lostboy: (chocula)
lostboy ([personal profile] lostboy) wrote2010-06-17 11:00 am
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Vampire movie recs (Part 1)

I spent a little time yesterday huffing and puffing and blowing Stephanie Meyer's zillion dollar house down.   When the dust had settled, the whole thing got me to thinking about good vampire movies, so I decided to start doing mini-reviews of some of my favorites.

Included below are a pair of fang flicks I could watch over and over without my eyes rolling back into my skull like a cartoon slot machine.

Near Dark (1987)

Long before Kathryn Bigelow was directing films about bank-robbing surfers and bomb-defusers, she filmed one of the more interesting and memorable vampire flicks of the past 25 years.  Coming out in the same year as another bloodsuckin' classic called "The Lost Boys," the two films were remarkably similar in their likening of vampires to violent gangs, with plots which revolved around the "initiation" of the first kill.  "Near Dark" was the more stark and "serious" of the two films, but still playful enough to keep things fresh.  A healthy dose of "Terminator" alumni in the cast foreshadows Bigelow's doomed love affair with director James Cameron in the years to come.


Fright Night (1985)

A ripping precursor to the wild tonal shifts and winking snark of the "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" TV series, "Fright Night" probably managed the delicate balancing act between "funny" and "scary" as well as any Comedy-Horror hybrid ever.  This was largely due to the talents of the brilliant Roddy McDowall and Chris Sarandon, who steal the show as updated takes on the classic Van Helsing and Dracula characters.  McDowall plays Peter Vincent, a host of a cheesy TV horror showcase who pretends to be a "real-life expert" on vampirism.   When Charlie (William Ragsdale) discovers that his next door neighbor (an uber-suave Sarandon) might be a vampire, he enlists the help of the skeptical fraud Vincent to help him defeat it.  Thrills, chills and gigglesnorts ensue.  Highly recommended for Buffy fans and non-Buffy fans alike.


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