The 10 best vampire movies every metal fan should see

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If anybody should know a thing or two about vampire movies, it’s a band who call themselves Vampire. The Swedish death/thrashers’ choose their name because of their fascination with the eternally bloodthirsty creature of the night.

“The band name Vampire comes from a fascination with dark European folklore, where an undead, parasitic ghoul appears in all sorts of cultures, for example as ‘vrykolakas’ in Greece or ‘strigoi’ in Romania,” they tell Hammer. “The myth of the vampire reflects the very basic human fear that the dead won’t remain dead and that what was once laid to rest in the grave not necessarily stays there. Moreover, there is an elegance and passion of the vampire that contrasts its deadly nature, and that is a very inspiring thing for anyone making music with the same qualities.”

With Vampire’s excellent new album, Rex, out now, we asked them to put their money where their be-fanged mouths are and choose the 10 greatest vampire movies every metal fan should see. Wooden stakes and garlic at the ready…

(Image credit: Century Media)

Låt den rätte komma in (2008)

“There are not many horror films from Sweden, but this is one of the greatest in the genre regardless of origin. The novel by John Ajvide Lindqvist it was based on was a forerunner in Sweden for the horror wave in literature of the past decade. A lonely 12-year-old befriends an outcast newcomer in the neighborhood and discovers a solution to dealing with his bullies in school. Solid slow burner drama with extra everything and fantastic music by Johan Söderqvist.”

Dracula (1931)

“Probably the definitive vampire classic and a film that still looks incredible. Well worth seeking out is the pretty recent release with music by Philip Glass, which really lifts the whole atmosphere and lends this one some of the eerie quality of the Candyman score.”

Near Dark (1987)

“This is not only an action-packed feast for the eyes with music by Tangerine Dream, but also the favorite movie of the members of Lebenden Toten, which basically makes it worth everybody’s attention on that merit alone. An unknowing cowboy reluctantly joins a Midwestern highway tribe of nomad vampires in stolen cars after sleeping with the wrong girl. Best film out of the entire 1980s vampire boom.”

Let’s Scare Jessica To Death (1971)

‘Apparently, this was the scariest film that Killjoy of Necrophagia (RIP) had ever seen. It’s one of those forgotten gems that gets a lot of acclaim in the horror community. There were plans to make a Vampire song out of its alternative title Secret Beneath the Lake and borrow some from the amazing soundtrack, but that’s still only just plans. We’ll see.”’

Nosferatu (1922/1979)

“There is absolutely nothing attractive or sexy about the count the way Max Schreck embodies him in the 1922 original, and that’s great. The Werner Herzog remake lets this property of the vampire remain intact and be amplified: the contrast between the delicate beauty of Isabelle Adjani and the repulsive, weak appearance of Klaus Kinski is striking. There’s so much being so amazing about this film, but the ending with the rats crawling across the open air dinner table is a definitive favorite. That’s the kind of decadent imagery you’ll see incorporated in our lyrics from time to time.”

Thirst (2009)

“Anyone into horror will eventually gravitate towards Korean cinema, and Thirst is a good example of craftful filmmaking that adds originality and foreign flavor to traditional tropes. Here we find vampirism in a bizarre love triangle including, among others, a Catholic priest. What could possibly go wrong? Well, a lot. Director Park Chan-wook really has a ball with the erotic elements of the vampire legend - great horror always touches upon the very basics of the human experience.”

Daughters Of Darkness (1971)

“Here’s another one that goes out of its way to really do something with the sexual aspect of the vampire myth. Based on the legend of Elizabeth Bathory, Daughters Of Darkness puts the sleaze factor to eleven and delivers everything you hope for in genre film from this specific era. This female vampire is not using seduction only for the instrumental sake of daily nutrition to put it that way.”

The Hunger (1983)

“Our favorite horror film with a David Bowie connection is probably the Cat People remake (the music!), but here the old pop dandy plays against Catherine Deneuve of Repulsion fame in what apparently became an important film for the lesbian community. In other words: another film that plays around with the vampire motif for other reasons than to only scare and depict bloodshed. Very 80s, very fun, very watchable.”

Dracula Has Risen From The Grave (1968)

“The way Hammer Films typically operated was to first come up with a cool title, then a poster, and last a script. That made for lots of amazing titles, but not many very good movies. This is a hit among loads of misses and my favorite Hammer vampire film. The thing this movie gets right is the demonic quality of Dracula, similar to the Satanic darkness you’ll find in the Nosferatu films. As with anything Hammer, the aesthetics are top notch, while other things may not be.”

Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)

As different as this my be to the novel, it still makes for a Gothic extravaganza that elaborates on the love story that isn’t that apparent at all in the original. Fun fact is that one of our favorite bands Abigor sampled several sequences from this film on their album “Supreme Immortal Art”. If you haven’t heard that album you should. There’s a recent version online with louder bass guitar and lower keyboards that slays everything.