Vampires are among us at TIFF 2012. Joss Whedon, the creator of cult series Buffy the Vampire Slayer, is directing an adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing, which premieres on September 8, starring some of the very actors who popped up in Buffy and its spinoff, Angel. Kristen Stewart, the Twilight teen idol (recent events captured by Us Weekly notwithstanding), is starring in On the Road. Who hasn’t been part of a popular vampire series these days?
Here are five of the most important vampire movies ever to hit the big screen.
5) Interview with the Vampire: This adaptation of Anne Rice’s novel gave us even more than an all-star cast in a vampire flick (Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt and Antonio Banderas – plus Christian Slater as the reporter). It also launched the career of Kirsten Dunst.
4) The Lost Boys: This 1980s movie is chock-full of young teen sensations (including Kiefer Sutherland and Corey Haim) who strike a balance between horror and humor. This early example of pin-up friendly teenage vampires is credited as an inspiration for all the high school vampires to come.
3) Twilight: The tabloids would be half-empty, and tanning might still be cool, if Stephenie Meyer’s Romeo and Juliet characters hadn’t made vampires sexier (and yet also more pious) than they’ve ever been.
2) Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Sure the movie tanked in 1992, despite Luke Perry’s best acting efforts. But if it hadn’t, writer Joss Whedon might not have needed to vindicate himself by turning it into a powerful, witty, critically acclaimed TV series that happens to be about vampire slaying.
1) Dracula (1992): Francis Ford Coppola’s romantic take on Dracula showed a new side of the genre: sexy and stylish. With Gary Oldman, Winona Ryder, Anthony Hopkins and Keanu Reeves – plus a closing theme by Annie Lennox – this is perhaps the most watchable of all the adaptations of Bram Stocker’s famous novel.