Top 8 Vampires
By: Justin Hopkins
Hello and welcome to one of my first Halloween themed lists I have for the month of October. Have done top tens and fives from time to time, but those numbers are used so much, and kind of wanted to mix things up, ala, my top 14 Halloween movie list from a few years back. While I didn’t want to go that extreme. Settled on what turned out to be a much more difficult 8 instead. Mostly due to there being so many good vampires to narrow it down to. Different styles and arcs and way to many Draculas, but after some hard thought and consideration, I have my top 8 vampires, as I see it. That’s the important thing to remember, this is purely my opinion, based off a few rules and some exemptions and sure your list would look very different from yours but that is the fun of this. Start a bit of a conversation and see if our favorites line up. So, I’ll tell you what I used to rank them the way I did and jump right in.
* No Dracula – This could have ended up consisting of mostly Dracula’s if I didn’t do something about it. Bela Lugosi to Gary Oldman and so many others could have made a real case for being better than the rest so instead of flipping a coin to pick one, I left them off entirely, but for what it is worth, Would have gone with Bela.
* No Half Breeds – Have to be the real deal. No Blade, Rayne, or Violet.
* Judged them by their look, transformation ( If applicable), how they were portrayed, motivation, and while I am critiquing the vampires, how good their movies were will dictate their placements, but only slightly. Alright, let’s get started, with number 8 is…
8. Severen – Near Dark
While I wasn’t much of a fan of Near Dark, the one big take away from it was, The Late Bill Paxton’s Severen. He owned every moment of screen time he was apart of from the time he is introduced and wanting to immediately kill Caleb. He is the living embodiment of vampire living on the absolute edge. The entire gang is, but Severen has it cranked all the way up. Loud, crude and to the extreme at all times. Killing with no remorse and often laughing in glee. Still running his mouth moments before he died. While he looked terrifying and cool when he is covered in blood, his lack of transformation of any kind hurts him, as well as the movie not being all around that good, but without him; this movie suffers, and Severen is very memorable.
7. Valek – John Carpenter’s Vampires
This may be the closest to nostalgia placement on the list. I really enjoyed Thomas Ian Griffin. From the moment you meet him and he just wipes out the entire pack of Vampire Hunters and Prostitutes like it was nothing. Tanking gunshot after gunshot or movie people in the way. Driven purely by the desire to walk in the sun and is laser focused on just that, and nearly succeeds. By the end, the only two left are Jack Cross and the Padre. Valek has either killed his team members or has lead to them being turned. Strength and power among the very best Vampires we have seen. While he doesn’t have a transformation, I always liked the more simplistic look of a vampire. The simple fangs. Pale skin and throw in the gothic attire helped out. As well as the movie being a quite enjoyable one.
6. Barlow- Salem’s Lot (2004)
Alright, let me explain. I enjoyed the look of the ’79 version. It was scary and unnerving, but that was all he had going for him. His lack of being able to speak hurt him for me, and made The Late Rutger Hauer’s performance so much better. Again, you got the simplistic look that I like. His body language and speech carries confidence and intellect of someone who has been around for awhile. To him, Salem’s Lot if just another small town for him to feast on and move on. Like an expert gamesman, moving and using everything at his disposal to his advantage. No one was safe from his reach., and when you get to the end. The only one left alive is Mark.
5. Abby – Let Me In
Little kids are creepy in horror movies. To me they are so unnerving because they are so innocent and little, but when they are monsters, they are so scary, and Abby may have raised the bar. To the purist, yes Ellie did a good job, but Abby was just on a whole other level. Her human form was sweet and almost sensitive. Kind of helpless to a point. Needing someone to take care of her. She didn’t come across as old, but as a twelve year old, but when the vampire came out, it was like flipping a switch. Overwhelming power and animalistic nature, and the transformation was excellent. The blisters and complete facial transformation is just spectacular. Then her turning back, covered in her victim’s blood made her look even more scary than her vampire form. Also have to adjust the grading a little since she is not an outright monster. She does what she has to not out of enjoyment, but necessity, and Abby is a breath of fresh air, without taking away the power of the Vampire. Great movie and Chloe brought to life an even greater vampire.
4. Alpha Vampire – Supernatural
If they ever get around to bringing Dracula back to the big screen. Hope they do it with, Rick Worthy, because his Alpha Vampire in Supernatural was phenomenal. From the time he is introduced to the time of his demise, he brought a level of Class and sophistication to his role that made him intimidating in a way. He knew how good he was and treated his adversary with a modicum of respect. Believing in a fight, he would beat everyone because he had overcome all of the odds on numerous occasions throughout his long life, so he held himself to a higher regard. Even died with dignity. After being tortured, he is still more than capable of an easy escape and overpower those in his wake. A victory against him, normally meant some sort of leverage to negotiate. Any episode that had him apart of it, knew that bad things were going to happen and loved every moment of on screen time he had.
3. Deacon Frost – Blade
This might be a little controversial, but I still think Stephen Doriff’s Deacon Frost is still the best Blade Villain, because he wasn’t a dumb character. An underrated character. He took his time and did his homework. Made a plan and stuck to it and that was to harness the power of the Blood God. He wanted the world to be turned or used as food and didn’t care of the obstacle, but still knew better then to overlook Blade’s ability. Studied and learned him like any opponent and gave blade a better run for his money then anyone. The basic look returns again and stuck true to the lore. Carried himself like a true villain, whether is was with Blade or another vampire. Only as good as your villain and Deacon Frost brought out the best in Blade, and earned his spot at number 3.
2. David – Lost Boys
Everything Near Dark failed to be, Lost Boys succeed and Keifer Sutherland as David, is a large part of that. He is the personification as cool. Bleed charisma and was a natural leader of the pact of teenage vampires. He owns every moment that he is on the screen and miss him when he is not there. Strong, feared and his transformation was on par with the absolute best of the best. When he spoke, everyone took notice and you believed every word he said, would be backed up. Lost Boys could have been good without, but has stood the test of time, because of what he added to the movie. When people tell me he is their favorite, I may not agree, but definitely can’t argue against them, because I can see why. Almost made it to the top of this, but just missed out to;
1. Jerry Dandridge – Fright Night (2011)
I know, I know, and trust me, Chris Sarandon was my number one, two days ago, when on a whim, I watched the remake. Just wanting to check and see how Colin Farrell did. It was unthinkable that it would knock-off Sarandon. Fright Night is my favorite Vampire Movie of all time; He pulled it off, and Colin Farrell’s Jerry is taking the number one spot on my list. He was smooth and charming. Able to get people to look the other way, but when all else fails, he is a force of nature, and is not afraid to plow through anyone in his path. He blew up Charlie’s house to get around needing an invitation. He was a jerk that flaunted just how weak everyone was around him, and took Charlie setting himself on fire and charging him head on to buy an opportunity to stake him. Varying levels of transformation gave him an extra level. Fangs to drink. Then a full on transformation that looked a bit silly up to his demise and just looked awesome.
And that is all folks. Do you agree with my list. Probably not, but that is okay. Thing about a list is to start a conversation and see what others think. Feel free to drop a comment and tell me who your favorites are. Till then..
Thank you for reading.