Friday, June 22, 2012

Vampires are Undead and We're Loving It: An Ultimate List of Pop-Culture's Best Bloodsuckers

Bela Lugosi, courtesy Universal
Editor's Note: Although there have been predictions they'd return to ground for a while now - perhaps so the undead could make room for the walking dead zombies - vampires have yet to be staked by pop-culture Van Helsings. In fact, the trend shows signs of immortality and more vamp-related projects are seeing the light of day every year without turning to ash.

Just this summer (2012), the bloodsuckers have hypnotized us with Dark Shadows, a fifth season of True Blood and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. Even the trailer for The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2 captivated the Internet when it was released this week. To celebrate the continuing trend of vampires as they dominate the season of sun, Paranormal Pop Culture vampette nerd Larissa Mrykalo set about creating an ultimate list of the undead. Because we want you to have a stake in what we do here, let us know what you think we got wrong, what we missed and what categories need to be added. (After the jump...)

- Aaron Sagers



Max Schreck
Nosferatu (1922)
We know his name is Count Orlok and not officially “Dracula” in this movie but it is based on the popular Bram Stoker novel. The studio wasn’t able to obtain the rights so the names were changed. Nevertheless, Count Orlok is one of the creepiest vampires in the history of film.

Langella as Dracula, courtesy Universal
Bela Lugosi
Dracula (1931) 
Lugosi’s portrayal of Count Dracula is arguably the most recognized and duplicated. The hair, the accent, the hypnotic eyes are all super iconic. He was a vamp ahead of his time.

Frank Langella
Dracula (1979) 
This was probably the Dracula a lot of our mom’s had a crush on. Super sexy and handsome, Langella made women in the late '70s wish they were one of his victims.

Gary Oldman
Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992) 
Francis Ford Coppola’s interpretation of the novel and the Count himself is a fan-favorite. Great cast, excellent story-telling and visually stunning, as well as gruesome scenes, make us want to watch it over and over. Oldman is haunting, sad and terrifying.


Countess (Lauren Hutton)
Once Bitten (1985)
Sexually-charged and in need of virgin blood, Hutton’s performance left teenage boys in the '80s probably more confused than they already were. Hutton was 42 when she made this film. 'Nuff said.

Beckinsale in Underworld: Evolution
courtesy Screen Gems, 
Santanico Pandemonium (Salma Hayek)
From Dusk Till Dawn (1996)
Long name, long snake, sexy dance. A short but memorable scene with this Queen Vampire showed what a stand-out the stunningly beautiful Hayek really was.

Selene (Kate Beckinsale)
Underworld series (2003, 2006, 2009, 2012)
A gorgeous brunette with piercing eyes wearing a leather bodysuit who could kick ass? Yes, please! Beckinsale rocks this role as an icy cool vampire you’d never want to mess with.

Jessica Hamby (Deborah Ann Woll)
True Blood (2008-present)
Jessica starts off as an unwilling, Christian virgin who gradually emerges as the fiery hot redheaded vamp we know today. She’s loyal, she’s fun and looks great dressed as a naughty Red Riding Hood!


Eric Northman (Alexander Skarsgard)
True Blood (2008-present)
Eric may be over a thousand years-old but he’s one hunky bad-boy vamp. Yes, he’s arrogant but he occasionally shows that sweet side (and those abs) that makes women weak in the knees.

Witwer as Aidan, courtesy Syfy
Damon Salvatore (Ian Somerhalder)
The Vampire Diaries (2009-present)
Uncomfortably gorgeous, dangerous, adventurous and, well, a tad evil describes this TV blood sucker with brother issues that the ladies swoon over. What it is about these bad boys?

Aidan McCollin/Waite (Sam Witwer)
Being Human (2011-present)
There’s something vulnerable about recovering (and lapsed) blood addict Aidan, and even though he’s a seasoned vamp, he’s kind of sweet and sarcastic, and makes you want to offer up a vein to him. His dark good looks don’t hurt either.

Jerry Dandrige (Colin Farrell)
Fright Night (2011)
Charming, down and dirty, devious, handsome - sure, come on into my home! Chris Sarandon was pretty hot as Dandrige in the 1985 original, but Colin has added a more modern dimension of sexuality to the role.


