not Bill or Sookie. I loved the bits where Sookie and Eric actually hooked up and I wished she would have ended up with him. Eric is ruthless and charming and so much fun to watch. The Skarsgård brothers do love themselves some horror, as little brother Bill plays a vampire on Hemlock Grove and Pennywise in IT.
Pam Swynford De Beaufort – True Blood (Kristin Bauer van Straten)
I really wanted a female vampire on this list but the truly great ones are hard to come by, sadly. Luckily, there’s Pam. I could have picked Buffy’s Drusilla but I ultimately went with Pam because honestly, she’s just the best. I love love love her sarcasm and cynicism. Her scenes with Eric are just the best and her style is great. I hope Kristin Bauer van Straten will get a great new role sometime soon as I miss seeing her, and her stint on Once Upon a Time wasn’t all that it could have been. Pam Power!
The 5 worst vampires on screen
Edward Cullen – the Twilight series (Robert Pattinson)
Yeah, I’m not a Twihard. I’m not on team Edward of on Team Jakob. I think these are some of the worst characters in the history of books/films and I am soooo glad this hype is over. I could have picked any Cullen for this list as they all suck (blood) but let’s stick with glittery stalker-boy Edward. I’m always a tad disappointed when someone says this is their favorite book or film. I know, everyone’s entitled to their own opinion but there are so many better books, films and vampires out there. Bye Edward.
Mina Harker – The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (Peta Wilson)
I actually did not hate this film, as so many people did. I found it quite enjoyable and it has some great moments. It’s also sadly known as the last Sean Connery film. But this is about Mina Harker. Her character comes from Bram Stoker’s Dracula, so the lore is actually quite nice. But the character is just bland and sorry to say but Peta Wilson didn’t do such a great job with the part. Maybe if this graphic novel ever gets a remake, Mina Harker will get her justice. For now, this role is forgettable at best.
Queen Akasha – Queen of the Damned (Aaliyah)
Where I love Interview with the Vampire, I hate Queen of the Damned. I even removed it from my memory as I can’t recall a single scene. I just know I hated it. And I’m not alone in this, as this film scores a 17% on Rotten Tomatoes (for reference, Interview gets a 62%). This is one of those vampirefilms that is better to be forgotten, like Van Helsing, basically all other Dracula films and utter trash like Vampire in Brooklyn, which I didn’t even see at all so that’s why it’s not on this list.
Barnabas Collins – Dark Shadows (Johnny Depp)
Ah, Johnny Depp. I used to really like him. And then, all of a sudden, he became a sad old man who can only play one kind of character. He’s the one trick pony. And his Barnabas Collins is basically just Captain Jack Sparrow but paler and in vampire form. It certainly didn’t help Depp that this film is crap on a stick. There’s not one good thing about it and you should avoid seeing it. Here’s to hoping that Depp will be in better form in the upcoming Fantastic Beasts film. Fingers crossed for no Gellert ‘Captain Jack’ Grindelwald.
The Salvatore brothers – The Vampire Diaries (Paul Wesley & Ian Somerhalder)
At first, a confession: I only saw about half of the first season of this show. It was just too teendrama / emo for me. So maybe the Salvatore brothers got better over time. But these two are no Angel and Spike. They are whining teenagers who just happen to be a couple of hundreds year old. I couldn’t even get myself to read the Wiki for this show, as I did with some other (terrible) shows I stopped watching. So maybe it’s not quite fair these to made this list but yet, here they are. Sorry Stefan and Damon.
Let us know who your favorite onscreen vampires are, and which ones we should avoid untill sunrise.