Okay now just to be clear in this article I am not going to be looking at 10 individual Vampire characters. Instead I will be looking at ten different takes on Vampires, in ten different works of fiction such as Buffy, Blade, Discworld etc.
Like many people, I fucking love Vampires. Sadly however despite their recent surge in popularity, I have not enjoyed many of the more recent interpretations of Vampires such as Twilight and The Vampire Diaries. I think Vampires in recent years have become more of a teenage fantasy rather than a true monster. Its a shame as I feel that when Vampires are used properly they can be the most effective supernatural creatures, as more can be done with them than many others.
Hopefully you will see that in this list as I look at my ten favourite interpretations of Vampires.
As always all opinions are mine and tell me what are your favourite Vampires in the comments below.
10/ Doctor Who Vampires
The Great Vampires
Also Known As: The Great Vampires, Haemovores, Satuynarians.
Powers and Abilities: The Great Vampires are indestructable and can only be killed by having their hearts completely destroyed. They can drain the blood of billions of worlds at once. Their servants meanwhile possess many of the standard Vampire powers, super strength, immortality, hypnotic powers, control over animals etc. Haemovores have super strength and durability, being capable of withstanding a round of heavy machine gun fire to the chest with no ill effect.
Weaknesses: Great Vampires can be killed by having their hearts completely destroyed, their minions are vulnerable to sunlight, and can be killed by a stake to the heart. Haemovores can be hurt by human belief in something. It creates a psychic barrier that prevents them from coming near.
How Do They Reproduce: The Great Vampires can turn people into creatures similar to them through their mind alone, regular Vampires have to mix their blood with other life forms to make them their own kind.
Unique Attributes: The Great Vampires can drain the blood from all of the life forms in an entire solar system at once.
Monster Relatives: None
Other Supernatural Creatures: Aliens obviously exist in the Doctor Who universe, and though they are not supernatural per se, many of them have given rise to myths about certain supernatural creatures. For instance many myths about Witches stem from extraterrestrials known as the Carrionites and Magic in Doctor Who is explained away as being a form of advanced science that uses words rather than numbers for equations.
Despite this however a few other genuinely supernatural creatures do still exist seemingly in the Whoniverse.
Demons appear to exist. There is an ancient Demon known as the Beast who claims to have come from before the Universe’s existence, and to be the source of all horned creatures in all mythologies across the universe including Satan. He also claims that there are many more giant Demons like him, buried and imprisoned all across the universe waiting to be released.
We later see one of these Demons called Abaddon in the spin off series Torchwood. A similar Demon named “The Destroyer” appears in the 7th Doctor story “Battlefield”. Finally there is also another Demonic entity named the Mara which has the power to possess people that appears in the 5th Doctors era.
Werewolves also exist in the Doctor Who universe, though one alien posing as a Werewolf appears in the 10th Doctor story “Tooth and Claw. A real Werewolf appears in the 7th Doctor story “The Greatest Show in the Galaxy”. Apparently they are quite common across the entire universe. Dragons also exist too. In fact the moon is revealed to be a Dragons egg!
There are also several god like aliens including the Black Guardian who is shown to be served by several Demonic creatures. Finally the Grim Reaper who is referred to as Durac also appears in the spin off show Torchwood.
Enemies: Time Lords are the arch enemies of the Great Vampires, having driven their race to virtual extinction.
Alignment: The Great Vampires and their minions are evil destructive creatures who are happy to sacrifice entire solar systems to satisfy their hunger. Similarly the Haemovores are for the most part depicted as bloodthirsty animals regardless of who they were in life.
Appearances: State of Decay, The Curse of Fenric, The Vampires of Fenice.
Vampires have appeared in Doctor Who on a number of occasions. Doctor Who always had a more surrealist, Brothers Grimm aspect to it than other Science Fiction series. So Vampires were perhaps more a natural fit for it than other sci fi classics like say Star Trek.
Having said that however Doctor Who, whilst more surrealist in nature is still predominantly a science fiction series. Thus most of the supernatural creatures who have appeared throughout both Classic and New Who have been given a rational explanation.
Nevertheless there have been a few occasions where it has at the very least been hinted that the paranormal threat is the real deal, such as the Beast, Durac, The Mara and the Great Vampires.
The Great Vampires appear in the Fourth Doctor story “State of Decay”. This story was written by Terrence Dicks. Dicks had previously been the script editor for Doctor Who during the second and third Doctors era’s. He would also go on to write the novelisations of many Classic Who stories.
His contributions to the show are vast, but still despite this he actually only wrote a few stories by himself.
His stories I think tended to touch on horror themes. “The Brain of Morbius” is essentially Frankenstein in Space, whilst “The Horror of Fang Rock” is very much a haunted house story and “Robot” another story of his draws on yet another classic horror movie, “King Kong” for inspiration.
Its not surprising given his track record that Dicks would be the man to bring Vampires into the Whoniverse.
“State of Decay” see’s the Doctor, Romana and annoying stowaway Adric, all of whom are at this point trapped in another universe, arrive on a primitive planet that is ruled by three tyrannical Vampires. It is revealed that even the Doctor was unaware that Vampires existed, though he had heard stories of them when he was younger.