Sam Dracula a.k.a. Grandpa Munster (Al Lewis)
The Munsters (1964-1966)
Grandpa Munster is wily, deathly sarcastic, picks on his poor son-in-law, and likes to invent things in his basement - sounds like a lot of our grandpas, right? But can yours shape shift into a bat? Probably not...that you know of.

Count Von Count, courtesy Sesame Workshop
Count Von Count (himself)
Sesame Street (first appeared in 1972)
Even the bats and thunder that accompany this lovable Muppet make him a non-threatening and iconic teacher of numbers for the past 40 years. Fun fact: Old folklore spoke of vamps being obsessed with counting things. Ah ah ah!

Bunnicula Bunnicula: A Rabbit Tale of Mystery
(book debuted in 1979)
The original juicer machine, Bunnicula is a harmless, fanged little bunny rabbit who sucks the juice out of veggies. He also has vampire powers as shown in the TV special, including the ability to hypnotize, sprout wings and fly. Adorable!

Rudolph (Rollo Weeks)
The Little Vampire (2000)
What lonely, newly-transplanted kid doesn’t want a best friend who is a cool vampire like Rudolph? This family movie is a fun adventure that proves vamps can have your back instead of just your neck.


David (Kiefer Sutherland)
The Lost Boys (1987)
Sutherland had a knack for playing jerks in the '80s and David is one hell of a bully. He’s the leader of a blood-thirsty, California-based vampire gang that makes psychopaths look like saints.

Claudia (Kirsten Dunst)
Interview with the Vampire (1994)
O'Hare as Russell, courtesy HBO
Precocious angelic children have a strange creepiness to them, especially when they have no qualms about killing you or their "maker." Dunst was a fantastic child actor and made Claudia’s evil soul evident in tandem with making us feel just a tad sorry for her character.

Queen Akasha (Aaliyah)
Queen of the Damned (2002)
Sure this centuries-old Egyptian vampire queen is sexy and beautiful, but her megalomania and icy cold soul demands world domination. She’ll stop at nothing to get it but is finally turned to dust by the vampires she has spared.

Russell Edgington (Denis O'Hare)
True Blood (2008-present)
Russell is crazy, super old (2,800 years!), multilingual and one evil king who chews scenery like it's human flesh! He’s fun to watch though, so True Blood fans are no doubt excited to see that his cement and silver grave didn’t cause him the true death.


Kurt Barlow (Reggie Nalder)
Salem's Lot (1979)
Nalder’s portrayal of Kurt Barlow mimics that of an amped-up Nosferatu - bald, glowing yellow eyes and beyond horrid teeth. This terrifying make-up produces a look that’s the stuff of nightmares.

Peter Loew (Nicolas Cage)
Vampire's Kiss (1989)
Loew is a yuppie (ewww) who gradually goes insane - and even eats a cockroach (which real-life vamp Cage actually did on camera)  in this super dark '80s comedy/horror film. We get to watch his decline and the behaviors that are associated with it, until his death at the end.

Nalder as Barlow, courtesy Warner Bros.
Marlowe (Danny Huston)
30 Days of Night (2007)
30 Days of Night features some truly horrifying creatures, with their pin-sharp teeth, black eyes and relentless bloodlust. Huston’s interpretation of the hideous and excruciatingly evil leader, Marlowe, makes this one of the most terrifying vampire films ever.

Eli (Lina Leandersson)
Let the Right One In (2008)
An odd, little girl vamp who requires an adult familiar to help her dispose of bodies, Eli is pretty gross when she goes too long between feedings or if she enters a home uninvited. But despite being kind of grody, she's a good friend to bullied kids.


Count Chocula
General Mills' Count Chocula cereal (debuted 1971)
Silly, we know, but this sweet Count’s hair is deliciously styled and puts all other cereal mascots to shame.

Lestat de Lioncourt (Tom Cruise)
Interview with the Vampire (1994)
Marsters as Spike, courtesy Warner Bros.
Those perfect waves, that lustrous shine, the lovely shade of reddish-brown. How many ladies of the took a pic of Lestat into their stylist in the mid-90s and asked for this look? Damn him for all eternity for making it look so effortless!

Spike (James Marsters)
Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Angel (1997 to 2003)
Bleached-out fabulousness best describes Spike the Slayer Slayer’s hairstyle. Vampires with an edge are super cool but the dark eyebrows give away his secret!

