My article "Vampire Movies Without Teenagers" proved to be quite popular -- even among those who thought my choices sucked. It turns out there's a lot more vampire movies that don't contain those from the ages of 13 to 19, and even if they have kids between those ages, they are not the main characters. These ones stretch over a large period of movie history from before we were born to today, and they deserve an audience just as much as they did when originally released.
This movie brought together cinematic brothers Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino. The vampire-western hybrid was one of the first movies to prove George Clooney was a bona fide movie star.
He and Tarantino play fugitive brothers who kidnap a family featuring Harvey Keitel and Juliette Lewis to get across the Mexican border. Once there, however, they have to deal with the most vicious vampires, some of which include the infinitely beautiful Salma Hayek, certified badass Danny Trejo, and "a-- kicker to the end" Fred Williamson.
This one marked the directorial debut of Tony Scott and stars Susan Sarandon as a research doctor who works with a vampire couple played by Catherine Deneuve and David Bowie. The critics smacked this one around a lot, but it has since become a cult classic deserving of another look. You also get to watch Sarandon and Deneuve make out, which for some is worth the price of admission!
This 1922 classic still unnerves the most jaded of horror movie viewers. Much of that is due to the performance of Max Schreck as Count Orlok; he remains one of the most memorable vampires in cinema history. The scenes which feature his fearsome shadow are ones that have been imitated over and over in films like "Wes Craven's New Nightmare." Yes it's a silent movie, but don't let that keep you from watching it.
Bela Lugosi, long before he did movies with Ed Wood, gave what is still the definitive performance as Count Dracula. His appearance was powerfully creepy -- it still creates goose bumps in viewers today -- and he's the one which all Draculas since have been judged by. Some have come close, like Frank Langella, who headlined John Badham's "Dracula" in 1979; Christopher Lee, who has played the role in eight films; and even Gary Oldman, who made the character his own in "Bram Stoker's Dracula."
Neil Jordan's adaptation may not have pleased many of the die hard fans of Anne Rice's beloved novel, but at least it's not "Queen Of The Damned." While Brad Pitt is way more sullen than he needs to be as Louis, Tom Cruise was a way better Lestat than Rice could have ever expected.
Cruise lets it loose here in a way that became as scary when he did the same thing on Oprah's couch. Still, he almost gets the film stolen from him by Kirsten Dunst (currently getting raves for "Melancholia"), who gave an astonishing performance as vampire child Claudia. While her character may never grow old, Dunst shows herself to be wise beyond her years in the role. And let's not forget Antonio Banderas, who turned heads as Armand, or Jordan regular Stephen Rea, who is a seething menace as Santiago.
Danny Trejo Appears for "From Dusk Till Dawn" screening at New Beverly Cinema
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