As the year comes to a close, I’d be remiss if I didn’t commemorate the anniversary of two wildly popular films – Marvel’s 1998 comic book adaptation Blade and 2008’s sparkle-motion phenomenon Twilight. One re-popularized the R-rated superhero film (often attributed to Dolph Ludgren’s turn as Frank Castle in 1991’s The Punisher) while the other – adapted from Stephanie Meyer’s breakout novel of the same name (be honest, you read it too) – turned the isolation and angst of high school into a shiny, glistening bed of lust. While vastly different in just about every conceivable way, they do happen to have one thing in common; the hot vampire.
Originating from the Serbian vampir, the vampire first sank its fangs into celluloid with F.W. Murnau‘s Nosferatu (1922), a silent masterpiece that survived an extensive eradication of its print after a lawsuit from the Stoker estate. Introducing the world to Count Orlok (portrayed by a haunting Max Schreck), Murnau‘s adaptation of Bram Stoker‘s acclaimed novel has been etching its silhouette into our collective nightmares for almost a century.
Yet it wasn’t until Universal Studios brought unknown Hungarian-born actor Bela Lugosi on for Tod Browning‘s Dracula (1931) that the Transylvanian transplant became a ripe vestige of alluring beauty. Spellbinding audiences with an otherworldly charm, the vampire had finally become the provocateur of the night.
In celebrating the anniversary of both Blade and Twilight – as well as my own month-long feast of vampire films called #NoVAMPer – a lot of hot vampires entered my life, and let me tell you, that much vampire meat will make just about anyone parched. So naturally, I quenched my thirst with a list of the most mouth watering and delectable vampires to ever beguile audiences. From warring factions to classic counts, all the way to a Black Flag front-man turned hermit, these are the 25 hottest vampires who are unequivocally invited into our homes. You can fang me later!
The 25 Hottest Vampires
25. Angie Everhart as Lilith (Bordello of Blood, Gilbert Adler 1996)
A significant reason for the fiery haired Lilith making this list is in part due to my youthful infatuation with Angie Everhart at a time when Tales from the Crypt’s Bordello of Blood (1996) was too hot and inaccessible for my eyes. Yet even 22 years later I still stan for the queen of brothels. Carrying a voluptuous mood that mirrors the likes of Gina Gershon with the hedonism of Jennifer Tilly, Lilith knows how to get the blood boiling before (rightfully) ripping your heart out.
24. Ingrid Pitt as Carmilla (The Vampire Lovers, Roy Ward Baker 1970)
Let’s be honest; every single bosom bitten vixen in Roy Ward Baker’s vampiric Hammer Film could be included on this list. But if we’re being really honest here, there aren’t many vampires (let alone actors) that match the insatiable craving elicited by Ingrid Pitt as Carmilla in The Vampire Lovers; a house guest with a knack for seducing women right out from under the nose of aristocratic nobility. This might be a man’s world, but in the land of vampires this is Carmilla’s, and we are not worthy.
23. Christopher Walken as Peina (The Addiction, Abel Ferrara 1995)
Before he was hover-dancing through a Fatboy Slim music video, Christopher Walken was emerging from the shadows in The Addiction, Abel Ferrara‘s mid-90’s philosophical vampire tale. As Peina, a crepuscular symbol of immortality, Walken embodies the thinly veiled bohemian of New York City’s grimy 90’s aesthetic. With leather pants, an unbuttoned shirt and hair that hasn’t seen a shower head in decades, it’s a look that screams post-grunge artistry, and frankly, I’m down and dirty for it.
22. Jonathan Schaech as Kit (The Forsaken, J.S. Cardone 2001)
Jonathan Schaech never seemed to make an impression on Hollywood, though he certainly made an impression on fangs of J.S. Cardone‘s unfairly maligned The Forsaken (2001), an early 2000’s vampire road film that feels like a spiritual – albeit grungier – successor to John Carpenter’s Vampires (with less misogyny). Partly due because of the searing, sweaty and Route 66 hotness of Schaech’s Kit, whose dusky features and brooding grin could cook an egg on asphalt. He’s a cross between Brad Pitt and the Firefly Clan, and with a 5 o’clock shadow and chiseled arms, he’ll make you reconsider your stance on assisting road wary travelers.
