Tired of all the recent "Twilight" generated vampire movies? Looking for something a little - make that a LOT - different? Here's my top 10 weird vampire movies, by subtype.
Billy the Kid vs. Dracula (1965)
Even among the admittedly small group of horror westerns, this is not much of a film, but the back story is legendary. William Beaudine directed more than 150 films in Hollywood, knowing that he could keep working for the studios as long as his films came in on time and under budget. What this led to, however, was ever-decreasing money and time. This film was one of his last. Supposedly, to keep costs down, he eliminated editing by filming with one camera, in sequence, without retakes, sort of like a beginner with a home movie camera; the quality is similar.
Bunnicula - the Vampire Rabbit (1982)
This wasn't the first animated vampire movie, nor the best ( that'd be "Vampires in Havana," a political allegory about the overthrow of Castro). It's not even the first non-bat animal vampire movie ("Zoltan - the Hound of Dracula" aka "Dracula's Dog" is). It is, however, the first film directed to children with bloodthirsty rabbits ("Night of the Lepus" was aimed at adults).
Dracula, done in American Sign Language.
Dracula Meets the Outer Space Chicks (ca 1974)
There are hundreds of science fiction vampire movies. There are even more than a few 1970's porno vampire movies (Dracula Sucks, Dracula Exotica, Dracula - the Dirty Old Man, Dracula Blows His Cool, The Naked Vampire, Sex and the Vampire, Sex Vampires, The Horrible Sexy Vampire and (drum roll, please, for worst title ever) Spermula). This one combines the two genres. I think it was done with some of the same cast and sets as Flesh Gordon.
Dracula: Pages from a Virgin's Diary (2002)
1960 brought "The Vampire and the Ballerina," but this film tops that odd pairing by being the Royal Winnipeg Ballet's version of the stage play of Dracula.
Dragstrip Dracula (ca 1958)
The most obscure film in this group, this was shown only as a second feature at drive-ins in the deep south. I don't know that a copy of it exists any more, but it is the sole entry in the Youth Gone Wild, Hot Rods to Hell ilk that has a vampire.
Frankenstein, el Vampiro y Cia (ca 1950)
This takes some explaining. In 1931, when Tod Browning was filming "Dracula," George Melford did a Spanish language version at night on the same sets. In 1948, Abbott and Costello made their best film, "Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein," which does have Bela Lugosi as Dracula in it. This is the Spanish remake of that film. The only other vampire comedy in the running for best is "Old Mother Riley Meets the Vampire," (1952) also with Bela Lugosi.
Goliath and the Vampires (1964)
Like your European muscleman gladiator films to have vampires? Gordon Scott (one-time Tarzan) plays Maciste (not Goliath... or Samson or Hercules), who saves slave girls from a vampire who turns men into zombie robots.
Mr. Vampire, vol. 1-4 (1986-1988)
The first martial arts vampire movie was probably Hammer's "Legend of the Seven Golden Vampires" (1974). There have been several Hong Kong variants (note: "Vampire Raiders- Ninja Queen" (1989) has no vampires, but "Ninja, the Violent Sorcerer" (1986) does), but the Chinese Mr. Vampire series is special, as it works as martial arts, as comedy and as a vampire film - but why the vampire hops like Bunnicula is beyond me.
Santo and the Blue Demon vs. Dracula and the Wolf Man (1967)
Masked Mexican wrestling icon Santo made a lot of supernatural wrestling films. Those with vampires: Santo vs the Vampire Women (1962), Santo and Dracula's Treasure (1968), Santo and the Vengeance of the Vampire Women (1969) and this one, which gets the nod for just throwing things into the mix to see if it'll work.
Note added: Dracula Meets the Outer Space Chicks was made in 1967 and thus could not have been made from leftovers of the later Flesh Gordon. Dragstrip Dracula was made in 1962 by Don Glut and he still has a copy. A simple Google search sometimes is all one needs...
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