Regardless of how folklore portrayed them, in our imaginations the vampire radiates sex appeal. With certain exceptions to be sure. Yet by and large we see a sexual, erotic element to the seduction of a victim, the clandestine visit to his or her bedroom, a beautiful creature with lust-filled eyes placing their mouth upon someone’s throat…and biting down.
Veronica Carlson and Christopher Lee in Dracula Has Risen From the Grave. Almost too easy, really. The virginal blonde, niece to a Monseignor no less, captured by the blood red eyes of the Count. She reclines on her bed as he approaches, opening her nightgown as he does. He swoops in, waits for a moment, then she gasps as his fangs pierce her throat. In the best touch, her hand–until then clutching a doll–lets go and tosses the icon of childhood to the side! One wonders how this got past the censors!
More recently, Jennifer Beals made a magnificent vampiress who turned the tables on Nicolas Cage in Vampire’s Kiss. The film has its faults, but one very nice touch remains the image of this mysogynist womanizer bitten and enslaved, treated by a woman (albeit an undead one) exactly as he all-too-clearly wishes to treat women. She tortures him, makes him say he loves her, breaks his will so that he worships her. Then of course she leaves him without a second thought.
The Hunger with Catherine Deneuve and Susan Sarandon might not count in some people’s eyes. After all, the vampire in question never actually bites her victim, but there is a deliberate blood exchange. And it remains intensely sensual, slow, loving as well as seductive in the extreme. Some have found it believable that the seemingly straight Sarandon character found herself so easily seduced, but honestly we’re talking about Catherine Deneuve here.
Most would probably agree the scene between the title character and her model in the classic Dracula’s Daughter should qualify, even if we never do see anyone bitten. Yet the atmosphere feels electric, with a definite feel of molestation between older woman and young girl.
More explicit still is the brief bite near the beginning of John Carpenter’s Vampires, in which Sheryl Lee’s prostitute character becomes the prey of the master vampire Valek. Just in case we didn’t get the point–and given her reaction that seems to beggar belief–Valek bites the girl on the inside of her thigh. This makes good sense, so far as it goes. The femoral artery runs there, just as attractive one might think as the jugular or carotid. But, as seen in a few episodes of True Blood, that also makes it easier to flag the sexual nature of the vampire–at least as we imagine them.
Consider also the fate of Keanu Reeves as Jonathan Harker in the film Bram Stoker’s Dracula. One thing director Francis Ford Coppola referred to in “making of” documentaries as well as personal interviews was how he wanted to capture on screen the “rape” of Harker. He certainly accomplished that! For the first time it seemed totally explicit these three Brides were in fact the Impaler’s harem. All donned jewelry but little else, save for the most diaphanous of gowns. Two were in effect topless, one of them the divinely lovely Monica Belucci! As Harker found himself forced down and succumbing to their ministrations, one shot clearly showed a Bride nipping his (erect) nipple with her fangs then running the tip of her tongue to gather the blood!
What do you think? Of these which strikes you as the most erotic? Or do you have a candidate of your own?