21. Bela Lugosi as Count Dracula (Dracula, Tod Browning 1931)
The Sultan of Suck. The Colossus of Count. The Titan of Transylvania. Whichever title you prefer, Bela Lugosi‘s portrayal of the Count is by all intensive purpose the original embodiment of carnal craving. Despite enough hot vamps to fill a blood bank, Lugosi‘s iconic stock portrayal in Tod Browning‘s Dracula (1931) still manages to carry with it a gravity defying magnetism that exudes sexual tenacity. Sure, you won’t find many of the physical attributes of most contemporaries under his cape, but don’t let his stiffness deceive you; Lugosi possesses an otherworldly mystique under the cowl that screams freak in the sheets.
20. Tom Hiddleston as Adam (Only Lovers Left Alive, Jim Jarmusch 2013)
As Adam, a laconic, reclusive and suicidal rocker with a penchant for ceremoniously imbibing blood like heroine in Jim Jarmusch’s Only Lovers Left Alive, Tom Hiddleston embodies the pre-bloat sexuality of Jim Morrison with the mysterious edge of Jack White. Disheveled ink dipped hair and concave features that scream salaciousness saunter from heavy guitar chords, leaving sex-laden imprints in the shadows. Sure, he’s depressed as hell living in a dilapidated three story Detroit slum, yet his pale gloom musician exudes a hot blooded nihilism that’s as thirsty as we are.
19. Henry Rollins as Jack (He Never Died, Jason Krawcyzk 2015)
Maybe because it came a few years before the phrases rampantly exhausting use, but nobody seems to label Henry Rollins’ aged bloodsucker from Jason Krawcyzk‘s He Never Died (2015) as “daddy”, yet here I am. The father of hardcore is, dare I say, the mac daddy of vampires, drifting through the night with the weariness of a closed punk-rock set. Donning a blood soaked Carhartt jacket, Rollins’ Jack further illuminates this silver fox that has been embraced with a sexually charged 3-cord breakdown. An undeniable hotness that’s quiet, comforting and certifiably pissed off. Maybe like the Black Flag song, we’re more than just a little thirsty and miserable.
18. Mathilda May as Space Girl (Lifeforce, Tobe Hooper 1985)
Being a gorgeous brunette with a velvety complexion will certainly get you far in a list of hot vampires. Spending 95% of your on-screen time buck naked certainly isn’t going to hurt your chances. But if your only means of surviving is sucking the life out of your victims by planting a passionate and hard kiss on them, then let me open the doors to the top 20. Retrieved within the bowels of Haley’s Comet, Mathilda May‘s Space Girl begins knocking off any crusty old white dude she can get her hands on. And if my youthful (and on-going) infatuation with Michelle Pfeifer‘s taser-tongue game in Batman Returns (1992) has taught me anything, it’s that a deadly kiss is my kind of foreplay.
17. Christopher Lee as Count Dracula (Horror of Dracula, Terence Fisher 1958)
Tall, dark and handsome. Easy descriptors for Christopher Lee, a man as deep and mysterious as his voice who personified the brooding seducer of the cowl, a creature of the night who became for many the ideal picture of Dracula. Beginning in 1958 with Terence Fisher‘s Horror of Dracula – simply coined Dracula for UK audiences – Lee’s portrayal of the Count would go on to transgress the mortality of man with an aged sexuality. Nuanced and sophisticated, he further demonstrated the immense power of the penetrative gaze. Suffusing Dracula with his own charm and attraction, Lee would breathe life into a carnal icon that had begun to gather cob-webs in the back-lot of Universal Studios.
16. Grace Jones as Katrina (Vamp, Richard Wenk 1986)
Taking the stage in a brilliant red dress in Richard Wenk‘s Vamp (1986) is Katrina, a nocturnal stripper with incendiary hair at an after hours club tucked away in the back alley’s of Los Angeles. In one of the sexiest dance numbers (as well as introductions) in cinema, Katrina takes the stage to slowly reveal swirls of white Keith Haring graffiti decoratively wrapped around her body while wearing a bra made of coiled steel. It’s the hypnotic look of model and artist Grace Jones who beguiles us with her penetrating blue eyes and perfect jaw-line, dancing to the beat of her own song. Then, in an act of pantomimed copulation, she culminates her performance by simulating oral sex (giving and receiving) on a Haring art piece of a seated man. All hail Vamp!