Angel (David Boreanaz)
Angel (1999-2004)
Angel may suffer because he has a soul, but at least he has a thick, trendy, head of hair to make up for this punishment. It’s the kind of hair you want to sink your fingers into!


Count Dracula (various actors)
The Count’s heartbreaking love for his deceased wife, Elisabeta - and subsequent obsession with her lookalike, Mina - is probably most romantically depicted in Coppola’s film version. But most incarnations of the count show him as a hopeless mush. His love and sadness is painfully evident and we even feel sorry for this "monster."
"Do you believe in destiny? That even the powers of time can be altered for a single purpose? That the luckiest man who walks on this earth is the one who finds...true love?"

Frid as Barnabas, courtesy ABC
Barnabas Collins (Jonathan Frid)
Dark Shadows (1967-71)
Even though Barnabas does okay with the ladies, he is forever obsessed with his former fiancee, Josette. He also manages to put an old-old-school romantic swagger into his sometimes-awkward demeanor.
"A man should be willing to wait for a beautiful woman through all eternity if necessary."

Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer)
True Blood (2008-present)
Bill’s long-suffering, undying love and commitment to Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin), and even the backstory around the wife and children that he left behind, make this southern gent majorly swoon-worthy.
"Vampires are always in some kind of trouble. I prefer to be in it with you."

Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson)
The Twilight Saga (2008-present)
Ahh Edward, every teenage girl’s dream vamp (as well as some middle-aged women’s). The 111-year-old man-boy-vamp always knows the right thing to say, and will fight until the end for the love of his life, Bella.
"I thought I’d explained it clearly before. Bella, I can’t live in a world where you don’t exist."


Peter Vincent (Roddy McDowell)
Fright Night (1985)
Late-night horror movie host, Peter Vincent, is a reluctant vampire hunter to say the least. He is a B-list boss who knows all the traditional tricks of the trade and ultimately saves his young friends from certain doom.

Blade (Wesley Snipes)
Snipes as Blade, courtesy New Line Cinema
Blade series (1998/2002/2004)
Even though he is a half-vampire Daywalker, Blade is a gruff protector of humans from the vampire threat (and raves). Originally based on the Marvel Comics character, he’s a superhero who doesn’t have the weaknesses of a traditional vampire and this makes him extra badass.

Van Helsing (Hugh Jackman)
Van Helsing (2004)
This vampire hunter has been played by several actors and first appeared as Abraham Van Helsing in Stoker’s 1897 novel. Jackman’s Gabriel Van Helsing is a sexier, kick-ass version working for the Vatican with some nifty gadgets in tow.

Abe Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter (2010 novel)
If your mother was murdered by a vampire, what would you do? Dedicate your life to secretly hunting and slaying vampires, of course! And then become the 16th president of the United States to eliminate a bloodsucker plot to use slaves as food.


Anita Blake
Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter (books series, 1993-present)
Based on the 21-book-strong series by Laurell K. Hamilton, Blake is a St. Louis-based necromanacer - a raiser and controller of the dead - and licensed hunter of homicidal vampires. She’s a no-nonsense martial arts expert who knows her weapons, and has the skills to put vampires in their place.

Michelle-Gellar as Buffy, courtesy WB
Buffy Summers (Sarah Michelle-Gellar)
Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2003)
Even though she begins as a beautiful and stereotypical cheerleader, Buffy Summers is "The Chosen One" in the fight against the evil undead. Over the course of seven seasons (and even more in the Dark Horse comics), Buffy evolves into a tough icon with depth. The show featured other sexy female slayers - Justine Cooper, Vi, Amanda, Dana, Kendra, and Faith Lehane - but Buffy is the sexy, kick-ass original.

Anna Valerious (Kate Beckinsale)
Van Helsing (2004)
Anna is a family-oriented gypsy and vampire hunter who is out for revenge against Dracula after he killed her father. She wants to fight for herself and does not want Van Helsing’s help. Even in death, she gets her revenge, and she and her family are accepted into Heaven.

BloodRayne (video game series, 2003-present)

This video game huntress works for a league of vampire killers called the Brimstone Society, despite herself being a half-vampire "Dhampir." Redheaded and impossibly sexy, Rayne's mission is to discover the identity of her her father - who she ultimately kills along with her other vamp-siblings. She's pretty obviously a ruthless, bloodthirsty killer, which is how we like her.