5 Vampire movies that really suck in a bad way

Well we’ve already discussed the 5 Best Vampire Movies so now it’s time for the 5 Worst. A plethora of films exists to pick from – about 20 schlocky horror films for every one good movie.

Some of these aren’t so much bad as they are … disappointing. Some you may never have heard of, and you’ll probably wish you had gone on that way. So suck on this for awhile and let me know what you think.

5. Underworld: Evolution (2006)

After the surprising quality and box office gains of the first film, everyone was pretty excited for this sequel. With an actual budget the second film should be better, right?

Sadly, no. Where the first film excelled in having more realistic creatures, this one gives in to over-the-top villains with far too much power. It’s appropriate given the story, in that they are the “originals” and thus should be tougher to kill, but the idea of such creatures is always better than actually seeing them.

The action is good, the effects are good, and Kate Beckinsale is as endearing as ever. But the story falls flat, it’s too short to give any of the big plot developments the necessary time, and there are too many scenes of “let’s see how gory we can make this.” It can be enjoyable with the right expectations, but it’s a disappointment after the post-modern racism narrative that was the first movie.

4. Blade: Trinity (2004)

Once again, not a bad movie. Just a very disappointing one in many ways. After the machismo overload of the first two movies, every fan was expecting another two hours of awesome vampire genocide, badass one-liners, and slick weaponry.

What we got was Ryan Reynolds.

I like Ryan Reynolds (Green Lantern, The Proposal), but he has no place in a Blade movie. I laugh at Reynolds’ jokes in this movie. They are indeed funny. But they should be funny in another movie. And Jessica Biel (The Illusionist, The A-Team).  is attractive. But she should be attractive in another movie.

The Blade portions of the film are as good as ever with regard to the fight scenes and characterization. And the opening parts of the movie where his mentor is taken out and he is then psycho-analyzed is some of the best stuff in the whole trilogy. But once it gets to Dracula being a deranged biker type and the audience trying to believe that Ryan Reynolds could beat a WWE wrestler in a fist fight … it goes downhill.

3. I Am Legend (2007)

I know, I know … start hating me now. I love Will Smith (Men in Black, Ali). I truly do. He has the ability to make things funny that wouldn’t ordinarily be funny and also to be serious when the scene calls for it.

I’m also a big fan of the director, Francis Lawrence. He directed Constantine (2005), which is one of the most overlooked movies in recent years. So I was pretty excited about this film. It’s based on a book written by Richard Matheson, a prolific Twilight Zone and Star Trek writer from the golden age of science fiction.

All of that should add up to a great movie, right?

It’s got good moments, and some superb acting from Smith. But like too many of these movies, it can only be the gimmick for so long. The gimmick is that he’s the last man on Earth and everyone else is vampire zombie creatures. Those parts are excellent. Everything from what NYC would look like without people to John Legend’s way of life on his own are thought out and well-done.

But when he finds out about another group of survivors, it’s just like every other movie. The fight scenes rely more on suspense than excitement and kind of fall down on both fronts. And you don’t get to know the other survivors well enough to care whether John puts them before himself or not. The original book was a fascinating piece of moral gray area that begged the question: in a world full of monsters, who is the true enemy? This begs the question: how much money can shirtless Will Smith make if he’s doing one-armed chin-ups?

2. Twilight (2008)

Many expected this to be my No.1 (including myself). It’s pretty much the poster-child of bad tween vampire fiction. In fact, I (somewhat) jokingly told a few people that my top five bad vampire movies would be all five in this series. But I’ve only seen the first one, so that’s unfair.

But I’m free to rip on this one.

I actually liked this when I first saw it. Because it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be and I already knew about all of the goofy nonsense (glittery vampires), which lessened their impact. We all have a desire to like something we thought we’d hate, because that means there are more things in life to enjoy than we believed. Once that haze wore off though … it sucked.

I remember seeing the trailer for this in the theater, never having heard of it before, and everyone in the theater went nuts. All that happened was a sullen-looking chick looked at an angst-ridden dude, expressionless. Then what looked like cheap wire effects showed a vampire fight that evoked frat boys fighting over the Wii remote.

This is what happens when kids who grow up on ’90s grunge music grow up and go to the movies. The notion of the sexy vampire has transformed from an exotic and subtly powerful man in a cape to a pale kid with frosted tips. Neither is more ridiculous than the other in terms of style. But at least there aren’t a bunch of caped, exotic old Counts around that you’re forced to interact with at the bookstore.

1. Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter (2001)

Yes, you read that correctly. What bizarre sequence of events in life led me to seeing this film? I have no idea. It was truly one of the funniest experiences watching a movie that I’ve ever had. For oh so many of the wrong reasons.

Why is Jesus alive and in Canada fighting vampires with a Mexican wrestler named El Santos? Well, to stop them from harvesting lesbians for their skin of course. Isn’t that always the way? And yes, the film does contain the line “I suggest we harvest another lesbian!”

It’s the epitome of terrible horror films. Vampires are getting killed with toothpicks. There’s some chick named Mary Magnum who I’m pretty sure was a bi-sexual nun. There’s a MEXICAN WRESTLER FIGHTING VAMPIRES WITH JESUS. I can’t stress that enough.

Is this film intentionally bad? I hope so. Because if it isn’t then it’s a side effect of a society where any group of drunken friends can put together a “film” with stuff they bought at Radio Shack. Or nowadays: with their phones. If you can sit through the whole thing, it’s actually a lot of fun with the right crowd. Because it’s so, so bad.

Well that’s my list of vampire movies that (actually) suck.

Have any to add?

One thought on “5 Vampire movies that really suck in a bad way

  • June 8, 2012 at 12:18 PM

    I’m totally with you on I Am Legend. The first half of the movie was fantastic, with Will Smith going through his day-to-day routine; once he found the other survivors it tanked.

    I’m also totally with you on Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter, which sucks but is oh so much fun because it sucks.

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