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Five Vampire Novels That Would Make Awesome Movies!

With all the terrible vampire movies that show up on DVD and Netflix year after year, don’t you wish Hollywood would try to make movies out of some good vampire novels? You know, the ones with good plots and interesting characters? Well, for what it’s worth, here’s my list of 5 novels I’d love to see adapted to the big (or little) screen:

THEY THIRST by Robert McCammon – This fantastic novel features a vampire who literally takes over the city of Los Angeles! A dedicated cop starts out hunting a vicious serial killer and winds up fighting his way through a city where the undead are rampaging through the streets. Imagine 30 Days of Night or I Am Legend with vampires that actually have personality! This could be a horror/action fan’s dream movie and nowadays it probably wouldn’t even be that expensive to make!

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THE VAMPIRE LESTAT by Anne Rice – This one is probably on the list of every vampire fan out there. Discounting the abomination that was The Queen of the Damned, this is a story that has never been put to film and would be wonderful. Just imagine the sweeping historical epic of this novel translated to the screen. In my opinion, this book was Rice’s masterpiece: a novel that combined rich historical detail with intense character building and a scale that really did justice to the idea of vampire immortality. Casting would be critical, of course, but there are so many great potential actors out there who are probably fans of this novel and so many wonderful characters within this novel. I really don’t understand why this hasn’t happened yet, since it seems like a no-brainer.

DHAMPIR by Barb and J.C. Hendee – The first in the Noble Dead series could likewise make a fabulous first installment in a movie series or even a stand-alone film. The story of a Dhampir who doesn’t know where she came from, a renegade elf who won’t speak about his past, and a large and oddly-intelligent wolf-dog who con villagers out of gold by “slaying” vampires has all the elements. The characters are strong, the fantasy world is familiar but still unique, and the plot hits all the right notes for an action-fantasy in the vein of Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters without being campy.

ANNO-DRACULA by Kim Newman – An alternate universe where Dracula’s plan to move into London proved a rousing success and vampires are now all the rage in Victorian England has such terrific potential, it’s another instance where I can’t imagine why Hollywood hasn’t done it yet. Sure, the novel itself is complex and features dozens of clever literary references to characters from the age, but none of that is critical to the plot. The central plot is an investigation into Jack the Ripper who seems to prey on vampire prostitutes and you can’t ask for a juicier prospect than that, especially when old friends like Dr. Seward and Lord Arthur Holmwood are among the participants in the investigation. In truth, this would really benefit from the mini-series treatment, but if it were announced as a movie, I’d still be there opening night.

ANCIENT BLOOD by Brian Patrick McKinley – Seriously, my book would make an awesome movie! Okay, fine, here’s the actual fifth choice…

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THE VAMPYRE by John Polidori – This would be a tough one, but it could be really worth the attempt. The original story is rather depressing as we watch the narrator watching impotently as he watches the vampire Lord Ruthven quietly make his way through his family and social peers. Still, played properly, this could provide nail-biting suspense. Think of Hitchcock’s Strangers on a Train as an example of how to do this story well. Play up the narrator’s sense of honor and personal integrity and keep the period setting, which makes it unthinkable for him to break his sworn oath regardless of the extreme circumstances. Also, who will believe such a wild tale? Play Ruthven for the clever sadist that he is, toying with the narrator and giving him opportunities to stop him all while knowing that he can’t. Whether the story plays out to its tragic ending is a decision for the director, though it might not be unreasonable to allow a more triumphant ending in which the narrator saves his sister and kills Ruthven. Either way, in the hands of a good director, this could be a nice creepy tale full of suspense and atmosphere.

What do you think? What vampire classics would you love to see on film?

 

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Brian McKinley • May 14, 2013


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Comments

  1. Vampire Syndrome May 17, 2013 - 8:13 pm Reply

    “Varney the Vampyre” came out in 1847, and to my knowledge has never been made into a movie. Ever. So it’s 166 years overdue for a first-class movie treatment!

  2. thomasdobias May 17, 2013 - 9:39 pm Reply

    I think that hollywood should make the vampire Le stat by Anne rince

  3. mari wells May 18, 2013 - 10:07 am Reply

    I agree with Vampire Syndrome, “Varney the Vampyre” would be great as a movie, and is way overdue.

  4. David MacDowell Blue May 18, 2013 - 10:27 am Reply

    I think VARNEY would make a better cable series than a film.

  5. Greg May 18, 2013 - 11:52 am Reply

    i think the black dagger brotherhood series could make a good movie series

  6. Halek May 18, 2013 - 1:11 pm Reply

    The Darkangel by Meredith Ann Pierce. It’s young adult and high fantasy/sci-fi too. But it would need to have a big budget to be done right.

    I think of The Vampire’s Ghost (1945) as kind of an adaptation of Polidori’s The Vampyre, even though it doesn’t acknowledge itself as one and is only very loosely based on it. It’s set in colonial Africa instead of Greece, it’s his fiancee rather than his sister, and he’s bound by being supernaturally compelled instead of honor. Very good.

    • Brian McKinley May 19, 2013 - 1:54 am Reply

      I may have to try to find a copy of that, never heard of it! Thanks!

  7. JP Vanir May 18, 2013 - 8:26 pm Reply

    I am with you on The Vampire Lestat and Queen of the damned being redone as 2 seperate movies directly as in the books. They Thirst looks like it would make a great movie as well; Just wish I had the time too read more but you have no idea all the stuff I still am behind on

  8. JP Vanir May 18, 2013 - 8:28 pm Reply

    I forget to add the obvious THE VAMPYRE by John Polidori – thats my first pick actually. Sorry its been a insane day today…

  9. Dan Shaurette May 20, 2013 - 9:01 pm Reply

    P.N. Elrod’s The Vampire Files series, although, I think those would be better as a series. BLOOD OF THE IMPALER by Jeffrey Sackett would also be good.

    • L May 28, 2013 - 8:06 am Reply

      yes the vampire files would be great. laurel k hamilton’s anita blake series would be interesting, lots of great characters that don’t really get well developed until a few books in. unfortunately there are hundreds of fantastic books I can think of that will never make it into “pop culture” & will likely never be discovered.

  10. Jared January 22, 2014 - 10:24 am Reply

    The book series that would make an excellent vampire movie is The Chronicles of Vladamir Todd. Its a story about a half vampire struggling to make it through school. it runs from the 8th grade to the 12th grade so there is enough in the set of books to make a great story.

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