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18 June 2014
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Vampire Features Top Vampire Films
The experts recommend the best vampire flicks
We asked authors, academics, vampire-hunters and vampires (well, part-time ones) what their favourite vampire films are. Here's what they recommended:

Kim NewmanKim Newman, author and critic
My favourites include Nosferatu, still the only Dracula movie to present the Count as primarily a terrifying creature, and Dracula AD 1972, a much-despised Hammer sequel. I loved this when I saw it at the cinema in 1973, thought it looked hideous when I saw it again in the 1980s, and am now warming up to its groovy time capsule vision of a contemporary London that is now as relishably the past as the Victorian settings of earlier Hammer Films.

Daughters of Darkness is a sophisticated continental picture with Delphine Seyrig in a silver sheath dress as a Dietrich-look vampire Countess. Sexy and strange.

Then there's Let's Scare Jessica to Death, a creepy, underrated American vampire movie with a "different" take on the legend and an eerie, autumnal, rural atmosphere.

Finally, The Addiction stars Lili Taylor as a conflicted Catholic academic bloodsucker in New York; a rare vampire movie that sits down and discusses what vampirism might mean.

Graham MastertonGraham Masterton, author
My personal favorite is Kathryn Bigelow's Near Dark (1987), about a family of peripetatic vampires who drive around the back roads of Kansas and Oklahoma looking for blood.

More a black Western than a Gothic vampire movie, with the vampires as the ultimate outlaws, almost all of Near Dark is shot at night. The vampire clan travel from one cheap hotel to another in their blacked-out Winnebago, forever hiding from the sun. There's a touching moment of human love and regret when daylight eventually catches up with them.

Rupert Pipkin, Vampire HunterRupert Pipkin, vampire hunter

The top vampire film for me has to be Taste The Blood of Dracula, a late sixties Hammer. The costumes in it are wonderful. Appalling script, beautifully filmed. London at its finest, leafy. Christopher Lee being chased in and around cemeteries by very large bosomed female vampires. It's a good image, a good role model for all those would-be vampire hunters out there to follow.

Thunder Raven-StokerThunder Raven-Stoker
Although it's looking perhaps a little dated now, I would say Francis Ford Coppola's Dracula is very very good. I love it because of the visual aspects, beautifully done.

Obviously there's the classics, like Nosferatu, but they're classics because they are seminal works, not necessarily fantastic films. There is a very good film which is not necessarily a vampire film, which is Shadow of the Vampire with John Malkovitch and Eddie Izzard, which is just great, and it leaves you wondering - maybe it's true, maybe it's not.

Sir Christopher FraylingSir Christopher Frayling, academic and broadcaster
Nosferatu by F W Murnau sets the iconography for ever in the movies, and it's genuinely creepy, because the vampire is such a horrible-looking character. In its proper print, tinted and with decent music, it still packs a hell of a punch.

Also the Christopher Lee Hammer Dracula of 1957 by Terence Fisher. The first in Technicolour, the first to be up-front about the sexuality of the myth. Yes, it's got all the cardboard cliches of Hammer films, but you can see British cinema growing up before your very eyes in that film, and that's the function of the gothic, in my opinion.

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