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Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Stay Home, Watch Horror: 5 Unconventional Vampire Movies to Stream this Week

Between the recent additions of Blacula and Scream, Blacula, Scream on Shudder, and the upcoming season two premiere of NOS4A2 on AMC, this week belongs to the vampire. One of horror’s most prominent and enduring monsters, there’s an overwhelming selection of genre films dedicated to the vampire. While Dracula might be the most classic take on the blood-sucking creature of the night, there’s no shortage of movies that explore different mythologies and rules to bring refreshing takes. Nor does it begin to cover the various tones and styles of vampire flicks, from action horror to comedies and everything in between. Meaning that narrowing it down to five is tricky. Instead of going with more familiar faves in the subgenre, this week’s streaming picks are dedicated to the outliers. These vampire movies break convention and test the definition of a vampire.

If you’ve never seen Blacula and its follow-up, start there. Consider them extra credit assignments. Then, check out these five fantastic vampire horror movies, all available to stream now.


Cronos – Criterion, Kanopy, HBO Max

Cronos

Guillermo del Toro’s feature debut reframed the vampire mythos at nearly every turn. Antique dealer Jesús Gris discovers a strange mechanical scarab hiding within a statue. It stings him, injecting Jesús with a solution that restores his youth, increases his energy levels, and instills a significant thirst for blood. Throw in a dangerous businessman that’s been after the scarab for years, and Jesús’s newfound vampirism causes a wake of destruction. When vampires are often portrayed as romantic figures of eternal life, del Toro centers his story around an aging grandfather. The more Jesús embraces his thirst for blood, the stranger, and less human he looks. Here, vampirism is caused by alchemy. Cronos also established one of del Toro’s most beloved themes; it’s not monsters that are the villains, but humanity.


The Lair of the White Worm – Tubi

Bram Stoker became a household name thanks to Dracula, but it wasn’t the only vampiric horror novel that he penned. Ken Russell’s loose adaptation makes it easy to see why it didn’t achieve the same level of popularity. It’s weird. That’s not a bad thing. When an archaeologist uncovers a strange skull of what appears to be a massive snake, the locals start to disappear. He suspects it might be related to an ancient worm-god, and that the enigmatic Lady Sylvia Marsh might be connected. It’s hilarious, quirky, and full of camp with a mesmerizing performance by Amanda Donohoe as Marsh. Peter Capaldi and Hugh Grant also star.


Rabid – Prime Video, Tubi

Rabid-1997

It’s easy to categorize this David Cronenberg classic as a zombie movie. It does become a viral outbreak movie full of zombies, after all. The source of it all belongs to an atypical vampire. After Rose is severely injured in a motorcycle accident, her boyfriend Hart brings her to a nearby clinic, where the doctor performs experimental plastic surgery on her. It results in the bizarre development of an armpit stinger and an unquenchable thirst for human blood. Rose’s victims wind up becoming blood-thirsty zombies. The outbreak is peripheral, as the focus always remains on Rose’s struggle with what she’s becoming. It’s an engaging, tragic vampire story in only the way Cronenberg could deliver.


The Transfiguration – Shudder, Kanopy

Michael O’Shea’s feature debut, in many ways, is a spiritual successor to George A. Romero’s Martin. It follows Milo, a troubled teen obsessed with vampires. When he meets equally disturbed teen Sophie, their budding friendship transforms Milo’s obsession with vampiric lore from fantasy into grim reality. A dark coming-of-age story set against a backdrop of a dangerous neighborhood. Milo is surrounded by visceral violence, and The Transfiguration is a powerful exploration of how that affects Milo’s psyche. This take on the vampire contains no supernatural elements; think introspective character study. That’s what makes The Transfiguration stand out, though.


Vamp – Tubi

This highly entertaining horror-comedy features a vampire that doesn’t get near enough attention as she should; Grace Jones exudes raw power as vamp Katrina. Robert Rusler and Chris Makepeace star as two fraternity pledges that venture into the city to hire a stripper. All to impress their frat brothers. They find themselves in a shady part of town, unaware that the dive bar they’ve entered is full of vampires. Naturally, they find themselves in an all-night battle for survival. The neon haze soaked urban setting makes for a refreshing change of pace. The bromance between the leads is as sweet as it is funny. Most of all, though, watch for Jones’ riveting portrayal.



source https://bloody-disgusting.com/editorials/3620051/stay-home-watch-horror-5-unconventional-vampire-movies-stream-week/

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