Legions of Twihards, the wait is over. That’s right, part one of the Twilight Saga’s epic finale hits theaters November 18 and it’s expected to be a quintessential box office juggernaut. The worldwide phenomenon that is Twilight is the largest grossing vampire release in history with a combined total of more than $800 million.
The on-screen adaptation of Stephanie Meyer’s book series puts a twist on the massively conflicted romantic drama commonly found in vampire movies, blending lovesick teens with fast-paced plot development into a very uncommon package. The result is an intoxicatingly addictive series of cinematic adventures that has taken the world by storm, bringing in a combined total of more than $240 million on their opening weekends.
Let’s take a stab at some of my personal favorite vampire flicks, shall we?
Bram Stoker’s Dracula
This adaptation of Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel by Francis Ford Coppola is a fantastic piece of excess in every way. While favoring a more vindictive Count Dracula instead of the novel’s bloodthirsty version, Coppola’s approach remains deliciously gritty.
This classic, but timeless take on vampire lore features a star studded cast including Anthony Hopkins, Winona Ryder, Gary Oldman, Tom Waits, Monica Bellucci and Keanu Reeves. Bringing in nearly $90 million in total gross sales at the box office, Bram Stoker’s Dracula is the number seven highest-grossing vampire movie since 1978 and won three Academy Awards. Fantastic acting coupled with incredibly engaging storytelling makes this one of my all-time vampire favorites.
The Blade Trilogy
Easily one of my favorites growing up, the Blade series is one of the better on-screen adaptions to come from the Marvel Comics camp. Wesley Snipes plays an ass kicking, daylight walking vampire-human hybrid who, to quote the movie, “… has all their strengths but none of their weaknesses.”
All three movies are a fantastically endless cavalcade of excessively gory fight scenes and not much else, but it’s not like you notice or care. I found myself sad at the end of each, as watching Snipes brutally slice and shoot anything not quite alive in his path was incredibly entrancing. Ryan Reynolds and Jessica Biel join Snipes in the final installment of the series, bringing with them plenty of cool gadgetry and eloquent sarcasm which contrasts nicely with Blades’ quiet and completely unfunny demeanor.
The trilogy comes in the top 20 top grossing vampire movies since 1978 at roughly $250 million total gross. This movie is everything you want in a vampire action movie: cool gear, good soundtrack and gratuitous amounts of gore.
The Lost Boys
Aw yeah, you know you loved it too.
Even though it came out before I was born, this was another favorite of mine growing up. A veritable pop culture phenomenon, even though it only squeaked out $32 million in total gross box office sales, The Lost Boys was an instant cult classic. Recognizing that internal strife between small groups of people makes for great drama, director Joel Schumacher shows a pair of brothers being unwillingly dragged into one increasingly tense and dangerously cool situation after another.
Fantastic marketing, great music and superb acting had teens across the country thinking that all you needed to be cool was a pair of Wayfarer sunglasses and a rebel attitude.
What are your favorite vampire movies? Did you see these movies in the theater? Feel free to share your comments and experiences in the comment section below!