What better time of year than Halloween to indulge your fearful fascination with monsters of a toothy variety. So lock the door, grab a crucifix, eat some garlic-flavoured popcorn and settle in to watch some of my favourite vampire movies.
If you’re a fan of Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles and you want to see Brad Pitt as a vampire, then check out this classic. It chronicles the vampire Louis’ life as an immortal from New Orleans to old Paris as he tries to find meaning in his bloody existence. Tom Cruise plays Lestat de Lioncourt, the loveable Brat Prince, and Kirsten Dunst cuts a sad figure as the vicious child-vampire.
Favourite moment: Lestat’s return from the dead and subsequent burning. Nasty.
Note: Avoid the movie version of Queen of the Damned.
Tom Hiddleston? Tilda Swinton? What’s not to love? This slow-paced but infinitely rich film takes a looks at a slice of the lives of old vampires Adam and Eve. Adam lives in Detroit, enjoying life as a reclusive musical genius. But he’s troubled, and his wife Eve comes to cheer him up. There is further disturbance when Eve’s younger sister arrives. Lots of black humour in here and it’s more of a meditation on life than a bloodfest, but well worth a look.
Favourite moment: “You drank Ian!”
3. Underworld Dark, violent and action-packed, Underworld shows us a world where vampires and werewolves fight an underground war. The mythology behind it all is a lot of fun, Kate Beckinsale makes a mean fighter, and Bill Nighy rocks it as one of the vampires’ undead rulers. The other films in the franchise leave a little to be desired but the first film is good viewing.
Favourite moment: The final battle scene, particularly Selene’s skills with a sword.
This one will have you laughing more than hiding behind the covers. It’s a New Zealand “documentary” about four vampires who share a house in Wellington. It’s a great romp for any fan of the vampire genre. Werewolves and zombies also get a look in, as does the New Zealand Police Force.
Favourite moment: “We’re werewolves, not swear-wolves.”
A new vampire epic telling the story of how Vlad the Impaler became Dracula. Lots of special effects and battles, but surprisingly a decent storyline. Mixing in some horror, a bit of a love story, lush genre conventions and a strong hero with a really nice body.
Favourite moment: A giant weapon made of real-live bats
And finally, if you’re looking for some gritty and sexy vampires between the (book) covers, check out my novel, Beckoning Blood. It’s about twin vampires, Olivier and Thierry, the men they love and the terror and damage they wreak through the centuries. No sparkly vampires here. You’re in for a devilish treat.
Thierry d’Arjou has but one escape from the daily misery of his work at a medieval abattoir — Etienne de Balthas. But keeping their love a secret triggers a bloody chain of events that condemns Thierry to a monstrous immortality. Thierry quickly learns that to survive his timeless exile, he must hide his sensitive heart from the man who both eases and ensures his loneliness…his twin brother.
Shaped by the fists of a brutal father, Olivier d’Arjou cares for only two things: his own pleasure and his twin. But their sadistic path through centuries is littered with old rivals and new foes, and Olivier must fight for what is rightfully his – Thierry, made immortal just for him.
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