Movies that bite

Lowcountry Movie Night: By Justin Peterson

It's no secret, vampires are a dominant force in pop culture right now. The latest box office success for the blood sucking villains/heroes has come with Underworld Awakening toping the box office during its opening weekend, with $25 million in ticket sales.

This is the fourth movie in the Underworld series, which chronicles the ongoing dispute of Vampires vs. Lycans (werewolves). Like most series for me, the original Underworld is still the best one.

Just a few months ago it was Twilight: Breaking Dawn, that led the box office for a number of weekends and grossed more than $280 Million as of Jan 23rd.

But why exactly, have vampire stories been so popular? Especially now?

It may be because the vampire legend has crossed into almost every genre, stretching from the action of Underworldd to the steamy romance of Twilight and there have even been a few comedies like The Vampire's Assistant. Plus, the rules of the vampire continue to evolve, giving each new bloody tale a new twist.

In no order, here a few of the top vampire movies/shows I recommend for you to sink your teeth into.

HBO's True Blood

True Blood, is not only a great vampire show, it may be one of the best shows on cable. It gives viewers the perfect balance of action, sex appeal and bloody horror -- all with a southern twang. The fangs popping out can be cheesy, but when you see them, get ready because things are about to get real entertaining. Each episode has a prefect cliffhanger ending that makes you want more. It is just too bad they only put out new episodes each summer.

Salem's Lot

This maybe one of the first vampire shows I ever saw growing up, and it was a perfect introduction to vampire lore. Stephen King delivers a slow-paced, but horrifying tale of a vampire takeover of a town in Maine. From what I remember, it has everything from garlic to crosses and mirrors. It does show some age, but this 1975 remains a classic.

Nosferatu: The Vampyre (1979) & Nosferatu (1922)

These are your must see Dracula movies. Both perfectly show the terror and chaos brought on by the most notorious vampire of all. The 79 version is a German film, and 22 is silent. But don't let that keep you from getting sucked into two of the most iconic horror tales of all time.

Let Me In (2010)

For a change of pace, check out this little shocker! This vampire flick is about a little girl blood sucker who becomes friends with a human boy. As cute as that might sound, she is vicious, and will stop at nothing to make sure that she protects herself and those she cares about. Beautifully stylized in a snowy setting, this is the perfect under-the-radar vampire story.

The Lost Boys (1987)

How about that, an 80's style vamp movie. Seeing this cast of actors in this quirky thriller bring backs a sweet blast from the past that gives it a solid spot of my list.

Interview with the Vampire (1994)

This may be one of my favorites. An epic vampire movie told with a compelling narrative. The film follows Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt as vampires from early America... up to the present day. Really captures how ageless these phantoms of the night are, and how ruthless and sympathetic they can be.

Blade (1998)

Wesley Snipes as a vampire action comic book hero.... sounds fun to me. I will never forget the opening action sequence which paired all kinds of slicing vampire action with heart pounding techno music. Blade 2 was also good, but not a huge fan of the third. Blade is a the perfect combo of vampires and comic books.

Twilight (2008)

This series may be the very reason the vampire genre is back with such authority. These movies engage everyone from tweens to even my father. By the way, my father is the biggest vampire fan I know, and he is the main reason I have seen most of these. Despite some of the slumps in these movies (especially New Moon) the intrigue of Bella finally being turned into a vampire has caught the attention of people around the world. Really looking forward to the final chapter in this franchise, late this year.

Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992)

This may not be my favorite Dracula tale, but its epicness is undeniable. Francis Ford Coppola delivers the whole tale, Van Helsing and all.

When it comes to vampire movies, there is something out there for just about everyone. There is seduction, action, horror and many times a captivating story to go with it. They are monsters that walk amongst us in the night, waiting to feed upon the very fluid that gives us life. Vampires can choose to either kill their victims, or give them eternal life -- but there are ways they can be weakened or killed. The vampire concept is brilliant, and remains timeless.

Did I miss your favorite vampire movie? I would love to see any comments you have in the section below.