As a follow-up to our recent publication, “Queer Vampires in Modern Cinema” by Tabatha Wood, we’ve compiled a short list of movies from the 60s through today with various forms of Queer Rep in Vampire films.
Blood and Roses (1960)
Very loosely inspired by the French vampire novella “Carmilla” (of which there is an excellent updated edition edited by author Carmen Maria Machado!) this film follows Carmilla who believes she is possessed by a vampiric ancestor. This lush film adaptation utilizes a sensual and dreamy colour palette combined with use of black and white with minimal color for dramatic emphasis and beautiful cinematography. It’s artsy, glamorous, and was very titillating to audiences at the time with its singular on-screen lesbian kiss.
The movie is sadly very hard to find on DVD or Blu-Ray.
Watch the trailer here.
This cult classic in Blaxploitation film combines the best of 70s cinema with a twist on the Dracula myth. African Prince Mamuwalde travels the world to petition the end of slavery and visits Dracula in the late 1700s. The Count turns Mamuwalde into a vampire and seals him in a coffin. Nearly 100 years later, a gay couple transports Blacula’s coffin home while on a trip collecting antiques, and unknowingly awaken the Prince, unleashing him on 1972 Los Angeles.
The Hunger (1983)
What could be sexier than David Bowie playing centuries-old aging vampire, John? Let’s try adding in the stunning Catherine Deneuve as his lover, Miriam! Not hot enough for ya? Okay, then how about about adding in Susan Sarandon as Sarah, Miriam’s new lover. Yeah, we thought so. It’s haunting and dramatic, and the perfect amount of “80s excess.”
Interview with a Vampire (1994)
Starring Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, and Kirsten Dunst. This one is a classic! It is a gorgeously costumed dramatic adaptation of Anne Rice’s popular novel of the same name. Full of homoerotic tension, sensual and sinister vampires, and a finessed balance between gore and glamor. It’s got a wicked blend of drama, humor, eroticism, horror, and violence. What’s not to love about this utterly decadent installment in the vampire film genre?
Okay, so this one might be more of a “fandom” projection of Queer vampires, but you’d be hard pressed to find a late 90s/early 2000s Queer Goth lesbian/bisexual who didn’t have more than a little girl-crush the brooding Selene, played by Kate Beckinsale, or Erika, played by Sophia Myles. The Underworld series has grown into quite the franchise since its initial offering was released, and although the storylines are not the most airtight, they’re fun comic-book style entries into the genre.
We Are the Night (2010)
A modern offering into the Vampire Cinema scene by German filmmaker Dennis Gansel. 18 year old Lena falls for the mysterious and sexy, 250-year-old Louise. Lena falls in league with Louise’s trio of sexy huntresses, but soon realizes she may have bit off more than she can chew.
A modern Feminist option in Vampire cinema, this is one with so much overt Queer Rep your head might explode (but we hope not, because you’d be missing out on this one!) Laurel links arms with a band of local girl-gang of Queer vamp gals who take on the endless task of ridding the Los Angeles dating scene of predatory men.
Listicle by Ellen Avigliano
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