My Encounters with Vampires (movies and tv shows)

This is my entry for the Vampire Bite Blog Hop hosted by Jolie DuPre of Precious Monsters. I thought I would do a shortish (?) overview of where my love for vampires comes from. At first I wanted to do movies, tv-shows and books in one post, but just the movies and tv shows part got rather long. I might do a movie-entry later on. Or just talk about the individual books.

I had my first encounters with vampires in the form of movies and tv-shows. I never read popular children’s books like The Little Vampire by Angela Sommer-Bodenburg, although I did watch the tv-show which was rather cute.

As far as I can remember, Roman Polanski’s Dance of of the Vampires was a family favorite. Even my father who wasn’t much for entertainment just for the sake of entertainment enjoyed watching that movie.

Another favorite was Love at First Bite with George Hamilton. Just the idea of Dracula being expelled from his ancient home by communists and having to flee to New York is hilarious. I still find the idea amusing, although today it no longer has the same impact as it had during the Cold War and during a time when many people were driven away and relocated from their homes. Hamilton as Dracula is absolutely charming and the end is just too cute.

I had my first vampire crush on Frank Langella in John Badham’s Dracula. The scene I most loved was when he crawled upside down a wall. He managed to be both charming and hot while also pretty scary.

For me The Lost Boys still has one the best soundtrack in the history of movies. I would say that Lost Boys with Kiefer Sutherland and the two Coreys (Haim and Feldman) is one of those 80s cult movies and an absolute must see for anyone interested in vampire-movies. “People are strange…” 

I’m sure at some point in time I watched Nosferatu, both the 1922 version with Max Schreck by F. W. Murnau and also the Klaus Kinski version Nosferatu The Vampyre. I’ve never been a huge fan of Kinski, but the 1922 version is just cult and still creepy.

And then of course there was Interview with a Vampire. The movie adaptation of Anne Rice’s successful vampire novel. I am one of those who was totally against the casting of Tom Cruise as Lestat but after seeing the movie had to admit that he did a really good job. Of course I could never understand why, if they managed to turn Cruise’s hair blond, they weren’t able to dye Brad Pitt’s hair black and give him green contacts. I mean Louis’ looks are constantly referred to and it’s always the black hair and the green eyes. The one that most impressed me in the movie though was Kirsten Dunst as Claudia. I think she’s the real star of movie. Absolutely miscast though was Antonio Banderas as Armand.

Vampire Lestat was never turned into a movie and somehow the movie adaptation of Queen of the Damned didn’t ping on my radar. I think I caught a few scenes when it was shown of tv and realized I didn’t miss much.

I watched the Blade trilogy when it was shown on tv and don’t really have much to say about it aside from the fact that I like Ryan Reynolds with beard a lot more than without. Also, Dominic Purcell was a total miscast as Dracula. I wouldn’t have minded seeing another movie where Abigail Whistler and Hannibal King fight against vampires.

I admit to not having read or watched any of the Twilight books. I also have no real intention to.

Instead I watched stuff like Priest.

In my opinion, the best thing about Priest is Karl Urban who just looks very yummy in the movie, but doesn’t have enough scenes to really be appreciated. The rest… didn’t make too much sense, although the basic idea was pretty neat. I still want to read the comics though because they look very interesting and  very often the actual source material is much better than the movie made from it.

Of course in between there have been other movies but I’m not the best when it comes to remembering titles of movies and I think the majority were pretty obscure or just aren’t worth remembering.

Now, tv-shows:

 Forever Knight gave us Nicholas Knight who wants to be human again and is looking for a cure to his vampirism. He is assisted in his search by the feisty Doctor Natalie Lambert. He works the graveyard shift as a homicide detective together with his partner Don Shanke. Nick’s vampire family, his creator Lucien LaCroix and his vampire sister Janette du Charme also join the cast.

I think Forever Knight was one of the first shows that combined the idea of a vampire with another genre (crime-show). And had the idea of the vampire who no longer wants to be a vampire.

Oh and hey yeah, the vampires were also all still adult and the target audience was probably also adults which didn’t bother my teenaged self too much.

Even to this day for me Nigel Bennett is still Lucien LaCroix the Nightcrawler.

Then there was the short-lived Kindred: The Embraced which was very very loosely based on the popular RPG Vampire: The Masquerade. It had sexy Mark Frankel as Julian Luna. I was rather disappointed when it was canceled because I really liked the relationship between Frank Kohanek and Julian Luna. And then there was Daedalus who I think was my favorite on the whole show.

Ultraviolet is a British tv show that takes a different approach and instead focuses on a secret government vampire hunting squad. I think the word vampire isn’t mentioned once in the whole show. It’s a bit hard to find but well worth watching.

While the main character is Detective Sergeant Michael Colefield played by Jack Davenport, it also has yummy Idris Elba as Vaughn Rice.

One of the things I really liked about the show was the very modern and scientific approach to vampire hunting. Even the vampirism is viewed as an infection and not as demon possession.  Instead of dusty tome, magic and stakes, we get scientific methods and modern weaponry like lamps emitting UV light. Even the vampires use science like genetic experiments or UV resistant glass in their cars.

After that of course came Buffy and Angel (which I’m skipping here, although I’m a big fan), and now there’s Vampire Diaries. I never really got into True Blood but I plan to give it another try soon.

