FIVE FOR FRIDAYS: VAMPIRES
Since ‘30 Days of Night’ is the best reason to see vampires in the theater this year, we assembled a list of our five favorite vampires of all time
By Brian Warmoth
Posted October 19, 2007 12:00 PM
There are so many different vampires out there, it’s really hard to pick favorites. From Count Duckula to Morbius to the bloody mess of great Dracula performances—not the least of which is Leslie Nielsen’s performance in “Dracula: Dead and Loving It.” Kiefer Sutherland in “Lost Boys” should also not go without mention.
Vamps have been tearing it up for years, but it’s always refreshing to see someone like Steve Niles stomp in with an idea out of left field like his IDW series 30 Days of Night with Ben Templesmith, which shows up at theaters as a film this week starring Josh Hartnett. Nailing down a list of favorites is no easy task, but here for your weekly Friday fodder are our top five vampire picks.
5. Wesley Snipes as Blade (“Blade”)
With more utterances of the word mother than anyone else on this list (as well as the biggest guns), Snipes nabs the award for best onscreen interpretation of a comic book vampire. And for sheer fighting ability, he could probably go toe to toe with any of these others and walk out a few bloodstains richer. And with lines like “I was born to die, motherf---er,” he was just way too fun to listen to.
4. Gary Oldman as Dracula (“Bram Stoker’s Dracula”)
This is the vampire most likely to keep you up at night with horrible, horrible dreams. One look at Oldman crawling up the castle wall like a salamander and looking like Satan himself, and you will believe in the unholy combination of Oldman’s commitment to a role and Francis Ford Coppola’s ability to conjure raw, atmospheric terror.
3. Angelus (“Buffy”)
Just for sheer prickishness, Angel’s evil side takes the fleshy cake for being Buffy’s first and then breaking her heart the next day and making all villain-like. Joss Whedon did a number on this character when he introduced Angel to the Buffyverse, and his two-sided nature is made all the more shocking because David Boreanaz is such a lovable-looking fellow.
2. Cassidy (Preacher)
For pure entertainment value, Garth Ennis’ whiskey-gulping Irish vampire from Preacher was not only foul-mouthed, his ability to survive dismemberment provided lots of limb-ripping hysterics over the series’ half-decade run. His softer side and occasional scruples only made him a better character, and of the five on this list, he’d easily be the most fun to hang out with on a Saturday night.
1. Béla Lugosi as Count Dracula (“Dracula”)
Any vampire performance onscreen will always have to surpass the standard, which is Béla Lugosi’s performance from the 1931 Universal classic. The hemoglobin-dripping cocktail of creepiness, elegance and shear straight-faced mania that Lugosi poured into his role as Count Dracula will probably never be equaled.
I'm glad that Cassidy made it onto the list...and at number 2 too! Morbius must have just missed out...he would have been a worthy addition to the list, though he must never have been in consideration given how scarce his appearances in comics are. But no Spike, from the Buffy series? Pfah. I would love to have seen Christopher Lee's Dracula there too, but I suppose you can't beat Lugosi's version.
At least there's no appearance of the Munster vampire (was it Eddie?) or Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt's characters from Interview with the Vampire.