WAMG Presents: The Ten Worst Vampires in Movie History
“We’re the same temperature now.”
It’s time to avert your eyes, because the hate-rage is about to flow like a pierced jugular. The writers at We Are Movie Geeks have counted down our collective top 10 of the worst vampires in film history. These are creatures of the night so goofy, so lame, and so odd, they make us dream of the days of Max Schreck. Hell, they make us long for the days of Willem Dafoe playing Max Schreck. So hear you are, sans Nicolas Cage from VAMPIRE’S KISS, even, the ten worst vampires in motion picture history.
10. Eddie Murphy as Maximillian in VAMPIRE IN BROOKLYN
It was before the Internet gave us every indication of a film before it came out. When Wes Craven’s VAMPIRE IN BROOKLYN was coming out, all we knew was that it was a vampire movie…directed by Wes Craven. Oh, yeah, and it starred Eddie Murphy. We should have considered ourselves warned. Neither scary nor funny, Murphy’s Maximillian is trying so hard to be as suave and as cool as the vampires of Universal or even Hammer past. He doesn’t even muster up enough freshness to be considered on the same plane as BLACULA. Murphy has no idea what kind of a film he is in here, and it shows. It’s could almost be played as a straight, horror film, if not for the fact that Murphy has to show up as more than a few characters throughout. He should have taken more cues from Christopher Lee here and less from Jerry Lewis. Luckily, Craven bounced back a year later with SCREAM. Murphy was never the same again.
9. Jim Carrey as Mark Kendall in ONCE BITTEN
Jim Carrey as a vampire… UGH. This was young Carrey trying to break out in Hollywood. I mean the movie hit in 1985 and suffers from all the problems a bad comedy from the mid-80s would suffer from. Worst part is that Jim Carrey wasn’t a very good actor in the 80s. Once Bitten is almost like the vampire version of Teen Wolf but without all the memorable moments or competent acting. Jim Carrey’s performance as young vampire/high school student Mark is just forgettable and that’s the worst part. He’s not wacky enough as he was in the early 90s, and he’s not a good enough after like he is now, so instead you have this in between Carrey who doesn’t seem like he knows what he’s doing most of the time. It’s hard to care for anyone in a movie if you see how terribly they’re performing, and Carrey’s no exception. Just a boring dull vampire trying to be funny but falling flat.
8. Richard Roxburgh as Count Dracula in VAN HELSING
Dracula is a terrible creature of the night, that has always been equal parts intrigue and death. He needs to be able to have some kind of charm, irresistibility and always seem dangerous. Instead of a Dracula that we could actually care about or fear, Richard Roxburgh’s performance of Dracula is 100% camp. It’s all camp all the time. He’s never frightening and never seems as though he’s any kind of real threat to our hero. In fact, his bride’s in this awful tale often seem more dangerous than he does, if for no other reason than they rock some amazing cleavage which can be seriously distracting in a fight. Dracula’s plot to have an army of little bat children is one of the dumbest ideas I’d ever seen on film, and at no point does Roxburgh sell the idea that Dracula really need to carry out this plot, or even care about it. Instead he prances around and walks on walls… it’s a mess
7. Angie Everhart as Lilith in BORDELLO OF BLOOD
There is a finite number of cut-and-dry certainties within the realm cinema criticism, but one of them is arguably this… while Tales from the Crypt’s DEMON KNIGHT was friggin’ hard-core awesome, their follow-up movie BORDELLO OF BLOOD was about a lame as they come. Now, while she isn’t God’s gift to acting, I find it runs against my very nature to criticize Angie Everhart. She’s a tall, leggy, sexy red-headed Goddess but she can’t act her way out of a paper bag. With that in mind, consider that she’s playing an evil vampiress with a twisted sense of humor and what could have been a fun ride became a ridiculously pointless bathing in bad writing, worse acting and what appeared to be a pointless clearinghouse of blood and guts effects thrown everywhere on set, as if they needed to use them up before they expired.
6. Dominic Purcell as Drake in BLADE: TRINITY
Again a version of Dracula that’s pretty far from anything that’s come before. Instead of being a suave, devilish fiend, he’s a total monster. Quite literally too! The over muscled, under whelming performance by Dominic Purcell as the first vampire is one of the douchiest thing I’ve ever seen. Do they call him Dracula? No of course not. Instead he’s Drake and he’s out for blood. And to top it off he can hang out in the day light too! Why? Because he’s the first vampire! Purcell isn’t exactly a good actor and he always just looks like an angry bouncer at a club. And when the final battle between Blade and Drake hits, it’s just lame. Purcell’s Drake is boring, flat and uninteresting, and for being the ultimate vampire he comes off as a complete dolt and rather bro-ish.
5. Kristanna Loken as Rayne in BLOODRAYNE
Kristianna Loken was fine in TERMINATOR 3 but judging by her performance in BLOODRAYNE, playing a robot seems to have best suited her â€˜skillsâ€™. In director Uwe Bollâ€™s ghastly-bad 2005 disaster (based, like all of Bolls films, on a video game), Loken plays a carnival freak named Rayne, a half-vampire, half-human (they call them â€œdhampirsâ€ !) who travels through 1700s Transylvania on a quest to stab her hated vampire father, Kagan (Ben Kingsley), with her lethal sword-crutch. Lokenâ€™s dialog is garbage, her performance crushingly amateurish (her lines are all delivered in the same flat monotone), and sheâ€™s physically clumsy as well (but she does get naked in a completely gratuitous sex scene so itâ€™s not a complete waste of time). Boll is about the most despised director in the industry and I feel sorry for Loken that he did this to her perhaps-promising career. The poor girl wasnâ€™t even invited to return for the 2007 sequel BLOODRAYNE 2: DELIVERANCE!
