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  1. #1
    Suspended 3-LockBox's Avatar
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    Dec 2001
    Hey! Over here!

    Want scary/fun with vampires this Halloween?

    Fright Night - (1985) well written, well acted, great cast and stylishly shot - teen discovers new neightbor is a vampire and no one believes him. Roddy McDowell plays Peter Vincent, a down on his luck actor who plays a vampire hunter on a local TV horror show, who decides to humor the teen's vampire fantasy (for money) only to find out the kid is telling the truth. You can see this coming from a mile away, but its done so well and the sub characters are so memorable that the movie is over before you know it. Not a special effects layden movie, but when they're presented, they still look great after over 20 years. Genuinely scary and a tad gory at times, and with sexually suggestive themes, its not exactly family fare (originally rated 'R', it'd be PG-13 today). BTW: the name Peter Vincent is derrived from combining the names Peter Cushing and Vincent Price.

    Steven King's Salem's Lot - the one they did a few years ago with Rob Lowe, or the one from '79 with David Soul that has the Nosferatu looking vampire creature. Maybe a tad slow for instant gratification, both Salem's Lot movies were actually mini-series and both have their strengths and weaknesses, but I prefer the one from 2004, which includes the Marsten House subplot which was ignored in the '79 movie. In the King novel, his subplot suggested that the town of Salem's Lot was not so much plagued by an insurgence of vampirism, but a stifling indifference and willingness to sweep dark secrets under a rug and look the other direction when confronted by the darkeness in others (or themselves) and many of the town's inhabitants had skeleton's in their closets; in other words, Salem's Lot was ripe for an insurgence of sinister activity, vampires or otherwise. The 2004 adaptation plays up this subplot for a while, but it does delay the spookier proceedings for the first hour or so. Maybe it tries too hard to be cerebral, and if that scares you away (har har) then you may like the more straight forward '79 version, directed by Tobe Hooper, which also has some seriously creepy and scary moments in it, despite its dumbed down adaptation. FWIW: the Nosferatu-ish vampire, which was an insult to diehard King fans at the time, was actually done pretty well, IMO of course.

    The Night Stalker (original '72 TV pilot) - might be the best made-for-TV vampire movie. In this one, set in (then modern day) Las Vegas, a serial killer is suspected of being a vampire by sleasy tabloid reporter Karl Kolchak (played by Darren McGavin). The focus is Kolchak's investigation, not the vampire, who in a twist (at least for the time period) is not portrayed as some debonaire Don Juan with fangs; he is treated like some (very very) old dude who kills people for their blood. Not the greatest special effects in the world, in fact, they're kept to a minimum, but the action sequences are shot cleverly enough to suspend disbelief, and the decision to treat the vampire as an anonimous, sub-human serial killer adds a sense of menace where many TV vampires were usually played for camp (intentionally or not). The series turned out to be pure schlock, but this is a movie that still holds up, prolly because the TV series was shot conventionally, while the pilot used quick cut techniques and handheld cameras that gives a sort of modern feel to the movie, not to mention that it was explicitly violent for a TV movie in '72. FWIW: this movie and series was cited by X-Files creator Chris Carter as a major influence.
    Last edited by 3-LockBox; 10-18-2008 at 02:42 PM.

  2. #2
    Sgt. At Arms Worf101's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Troy, New York

    3LB Ahhh Hates You!!!

    Those three, THOSE EXACT THREE MOVIES are my fave vampire movies of all times... Well I'd throw in a few more!!!!

    "Nosferatu" - The scariest, ugliest, most frightening vampire to ever grace the screen pre- 'Salems Lot". Wow.

    "Bram Stroker's Dracula" - Gary Oldman and company revive this genre with wit and pathos.

    In that I own all of the above EXCEPT "Fright Night", shows you how in high regard I view your picks.

    Da Worfster

  3. #3
    Aging Smartass
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Moore, SC
    My favorite vampire movie, or Dracula movie to be specific, was the 1958 Hammer classic, "Horror of Dracula." Hailed at the time by the New York Herald Tribune as "the best Dracula ever," the movie broke numerous taboos and set an all new level for horror, style and gore. I still remember the day I saw it when I was only 13, and I must have seen it since about 100 times.

    The film, "Gremlins 2," actually parodied the end of "Horror of Dracula," in which Dr. Van Helsing (Peter Cushing" races across a table to use two candlesticks placed in the shape of a cross to force Dracula (Christopher Lee) into the sunlight to rot and "die."

  4. #4
    Musicaholic Forums Moderator ForeverAutumn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    I didn't know that Salem's Lot had been remade. I remember seeing the original as a kid and it scared the crap out of me.

  5. #5
    Suspended topspeed's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Quote Originally Posted by ForeverAutumn
    I didn't know that Salem's Lot had been remade. I remember seeing the original as a kid and it scared the crap out of me.
    Ditto, on both accounts.

    Great choices 3LB. You can still catch Nightstalker episodes on Chiller or SciFi (I think), and believe it or not, they hold up well. Scary is scary, regardless of decade.

  6. #6

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