Book Inspired Movies of The Vampire Myth

Popular Culture has been infused with an obsession for vampire myth, mainly on account of media’s bombardment of anything fanged and blood-sucking.  We have become a people vicariously living out our vampire fantasies through our immersion in fiction, be it movies or books.

In honour of humanity’s subconscious fixation of this parasitic supernatural creature, here is a list of the greatest book inspired movies of vampire myth:

Book inspired movies of the Vampire Myth: The Vampire Lovers

Inspired by the novel: Carmilla by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu (published in 1872)

Vampire Heroine: Marcilla/Carmilla (played by Ingrid Pitt)

Directed by: Roy Ward Baker

Released date: October 22, 1970 (USA)

“Vampire Lovers,” a British production, is the first of the Karnstein-trilogy of films. The next two movies are entitled “Lust for a Vampire” (1971) and “Twins of Evil” (1972).  “Vampire Lovers” is based on the book “Carmilla,” which predates Bram Stoker’s “Dracula” by 25 years. “Carmilla” is about a ravishingly beautiful vampire by the name of Carmilla who seduces rich and alluring bachelorettes by her irresistible charms. These naive bachelorettes eventually become victims to Carmilla’s insatiable lust for blood. This vampire myth is popular mainly because of the movie’s audacious and uninhibited display of lesbianism.

Book inspired movies of the Vampire Myth: Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens (Nosferatu: A Symhony of Horror)

Inspired by the novel: Dracula by Bram Stoker (published in 1897)

Vampire Hero: Nosferatu (played by Max Schreck)

Directed by: F.W. Murnau

Released date: March 4, 1922 (Germany)

“Nosferatu” is a German masterpiece, and one of the most revolutionary book inspired movies of the vampire myth. Since the creators could not obtain a license to use Bram Stoker’s book, they decided to change the names of the characters instead. Count Dracula then became Count Orlok. The grotesque Count Orlok is considered an iconic character in the realm of vampire-themed cinematography. His elongated physique, claw-like hands, elfin ears, aquiline nose, stiff demeanour, and huge lupine eyes invoke macabre fascination and induce spine-tingling sensations. It is indisputably a ground-breaking movie about the vampire myth.

Book inspired movies of the Vampire Myth: Dracula

Inspired by the novel: Dracula by Bram Stoker (published in 1897)

Vampire Hero: Count Dracula (played by Gary Oldman)

Directed by: Francis Ford Coppola

Released date: November 13, 1992 (USA)

“Dracula” is still the most commercially successful adaptation of Bram Stoker’s universally acclaimed book. It was such a box-office hit that it set off the production of a video game, board game, and comic adaptation. What makes this movie endearing is that, unlike other Dracula-themed movies that focused only on the horror aspect, Coppola’s “Dracula” featured a different angle to the vampire myth – an interplay between the romantic and the macabre. Count Dracula’s pursuit of his reincarnated wife in the form of Mina reveals another side of the vampire: Count Dracula is not only sinister, but capable of love as well.

Book inspired movies of the Vampire Myth: Interview With the Vampire

Inspired by the novel: Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice (published in 1976)

Vampire Hero: Louis (played by Brad Pitt)

Directed by: Neil Jordan

Released date: November 11, 1994 (USA)

International best-seller, Anne Rice has practically created her own global cult of vampire disciples after publishing “Interview with the Vampire.” The book narrates the story of Louis, a vampire who still clings to his residue of humanity as he struggles to make sense of the purpose of his eternally damned existence. A star-studded cast featuring Tom Cruise as Lestat and Brad Pitt as Louis, the movie became the much-anticipated visual rendition of Anne Rice’s epic book.  Controversy arose when Anne Rice opposed the casting of Tom Cruise as Lestat, and insisted that British Actor Julian Sands should be given the role instead. Since Julian Sands was not a popular personality, the production played it safe by choosing a more recognizable face. Though lacking in “classic” features, Tom Cruise at the end of the day, redeemed himself in the eyes of Anne Rice. A letter of apology and commendation was sent by Anne Rice to Tom Cruise after watching his excellent performance as Lestat. The sequel to this movie is “Queen of the Damned” featuring Stuart Townsend as Lestat.

Book inspired movies of the Vampire Myth: Twilight

Inspired by the novel: Twilight by Stephanie Meyer (published in 2005)

Vampire Hero: Edward Cullen (played by Robert Pattinson)

Directed by: Catherine Hardwicke

Released date: November 17, 2008 (USA)

The book, “Twilight” was turned down numerous times by publishing firms before it became the international best-seller that it is today. It is the story of an unremarkable teen-ager by the name of Bella who lives a rather boring life until she meets the vampire, Edward Cullen. Artistry wise, “Twilight” is a poorly written book devoid of any intellectual stimulation. But because the novelist adhered to the time-tested theme of ill-fated love between a mortal and a vampire, the book (and the rest of the “Twilight” series- both book and movie franchise) became an instant sensation. Predictably, its target-market is the swooning mass of susceptible and superficial adolescents, whose hormones are oriented to that ill-fated love kind of thing.  This “Twilight” teen obsession became even more intense when a remarkably handsome British actor, Robert Pattinson played the role of Edward.

There are still many book inspired movies of vampire myths out there. And as long as mere mortals continue to dream of being a vampire or meeting one, these legendary vampires are here to satisfy our lust for the supernatural.

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