4. Leslie Nielsen as Count Dracula in DRACULA: DEAD AND LOVING IT
There’s a reason DRACULA: DEAD AND LOVING IT is Mel Brooks last film, to date, at least. Released in 1996, the film tried so hard to be his second coming of YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN, but it failed on so many levels. Possibly the main reasoning for this is the casting of Leslie Nielsen as Count Dracula, who looks, sounds, and acts like…well, Leslie Nielsen dressed as Count Dracula. He tries to play the laughs as hard as he can, but it’s kind of hard when there are no laughs to speak of in the first place. Sad when Nielsen seems convinced he’s making them roll in the aisles with his fang brandishing and over-the-top brooding. He brings nothing to the table other than a chintzy Bela Lugosi impersonation that slips throughout. Possibly the only redeeming quality of the film and of the character as depicted in this film is his utterly ridiculous transformation into the bat. It’s a bat with Leslie Nielsen’s face. That’s the height of comedy with this one. As for the character, what more can you say about a Count Dracula who is accidentally killed by his Renfield. That’s Dracula Fail if ever I’ve seen it.
3. Aaliyah as Queen Akasha in QUEEN OF THE DAMNED
What was a movie that had potential to be one of the most awesome vampire sagas ever put to film, QUEEN OF THE DAMNED failed in nearly every way. Saturated with overly-stylized camera and special effects, as well as music popular with the MTV crowd at the time, what resulted was a 101-minute music video mess. As for the film’s star Aaliyah, this is an unfortunate end to a relatively young acting career. Her performance was underwhelming, but what there was of it was overshadowed by the ridiculousness of the film’s execution. The star, that is to say the Queen of all vampires for Pete’s sake, should be sexy and extremely dangerous. Well, I suppose you could argue Aaliyah brought one of these traits to the table, but intimidating, frightening or convincingly unstoppable… these are traits not seen in her performance. Likewise, the star’s performance was somewhat out-shined by her male co-stars (Townsend and Perez) and especially by Leno Olin. Here’s a suggestion… if you’re going to adapt an Anne Rice vampire novel to the big screen, do so with respect (a la INTERVIEW WITH A VAMPIRE) or don’t do it at all.
2. Zandor Vorkov as Dracula in DRACULA VS FRANKENSTEIN
Universal monster team-ups of the 1940s, director Al Adamson’s 1971 low budget paste-up job DRACULA VS FRANKENSTEIN (Adamson combined footage from a uncompleted biker film with the monster pairing) is considered one of the worst horror films of the 70’s, but it’s also a hell of a lot of fun if you take it in the right spirit. The Frankenstein monster is bad enough, with his blue face like a misshapen wad of pounded meat, but it’s the depiction of the Count that makes DRACULA VS FRANKENSTEIN a towering achievement in cult movie madness. ˜Zandor Vorkov was actually the stage name of Adamson’s stockbroker, a fellow named Roger Engel who’d never acted in a film before. Engel, who looks like a cross between Frank Zappa and Borat, covers his face in clown-white greasepaint (though his hands and arms are tanned), has plastic fangs that bulge out of his mouth, and sports an afro, huge sideburns, and beard. He shoots laser beams from his ring and his voice is processed through a cheap echo device that makes him sound like he’s trapped in a large bathroom. In one scene, he magically appears in a car driven by ‘Famous Monsters of Filmland’ editor Forrest J Ackerman. “Who are you?” asks Forry and Dracula’s sinister response is; “I have been known as the Prince of Darkness- now turn left here!”. Priceless. There’s also Lon Chaney, J. Carroll Naish, Russ Tamblyn, and midget Angelo Rossitto falling on an axe. If you’ve never seen DRACULA VS FRANKENSTEIN, what are you waiting for?
1. Robert Pattinson as Edward Cullen in TWILIGHT
Vampires… It doesn’t matter who you are you probably know many of the rules of how a good vampire story is written, and how a credible, scary, frightening vampire should act. His strengths and weaknesses can be tweaked here or there to fit the story, but with Edward Cullen we get a vampire so bad, so unlikeable and so far from scary that you can’t help but point and laugh at what a douche he is. When you take away all the things that make a vampire a vampire (weakness against garlic, need to feed on human blood, sleeping in a coffin, weakness against sunlight) you take away all the things that make them interesting monsters, and yes, VAMPIRES ARE MONSTERS. They’re supposed to be as terrifying as or as dangerous as any other monster in gallery of nightly terrors. Instead Edward Cullen is a sullen douche who can’t scare his way out of a wet paper bag. When your scary, terrifying vampire is a vegetarian, you know you’re in trouble. Vegetarians are about as scary as Big Bird. What’s worse is that Edward’s biggest weakness is that if he goes out into the sunlight he’s going to sparkle. Yes sparkle. What happened to Vampires that blaze up and ash in the sunlight. So many classic vampire moments are about ending one’s light at the dawn of a new day, and here we have a guy who just sparkles? WHO’S IDEA WAS THAT?! To top it off Edward is how old? 104 to 108 depending on the dweeb you ask, and he’s dating a 17 year old girl? Looks like Chris Hansen has his work cut out for him this time. Edward is less vampire, more EMO douche… Vote for team Edward or Team Jacob all you want… I’m voting for Team, Helsing/Blade/Buffy.THERE IS NOTHING SCARY ABOUT THIS