The Good, the (Not) Bad & the Ugly: The OGR Guide to Vampire Movies

Premise first: There are a million cinematic genres out there just waiting for you to find them. Within those genres are countless films ranging from atrocious to (hopefully) all time great.We care at OGR, so in 2012 we will periodically be highlighting a different genre and identifying which films in your respective genre are;

The GOOD: 8 / 10 and above

They might not all be great, but we wholeheartedly recommend that you check these out, as they represent some of the best the genre has to offer.

The (NOT) BAD: 6.5 / 10 to 7.5 / 10

These films might have a few flaws and probably won’t blow you away, but they aren’t terrible, boast at least a few decent moments and who knows there might just find a gem or two in here that works better for you.


The UGLY: 6 / 10 and below

Films that are ordinary at best, and worse… not much joy to be found here I’m afraid.

For the most part I will let the full reviews in the links tell the story. Feel free to let me know what I missed or which of your favourites is ranked too low.


Twilight and True Blood might have made vampires less dangerous and more female friendly, but today I will focus on ‘real vampire’ flicks, after all if you are a Twi-hard I am unlikely to change your mind here and set you back on the path to normalcy. Besides it’s unlikely you have a computer in your sandpit to read this anyway…

Back to real vampires; there was a time when they only came out at night, hated sunlight, garlic and stakes to the heart – don’t we all – and feasted on the blood of humans when they got the chance. These vampires were ornery types and quite inhospitable, found mostly in *GASP* Horror movies!

Here we break down The Good, the (Not) Bad & the Ugly in vampire land.

The Good

Blade 2: (Review)

Helmed by Guillermo Del Toro and starring Wesley Snipes as Blade. Follows the half human/half vampire ‘daywalker’ and vampire hunter Blade from the original film and pits him against a new super-strain that kills both vamps and humans indiscriminately.

Awesome action and a film with more cool points than almost any other superhero flick.

From Dusk Till Dawn: (Review)

A Tarantino-penned road movie that takes a major twist when it follows two serious criminals crossing the border to Mexico with a family they have just kidnapped, only to find that their ‘safehouse’ skeezy bar is in fact infested with bloodthirsty vamps.

Hilariously over the top and full of sight gags and gore effects, this film has to be seen to be believed.

Let the Right One In: (Review)

The story follows the relationship between a perpetually young vampire girl and a young human boy only looking for a friend.

The Swedish original is more effecting and a better overall film, but the American remake is thankfully only a notch below.

Near Dark: (Review)

Kathryn Bigelow helms a film that looks at things mainly from the vampire’s point of view, showing us feeding, remaining undetected and never aging can actually be issues.

Another issue is finding a nice boy to fall in love with.

And not eating him.

Stake Land: (Review)

The newest entry to the list from 2011.A bleak and realistic (as a vampire movie can be) road movie that follows a grizzled vampire hunter and his young apprentice as they navigate a lawless, violent and depressing land filled with vampires and cannibals.

Other survivors often tag along for the ride, but in a movie not afraid to kill off characters this is not always for long.

The (Not) Bad

30 Days of Night: (Review)

A film that should have reinvented the genre but dropped the baton – which Twilight then picked up!

A nearly deserted remote Alaskan town is besieged by a group of savage vampires in the annual winter solstice which you’ll never guess how long it lasts.

(Unless you look at the title.)

Bram Stoker’s Dracula: (Review)

Not trying to blaspheme but Francis Ford Coppola’s faithful interpretation of the novel that pretty much kick-started the genre is gorgeous to look at but often painful to watch.

Featuring performances that range from wooden (Keanu Reeves, Winona Ryder) to 100% uncut ham (Anthony Hopkins, Gary Oldman).

Daybreakers: (Review)

Tough times for humanity with vampires now in charge and using us for a food supply.

Gets a little precious at times but boasts a couple quality moments that will have you grinning (guys) or pursing your lips in feigned disgust (gals).

The Forsaken: (Review)

A young man on a cross country trip finds himself allied with a vampire hunting teen and a young girl who is the target of a Master vampire (read: Big Boss vampire).

Light on cheese but a little too teen-friendly at moments, Forsaken is a little seen solid weekend rental.

Fright Night: (Review)

Entertaining fang in cheek 80s film about a teen positive that a vampire has moved next door with plans to suck him, his mum and his girlfriend dry.

Remade in 2011, you can’t go wrong with either really, though 1985 is perhaps more fun and tones down the violence quite a bit.

Other Not Bad Notables: Priest / Suck / Thirst / Underworld / The Lost Boys

The Ugly

Blood the Last Vampire: (Review) / Rise: Blood Hunter: (Review)

Two modern day efforts to sexify the genre.

In ‘Rise’ Lucy Liu takes her kit off frequently, in ‘Blood’ the lead wears a school uniform most of the time.

Neither is enough to save their respective films.

John Carpenter’s Vampires: (Review)

A typical latter day Carpenter effort.

Starts out OK but rapidly runs out of ideas and degenerates quickly into a lengthy, terrible conclusion that will disappoint all of us hoping Carpenter can regain his 80s mojo.

Lifeforce: (Review)

A fairly terrible sci-fi horror about vampires from space, with the notable feature(s) both pointing horizontally under the chin of the female lead.

I’ll say it again for the cheap seats…


The Vampire’s Assistant: (Review)

Teen friendly affair trying to franchise a kid’s book Twilight style.

A young guy  finds himself the unwitting helper to a real life vampire who happens to be a member of a … zzzzzzzz

A Vampire in Brooklyn: (Review)

Director Wes Craven wanted a horror film, star Eddie Murphy wanted a horror comedy.

Both compromised.

The only outright loser being anyone unfortunate enough to see this.

The Rest: Despite Twilight’s gazillions, whacking ‘vampire’ in the title isn’t a guarantee of anything.

Twilight / Vampire Diary / Lesbian Vampire Killers / Bordello of Blood / Bloodrayne / Dracula 2000

As always 2012 will bring dozens of new entries into the zombie genre and OGR will painstakingly waste hours and brain cells sifting through the entrails to sort the classics from the trash.

Stay tuned.


About OGR

While I try to throw a joke or two into proceedings when I can all of the opinions presented in my reviews are genuine. I don't expect that all will agree with my thoughts at all times nor would it be any fun if you did, so don't be shy in telling me where you think I went wrong... and hopefully if you think I got it right for once. Don't be shy, half the fun is in the conversation after the movie.
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