15. & 14. Wesley Snipes and Stephen Dorff as Blade/Deacon (Blade, Stephen Norrington 1998)
Before the Marvel Cinematic Universe began pumping out superhero films that were primed for merchandising, they released Stephen Norrington‘s Blade (1998), a dark, brooding and adrenaline fueled vampire banger that is lathered in blood, sex and sweat. Need convincing? Then look no further than its titular star Blade (played by a pre-tax evading Wesley Snipes) and his vampiric foe Deacon (a bite size Stephen Dorff). One is a half-blooded vampire who stalks the underbelly of Los Angeles eradicating fangs. The other is a war-stoking bloodsucker hell-bent on ruling. Together they form a delicious immortal sandwich with all the works (hold the garlic). That blistering late-night total body workout between you and the sheets. A clash of VH1 sexuality between two very different beasts; both who will bring you clubbing before sinking their teeth into you.
13. Andree Melly as Gina (The Brides of Dracula, Terence Fisher 1960)
When it comes to Hammer Films – the British production company that solicited Gothicism in the 1930’s – they sure know how to handle two things; horror and sexuality. And while the title card of Terence Fisher’s sequel to Horror of Dracula (1958) may be its sexiest star, a young Andree Melly as one of the brides of Dracula (played like a dull #2 pencil by David Peele) is a close second. Her soon-to-be-bitten Gina drifts across the screen as a tertiary headmistress, a footnote in a long line of seductive vampires. Wrapped in a tight red bustle dress that further accentuates her pallid and soft features, Melly‘s seamless prudence acts as a disguise for her soon to be turned Gina. When she’s discovered lying in a coffin by Van Helsing (Peter Cushing), she hisses and claws at us in nightgown that’s as inviting as her hungry and coquettish eyes, suggesting that maybe dead is better.
12. Udo Kier as Dracula (Blood of Dracula, Paul Morrisey 1974)
Throw a red, backwards Yankees snapback on Udo Kier, because this vampire did it all for the wirgins! What? The wirgins. Okay, I’ll refrain from unraveling my long sordid history of middle-school Limp Bizkit blasting and get straight to the point; Udo Kier may be the Tommy Wiseau of vampires in Paul Morrisey‘s Blood for Dracula (1974), but he’s the most intoxicating German export since the Hefeweizen. For most of its run-time, Udo Kier‘s dying Count Dracula – who knew there’d be a virgin drought in Italy – wheels around the grounds of a lavish estate, feebly preying off the young women who falsely offer themselves up as virgins. Lucky for us, they aren’t, giving us a blood spewing, gyrating and delectably hot Udo performance.
11. Kate Beckinsale as Selene (Underworld, Len Wiseman 2003)
I’m not saying it’s the skin-tight black leather attire, but it’s most likely the skin-tight black leather attire that gives Kate Beckinsale‘s lycan hunting Selene in Len Wiseman‘s Underworld such an edge over her contemporaries. Not since Carrie Ann-Moss bullet dodged her way through the lobby of Chase Manhattan have we said “woah” with such breathless certainty at the profound power of leather. Then again, this is Kate Beckinsale we’re talking about, whose sheer ageless beauty has hardly seen a blemish in the years leading up to 50 (thank you, cloned baby foreskin). Paired with complexion fit for a late-night guild raid, Selene grapples with Michael Sheen and Scott Speedman in enough slow-mo to adequately prove just how out-of-this-world hot she really is.
10. Delphine Seyrig as Countess Bathory (Daughters of Darkness, Harry Kumel 1971)
As a kid I would go out searching for mica, captivated by its natural beauty and kaleidoscopic shimmering. In my adulthood I discovered it in Delphine Seyrig, who as Countess Bathoryis the cinematic equivalent; raw, arresting and dazzling. A vestige that continues to glimmer in the pantheon of vampires that have amassed in the decades since. In Daughters of Darkness (1971), Harry Kumel‘s erotic tale of immortal lust, she remains vibrantly youthful lounging about a hotel lobby like a ravishing lion waiting for its prey. Her decadent outfits – a co-star in their own right – pale in comparison to her glow, seducing us with a look that beckons and bites, and maybe all she wants is a threesome, your lover or your blood. Either way, Delphine Seyrig makes saying yes easy and fashionably hot.
