They are perhaps the most versatile monster we know. The vampire. Sometimes sexy, sometimes proper, sometimes feral, sometimes classic. The vampire comes in so many different forms.
With the release of Black Water Vampire on DVD and VOD tomorrow, January 21st, we celebrate the Top 11 Most Vicious Vampires.
There are so many to choose from. Vampires have been present in movies and television forever, so picking out the most vicious is no mean feat. We’ve done our best to narrow it down to the Top 11 but also have our usual honorable mentions to help flesh out the list (pun definitely intended).
We’d like to recognize the infected Alpha male vampire from I Am Legend; that dude was simply badass. In any version of Salem’s Lot, be it either of the television mini-series or the book, Kurt Barlow has always been Type 1 brutal. Chris Sarandon’s Jerry Dandridge in Fright Night and Bill Paxton’s Severen in Near Dark missed the list by a hair, but thankfully we can recognize them here.
There are just so many great films to draw from, the vamps in The Lost Boys, Daybreakers and the Underworld series are all fantastic. Hell, we’d even love to throw a little love to Grace Jones’ campy, fun performance in Vamp, and while we’re at it… who could forget Max Schreck as Graf Orlok in Nosferatu?
But enough with the honorable mentions. It’s time to get on to the …
Eli – Let The Right One In (Låt den rätte komma in)
Viewers fell in love with this truly unique Swedish vampire film that gave a new spin on the monster. The first interesting choice is making Eli a young girl. This flies in the face of most things we associate with brutality. But then, not only did Eli feed on the blood of humans, she also found companionship in them, which was somehow even more controlling than killing. Eli survived better when she had a human to help her, and, as we see in Let the Right One In, this pattern has been going on for a very, very long time. Oskar falls in love with the vampire as she gives him the protection he’s always needed, and she, in turn begins to own him. It’s a vampiric, symbotic relationship that not only haunts you, but pulls at the heartstrings a bit as well.
Claudia – Interview With The Vampire
Another beautifully brutal little girl. It’s bad enough to be turned into a vampire and grow a bottomless urge for the blood of humans. It’s worse to be turned into a vampire at the ripe old age of five and trained to be a killing machine by a brutal vampire in his own right, Lestat de Lioncourt. In Interview With The Vampire, young, ringlet-haired Claudia was fed on by Louis de Pointe du Lac, but saved and turned into a pint-sized vampire daughter by Lestat. For 30 years, Lestat teaches Claudia to be a perfect killer. Much like Eli from Let the Right One In, part of her danger is her appearances, which seems absolutely benign. But a horrible secret lurks within her. She was eventually put to death for apparently killing a vampire, but during her brief existence, Claudia was perhaps pound-for-pound the most brutal vampire ever.
Russell Edgington – “True Blood”
Long live the king! Russell hated the fact that vampires had to seek equality with humans. And in the speech below (which may have been the highlight of the entire “True Blood” series), Edgington talks about his dislike of humans and delivers the money shot line, “Why would we seek equal right? You are not our equals. We will eat you after we eat your children.” Classic. And it’s not just humans Edgington rails against. He’s not a big fan of The Authority (or authority in general, for that matter), the vampiric governing body. He remorselessly killed The Magister after the powerful vamp presided over Russell’s wedding to Queen Sophie-Anne. Edgington was 2,800 years old and had powers far beyond anyone he faced on “True Blood”. If it wasn’t for a couple of questionable emotional decisions here and there, Edgington might still be reigning vampire king of Mississippi because, as he said, “Mine is the true face of vampires!”
Dwight Renfield – The Night Flier
Thought to be nothing more than your average run-of-the-mill serial killer, Dwight Renfield is pursued by trash journalist Richard Dees for what seems like lifetimes. Renfield’s M/O is that he lands a black Skymaster airplane at a tiny airport at night and completely slaughters anyone and everyone in the place. No survivors. That’s some pretty intense hunting. This continues as Dees closes in on the killer. The entire film, which basically plays out more like a whodunit, gets its payoff in the brutal climactic scene where Renfield and Dees finally meet face to face with Dees asking the vampire to show his face. Unfortunately, just the sight of Renfield’s absolutely homely mug causes Dees to lose his sanity. A gory and disturbing scene with victims of men, women, children and even the unborn rising from the dead and surrounding Dees was truly chilling.
Jebediah Loven – Stake Land
We’re used to our post-apocalyptic worlds being inhabited by zombies. But every once in a while, it’s the vampires that take down civilization as we know it. And that’s the case in Stake Land. However, the vamps in this film are feral, thus zombie-like, and really wild. However, one of them has intelligence. His name is Jebediah Loven and he’s the perfect illustration of the old adage “In the land of the blind, the man with one eye is king.” You combine his intellect with the brutality of this film’s vamps and the unbending religious beliefs Loven possessed as a leader a fundamentalist militia called The Brotherhood before he turned bloodsucker and you have one focused, brutal and remorseless vampire. You can get a look at his human side, which actually isn’t a helluva lot better than his vampire side, in the video below. Don’t let The Bible fool you. He uses it as a weapon.
