There is just something about the undead that gets our pulses racing. Whether it’s the fact that vampires only come out at night or that they reel in their prey by seducing them first, we continue to see them as more lustful, irresistible and exciting than any other horror flick creature.
In honour of True Blood, the racy new vampire drama on FX, we have compiled a list of the top ten sexiest vampires of all time. There were a lot to choose from, so if you disagree with our selection please feel free to tell us in the comment section below.
10: Kiefer Sutherland, The Lost Boys, 1987
Proof that Sutherland was actually sexy before he began torturing terrorists and trying to single-handedly save the American people in 24. This is the film that started the teen vampire craze and it’s packed full of great Eighties tunes (Remember Cry Little Sister?), male bonding of the slightly homoerotic Topgun variety and teenage rebellion. Yes, we’re afraid of him, but when Sutherland, aka David, starts jumping off railway bridges we want to be part of his gang. It seems a bit wrong to pine for someone with a mullet – but we just do.
9: Sharon Tate, The Fearless Vampire Killers, 1967
Roman Polanski’s camp vampire comedy, subtitled Pardon Me But Your Teeth Are In My Neck, was panned by critics as being slow-moving and unwitty, but Tate is cute as a button as the innkeeper’s daughter who fraternizes with the local vampires before being abducted and turned into one. Tate had hardly done any films at this stage and has a playful innocence that audiences (and Polanski, who married her a year later – shortly before she was murdered) loved.
8: James Marsters, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, 1997 (TV series)
What, Spike over Angel? Now before hordes of Buffy fans send in indignant letters about the exclusion of David Boreanaz, let us explain: Spike makes our top ten because he represents the ultimate female fantasy: the bad boy who abandons his evil ways because of his love for a woman (unlike Angel, who is already good when Buffy meets him). He is like the Vicomte de Valmont in Dangerous Liaisons; Mr Big in Sex and the City; Danny Zuko in Grease (just a bit more sinister and with tighter leather). And in the end, he doesn’t run straight off to his own inferior spin-off series, thank you very much; nope, Spike – spoiler alert – sacrifices his life for his lady. What could be sexier than that?
7: Catherine Deneuve, The Hunger, 1983
Deneuve gets our vote for being the only successful blonde vampiress that we can think of, in The Hunger, a modern-day gothic vampire flick that gathered a substantial cult following in the years after its release, partly because it co-stars David Bowie, and partly because Deneuve gets it on with Susan Sarandon. Deneuve brings a certain elegance to her role as the sensuous Miriam – not surprising given that she had already managed to make a prostitute with a penchant for rough sex look chic in Belle de Jour in 1967.
6: Monica Bellucci, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, 1992
Even in a stellar cast that includes Gary Oldman, Winona Ryder, Keanu Reeves and Anthony Hopkins, a then unknown Bellucci still managed to shine as one of Dracula’s beautiful vampire brides in Francis Ford Coppola’s 1992 classic. Unlike Dracula himself, Bellucci’s character is not even remotely likeable, but she does positively exude sex, embodying cinema’s fascination with vampires’ raw, relentless sexuality.
5: Gary Oldman, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, 1992
He doesn’t seem like much these days, but back in the Nineties let’s not forget Oldman was married to screen goddess Uma Thurman. Oddly handsome and enigmatic in his heyday, in Bram Stoker’s Dracula Oldman is the love-sick count who waits 400 years to find the reincarnation of his much beloved wife. He may have a receding hairline and have murdered her best friend but Winona Ryder is still so enamoured that she tries to drink his blood and become a vampire too.
4: Kate Beckinsale, Underworld, 2003
Whether or not you think that Beckinsale crossed over to the dark side when she exchanged Michael Sheen and English shores for LA, a perma-tan and a friendship with Victoria Beckham, there’s no denying that she makes a hot vampiress. In Underworld, she plays Selene, an impassioned fighter in the war between vampires and werewolves, until she falls for one of the latter. It’s all very Romeo and Juliet, but in what is really a fairly dull thriller, it’s Selene’s skin tight leather cat suit that does the trick. It certainly got the attention of Len Wiseman, Underworld director and now Beckinsale’s husband.
3: Stephen Moyer, True Blood, 2008 (TV series)
Moyer has been bumped all the way up to number three on our list of all-time faves because, frankly, we’re smitten. He is Bill, a lonely vampire who, in a contemporary US where vampires drink synthetic blood to survive and have just been granted the vote, is searching for a quiet life in Bon Temps, a small town in the swamps of Louisiana. He is strong, handsome, emotionally vulnerable and throws furtive glances at Anna Paquin’s character Sookie that are desperate with longing. Unlike Twilight’s infantile Robert Pattinson (see below), Bill seems older than his 30 “human years” and his weariness at his own immortality is palpable. Moyer is a Brit, which might explain how he manages to seem so endearingly reserved.
2: Salma Hayek, From Dusk Till Dawn, 1996
Without doubt one of the most erotic dances in cinema history, Hayek’s perfect, curvaceous form writhing on stage covered only in a very flimsy black bikini and a snake caught the imagination of every cinema-going male in the English-speaking world when From Dusk Till Dawn was released (long before Britney Spears attempted something similar). The fact that she subsequently transforms into a hideous monster and bites a huge chunk off Quentin Tarantino’s neck has done little to diminish her appeal as one of the sexiest vampires of all time. And kudos to Tarantino for getting up close and personal with someone like Hayek in one of the only films he has actually had a major role in.
1: Brad Pitt, Interview With The Vampire: the Vampire Chronicles, 1994
The ultimate reluctant vampire. Louis’s brand of handsome, brooding anguish is the reason why vampires play on our heartstrings in a way that zombies and werewolves never could. Vampires aren’t always bloodthirsty monsters, but unfortunate creatures whose hunger compels them to kill. When we don’t fear them, we pity them. And Pitt’s paternal relationship with Kirsten Dunst (inappropriate snog aside) makes him more endearing still. This is Pitt at his most youthful, engaging and sympathetic – like his role in Thelma and Louise, but with fangs and a conscience.
Robert Pattinson, Twilight, 2008
As the dreamy, misunderstood Edward Cullen, Pattinson has become something of an obsession amongst 15-year-old girls of late, the way Leonardo DiCaprio was post-Titanic. But he’s just a bit too teenage for our liking. Yes, he’s the kind of boy you thought was sexy at school because he seemed mysterious and never actually spoke to you. But then you grew up and started liking men who could hold a decent conversation.
Tom Cruise, Interview With The Vampire: the Vampire Chronicles, 1994
Given his increasingly bizarre behaviour in real life, Cruise’s portrayal of the blood-sucking corrupter Lestat seems positively lamb-like. We know it’s not quite fair to let real life affect our film judgement (and Cruise is actually brilliant as Lestat) but we can’t quite see him as sexy since we saw that YouTube video of an oddly hyper Tom cackling hysterically about his spiritual enlightenment.