The ‘Twilight’ Hater’s Guide to Manly Vampire Movies

Brace yourself for the mad hordes descending on malls everywhere in a few days at the stroke of midnight. Expect a deadly stampede as the doors open to the most anticipated day in November, at least if you’re pre-pubescent or simply have no taste in men.

I’m not talking about Black Friday, silly, but “Twilight” Thursday. Yes, Thursday at midnight is the official launch of yet another installment of the cash cow, I mean, masterful study of the duality of man and how he (or she, as it were) comes to grip with the eternal question that haunts us all: vampire boy or werewolf boy?

Frankly, I can’t understand what’s taking so long because werewolf boy is way hotter than that whiny emo fang-boy. Of course, I also can’t understand why all those immortals and bad doggy types are so obsessed with one mopey chick from Seattle. But hey, that’s me. And if you’re reading this, it’s probably you, too.

For those of you who aren’t anxiously awaiting the next soap opera installment, I present you with some alternatives you can watch at home without the pricey popcorn and soda. Or the swooning 11-year-olds. Invite all your friends over and have an anti-“Twilight” party, and remind yourself of a time when vampires were manly and didn’t sparkle in the sun like diamonds, but ripped people to shreds and exploded into a thousand bloody pieces before your very eyes when the sunlight hit ‘em — as a freakin’ vampire should.

Let’s start the party with the king of them all: Christopher Lee. Lee ain’t playing around when he sets his sights on a girl. There’s no courtship or waiting till you’re married. He stares you down and takes command in a way that screams “who’s your daddy now”? Hey, just because you’re the undead doesn’t mean you don’t still need to be a man’s-man, and Lee knows how to show those chicas who’s boss. Check out “Horror of Dracula” for how to do the vampire-as-ladies-man schtick right. But don’t show it to your impressionable daughters, if you know what I mean. Or if you do, don’t complain about the guys she brings home.

Next I recommend a little more action — and a lot more blood. Let’s see how bad those nasty vamps can be in “30 Days of Night.” This film just might hold the title of scariest vampires of all time, even more than “Nosferatu.” Mean, nasty, and seriously fugly, they rampage a remote Alaskan town in the grip of one of those infamous extended periods of night.

Being based on a comic book, you know it’s bound to be visually stunning. The movie may be eye candy, but in that town with those vampires, being pretty won’t save you, or even being a loyal servant. They ferociously butcher everything in sight. With the large body count, this movie also has serious drinking game potential.

After the big action and gore of “30 Days,” let’s visit a seriously underrated vampire film by a then-unknown director named Kathryn Bigelow, who went on to win an Oscar for directing “The Hurt Locker.” “Near Dark” features Lance Henriksen among a cast the former Mrs. James Cameron borrowed from her ex-husband’s films. And let’s face it, it’s hard to get more macho than Henriksen, who plays the patriarch of a sick “family” of drifter vampires in what Bigelow dubbed her attempt to make a vampire western.

I wish all my “attempts” were half as successful. The honky-tonk bar massacre is especially brutal, and if you haven’t seen this one, you need to rent it — nay, buy it — now. Right now.

Now, to finish the night, let’s take the vampire western to extremes, and who knows more about extremes than Quentin Tarantino. That’s right, let’s finish the evening with “From Dusk Till Dawn.” Tarantino, George Clooney, Harvey Keitel, Cheech Marin, Danny Trejo, Salma Hayek, Tom Savini, and the delightfully twisted Juliette Lewis. Booze, broads, and bloody vamp action in a bar in the middle of Nowhere, Mexico. Those stripper vamps would tear all the “Twilight” bloodsuckers to pieces with one hand tied behind their backs. And half-naked to boot. Can it get any better than that? That’s a rhetorical question, boys, because I know y’all know the answer to that one.

So come Thursday, send the girls out to the mall and invite the boys over for some real vampire action in the man cave.

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