Whether they twinkle or growl, vampires have been lurking in the realm of cinema for decades. Of Dracula at Blade, the nocturnal creatures have starred in some of the most popular films in cinematic history. Usually resigned to villain status in horror movies, vampires have also spent time in the sun (not literally) as heroes, exploring another side to one of popular culture’s most recognizable monsters.
Generally more polished than zombies, the regal nature of vampires makes them easy prey for parody. While wandering undead are used more often in the horror-comedy genre, vampires have had more than their fair share of humorous horror stories. From following the surprisingly dull life of a modern vampire to watching clueless youths attempt to kill the immortal creatures, the following films cut right to the chase when it comes to providing laughs.
“What we do in the shadows” (2014)
The gold standard of vampire comedies, What we do in the shadows is one of the funniest movies of the last decade. Told in a mockumentary style similar to Office, the film follows four vampires who share a home in New Zealand. We follow them in their daily routine, from going out to clubs to confronting a pack of werewolves in the street.
From the spirit of Taika Waititiwho also embodies the vampire Viago, What we do in the shadows bears his brand of quirky humor that has endeared him to so many fans. The film’s enduring popularity led to a television spin-off featuring a new cast of characters in America, and it proved just as popular as the film.
‘Night of fear’ (2011)
A remake of the cult classic 80s film of the same name, scary night forges its own identity while paying homage to the original. When teenager Charley Brewster (Anton Yelchin) begins to suspect his new neighbor, Jerry (Colin Farrel), is a vampire, he enlists the help of Las Vegas magician and self-proclaimed vampire hunter Peter Vincent (david holding).
Stacked with a great cast that includes Toni Collette and Imogen Poots, scary night is an entertaining carousel that knows when to be funny and when to be scary. Arrived at the height of the Dusk craze, the film’s R rating offers a fresh and bloody take on monsters from a time when their fangs were growing dull.
scary night is available to stream on Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and Tubi.
‘Day Shift’ (2022)
netflixthe latest foray into the horror genre, day shift, stars Jamie Foxx as Bud Jablonski, a vampire hunter who poses as a pool cleaner in California. Needing money fast, Bud joins the Vampire Hunters Syndicate, which had previously expelled him. In order to pass probation, Bud is paired with inexperienced office clerk Seth (David Franco).
The closer we get to a new Blade film until wonder sorts the production in difficulty, Day shift provides a backdrop for the ever-charismatic Foxx to ply his trade. Franco steals every scene he’s in as the weakling Seth, while Snoop Dogg also stars as Bud’s vampire-hunting friend Big John.
Day shift is available to stream on Netflix.
“Dracula: Death and Love” (1995)
The deceased great Leslie Nielsen was the king of parody movies, and Dracula: dead and in love is the naked gun star stab at the vampire genre. A comic version of the classic DraculaNielsen plays the famous bloodsucker as he travels to London in search of fresh blood.
Realized by Mel Brooksthe comic style is reminiscent of his work on Young Frankenstein and space balls. Although the film is not considered one of Nielsen’s best films, it still provides enough laughs to justify fans of the beloved actor and Dracula to look for it.
“Vampires Against the Bronx” (2020)
When vampires begin to take over their beloved Bronx neighborhood, a trio of teenagers band together to save their friends and family from bloodthirsty villains. Vampires Against the Bronx looks like a nice throwback to 80s horror comedies, with the lost boys clear inspiration.
While providing plenty of laughs and scares, Vampires Against the BronxThe narrative also has an eye on social issues. With the film’s vampires portrayed as wealthy white developers who wish to take over downtown and transform it for their own ends, the story has as much to say about gentrification as it does about vampires.
Vampires Against the Bronx is available to stream on Netflix.
“Buffy the Vampire Slayer” (1992)
The original incarnation of the character who Sarah Michelle Gellar made famous, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, laid the foundation for the beloved television series. Featuring Kristy Swanson as a teenage vampire slayer, the film follows Buffy as she battles a vampire nest in Los Angeles.
Beginning with Buffy learning her destiny as a Slayer, the cheerleader quickly trades pom poms for wooden stakes as vampire king Lothos (Ruther Hauer) threatens the world. Also featuring Donald Sutherland, Luke Perryand Hillary SwankThe film offers a much brighter tone than the darker direction the series ultimately headed in.
buffy the vampire slayer is available to stream on Peacock.
‘Bloodsucking Bastards’ (2015)
Working in an office can be boring, but it’s even worse when your boss is a vampire. When he works hard but is neglected, Evan (Francois Kranz of The cabin in the woods) discovers the new sales manager Max (Peter Pascal) tastes like blood, he attempts to take out the popular employee while keeping himself and his friends alive.
An underrated horror-comedy from the mid-2010s, Blood sucking bastards is a charming B-movie. A pre-The Mandalorian Pascal is the film’s high point as a slimy yet charming villain. As the tension in the office increases along with the body count, the film comes to a satisfying conclusion.
Blood sucking bastards is available to stream on Tubi.
“Kiss of a Vampire” (1988)
Made famous by Nicholas Cageits exceptional performance, vampire kiss stars Cage as Peter, a white-collar worker living in New York City. After a one-night stand with a mysterious woman bites him, Peter becomes convinced he is turning into a vampire.
Dividing on release due to Cage’s bizarre, over-the-top acting, that same committed performance is the reason vampire kiss remains a cult classic today. Every element of Cage’s signature style is on full display as he tries to convince everyone he meets that he’s become one of the living dead.
“Dark Shadows” (2012)
Tim Burtonthe revival of the 60s television series, dark shadows, stars Johnny Depp like Barnabas Collins, an 18th century vampire. When a witch scorned by love curses Barnabas, a dramatic turn of events causes him to awaken in 1972, where he encounters his current line of ancestors.
dark shadows contains Burton’s signature quirky style, as every goth kid’s favorite director reunites with his frequent collaborator Depp. While it’s not the best film the pair have made together, it does enough to keep the director’s fans entertained while offering a more retro take on the vampire genre.
dark shadows is available to stream on Hulu.
“The Lost Boys” (1987)
One of the most beloved horror films of the 80s, lost boys, centers on a pack of teenage vampires who relish the chance to stay young forever. When vampires take on new arrivals, Michael (Jason Patrick), under their wing, while his younger brother Sam (Corey Haim) tries to save his brother by enlisting the help of the Frog Brothers, a pair of self-proclaimed vampire experts.
By taking the vampire genre away from adults and giving it to young people, the lost boys offers a different vision of the famous monsters. Rather than living in old castles tucked away in remote villages, these vampires roam the Los Angeles boardwalk and ride motorcycles, a lifestyle most young people aspire to, but without the blood-sucking part.
the lost boys is available to stream on Showtime.
KEEP READING: The 28 Best Vampire Movies That Aren’t ‘Dracula,’ From ‘Interview With The Vampire’ to ‘Nosferatu’