This week, the theme for Wanderer's Thursday Movie Picks Meme is Vampire movies. This is an interesting challenge, since I'll confess I've never been a huge fan of them myself. I've often considered them to be a bit overrated as a horror monster (and the whole Twilight craze certainly didn't help), but they can be done well when put into the right hands. Buffy the Vampire Slayer was still a pretty awesome show with some great vampires in it (though it probably helped that there were other monsters as well). I'll also confess I still have yet to actually see any of the Dracula films.
About what I was saying earlier about not having seen any of the Dracula films, let me rephrase. I haven't actually seen any of the authorized films. The first adaptation of Bram Stoker's novel was one that was made without permission as part of the short-lived German expressionist period. In fact it was almost lost forever because Stoker's wife was so angry about the unauthorized production that she sued the filmmakers and demanded all copies be destroyed. The only reason it survives today is because one copy managed to stay hidden and wasn't found again until long after. By modern standards it can come off as a bit cheesy (Count Orlok looks kinda silly nowadays and not very intimidating), but as far as I'm aware this was basically the first vampire film.
Have you ever wondered what The Lost Boys might look like if you made it for adults and mixed in elements of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and old westerns? No? Well, too bad because that's what John Carpenter gave us in the late 90's... and it's a lot of fun. The vampires here are treated a bit different from your standard ones in that they do have act somewhat like zombies (being bit even once by one in this continuity causes you to transform into one yourself) and a lot of the traditional elements such as crosses and garlic don't work. The only solid way to kill one is to expose it to sunlight (staking them in the heard does work, but it's not as reliable a method).
We've got two on this list where the vampire is the antagonist. Let's bring up one where the vampire is the hero. Underworld isn't the greatest of vampire films but it is an enjoyable little action flick with some exciting stunts and chase scenes. Kate Beckinsale makes a pretty good heroine and it's always good to see a tough girl who can kick butt. It's hardly a masterpiece but if you can keep an open mind it is a little bit of fun.