Jared Nomak – Blade 2
So what makes Novak so vicious? Not only is he a vampire, but he’s an uber-vampire described as patient zero and carrier of the Reaper Virus. According to the story in Blade 2 (and we do respect the fact that the Daywalker himself was one helluva vamp, but listen to the facts on these Reapers). Viewers of Blade 2 will undoubtedly remember the most obvious feature of the Reaper vamps, which was their three-way, Predator-like, jaw complete with lethal suckers. But on top of that, the Reapers had some other, very advantageous, features. Not only were their hearts encased in bone to prevent the unfortunate puncture, but they were stronger than common vamps, had a ravenous hunger and even their dead victims returned as Reaper vamps, thus increasing their numbers. And Nomak was the baddest of these badass vampires. Although he seemed to have a death wish, he gave Blade everything he wanted and more in this outrageous fight seen from Blade 2. Enjoy.
Jan Valek – John Carpenter’s Vampires
Not only is Valek a master vampire according to John Carpenter’s Vampires, he’s the first vampire and most likely the first stop at the bloodline of all current vamps. On top of that, he’s 600 years old with a real hankering to walk in the daylight again. Another handy feature Valek has is a telepathic link he possesses with all the underling vampires he creates. That really comes in handy when it comes to peeking in on the actions of pesky mercenary vampire hunters hired by the Vatican to take him out. Valek’s most impressive scene is the absolute decimation of a hotel room filled with partying vampire slayers. He proves he’s not fucking around right off the bat by slicing one unfortunate partygoer in half with a bare, clawed hand. Jack Crow, you’re going to have your hands full with this one.
Count Dracula/Vlad III The Impaler – Bram Stoker’s Dracula
Upon learning that his wife, Elisabeta, had committed suicide upon getting untrue news about his own death, Vlad the Impaler throws a bit of a shit fit, destroys his church, renounces God, vows to return from the grave to avenge her with all the powers of darkness. After this he stabs a giant cross with his sword and drinks the blood that (surprisingly) flows from it. And this is just the intro. Gary Oldman’s Count Dracula in Bram Stoker’s Dracula is memorable for so many reasons. The many variations of the character come immediately to mind, the young Vlad (with the crazy muscle suit of armor), the aged Dracula, the bat, the wolf. But what might stand out the most is the rage and ferocity of Dracula in trying to keep his vow and to rejoin his beloved. And the words of Anthony Hopkins as Professor Abraham Van Helsing, as you’ll see in the trailer below, ring perfectly true…“Make no mistake about it. He must be stopped.”
Santánico Pandemonium and the vampires of the Titty Twister – From Dusk Till Dawn
With a creative team like Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez behind this killer film, it was a surefire success from the get-go. But we could never have expected the atrocities we would find south of the Border in the legendary Titty Twister bar. It is possible that there’s a lingering hypnotic effect from seeing a young Salma Hayek perform one of the hottest dance numbers ever in film, but if you check out the clip below, it’ll refresh your memory on just how intense these vampires were. With crazy claws and hyper-stylized and grotesque features, these vamps were not the sparkly, cuddly kind. And just think, this particular scene is even before Sex Machine and Frost showed up on the side of the baddies. But be warned, there is an emotional part of this particular clip…it always brings a tear to my eye to see the demise of Chet Pussy.
Count Dracula – Horror of Dracula (aka Dracula)
Christopher Lee was never a more aggressive vampire than he was in Horror of Dracula. For a 1958 film, the gore was off the charts and Dracula suddenly became a shocking character again. Considered by many to be the greatest adaptation of a vampire ever, Lee’s portrayal was brutal, but, as would be expected, stylistic at the same time, blending the gore and ambiance in concert with each other. Lee and director Terence Fisher would go on to be a creative whirlwind of a horror team with Peter Cushing beside them. But it was indeed the impact of Horror of Dracula that would go down as their most impressive collaboration and Lee delivering the performance of one of the most vicious vamps ever. Check out the restored ending scene below.
Black Water Vampire Synopsis
A group of young documentary filmmakers set off to uncover the true story behind the Black Water murders, a series of brutal killings where women were found dumped in the woods, savagely slain, with their mutilated bodies completely drained of blood. In an attempt to exonerate the man accused of the crimes, they journey into the wilderness where the deaths occurred and find themselves face to face with a form of evil they could have never imagined. What began as a mission to save a wrongly convicted man turns into a battle for their own lives.
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