Looking at current vampire shows I wish we could get one where the main characters in the show are adults and not always teenagers (played by adults pretending to be teenagers while not really looking like it) attending high school. I also might have some issues with the whole century-old vampire stalking/lusting after a teenaged girl.

I confess that during the first season of Vampire Diaries I was really hoping for something more between Damon Salvatore and Sheriff Liz Forbes. I really liked the constellation of older woman, knocked down by life and hurt by men and gorgeous younger appearing male vampire. That was before Alaric Saltzman showed up and his bromance with Damon was just epic. I

And that brings me to Blood Ties (which came out before Vampire Diaries) based on the Blood Books by Tanya Huff. I loved the books when I first read them when they were first published. I think together with Mercedes Lackey’s Diane Tregrade-novels they fall into what we today view as Urban Fantasy/Paranormal in which we have a human involved in paranormal activities and involved with a paranormal person/creature.

I especially liked the Blood Books because not only was Vicki a tough adult woman who’d had to face some hard decisisons but also one who suffered from a handicap which was getting worse with time. And her vampire, Herny FitzRoy, illegitimate son of Henry VIII, was one of the few bisexual characters that were written during that time and he looked like the 22-year-old he was when he died while Vicky was in her mid-thirties. Unfortunately the tv-show dropped Henry’s bisexuality and instead of having Henry’s protégé , occasional snack and part-time-lover, hustler Tony Foster we got Goth-girl Coreen (following the example for quirky nerd/geek-girls set by Abby Scuito from NCIS and Penelope Garcia from Criminal Minds).

And instead of writing romance novels Henry was writing comics in the tv show. I guess writing romances just wasn’t cool or hip enough for a badass vampire which I found rather sad as I kind of like the dichotomy of the stereotype of the  ruthless vampire on the one hand and the  stereotype of the  romance writer on the other hand.

The casting, with Christiana Cox as Vicky Nelson, super-cute Kyle Schmid as vampire Henry FitzRoy and hunky Dylan Neal as Vicky’s ex-partner/lover Michael Celluci though was rather good imho. I especially liked Christina Cox as Vicky. The boys were eye-candy that made even the weaker episodes worth watching.

It will be interesting to see what 2013 will bring on the vampire front when it comes to movies and tv-shows.

One movie that I found looked rather interesting is Byzantium. The trailer looks very promising, but I’ve so far read very mixed reviews.

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10 Comments

  1. Great post :) Forever Knight – oh, those were the days, I remember the madness that was the mailing list.

    I loved the interplay between Frank and Julian in K:tE as well – it was so sad they never made any more, especially when Mark died so tragically.

    Ultraviolet is another one of my favs too, along with Blood Ties – I have some of the books I really must read them.

    It’s funny how many times I’ve seen Langella and The Lost Boys mentioned now – two great films. I can watch both over and over again.

    Reply
    • Thank you :-) I think I was only on one FK-mailing-list but it was fun.

      Yes, that they never continued K:tE was really sad. It had lots of potential. Of course Mark’s death the killed any plans they might have had for a continuation.

      I’m trying to re-read the Blood books right now. It’s rather amusing because parts of them are rather dated. People playing answering machine-tag… But I just love Vicky, and Henry, and Tony, and Mike…

      I think great movies like the Langella-Dracula or Lost Boys just endure over the ages. They just have a certain appeal.

      Reply
  2. Great post. Really enjoyed reading about your vampire evolution. I’ve never heard of Blood Ties before but I think I’ll try and track it down. It sounds good. Thanks.

    Reply
    • Thank you :-).

      I woudl definitely recommend Blood Ties, both the books and the show. Granted, Tanya Huff is one of my favorite writers and I like the fact that she has a certain dry, tongue-in-cheek humor that shows through in all her works. The tv show is Canadian, so it’s a bit different than what’s produced in Hollywood, like the fact that someone like Christina Cox plays the lead role. Definitely try and track it down. I would love to hear what you think about it once you’ve seen it.

      Reply
  3. One of my favorite movies is ‘Love at first bite’ funny and cute. I did like Priest, and for me the Twilight series is more of a love story than a vampire story. Just not enough real drama or any of the scare factor, but that’s me. But I’m a bit odd, loved Buffy the Vampire Slayer but can’t get into True Blood or the Diaries. Maybe a little too much out there to be interesting, especially when it becomes more like a soap opera. Okay maybe more than a bit odd!

    Reply
    • Nothing odd with liking Buffy and not getting into True Blood or Vampire Diaries. VD is definitely far more a soap opera with added vampires and other monsters, but when it comes down to it, it’s all about who loves whom and why or why not. In addition to the eternal Elena-question: Stefan or Damon?

      Buffy had a different focus and far more diverse (personality-wise) characters and storylines. It wasn’t all about the epiuc love-story between Buffy and Angel but also about question like right and wrong, good and evil and so on. It appealed to me a lot more as well. I prefer real drama and scare factor as well :-).

      Reply
  4. I love the look of the Vampire Diaries more than the actual TV show. ~~ I definitely need to watch Langella again. ~~ I NEVER liked Tom Cruise as a vampire. And yes, Kirsten stole the show. ~~ I’m surprised no Vampire Bite Blog Hop blogger mentioned my favorite vampire movie – “Let the Right One In.” (Swedish)

    Reply
  5. Although I would hold Twilight up as a good vampire movie, I do admit it has an AWESOME soundtrack.

    Reply
  6. Great post! Everyone keeps telling me I need to watch Vampire Diaries. I will have to give it a try.

    Reply

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