Vampires belong among the best-known and most popular supernatural creatures. The vampire craze started all the way back in the 19th century when Bram Stoker published his legendary novel Dracula. Since then, hundreds of vampire movies have been made.


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A lot of them followed the traditional vampire mythos and portrayed vampires as deadly creatures who hide in the darkness because the sun kills them and who have no respect for human lives, drink their blood, and take their lives. Other typical traits included an allergy to garlic and not reflecting in mirrors. However, some excellent horror movies twisted the vampire mythos and worked just as well, if not better, as the more traditional vampire movies.

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5/5 Martin (1977)

Director George A. Romero was best known for his zombie movies that redefined the genre. However, Romero also directed this underappreciated unusual vampire movie. The titular Martin is a young man who’s convinced he’s a vampire. Even though he can walk in the sun, and has no fangs, garlic and crosses don’t work on him. The main similarity between Martin and more traditional vampires is his thirst for blood. But since he lacks fangs, he doesn’t bite his victims.

Instead, he cuts them and only after consumes their blood. The movie keeps the audience guessing whether Martin is indeed an untypical vampire or just lives in an illusion that drives him to commit crimes. Whatever the answer, the movie is deeply disturbing, in the best way possible, and provides a memorable experience that has the power to make the audience ponder what they just watched.

4/5 Lifeforce (1985)

Combining two different genres, science fiction and horror doesn’t always work out for the best. It did so in the 1985 Tobe Hooper movie. In mythology and more traditional vampire movies, vampires are dead people who rose back to life but were forced to consume blood. In other words, they come from Earth. In Lifeforce, the vampires come from space, and they’re not interested in sucking people’s blood. Instead, they consume their energy, and their life force, hence the movie’s title.

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That doesn’t make them any less horrifying, as the result is the same for their victims: they die. The movie offers a refreshing view of the well-known vampire theme, making it a must-watch for all fans of the genre. What’s more, it stars several familiar faces, most notably Patrick Stewart.

3/5 Mr. Vampire (1985)

The mid-1980s saw the premiere of two unusual vampire movies. The Chinese movie Mr. Vampire is even more obscure, so much so that it won’t be familiar even to those who like watching vampire movies. The portrayal of vampires in the movie differs from the movie standard but what makes it ironic is that it’s much closer to the actual mythology! In Mr. Vampire, vampires are dead people who committed evil during their lifetime.

After they die, they wake up and start attacking people, drinking blood. The movie offers multiple scary, as well as humorous scenes, balancing between the two genres. It’s one of the best ways how to learn more about the original portrayal of vampires that predates Dracula, at least for those viewers who aren’t in the mood for reading non-fiction books.

2/5 Sundown: The Vampire In Retreat (1989)

Even though the Twilight series would like the audience to believe the opposite, most vampires can’t be vegetarians. They prefer to drink human blood because it’s the only type of blood that provides them with the necessary nutrients. In this underrated vampire comedy horror, the vampires have found another alternative. Instead of feeding on humans and risking persecution, they drink synthetic blood made in a factory.

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However, not all vampires are alright with hiding and this type of lifestyle, which leads to a dangerous conflict. Besides the blood preference, the movie also changes another thing about vampires. They’re able to walk in daylight, even though they have to carefully cover their bodies. All the changes, as well as the cast, make for a delightful comedy horror that also throws the western genre into the mix.

1/5 Cronos (1993)

Guillermo del Toro is no stranger to offering a new view on well-established genres. Just remember his unusual ghost story Crimson Peak (2015). In Cronos, the director changes the typical way how a person becomes a vampire. Instead of getting bitten by a vampire (and consuming their blood afterward), the main character in the movie is changed by a mechanical insect that helps him stay alive but also causes him to thirst for blood.

The movie builds an intense atmosphere and keeps the audience guessing what happens next as it offers multiple original ideas. It’s not as high-profile as del Toro’s other movies, but that doesn’t make Cronos any less worth watching. Of course, as all fans of the director will know, Guillermo del Toro returned to original vampires once again, when he directed Blade 2 (2002), whose main hero is a daywalker, and hellbent on killing vampires.

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