Possibly the best movies about vampires ever made-
Martin (1976) is one of the best and most psychologically disturbing of all vampire movies. In this movie, we meet nerdy young Martin who is either a child of the night or a mad, meticulous serial killer. There is no answer at the end of the movie and we are left guessing. Lovely little movie, a schlock-free surprise from schlock-mesiter George A. Romero. Starring B-movie actor John Amplas.
The Hunger (1983) – Incredibly weird movie based on an incredibly weird novel by incredibly weird author Whitley Streiber. This Tony Scott movie is slick, 80s horror cinema aimed at grown-ups. I still feel the hackles rise from simply imagining that kicking opening sequence in the night club with Peter Murphy belting out the best Bauhaus song. In the movie we see David Bowie doing his best “Thin White Duke” as the unfortunate decaying plaything of perfectly cast vampire Catherine Deneuve. Susan Sarandon also stars, but even the powerful cast is completely eclipsed by the hypnotic Deneuve cranking up the creepy to eleven, occasionally unzipping the gimp mask and giving the audience a peep of that alien iciness seen in past roles, like Carol from Repulsion.
If there is one piece of wisdom you can take away from this movie, it is this: do not get into cars with good-looking wealthy people. They will kill and eat you.
Near Dark (1987) – Catherine Bigelow has been back in the limelight recently with Zero Dark Thirty, but this earlier bloody, violent, vamp action-fest is one of her best. Adrian Pasdar is a young farmer who rescues a pretty girl, is bitten for his troubles and then has to join a clan of vampires which includes both Bill Paxton, playing remorseless, refreshingly nasty Severen, and Lance Henriksen. Incidentally, is it just me or does Lance Henriksen look the same in every single movie I have ever seen him? Do you think that means he might be a…?
And Adrian Pasdar… who else misses Mysterious Ways? I think I must have watched every single episode of that show at least twice when I lived in Canada.
Let the Right One In (2008) is Norwegian movie remade as Let Me In (2010). Most people have seen at least one, so I won’t bore you with details, but briefly, a misfit boy makes a new friend who outwardly appears to be a girl his own age, but is actually a very old vampire.
The two movies are slightly different, but for a change, Hollywood does not maul the original. The movies revitalised the whole genre and remind audiences that vampires really are monsters and, like true monsters, we are allowed to feel a smidgen of sympathy for them along with the usual dread. The young actors in both movies are great. You should see both.