Essential 5: Vampire Movies

What’s the good word, kids? We here over at Str8 Gangster have recently had our 1 Year Anniversary. We’ve gone from being read by 10’s and 10’s of readers, to being read by 10’s and 10’s of readers. So, with that I’ve rocked a new design, and a new column, called  Essential 5.

The basis for Essential 5 is I name 5 important things that you must have, or view. Such as,  Essential 5 Jericho Matches, or Essential 5 Hip-Hop Records. You get it, right? Now, with Essential 5, things aren’t going to be numbered, as to not place anyone thing’s importance over another. Just know, they’re all on the same playing field, and you need to heed them all, then thank me with an awesome pie. Pumpkin, from Costco, preferably.

Well, for the inaugural voyage, we’re going with Essential 5 Vampire Movies. What with all the vampire craze that’s been going on, it’s hard to tell what blows the big vampire penis, and what kicks serious ass.  I’m heavy in to vampires, and I’ve seen’em all. Except for the Twilights. Your boy just can’t do it.

True Blood
Director: Multiple
Released: 2008

When True Blood first debuted, I dismissed it as nothing more than just another network trying to cash in on the Twilight rage. However, upon viewing of the first couple of episodes, I realized that this blew Twilight out of the fucking water.

Season 1 is fantastic, with a fantastic amount of mystery, blood, gore, action, and boobies. There isn’t too much more you could really ask for. Built on fantastic cliff hangers that actually deliver when it comes time.

Season two had a huge arch that was continued from Season 1. It did a fantastic job of building and devloping characters it introduced in the first season and also debuted plenty of interesting characters and moments without drowning you in too much going-ons. Now, with all that said, I wouldn’t say it trumped Season 1, but it’s just as good. Season 2 dealt a lot with a character named Tara, who’s best friend to the main, Sookie, and I find Tara to be fucking annoying, so I wasn’t too thrilled with all that.

Now, Season 3. Season 3, I can easily say, is the greatest written hour long drama series in history. It’s so fantastically written that I wouldn’t even know where to begin. This kind of writing is what EVERY television show should aspire to be. It’s absolutely kick-fucking-ass, and deserves your utmost attention. Have I ever steered you wrong?

From Dusk Till Dawn
Director: Robert Rodriguez
Released: 1996

Hands down one of the most original movies of all time. The first half is an awesome caper type movie, then literally, in an instant, it switched to an equally incredible horror movie. It takes itself serious, while at the same time not trying to be Raging Bull or anything. It pays homage to the classics, while also carving out it’s own niche’.

The gore, the action, are all fantastic, using the cream of the crop in terms of special effects. Eye balls exploding, bodies melting, heads being ripped off, people turning into giant rats, what more could you fucking ask for?

Salma Hayek’s dance isn’t just one of the hottest things in cinema, but it’s also the bridge that takes the movie from point A, to point B. The vampires look awesome, in that they’re just straight up fucking monsters, and seem to enjoy the torment they inflict upon people. Tarantino stuck to the rules of yore, and I love him for it.

Director: John Carpenter
Released: 1998

Jack Crow: You ever seen a vampire?
Father Adam: No, I haven’t.
Jack Crow: No… Well first of all, they’re not romatic. Its not like they’re a bunch of fuckin’ fags hoppin’ around in rented formal wear and seducing everybody in sight with cheesy Euro-trash accents, all right? Forget whatever you’ve seen in the movies: they don’t turn into bats, crosses don’t work. Garlic? You wanna try garlic? You could stand there with garlic around your neck and one of these buggers will bend you fucking over and take a walk up your strada-chocolata WHILE he’s suckin’ the blood outta your neck, all right? And they don’t sleep in coffins lined in taffata. You wanna kill one, you drive a wooden stake right through his fuckin’ heart. Sunlight turns ’em into crispy critters.

That right there says it all. The vampires in Carpenter’s movie are fucking fantastic. They’re savage predators who want nothing more than tap every artery you have then rip your throat out for sport. They have an awesome look, with dead eyes and skin tones, and accoutrements of sick looking talons and thick fangs.

