Bram Stoker's Dracula has to be the most immitated work of fiction ever written. Of course, the vampire legend predates Stoker by centuries. It varied from zombie-like "revenants" in Eastern Europe to royal bloodsuckers like Lady Bathory... indeed, the vampire has been around a long time and isn't going anywhere anytime soon. There's something about this creature that strikes a chord with humanity - the immortality thing and the sexual mojo definitely add to the attraction.
Once the vampire found its way into pop culture of the twentieth century via Nosferatu and Bela Lugosi, there was no going back. In the late fifties, Christopher Lee took the character to its absolute maximum, proving the Dracula legend could still appear fresh after all these years. One could argue that Twilight has invigorated the myth once again.... I'm inclined to say "no", but that's neither here nor there.
Anyway, a pop culture icon of this magnitude deserves a post on Retrospace. So, without further jibba jabba, here's my top Vampires of Retrospace:
1. Christopher Lee in the Hammer films
Total badass, evil as hell too - there's simply no topping it
2. Bela Lugosi
Tod Browning created a timeless monster; the only Drac that could even compete with Lee
3. Barnabas Collins from Dark Shadows
Daytime and vampires don't usually go well together; but this soap opera did it right with plenty of Gothic atmosphere
4. Count Floyd from SCTV
Joe Flaherty's horror show host send-up is easily the funniest treatments of Dracula ever
If I have to explain why she's on the list, it's probably past your bedtime
6. Count Yorga
Smooth operator; for a whole post on this undead stud go here
7. Count Orlock in Nosferatu
Incredibly creepy performance by Schreck - I even liked John Malkavich's portrayal in the making of the film
8. Count von Count from Sesame Street
He's a muppet Bela Lugosi with a goatee and OCD; what's not to love?
9. Maila Nurmi aka Vampira
Legendary horror host and Ed Wood, Jr. Plan 9 actress; perfected Gothic undead hotness decades before Elvria
10. Grandpa and Lily Munster from The Munsters
Played by Al Lewis & Yvonne DeCarlo to comedic perfection
11. The Space Vampire from Buck Rogers in the 25th Century
The vampire was positively chilling to me as a kid, and Wilma even gets possessed and talks in a demonic tone reminiscent of The Exorcist.
12. William Marshall in Blacula
For a brief moment in time blaxploitation and the vampire myth co-mingled, and it was a beautiful thing
13. George Hamilton in Love at First Bite
Disco Dracula - still waiting for the DVD to arrive with the original music
14. Count Chocula
Saturday mornings with a bad case of "bed head" in front of the cartoons in my footie pajamas eatin' Count Chocula.... need I say more?
15. Gilligan & Ginger in the episode: "Up at Bat"
Gilligan and his hot vampire wife - Ginger.... it doesn't get much better than this, folks.
16. Count Morbida from Dynamite magazine
Best undead bloodsucker of the entire Schoolastic Book Club
17. Udo Kier in Blood for Dracula
A bit too artsy fartsy for me; however, Ace Ventura's arch nemesis creeps me out with his spooky eyes
18. Yutte Stensgaard in Lust for a Vampire
Probably gets a vote simply for her boobs (make that 2 votes)
19. Ingrid Pitt in Countess Dracula
20. Tom Dracula of the Groovie Goolies
Great music with a Laugh-In style format with tons of our favorite monsters - it's a no brainer
21. Dracula, the Dell comic book superhero (alter ego: Al U. Card)
Oh, so painfully awful that I just can't get enough
22. Alucard in Dracula, Dirty Old Man (1969)
My mouth was agape the entire movie - it makes Manos look like a Hollywood blockbuster; tons of plastic bats and T&A, and an extremely Yiddish sounding Dracula
23. Morgan Freeman as Dracula on The Electric Company
Watch him take a bath in his coffin here; it's not pretty - liked him much better as the Easy Reader
24. Keifer Sutherland in The Lost Boys
The movie hasn't aged well, but at the time he seemed like a really cool vampire
25. The vampire in Salem's Lot (Kurt Barlow played by Reggie Nalder)
Great made for TV movie.... with Hutch! Don't give up on us baby.
Note: Frank Langella as Dracula (1979) didn't quite make the cut - nor did Gary Oldman, Tom Cruise or Brad Pitt. Sorry. Eli from Let the Right One In is easily the best modern day (21st century) vampire depiction.