back when vampires didn't sparkle

Vampire-lore has always had a fanbase. These days though, its popularity has skyrocketed and created a whole new fangirl base, thanks to a franchise featuring a glittery  bloodsucker with the initials of E. C. :/  Sheesh. It's Buffy meets Disney. It's a disgrace to vampire lore, a vampire story for sissies people who would really prefer reading Hans Christian Andersen but would want to know what it feels to be in the in crowd.

In a manner of criticizing the uberlame franchise (created for people too lazy to read anything more intelligent, by an author who can't even spell her name right) , let me dedicate this post to those un-cute undead from various movies I grew up with in the 80s and 90s.

Yes, the kind that didn't sparkle.  They were sexy and mysterious but hardcore and dangerous.

Vampires from the '80s and 90s

- 1 -
Louis de Pointe du Lac 
Interview with the Vampire  (1994)
played by Brad Pitt

Interview With the Vampire was released when I wasn't old enough to watch it. It was an R18 movie and I was a few years too young; I still went to see it anyway with my brother and a couple of friends. The ticket-guy at the cinema entrance that night really hassled viewers and requested ID, playing all strict about the age restriction. Lucky for me, my friends looked younger than I did, so he didn't hassle me - but I do recall there was a bit of a heated exchange between the ticket-guy and my friends. I got it, the guy was just doing his job, and it was an R18 movie after all.  After the film, I remember exiting the cinema quite shaken, realizing why why the big hubbub at the entrance was entirely necessary.

Despite today's revamped movie-censor ratings (in which films that would have been given an R18 ten years ago are now R15 because "kids today are more desensitized" and blah), a DVD of Interview with the Vampire should still be marked as restricted for adults. It's not something I would recommend to just anyone,  no matter how "classic" the movie is, or how mature they are.  Enjoying it takes a moderately strong stomach. I've re-watched Interview a few times as an adult, and though it's more bearable now, I still find it a bit startling.

By the way - it was also just as an adult that I noticed all the homosexual innuendo. Anne Rice is so cleverly dirty. ^_^

So, anyway.   Louis.  

Louis was the eligible bachelor of vampires - gorgeous, cultured and wealthy; plus, he had a sexy French name.   He was quite sensitive for an undead one, since he rather detested that part of him that was an evil creature of the night.  Nonetheless, he wasn't the least bit soft-and-sappy, and he didn't wear glitter.


- 2 -
Lestat de Lioncourt 
Interview with the Vampire 
played by Tom Cruise

If Louis were baked tofu, Lestat would be RED MEAT.  Louis seems so wholesome compared to Lestat.

Image from

Louis and Lestat are probably my favorite movie vampires - Cultured, refined and romantic, yet handsome, intelligent and very masculine.  Not to mention filthy rich and aristocratic.  Even if they preferred same-sex interactions sometimes, they were still less girly than those Twilight dudes. Suck on that, Edward Cullen.  No, really, suck on it.

For all their refinement, Louis and Lestat weren't pansies.  Lestat in particular knew no mercy. If they ever kept company with a human girl, it was only to use her as a portable canteen, not to have her as a girlfriend.

BTW, watching Interview again reminded me that Tom Cruise used to be a good actor, and that he used to be a bigger star than Brad Pitt.

- 3 -
Interview with the Vampire 
played by Antonio Banderas

Antonio Banderas was the mysterious, puissant Armand.  He was another sexy aristocrat-type who had a sexy vague European accent and sexy graceful gestures.  But oh, he was deathly vicious, even more disturbing than Lestat.  He's much darker in the book, but the movie version was ok, I mean, for a movie version.

- 4 -
Interview with the Vampire 
played by Kirsten Dunst
I also must say that Kirsten Dunst was phenomenal in Interview as Claudia - a vampire who was turned at too early an age.  Pretty soon she was a mature woman trapped in a child's body. Dunst must have been eight years old then, but convincingly acted like someone much, much older.  I think she got a nomination for that role - not sure though.

That was the first and last time I liked her as an actress. I don't think she ever got another role as interesting. A lot of her other roles as an adult actress were so flaky.  *cough cough* Mary Jane Watson *cough cough*

- 5 -
Voivode Dracula 
Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992)
played by Gary Oldman
The monster-popularly-known-as-Dracula was created by the novelist Bram Stoker.  He was based on the real-life bloodthirsty Medieval warlord, Prince Vlad III of Wallachia, a.k.a., Vlad Dracul, a.k.a., The Dragon, a.k.a. Vlad Tepes, a.k.a, The Impaler.  So there.  You have an idea of how nasty he was.

This guy was at the same time the scariest, the grossest and the sexiest. It was quite fascinating how he shifted into several different forms - drop-dead gorgeous aristocrat, creepy old man, hellhound, giant bat, mist.

I say he was sexy because of the way he pursued Mina.  Of course it only worked while he was in his handsome young aristocrat body.  If he tried to woo her in his ancient count persona or any of his other forms, that would be several degrees unsavory.

Those scenes with Mina (Wynona Ryder) were pretty steamy.

- 6 -
Blade (1998)
played by Wesley Snipes

Blade (1998) was a big, bloody, badass mess. It was a story based on graphic novels, set in modern times and given a hip rave soundtrack.

I watched it on an afternoon of cutting class with a few schoolmates. After seeing it, I felt like a blood-doused slab of raw pork and I wanted to have a bath.

Blade was the type called a daywalker - he could go abroad in brightest daylight without disintegrating into ashes.  Or sparkling.

I didn't think Wesley Snipes did the role justice though; I got the feeling he was too detached from his character. I also found the plot pretty lame.  I mean, sunblock?!  Come on.

- 7 -
Deacon Frost
played by Stephen Dorff

In Blade, the sexy beast wasn't the protagonist; it was the villain Deacon Frost, played by Stephen Dorff , who happened to be real famous (among teenage girls) back then.

- 8 -
Blade (1987)
played by  Keifer Sutherlan
It was Keifer Sutherland's other famous role.  You know, before he was known as Jack Bauer.

David and the guys were rockstar-cool and way cruel.  He wasn't the type to beg, wheedle, pine over a tasty human, cry over a girl, or wait to marry her until he fu bites her. Heck, he wouldn't even consider  marriage.


- 9 -
Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997)
played by James Marsters

Buffy was a dumb series actually (sorry fans), but it did have one redeeming factor:  James Marsters as Spike.  Hypercool bleached-blond hair, cheekbones that could cut your fingers, and a killer British accent.  He was just beautiful, even if he ate people for a living.

So yeah. Vampires could be non-glittery but gorgeous nonetheless. Hot and dangerous and more interesting to watch. The idea of a safe movie vampire just doesn't work for me.

On closing, let me leave you with a motivational poster featuring David:

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