Everybody loves vampires! And what’s not to love? Great clothes, up all night, sleep all day, never die, loads of super powers, plus, the chicks totally dig you. On the down side, there’s constant hunger, nude beaches are mostly empty at night and if a vampire hunter gets lucky, you totally go to hell. In short, being a vampire kicks ass except for the ways it totally blows. (Note to self: try to be more erudite in the unlikely event of a second draft.) So, sit back, relax, have yourself a nice warm cup of BLOOD and lets take a look see at the pros and cons of some well known vampires in a format sure to be even more amusing than that blood drinking joke.
VLAD THE IMPALER
Do NOT go to one of this guys dinner parties
OVERVIEW: The inspiration for Brahm Stoker’s Count, Dracula isn’t his last name in the way we think of it. His father was called Dracul, or ‘Dragon’, as he was a member of the ‘Order of the Dragon’ a society created by the emperor Sigismund to protect his lands and keep people from making fun of his name. ‘Dracula’ means ‘Son of the Dragon’ or ‘Li’l Dragon’, if you like getting impaled. He Became Prince of Wallachia (Now part of Romania) When his father was brutally assassinated and his older brother being unavailable on account of having been blinded with heated iron spikes and buried alive some years previously.
PROS: Cool nickname, awesome hair, royalty, actually existed.
CONS: Reason for cool nickname fairly disgusting, not actually a vampire.
FUN FACT: Once punished insulting foreign diplomats by having their hats nailed to their heads.
ADDITIONAL FUNNER FACT: Vlad was born in Transylvania. Know what else was born their? The Unitarian Church. I’m not making that up.
COUNT DRACULA AS PORTRAYED IN THE BOOK BY BRAHM STOKER
First edition cover every bit as exciting as text inside.
OVERVIEW: While hardly the first portrayal of a Vampire in fiction, Stoker’s Dracula becomes THE template for all fictional Vampires that follow. Oddly, they don’t follow it all that well. The count as he appears in the novel is bearded and while not as strong during daylight hours, he’s perfectly able to walk around and do stuff. He is eventually dispatched not with a wooden stake through the heart, but simple knives.
PROS: Street cred for being the Dracula everybody cribs from.
CONS: Dracula is an ‘epistolary novel’, meaning it is mostly comprised of letters and documents making it less familiar to modern readers and also an awkward format in which to include even marginally arousing sex scenes.
FUN FACT: Also wrote “The Lair of the White Worm”, and so he must be blamed for both the unspeakably bad 1988 Ken Russle film and the album of the same name by Dutch death metal band “God Dethroned”. It should be noted here that Dutch death metal is a genre of music particularly enjoyed by Dutch idiots.
VARNEY THE VAMPYRE
Beats the cra-zap out of the Stoker cover, don’t you think?
OVERVIEW: Varney made his appearance in mid-Victorian Penny Dreadfuls, so called because the popular pamphlet sized magazines sold for a penny and were very badly written.
PROS: Actually pre-dates Stokers Dracula by several years.
CONS: Teeth described as ‘Tusk-Like’, kind of dorky when compared to Dracula’s ‘Fangs like those of a Pit-Viper’.
FUN FACT: In a serious F-U to vampire hunters, Varney commits suicide by throwing himself into Mount Vesuvius.
Count Orlok comes to London in search of fabulous new ‘nail clipper’ technology
OVERVIEW: This 1922 German Expressionist silent film stars Max Schrek as Count Orlok. The story is basically a total rip-off of Stoker’s book, but DAMN, the intense look of this picture keeps you from caring much about the story line.
PROS: Creepy, creepy, creepy, creepy, can you say CREEPY?!
CONS: You kind of have to suspend your disbelief just a teensy little bit to accept that people don’t get this dude is a monster the INSTANT THEY SET EYES ON HIM! HELLO?! HELLO?!
FUN FACT: Orlok is the first Vamp to die from exposure to the sun, an addition to Vampire lore that becomes canon from this point on. Orlok’s bite doesn’t make Vampires, but does cause infectious bubonic plague, which covers your tracks way better.
OVERVIEW: King of the Draculas. It’s the eyes, baby, those burning eyes. The Hungarian born actor emigrated to the United States in 1921 already having appeared in films in Hungary and Germany. He played Dracula in the original Broadway production for several years but still had to campaign vigorously to get the lead in Todd Brownings classic film, a role that gained him international acclaim. Fate was doubly cruel though, in that he was forever typecast and he developed a serious taste for Morphine, neither of which turned out to be good for his career.
PROS: This is a sophisticated dude. Ask your wife.
CONS: Lugosi’s actual decade long junkie death makes getting a stake through the heart look like a romp through the daisies with your Sunday School class.
FUN FACT: Lugosi’s last appearance was in Ed Wood’s unintelligible epic, “Plan 9 From Outer Space”. Wood incorporated some silent footage of Lugosi capering around in one of his authentic Dracula capes outside his decaying Hollywood Bungalow. To ‘Flesh’ out the role after Lugosi’s death, Wood hired his wife’s Chiropractor, a significantly taller, thinner man, who had to keep the bottom half of his face covered by the cape in all his shots, as he looked nothing at all like the late Lugosi. If you are looking for a ‘joke’ here, there isn’t one. Unless you mean the sort of meaninglessly cruel joke life plays on us all, in which case have at it.
Is that a stake, or are you just glad to see me?
OVERVIEW: Played the count in at least a half dozen Hammer Films. Suave, urbane, intelligent, highly physical in his violence and above all tortured and lonely, Lee showed the world the kind of layers immortality might build up on your psyche. With better script writers, he might have been a serious contender to take Lugosi’s crown. He sure tried.
