My Top 5 On-Screen Vampires

After a gruelling last week I wanted to do something fun and light-hearted for my blog today. I have decided to post my 5 favourite on-screen vampires. There are so many to choose from and everyone will no doubt have their favourites, but here are mine.

5. Bill Paxton as SeverenSeveren

At #5 I begin with movie legend, Bill Paxton. In 1987 he starred in one of my favourite vampire movies, Near Dark. It surprises me that you don’t hear much about this movie these days, but I was pleased to see it high on the Forbes list of best vampire movies of all time. I like my vampires to be bad, and in this flick Paxton played Severen, who is as bad as they come. Great movie and a great performance from a truly great actor.

4. Klaus Kinski as NosferatuKlaus Kinski as Nosferatu

At #4 is another movie legend and star of many spaghetti westerns, Klaus Kinski. I remember saying to my father when I was a kid, after seeing Max Schreck as Nosferatu, that Klaus Kinski would be perfect in the part. Little did I know that in 1979, a few years before, he had actually played the role of the legendary vampire. And how awesome he was too. I never tire of seeing this.


3. Tom Cruise as Lestat de LioncourtTom Cruise as Lestat

At #3 is a modern-day great, Tom Cruise, who gave us the iconic on-screen delight that was Lestat de Lioncourt in Interview With The Vampire. When he was originally cast in the role the writer of the book, the wonderful Anne Rice, was openly critical of the choice. She later changed her view on this and rightly so. He was brilliant as Lestat, and the bad boy of the movie that I’m sure his female fans adored. The thing is, many of us adored the part he played and the result is that Lestat will really be immortal for all time.

2. Brad Pitt as Louis de Pointe du LacLouis

At #2 is my favourite actor of the modern age, Brad Pitt. Mr Pitt, as we all know, played the part of Louis de Pointe du Lac opposite Tom Cruise’s Lestat in Interview With The Vampire. It has been very hard not to have him as my #1 choice. On screen he was almost mesmeric in this part. In fact, I have rarely seen any actor with the on-screen presence that Pitt had in this movie. He was brilliant. The only reason he never made my choice at #1 is because he was essentially a good guy, a vampire with a conscience that battled against the less scrupulous Lestat. I have watched this movie maybe 20 times and I’ve no doubt I will watch it another 20.


Jared Nomak1. Luke Goss as Jared Nomak

Now when I first sat down to watch Blade II I had no idea of the delights that awaited me. In it I saw a vampire so bad that the images are engrained in my memory forever. Do you all remember who it is I’m referring to? In the early 1990’s we had a glut of boy bands in the pop music world. One of the first ones to appear in the UK, if not the first, was a band called Bros, made up of twins Luke and Matt Goss. Now these guys had so many young female fans that it wasn’t at all cool for us guys to express any kind of an interest in them, especially those of us that listened to Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden day in day out. So imagine my shock when I saw Luke Goss there before my eyes in the opening scene of the movie. I mean, he was WOW… so bad ass that I thought I was dreaming. Yes, Luke Goss was cast as Jared Nomak, a vampire that feasted on other vampires and he was so awesome in the part and as scary as you could ever hope your vampires to be. Luke Goss as Jared Nomak is undoubtedly my #1 choice.


And finally..

I can already hear people complaining there is no inclusion of any of the on-screen Draculas here. Some of these performances have been masterful, most notably from Gary Oldman, Frank Langella and Louis Jordan among others. But of course, the greatest of them all was Christopher Lee’s Dracula. His vampire is without reservation, in my opinion, the vampire of all vampires. It is the character that terrified me as a kid and got my hooked. I’m sure there are hundreds of thousands of others who would say the same. Because he is so iconic I didn’t want to include him on any lists, even at the #1 spot. I wanted to give Christopher Lee’s Dracula a special place at the end and dedicate this blog post to him, and say thank you for all the delightful and scary moments he has given me.

I give you Christopher Lee as Dracula… The Prince Of Darkness.



  • catherinewolffe53 March 4, 2013

    What great choices, Shane! I enjoyed all these and agree with you on how daunting the task of selecting only five vampires can be. Perhaps later you can share those who didn’t make the list as well. Tweeting this post to some friends.

    • Shane KP ONeill March 12, 2013

      Thanks, Catherine. It is a daunting task to pick only 5 and I know other people will differ with their choices. But these are the best 5 for me :-)

  • mary sims March 6, 2013

    OMG, Love all those movies ,I have to admit Christopher Lee was my First Love of Vampires, and I to was hooked, Also, one of my favorite movies that I am very fond of is The Dead Undead, LOVE IT !!!!!!!

    • Shane KP ONeill March 12, 2013

      Hi, Mary. I think Christopher Lee is more responsible than anyone for building people’s interest in vampires. He was quite awesome in the role of Dracula. Even 40 or 50 years on he looks just as good. I haven’t seen The Dead Undead.

  • L. M. Lane March 7, 2013

    Excellent list! I’m also surprised NEAR DARK never gained the notoriety it deserved. It was an excellent film and has, in my humble opinion, stood the test of time relatively well.

    Speaking of NOSFERATU, Willem Dafoe made an exceptional Max Schreck.

    • Shane KP ONeill March 12, 2013

      Hi, L.M. I have to agree. Near Dark has been a favourite of mine for well over 20 years. It was an excellent movie and story with an excellent supporting cast. Adrian Pasdar was excellent too. Yes, Willem Dafoe was great, but I loved Klaus Kinski.

  • David MacDowell Blue March 9, 2013

    Interesting, although this would not be my list, even if limiting it to cinematic vampires. For one thing I adore Chloe Grace Moretz in LET ME IN as well as Willem Dafoe in SHADOW OF THE VAMPIRE.

  • Shane KP ONeill March 12, 2013

    Hi, David. Your Top 5 would be very interesting to see as your knowledge of vampires far exceeds mine, for both on-screen and literary versions. Another notable mention for Mr Dafoe too I see ;-)

  • Paddythe bear March 21, 2013

    I think that Keifer sutherland’s vampire from the film “The Lost Boys” was one of the coolest vamps ever.

    • Shane KP ONeill March 22, 2013

      A lot of people like him, Paddy. I wasn’t crazy about the movie, but haven’t seen it in 20 years. Perhaps it is time I watched it again.

      • Paddythe bear April 11, 2013

        The film its self was certainly not a terrifying flick,but wasn’t supposed to be. I wasn’t suggesting that it was a great vamp film (though I really enjoyed it. I mean how couldn’t you with characters like the frog bros and Grandpa!) I just thought Keifer Sutherland was a perfect modern day vamp.He looked so cool and he was evil, rather like his Gothic relation in his film.

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