Vampires may be all the rage these days, but the coolest thing about them is the way they die. Gone are the days of movies in which vampires simply died and faded quietly into a pile of ash. Instead, we now have spectacular vampire death that makes us enjoy the entire process. No more quick “poofs” then on to the next scene, these vampire deaths grab their pieces of the spotlight and are firmly lodged in memories.
“The Lost Boys” (1987)
“The Lost Boys” has some of the best vampire death scenes ever. From a vampire melting in a bathtub of holy water, to upside down sleeping vamps being staked and exploding in green snot, to a vampire impaled by an arrow to a stereo system (“Death by stereo!”), “The Lost Boys” has plenty in the cool gory vampire death department. Oh yeah, and Kiefer Sutherland impaled on antelope horns–that’s just way cool.
The first half-hour of this movie features a death scene of an exploding vampire head. It was so unexpected that it just dripped with awesome sauce.
“30 Days of Night” (2007)
This movie is one of the most original vampire movies I have seen in a long while and still ranks as one of my personal favorites. The final death scene with the vamp-in-progress Josh Hartnett features slow, burning and flaking away death which is not exactly spectacular, but it is definitely memorable.
“Bram Stoker’s Dracula” (1992)
“Bram Stoker’s Dracula” has one of the most enjoyable and well-played death scenes of a minor vampire character. Van Helsing (Anthony Hopkins) and Jonathan Harker (Keanu Reeves) along with others enter a tomb to stake the baby vamp Lucy. Van Helsing quips beforehand “I just want to cut off her head and take out her heart” to Lucy’s lovesick doctor.
After entering Lucy’s tomb, they wait for the vampire to return. She enters carrying a child she plans to feed upon. When Van Helsing pulls out a cross and forces Lucy back into her tomb, she pukes blood all over him. When the men begin staking her, there is screeching and blood and then her severed body goes flying. A great moment in cinematic history.
“Fright Night” (1985)
The death scene for vampire Jerry Dandridge (Chris Sarandon) in “Fright Night” is a classic. He suffers death by sunlight and erupts into a ball of green flame that causes his body to both melt and explode. It is horrific awesomeness at its best.
“Buffy the Vampire Slayer” (1992)
The movie, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” had perhaps my favorite vampire death scene. This is my favorite because it is so campy and fun. Vampire Paul Reubens (remember him–PeeWee Herman?) is staked with a wooden ruler by Buffy (Kristy Swanson). Instead of exploding, erupting in flame or melting, he hams it up. Groaning and moaning “Uhhhh, ahhhh, ohhh, owwww,” falling to the floor and kicking the wall before finally slumping over in death, this is a small scene in the movie but definitely the most memorable.
There are more great movies with spectacular vampire death, but these are my top picks–those that stand out in my mind when I think of memorable death scenes in vampire movies.
“True Blood” (television)
Okay, I would be remiss to leave out the one television show that takes vampire death to an all new high on the gore factor. HBO’s “True Blood” has exploding vampires that leave a pile of bloody, icky mess all over the place. The vamps on “True Blood” explode in projectiles of sticky, clotty guts that coat whomever happens to be standing nearby.
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