After the jump, a perusal through the Vampire’s cinematic history and how it relates to my own vampire script One For Sorrow.
The Grandaddy of it all, cinema’s first Vampire and subject of a Bram Stoker lawsuit for copy right infringement. So he went from Dracula to Count Orlaf but his silent silhouette will forever be emblazoned on the retinas of millions, the film is now regarded as a masterpiece. Bald, big eared, long fingered and genuinely terrifying to look at, if my film comes out with a tenth of the atmosphere of this one, I’ll be a happy writer indeed.
Universal (1931-1948), Hammer Horror (1958-1976) Incantations
Somewhere along the line, Dracula became kind of sexy(?) and yet simultaneously a whole lot goofier. Bela Lugosi and Christopher Lees incarnations developed a tighter dress sense and suddenly he wasn’t someone you’d cross the road to avoid but someone sinisterly alluring to those poor naive olden-timey girls. I don’t think much of the campy DNA of these two is going to be leaking into my script.
Salem’s Lot (1979)
This is a good one. That bloody flying, child-vampire that knocks at your window while you sleep? Please, please leave my dreams alone. Every Vampire film should hope to reach the levels of skin-crawl that that one sequence achieves. Horrifying.
Near Dark (1987)
Predating Twilight, this has the male as the human in love with a female Vamp, her family a forever on-the-move gang of thugs. He ends up in-too-deep and fairly perturbed by the whole situation. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good film but a different set of values and story lines are being tackled here.
Lost Boys (1987)
Previously gushed over by myself, a long time favourite and a definite influence.
In which the Horrors of immortality are explored to maximum, heartbreaking effect. Deals with bloodlust in a way that is very influential to me in its realness but is ultimately too fantasy based.
Francis Ford Coppola’s Dracula (1992) & Interview with the Vampire (1994)
Two brilliant, opulent movies spanning centuries and millions of dollars. Again, excellent movies, just moving in different circles. My Vamp will not be seen wearing dope garms like Brad Pitt’s beautiful, naive Louis de Pointe du Lac, he will mostly be wearing bin bags…
Blade (1998-2004), Van Helsing (2004), Underworld (2003-2012)
Somewhere in the early noughts, someone decided Vampires had to be weirdly reimagined in every conceivable way, banged into tight leather, given corny hard-rock soundtracks and strangely enough, guns. Blade actually had some decent ideas when the franchise was handed to Guillermo del Toro, but this trio of films are almost as far removed from my vision as possible.
Let The Right One In (2008)
Those bloody Scandinavians, do they do anything wrong? Beautiful landscapes, beautiful people, excellent furniture, reliable cars, terrific music, masterful Vampire films. Slightly more straight-faced than my film will be but we’re punting in the same direction. A grim, bleak, bewilderingly real depiction of the Vampire as a modern-day urban menace.
What is there to say? The films are awful, fact. Their wimpy depiction of Vampires is terrible in every sense. It’s preachy message about underage sex and the sanctity of marriage? Beyond reprehensibly stupid. There will be shots taken at it in my film. It’s just too easy.
– Oliver Drew