9. Taika Waititi as Viago (What We Do in the Shadows, Taika Waititi 2014)
Let’s raise our glasses of blood to cinemas most adorable and enigmatic vampire. Is Taika Waititi‘s Viago classically hot? No, but screw it, this is my list and frankly, personality goes infinitely further than chiseled abs. There’s a flight of fancy in Waititi‘s 2014 mockumentary What We Do in the Shadows and a seriously delirious whim in the eyes of Viago, who just wants to keep a tight household of modern day vampires. His particularities might be a handful, but his sharp sense of style and sheepish smile is a mouthful. He’s that vampire you’d feel comfortable bringing home to your parents, even if he would end up slaughtering the ones you love in a feast of crimson. Because when all is said and done, he’d be there, newspapers in hand ready to clean from top to bottom, and like the saying goes, cleanliness is next to that really hot posh vampire.
8. Brigitte Lahaie as Eva (Fascination, Jean Rollin 1979)
If the sales of scythes didn’t go up exponentially after the release of Jean Rollin’s very French, very artsy vampire film Fascination, then what’s the point of anything? Of course I’m being gravely melodramatic, but it did give audiences – a crossbreed of the horror and the horny – one of the directors most iconic images in the form of a nude Brigitte Lahaie wielding a menacing look of unbridled hunger. Most of Rollin‘s work exists between this Gothic ethereal plane, where gorgeous female vampires make a career out of listlessness, and lucky for us business is booming. While anyone with a search bar can discover Lahaie‘s career in pornography, it’s her turn as irresistible Eva that makes a life chugging Bloody Mary’s an obvious choice.
7. Bill Paxton as Severen (Near Dark, Kathryn Bigelow 1987)
Bill Paxton‘s turn as an unhinged blood hungry cowboy in Kathryn Bigelow‘s genre defying film Near Dark is the Colonel Sander’s of vampires. He’s unrefined, greasy with enough blood on his spur to make a slaughterhouse blush and he’s finger lickin’ good! Paxton‘s embodiment of Severen, a vampire with a few screws loose, is that leather clad bad boy your parents told you to stay away from. His psychotic hotness is enough to scorch the wild west (as well as our favorite jeans right off our bodies) with a devilish grin and wild card unpredictability. In a game of Texas Hold’em, he’s a hand full of aces with a bloody king of heart. When he’s picked up on the side of the road by two partying local girls, you can’t help but empathize with their decision. After all, he does manage to make a bolo-tie look painfully hot.
6. Chris Sarandon as Jerry Dandridge (Fright Night, Tom Holland 1986)
I know you will, but don’t come at me for listing the original daddy Dandridge before the rebuffed and delicious re-imagined version, because no matter what, Chris Sarandon’s magnetism will forever be a mainstay in the pantheon of hot vamps. As the self-assured suburban transplant Jerry Dandridge in Tom Holland‘s Fright Night (1986), Sarandon manages to pull off both a white turtleneck and a heinous sweater-rug all in the same attire, and if that’s not an unmistakable indicator of being damningly hot than I don’t know what is. And when he shows up at a local club in a cropped sweatshirt to seduce Amanda Bearse (and us) right there on the dance floor while Unkle’s ‘Restless’ blares overhead, we wonder if this is what Janet Jackson meant when she sang “Dancing on the floor/Feeling the slow groove/My mind is starting to burn.”
5. Selma Hayek as Santanico Pandemonium (From Dusk till Dawn, Robert Rodriguez 1996)
Before Britney Spears walked across the stage in 2001 at the Metropolitan Opera House with a massive Burmese python draped across her shoulders, there was Santanico Pandemonium; a diabolically emphatic dancer at a sleazy south of the border bar run by an unsavory pack of shit-kicking vampires. Yes, George Clooney’s neck tattoo is hot in a barbed-wire bad boy kind of way and Harvey Keitel can lay a sermon down with his own uh, python, yet it’s Selma Hayek who embodies a demonic power that appropriately lights sex on fire. Taking the stage in a feathery headdress with gold snakes coiled around her bicep, Hayek systematically captivates every horned up trucker to the sounds of Tito & Tarantula before opening up Pandora’s box. While undeniably hot, it’s the way she champions the power and magnetism of dance, slithering with a dominance that makes Pandemonium one of the hottest vampires to embrace reptilian fashion.