PROS: The voice that must be obeyed.
CONS: I’m a huge fan of the Hammer Horror films, but the dialogue reads like it was written by a semi-talented twelve year old.
FUN FACT: Went on to be the only good thing in the notably awful Star Wars prequels, a pretty low bar for the dude that played Saruman.
This movie was either about a Vampire, or boobs. I can’t recall.
OVERVIEW: Like Lugosi, Langella played Count Dracula on Broadway before staring in a movie version in 1979. Unlike Lugosi, Langella had distractingly huge, poofy, Blow dried Vinny Barbarino hair.
PROS: I’ve been told by several women who saw the movie in their prime that despite, or perhaps because of, Langellas somewhat simian features, he is sexy. I will have to take their word for it.
CONS: So busy being sexy he kind of forgets to be scary even once.
FUN FACT: Langella has won three Tony Awards, but he also had a major role in “Cutthroat Island”, which I believe puts to rest the superstition that a Tony Award provides magical protection against acts of gross stupidity.
This may have been a good movie, but the Princess Leia up-do makes it impossible to recall anything else.
OVERVIEW: It takes a hell of a lot of nerve to call your movie “Bram Stoker’s Dracula” and then make a film that deviates more from the novel than any previous movie version, but I suppose that’s not Oldman’s fault any more than the incredibly weird buttocks like wig he sports at one point. Remember how I made a joke about Frank Langella’s hair? Before this section is over, I will have made three jokes about the hair piece pictured above. Oldman can also not be blamed for casting Keanu Reeves, and was certainly not responsible for whatever dialogue coach told Reeves to hone his British accent by watching junior high production of “A Christmas Carol”. One assumes, though, that he did not donate his salary to charity, so he shares moral culpability.
PROS: I’m told this movie made an inexplicably large amount of money.
CONS: Maybe it’s me, but WHAT THE FUCK IS UP WITH THAT WIG?! DID LOUIX IV’S POWDERED MOP ROMANCE WILLIAM SHATNER’S NOGGIN AND NINE MONTHS LATER EXPOSE THE RESULTING BABY WIG TO RADIATION SO THAT IT BECAME A MUTANT SUPERVILLIAN X-WIG?!?
FUN FACT: Oldman once played Sid Vicious. What if the smack addicted, girl friend murdering bass player for the ‘Sex Pistols’ had also been a vampire? THAT would have been AWESOME!
ADDITIONAL FUNNER FACT: OH MY CHRIST THAT WIG!
This is either George Hamilton or the George Hamilton wax figure from Madame Tussauds, something you can say any time you see a picture of George Hamilton, or George Hamilton himself.
OVERVIEW: George Hamilton plays Count Dracula looking for love in New York. The story is no less believable than any of the other Dracula tales.
PROS: It’s George Hamilton.
CONS: It’s George Hamilton.
FUN FACT: Dracula, a creature of the night, has never had such a great tan.
Surprisingly, this is a great soundtrack album. No, I’m kidding, not even one copy of this album was ever purchased by anyone. Nice picture, though.
OVERVIEW: Okay, truthfully? I never saw this syndicated TV show even once, but the basic deal is, see, there’s this 800 year old Vampire, and now, see, he’s a detective in Toronto (Yes, that’s right, Toronto,because all succsesful action TV is set in Toronto) and his name is Nick Knight. Get it? He’s immortal, right, so that would be the ‘forever’ part, and then ‘Knight’, that’s, like, his last name, and also it means a do-gooder champion, right? But wait! It’s also a homonym for NIGHT! Which is when VAMPIRES come out! That, in a nutshell, is pretty much why I avoided the show like a bad case Locker Room Crotch.
PROS: I’m fairly certain there are no Pros here.
FUN FACT: The pilot for the show was a CBS made for TV movie, where the role of Nick Knight was played by Rick Springfield. When offered the role on the show, he is reported to have said “Even I don’t need a check this bad.” The part went to actor Geraint Wyn Davies, which I think we can all agree is a very unfortunate name.
Without this picture, my article would have been a total sausage fest
OVERVIEW: Every Television series worth it’s salt has an evil alternate universe, and ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer” was no exception. Thankfully, Joss Whedon was wise enough to stop short of having his Vampire Willow sport that tell tale evil universe facial hair, but, in a tip of the hat, he did make Vampire Willow gay. If you got that joke you have no right to criticize me. If you didn’t, there was no joke there, certainly not the sort of marginally offensive gag a writer of my stature would make just for a cheap laugh. Stop thinking about it. You are only demeaning yourself. And don’t ask. I wouldn’t make that joke in the first place.
PROS: Very Hot for lonely fan boys and at very least ten percent of fan girls.
CONS: Did not get own show.
FUN FACT: Costs skyrocketed on the seasons of Buffy when Whedon threw a diva fit and insisted on several scenes being shot on location in an actual evil alternate universe.
THE COUNT ON SESAME STREET
I couldn’t actually give a fuck what the number of the day is.
OVERVIEW: Who’s idea was this?
PROS: Might someday rip out Baby Bear’s throat and drink his blood in front of a bunch of little kids.
CONS: Crippling OCD.
FUN FACT: I Could not decide on a classic ‘hand up the ass’ joke or some sort of ‘sleeps in a felt coffin’ ‘vulnerable to puppet cross’ type joke.
Sued by William Marshall. IMDB the name to get the joke.
OVERVIEW: The first openly gay African-American undead kids cereal mascot.
PROS: Slightly less swishy than Frankenberry.
CONS: Is it that good of an idea to have an undead, blood sucking monster pushing sugary cereal on kids?
FUN FACT: At the time of his initiation into vampirism, he was having a secret affair with Rock Hudson.