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The Best 80s Vampire Movies: A Ranking of the Top 5 Films

The 80s was a great decade for vampire movies, from the classic horror hit The Lost Boys to cult classics like Fright Night. But which were the best? Here’s our top five 80s vampire films.

5. Fright Night (1985): This classic horror comedy follows a teenage boy who discovers his neighbor is a vampire. Starring Roddy McDowall and Chris Sarandon, Fright Night is an iconic film that remains a favorite among horror fans.

4. Near Dark (1987): Kathryn Bigelow’s vampire western follows a young man who joins up with a family of nomadic vampires after he’s bitten by one of them. With its darkly beautiful cinematography and memorable performances, Near Dark is one of the most acclaimed vampire films of all time.

3. The Hunger (1983): Tony Scott’s stylish vampire thriller stars Catherine Deneuve as an immortal bloodsucker on the hunt for new victims. Featuring David Bowie in one of his most memorable roles, The Hunger is an eerie and seductive film that has earned its place as a classic.

2. The Lost Boys (1987): Joel Schumacher’s beloved teen horror comedy follows two brothers who move to California and discover their new town is infested with vampires. Featuring Kiefer Sutherland in one of his first starring roles, The Lost Boys is an iconic film that still resonates with modern audiences.

1. Vampire’s Kiss (1988): Nicolas Cage stars as Peter Loew, an unhinged yuppie who believes he’s turning into a vampire after being bitten by one during a drunken night out. Directed by Robert Bierman, Vampire’s Kiss is an offbeat cult classic that remains one of Cage’s most memorable performances.

The Iconic Actors and Directors Who Shaped the 80s Vampire Genre

The 1980s saw a massive resurgence in vampire culture, with a variety of films offering up dark and thrilling takes on these classic monsters. It was a time when the horror genre was in its heyday, and the vampire genre experienced a huge amount of success at the box office.

At the forefront of this wave of vampiric cinema were some iconic actors and directors who would go on to shape the genre for years to come. Here are some of the most notable figures from this era:

Christopher Lee as Count Dracula

Christopher Lee is undoubtedly one of the most iconic actors in horror history. He first made his mark as Count Dracula in 1958s Horror of Dracula, but it was his performance in Francis Ford Coppolas Bram Stokers Dracula that cemented his status as an icon. His performance was praised for its subtlety and emotion, making him one of the most memorable vampires ever portrayed on screen.

Wes Craven as Director

Wes Craven is another legendary figure in horror cinema who left an indelible mark on vampire films. His 1984 classic A Nightmare On Elm Street featured a terrifying villain, Freddy Krueger, who has become synonymous with vampires ever since. Craven also directed two other noteworthy vampire films – The Serpent and The Rainbow (1988) and Vampire In Brooklyn (1995).

Anne Rice as Writer

Although she never appeared on screen, Anne Rice is one of the most influential figures in vampire cinema. Her novel Interview With The Vampire was adapted into a movie in 1994, starring Tom Cruise as Lestat – arguably one of the best-known vampires ever created. Rice also wrote several other novels featuring vampires that have since been adapted into movies – such as Queen Of The Damned (2002) and The Vampire Lestat (2005).

The Visual Effects and Set Designs That Defined ’80s Vampire Movies

In the 1980s, vampire movies became more popular than ever. From horror films to romantic comedies, these flicks had one thing in common: they all featured some of the most iconic visual effects and set designs that defined the decade. Here are a few of the most memorable ones.

The Gothic Look

The gothic look was popular in many horror films during this era. This aesthetic was characterized by dark settings, dilapidated castles, fog-filled graveyards, and flickering candelabras. It created an atmosphere of suspense and fear that was perfect for vampire movies.

Special Effects

Special effects were often used to create some of the most iconic scenes in ’80s vampire movies. The use of stop motion animation allowed filmmakers to bring their undead characters to life with a level of detail that had never been seen before. They also employed a variety of other techniques such as rear projection and matte painting to create eerie and realistic backdrops.


Vampire makeup played an important role in creating the look of these classic films. Makeup artists used pale foundations, heavy eyeliner, and bright red lipstick to give their undead characters a menacing yet glamorous appearance. This look was further enhanced with fake fangs and prosthetic wounds.


Costumes also played an important part in creating these iconic characters. Costumers used luxurious fabrics such as velvet and lace to craft extravagant gowns for female vampires. For male vampires, they often opted for dark suits or tuxedos with white shirts for a timelessly stylish look.

FAQ: 80s Vampire Movies

The 1980s were a great decade for horror films, and vampires were a popular theme. From classic films like The Lost Boys to modern classics like Blade, there are many vampire movies from the 80s that are worth watching. Here are some frequently asked questions about vampire movies from the 1980s.

What Are Some Classic 80s Vampire Movies?

Some of the most iconic vampire movies from the 1980s include The Lost Boys, Near Dark, Fright Night, and The Hunger. All of these films feature classic vampire elements and star some of the biggest actors of the decade.

Are There Any Modern Vampire Movies From The 80s?

Yes! While there are plenty of classic vampire movies from the 1980s, there are also some modern takes on the genre. Blade is one example of a modern vampire movie from this era, as it blends traditional vampire elements with martial arts action sequences.

Are There Any Non-Horror Vampire Films From The 80s?

Yes! While most people think of horror when they think about vampires in film, there are a few non-horror entries in this genre from the 80s. Vamp is a comedy-horror hybrid that follows two college students who get tangled up with a group of vampires. Another example is Interview With The Vampire which is based on Anne Rice’s novel and stars Tom Cruise.

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