4. Tom Cruise as Lestat (Interview with a Vampire, Neil Jordan 1994)
If you were expecting Brad Pitt‘s painfully depressed and achingly bored vampire, then I’m sorry (not sorry)! As hot as his pouting and pursed lips are, they’re nothing compared to the radiant energy that pulsates through the veins of Tom Cruise‘s Lestat; a vampire whose hotness only grows with every debauchery filled craving. Yes, it’s Tom Cruise and yes, his 18th century vampire would probably be reading L. Ron Hubbard in between stacks of barreled wine if given the chance, but beauty does not discriminate in the eyes of the fanged. This might be, dare I say, the prettiest Cruise has ever been. His curly golden mane flows like spilled blood and hangs as loose as his unbuttoned linen shirt, which is really a fancy pirates shirt and hey, it takes a particular hotness to pull that look off. Sure, he spends a significant time as a piano playing corpse, yet it’s the few moments of aristocratic blood-sucking that define Lestat’s luxurious elegance that wets more than just our appetites.
3. Colin Farrell as Jerry Dandridge (Fright Night, Craig Gillespie 2011)
Now here me out! Colin Farrell as Jerry Dandridge 2.0 in Craig Gillespie‘s unfairly maligned Fright Night (2011) remake may not be able to pull off an ugly sweater, but hot damn does he wear a leather bracelet better than any member of Kings of Leon. That might not sound like an apt compliment given how smoldering his performance is, but it’s a fashion accessory that might normally scream $1 Bahama Mama’s at Applebees. Speaking of apples, if there was ever a film that made you want to be the seductive fruit – or Imogen Poots neck – then this is it. Colin Farrell takes a bite out of more than just fruit and smirks his way through enough pec hugging Henley’s to put every L.L. Bean model out on the streets. And even when his face looks like broiled cheese he can still get it. Not only is he a handy man with a penchant for helping single mothers, but he can spot a pair of Puce a mile away – after all, he’s always looking for a pick-up game and well coach, put me in.
2. Catherine Deneuve as Miriam (The Hunger, Tony Scott 1983)
There are two facts of life that will forever remain well after this trash fire of a world has come and gone; Catherine Deneuve is a goddess and Bauhaus’ ‘Bela Lugosi is Dead‘ the interminable anthem for Goth’s everywhere. When the two unite in the opening of Tony Scott‘s The Hunger (1983), you have a marriage of caged sexuality pulsating with black blood. It unites light and dark, angelic beauty with raw desolation, and it gives birth to the hottest possible incarnation of Mrs. Deneuve. Scouring the crowd in a shadow drenched club, Deneuve‘s vampiress Miriam and her seemingly eternal lover John (played by the uncompromisingly long legged and sexy David Bowie) seduce a post-punk couple into coming back to their place where they dabble in a little light blood-letting. It’s moody, it’s menacing and it’s marvelously sexy as the sticky red stuff stains the lips and chin of Deneuve‘s pallid skin in a Rorschach of hot. Yes, the films notorious sex scene with Susan Sarandon is laughably overemphasized, but it’s the films moments of inspired macabre that make us hungry for more.
1. Kiefer Sutherland as David (The Lost Boys, Joel Schumacher 1987)
Maybe it’s the dusty pea-coat, the Neverland earring, the fingerless leather biker gloves or the bleached blonde punk sensibility, but Kiefer Sutherland‘s youthful lost boy in Joel Schumacher‘s The Lost Boys (1987) is, by and large, the hottest blood sucker who ever sucked blood. Watching his care free David listlessly (and seductively) slide in between the mounted horses of the films opening Merry-Go-Round is enough to make one dizzy, or at the very least mumble “giddy-up!” He’s the baddest of the bunch in Santa Monica, so bad in fact that he’s been banned from the boardwalk multiple times; a difficult task for a scene that has a sweaty version of a Claire’s piercing ears with a dirty needle. Kiefer’s post-Stand By Me (1986) rebel yell attitude is sharper than a wooden stake, emitting a sexual energy that screams MTV and Chill! Personally, I don’t even care that he’d prefer to serve me worms instead of Lo-Mein, because when it comes to dinner, he’s the only meal I want to take out. And if you disagree with his place as the number one hottest vamp then all I can really say is, no hard feelings, huh?