by Catherine Karp
Save up your movie money. Cinematic bloodsuckers are lurching into theaters in droves. Whether you like your creatures of the night sparkly, horrifying, romantic, or comedic, you'll have no trouble finding a film to suit your paranormal tastes. Here's a peek at some of the major trends in upcoming vampire movies.
1. THE LITERARY ADAPTATIONS.
Unless you never visit multiplexes or glimpse the covers of supermarket tabloids, you probably already know THE TWILIGHT SAGA is the most hotly anticipated vampire novel series hitting the big screen. NEW MOON will debut in theaters this November, and ECLIPSE is coming June 2010. Other literary adaptations in the works--from the script stage to postproduction--include CIRQUE DU FREAK (now titled THE VAMPIRE'S ASSISTANT), CARMILLA, THE HISTORIAN, DRACULA, DEAR DRACULA, PRIEST, and the U.S. remake of LET THE RIGHT ONE IN. In addition, THE VAMPIRE DIARIES will be hitting the small screen on the CW this fall.
2. THE SEQUELS AND REMAKES.
A big-screen adaptation of 1960s horror soap opera DARK SHADOWS is scheduled to go in the works soon, with Tim Burton purportedly directing and Johnny Depp starring as vampire Barnabas Collins. The 1974 Hammer vampire film THE LEGEND OF THE 7 GOLDEN VAMPIRES may also receive a remake via Spitfire Pictures. In the sequel department, get ready for BUBBA NOSFERATU: CURSE OF THE SHE VAMPIRES, LOST BOYS 3, and TWILIGHT WATCH (the third installment of the NIGHT WATCH series).
3. THE WILLEM DAFOE MOVIES.
Dafoe earned an Academy Award nomination for portraying silent film actor Max Schreck as a bloodsucker in SHADOW OF THE VAMPIRE in 2000, and he continues his growing vampire film tradition by appearing in both THE VAMPIRE'S ASSISTANT and the upcoming sci-fi thriller DAYBREAKERS. If you need an actor who can radiate bloodthirsty creepiness and give an award-worthy performance at the same time, Dafoe's definitely your guy.
4. THE COMEDIES.
If you're looking for vampire humor, your best bet will probably be to head to the indies. In the works are tales of the undead's escapades with rock 'n roll (SUCK), Shakespearian theater (ROSENCRANTZ AND GUILDENSTERN ARE UNDEAD), and truckers (DEAD SUCKS). And the romantic vampire comedy angle will be approached in England's HELLO DARKNESS, currently in development.
5. THE HORROR FILMS.
In need of vampires that leave a messy trail of blood? Again, the indies may be the answer. Filmgoers with stronger stomachs can check out offerings such as VAMPIRE GIRL VS. FRANKENSTEIN GIRL, THE VAMPIRES OF BLOODY ISLAND, and THE REVENANT. If you prefer a little Victoriana with your horror films, Mary Lambert's HIGH MIDNIGHT promises, "In the Wild West a lot of blood was spilled... but it didn't go to waste."
6. THE PRESTIGIOUS FOREIGN FILMS.
Following in the award-winning footsteps of Sweden's LET THE RIGHT ONE IN, South Korea's THIRST made a strong impact on the Cannes Film Festival and garnered the 2009 Jury Prize. Granted, the category of prestigious foreign films (plural) isn't truly a trend in upcoming vampire releases--but here's hoping that more will be on their way to help earn a little respect for flicks with fangs.
For an even more extensive list of upcoming vampire movies, including links to IMDB sites and trailers, head over to my blog, Suburban Vampire--http://suburbanvampire.blogspot.com/2008/12/vampire-films-in-2009-2010-2011-and.html.
You can also join the Vampire Film Series and Festival's mailing list at http://vampirefilmfestival.com to learn about vampire movies appearing this October in New Orleans. Better yet, head on down to the festival and enjoy sneak peeks of undead entertainment in person.