Monster of the Day #1236

While Italy produced several vampire films in the ’60s, this one towers over the rest. Indeed, I think it would have to be on the majority of people’s five best vampire movies list. In fact, let’s see; Nosferatu, Dracula, Horror of Dracula, Black Sunday, Fright Night.

  • Top five Vampire movies? Wow, that’s a rough one.

    I don’t think any of the Universals make the cut (in fairness I haven’t seen them in a long while, and when I finally rewatched Frankenstein after an equal length of distain and I found it rather good.) Nor would the original Nosferatu, though I do see the appeal. I wouldn’t put Vampyr on the list, either, despite it being a classic.

    While I remember watching and liking Black Sunday, Shadow of the Vampire, and Near Dark, there not well remembered favorites, so I’m leaving them off.

    So off the cuff, in no real order:

    * Horror of Dracula

    * The Night Stalker

    * Fright Night (Roddy McDowall, though I did find much to like in the remake.)

    * Let’s Scare Jessica to Death. Assuming that it actually deals with Vampires and not some other oddity.

    * And finally…




    Look, someone had to like it, and I lost the draw. You have to admit that it’s the greatest science fiction movie to feature Steven Railsback almost French kissing Patrick Stewart.

    Hey, at least I didn’t say Twilight…

  • Gamera977

    Lol Cullen, you beat me to the Twilight joke!

    I have to admit too to liking Lifeforce. I mean it’s no classic or anything but I don’t think it deserves the smacking around it often gets.

    And one of my favorites, Dan Curtis’s Dracula with Jack Palace. Yeah they talk about the whole sympathetic vampire stuff like Dark Shadows but Palace plays the count like an animal snarling, growling, and barely human. Personally that’s my idea of what vampires should be, sub-human things that lost their humanity when they were cursed.

  • Geez, is Palance good in that. And as adaptations go, it’s remarkably faithful. I just can’t get past the German Shepherds staring as wolves. Sends me straight out of the flick every time it happens.

  • bgbear_rnh

    If I went by childhood memory instead of recent viewing i would put, “Count Yorga” up there. Just scared and creeped me out as a kid. The lady eating her cat was a nice bit of eek.

    Also, it is a brightly lit horror in the modern 70s world. Unique.

  • Eric Hinkle

    I’ve been hearing of BLACK SUNDAY ever since back in the early 80’s when I read about it in FMoF, but I’ve never seen it. Maybe I should see about tracking a copy down.

  • Gamera977

    Same here.

  • It’s worth a watch. But then again, it’s directed by Mario Bava; how could it not be worth a watch?

  • rtpoeman

    “the greatest science fiction movie to feature Steven Railsback almost French kissing Patrick Stewart.”

    And it’s also the one where Patrick Stewart’s head explodes….

  • rtpoeman

    It’s public domain, last time I checked.

  • Luke Blanchard

    I was really frightened by a clip from NOSFERATU I saw in a documentary as a little kid. It was the scene where Orlock comes for the hero and his wife’s love saves him. I closed my eyes in fear at the crucial moment and thought the vampire got him.

  • The Rev.

    Finally caught it last year. Definitely worth checking out. Along with great cinematography (duh) and an engaging story and cast, there are a couple of great cringe-worthy moments that are very effective.
    On a related note, I also recommend The Long Hair of Death for more great Steele action.

  • sandra

    What annoyed me about the Dan Curtis/ Palance Dracula is that it says its set in the 1890s, but the costumes are from the 1850s. The woman wear hoopskirts, for goodness sake . Didn’t anyone notice ?

  • Rock Baker

    Be sure to track down the AIP cut, which has a score by Les Baxter.

  • Rock Baker

    Let’s see here, my picks for top five would be THE BRIDES OF DRACULA, HORROR OF DRACULA, HOUSE OF DRACULA, THE RETURN OF DRACULA, and SON OF DRACULA… I’d probably need a list of ten to include BLACK SUNDAY, BLOOD OF DRACULA, THE VAMPIRE, FRIGHT NIGHT, and THE SATANIC RITES OF DRACULA. Oh goodness, there’s so many to choose from!

  • Eric Hinkle

    Thanks, I’ll keep my eyes open for it.

  • Rodford Smith

    Uhm, not really a vampire film aficionado. I do have three favorites from the genre: _Curse of the Undead_, _Vampire Circus_ and _Dracula’s Daughter_.

  • Toby Clark

    Let the Right One In
    Interview With the Vampire
    The Little Vampire
    I Am Legend (alternate cut)

    Nosferatu isn’t far behind. And for the record, I have seen Dracula (1931) and Fright Night, but one is, let’s face it, really shoddily written and lazily directed even by the standards of early-30s horror, and the other is way too much of an Idiot Plot for me.

  • Morgan Champion

    No love for Near Dark? Let’s see of my top 5 I would have Black Sunday, Brides of Dracula, Near Dark, Nosferatu and The Thing from Another World (Howard Hawks version).

  • They were using German Shepherds for wolves. Obvious German Shepherds for wolves. I’m not certain the budget stretched towards exacting detail.

  • I remember liking Near Dark, but I only watched it once decades ago. Thus it seemed wrong to put it on my list.

    I am rather disgusted I didn’t think of The Thing myself. So very obvious.

  • There was a teenaged girl part of my life where I’d watch anything with a vampire in it (why, yes, The Lost Boys did come out about that time). It would be damned near impossible to pick my 5 favorites, but the five worst (in no particular order) would probably be:

    Blood Beach
    Uncle was a Vampire
    Blood for Dracula (AKA Andy Warhol’s Dracula)
    A Polish Vampire in Burbank
    Countess Dracula

    Dishonorable mentions should probably go to The Lost Boys 2:The Tribe (although oddly enough the 3rd film, The Thirst, was surprisingly not bad at all) and any of the Twilight films (although they at least have the redeeming factor of frequently being bad in absolutely hilarious ways).

    Oh, A Return to Salem’s Lot was pretty execrable too. And the Fright Night remake was so bad I didn’t make it halfway through IIRC.

    Yeah, I watch a lot of crap. Shocker, I know.

  • Gamera977

    Thanks guys! Since it’s in public domain I thought I’d check YouTube- yeap it’s posted there twice. Watched it yesterday and it is pretty cool.

  • Gamera977

    HAHAHA, Sandra I wear jeans and a Hawaiian shirt for causal wear- you think I know anything about fashion??? ;)

  • Am now trying to picture a giant fire breathing turtle in jeans and a Hawaiian shirt

    Nope. Not happening.

  • Eric Hinkle

    Just saw in on YouTube last night, and it was worth seeing. An incredibly good film.

  • Flangepart

    Oh, come on! I can no problem, and being easily amused is not a bad thing!
    Nice mask. use it for evil rituals, makes a good decoration on the end table.