The entire atmosphere is that of an urban western. Deserts, sun, sand and blood are the dressings for practically every scene in this movie, and it’s damned awesome. The best parts of the movie are the battles, in my opinion, and as we know, that’s what counts. The opening battle, the hotel massacre, and the final showdown are strong standouts in a movie that has a ton of them. Do yourself a favor, and buy this bad bitch, straight up.

Director: Stephen Norrington
Released: 1998

From the first movie, to the TV series, Blade has done no wrong. Sure, the 3rd one was a bit of a speed bump, but it still kicks ass.

Blade, is a lot like Dusk Till Dawn, in it’s complete originality.

It’s an action, horror, martial arts hybrid. On paper, you wouldn’t imagine it’d be that great, but motherfucker, it’s fantastic.

Blade is the first of his kind, in that he has the powers of the vampire, but none of the weakness. There’s a fatherly figure in that of Whistler, played by super-bad-ass Kris Kristofferson, who helps Blade and welcomed him into this operation and trained him from the ground up. He equips Blade with bitching technology and gadgets, and he smokes while filling up the car with gas. He’s such a bad-ass that he probably just uses his head to set an example and solve problems. Oh, and I don’t mean in some stupid, sissy, work-out-your-anger bullshit. I’m talking head-butt.

Over hear a guy at the store talking about wanting to see some crap movie like Meet The Spartans? BAM! Head-butt to the sternum.

See some fat-ass buying weight-loss pills like TrimSpa? BAM! Head-butt to the knee-caps then head-butt to the throat.

Some fat bitch just being her obnoxious, fat-self? BAM! Head-butt to the ovaries in prevention of procreation.

But I digress…

Blade has ass-stomping fight scenes melded with special effects and incredible atmosphere that make for one of the best vampire movies you’re ever likely to see.

Fright Night
Director: Tim Holland
Released: 1985

I can say, without a shadow of doubt, that this is hands down the greatest vampire movie ever made. Not only that, but I consider it to be one of the greatest movies period.

I could literally praddle on all day about it’s originality, special effects, acting, atmosphere, score, and action scenes.

There are just so many great things about this movie that this little review can’t do it justice.

From the timeless and brutal when provoked antagonist Jerry Dandridge, to one of the greatest heroes ever in the terrified, and reluctant Peter Vincent, the fearless vampire killer. Fright Night is packed with great characters. Not only are the leading roles great, but the supporting ones in that of Evil Ed, and Billy Cole help to anchor this movie in the realm of fucking greatness.

Tim Holland did a phenomenal job in paying homage to the classics by having Jerry Dandridge the type of vampire that is mirror to those that Bram Stoker wrote about. He can’t handle crucifix’s [but you must have faith for it to work], or Holy Water. He sleeps in a coffin packed with dirt from his home land, and can be taken out with a wooden stake or sunlight. He also has different stages of appearance, and can turn into a pretty bad-ass bat.

Really, I could just go on all fucking day about this. It’s too beautiful of a movie to not be in everyone’s collection. I say that the Essential 5 isn’t a list in any sort of chronological order, but I will say that this is the greatest vampire flick of all time. Hands down.

Also, check out the sequel. I didn’t want to bog down the list with multiple movies from multiple series, so I just kept it to one a piece. With that in mind, you need to also check out the sequel. As great, and as untouchable as the original is, the sequel is on par, no problem. It’s the true definition of a sequel, in that it advances the original, creates it’s own story, and can stand on it’s own. Of course, the DVD is out of print, so you’ll have to get the VHS from amazon, or a DVD copy from Also, you can watch it on

There we have it kids, the first Essential 5. I know you loved it. You’re welcome. Now, I know I left out The Lost Boys, which is a great movie, but I didn’t want to be too obvious. I also dig Dracula [1932], but I just don’t think it can hold up to any of the ones I’ve chosen. Besides, The Horror of Dracula, the first Dracula remake with Christopher Lee is superior.

Hollar at me with your favorites.

~ by Caliber Winfield on September 19, 2010.

2 Responses to “Essential 5: Vampire Movies”

  1. I enjoyed this list man. Just all of them are top notch vampire movies.

  2. Fright Night was a cool flick for a young kid. You really felt invested with the Peter Vincent character. Oh and the chick was hot.

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