Thousands of years ago there were gigantic green skinned demonic monstrosities called The Great Vampires who destroyed entire galaxies in order to satisfy their heinous thirst for blood. Though the Doctors people the Time Lords normally had a policy of non interference. The Great Vampires represented too large a threat to the rest of the universe. The resulting war between the Vampires and the Time Lords was long and bloody, but the Time Lords eventually eradicated the Vampires. The Time Lords using Bow Ships to strike at their hearts. All of the Vampires were destroyed except for one, their leader, who escaped into another universe. E-Space.
There he crashed landed on a primitive planet. Unable to leave, he turned three wayward travellers into Vampires, and used them to enslave the population. Not only did his three Vampire servants turn the populace of the planet into their food supply, but they also used them as slave labour to build a space ship that could allow their master to escape and terrorise the cosmos once again.
Fortunately the Doctor is able to destroy the King of the Great Vampires. He uses the very rocket that the Vampire intended to escape with, which he launches into the beasts heart. After he dies, his minions crumble into nothing but dust.
“State of Decay” overall is a brilliant story. The Vampires origins are left deliberately vague enough so that its really up to the viewer to decide whether or not they are the genuine article or just very powerful aliens. The Vampires are also menacing too, though at times I feel that Emrys Jame,s who plays the leader of the three Vampires, Aukon is a little bit over the top.
The Great Vampire itself is an interesting concept and fortunately we only get a fleeting glimpse of it. Normally that was Doctor Who’s mistake. It would get too ambitious and try to depict monsters that its budget simply could not portray realistically.
Sometimes this would negatively affect otherwise excellent stories like “The Caves of Androzani”, or the “Terror of the Zygons”.
Fortunately they learn their lesson here and we only see the monsters face on a computer screen for a few seconds, and later its hand reaching out, which gives the idea of a truly immense creature.
The Vampires would go on to serve as an interesting addition to the Whoniverse mythology. They would not go on to appear in future television episodes, but they have gone on to appear in spin off material which has gone into greater detail with their history with the Time Lords.
Apparently the Great Vampires lived during a period known as the Dark Times, when magic was the dominant force and vastly powerful destructive creatures such as the Nestene Consciousness and the ravenous Racnoss roamed the universe.
It was the Time Lords themselves who brought about the end of the dark times by destroying the Vampires and the Racnoss. This made the way for science to become the dominant force instead of magic, which in turn created a more rational universe.
It is also revealed in spin off material that whilst the vast majority of lesser Vampires perished when their great Vampire masters died. A few managed to survive on the earth and other worlds giving rise to Vampire myths on many different planets.
The Great Vampires would not be the only explanation for Vampires that Doctor Who would give us. In “The Curse of Fenric” we discover that certain Vampire myths originate from the Haemovores.
Now whilst “State of Decay” was a great horror story. “The Curse of Fenric” is probably one of the greatest Doctor Who stories ever made.
The premise of Curse of Fenric see’s an ancient Demon named Fenric bring about the extinction of humanity, by unleashing a lethal chemical in the future, which mutates most of humanity into hideous vampiric creatures called Haemovores. Eventually however even the Haemovores themselves die out, as the earth becomes too poisonous.
Fenric then brings the last of these creatures backwards in time and unknowingly uses it to unleash the very chemical that will destroy its own world. Fortunately the Doctor is able to warn it, and the creature instead uses the chemical to kill itself and Fenric.
Much like “State of Decay” Fenric mixes fantasy and science fiction to great effect. The Vampires this time are given a completely scientific explanation. Whilst “State of Decay” drew more on old Hammer movies for inspiration, I feel that Fenric to some extent draws on Richard Mathieson’s novel “I Am Legend”.
The world of the Haemovores, being a post appocalyptic wasteland populated by mutant Vampires is not to dissimilar to the world in Matheson’s novel. There are also obvious influences from John Carpenters “The Fog” as well, even in just how the Haemovores look.
Fenric still However has a fantastical element through Fenric himself, who is for all intents and purposes a Demon. The story also incorporates Norse mythology as well as with Fenric’s apocalypse being the source for Ragnorak.
The best twist this story offers on the Vampire myth is the explanation it has for why crosses affect Vampires. Now normally this is a weakness that most stories about scientific Vampires such as the Blade film series leave it out.
With sunlight and garlic you have it that they are allergic to them, but the cross by its very nature has to have a more fantastical reason for hurting Vampires.
Here however they explain it as being because human belief in something. It can be anything from a person to an ideology. Their faith will create a psychic barrier that prevents the Vampires from attacking. It’s not the cross itself therefore that fends the Vampire off, but a human’s belief in God, which is symbolised by the cross.
This explains why Vampires in other non Christian cultures were warded off by the holy symbols of other religions too.
During the time of the setting of the story World War 2, however the character of Reverend Wainwright’s faith in god has become shaken by the horrors of both World Wars.
Thus when he tries to use the cross to ward off the Vampires it doesn’t work and they rip him to shreds.
At the same time however a communist soldier named Captain Sorin is able to ward them off with his belief in communism. Even when he is without his symbol the Red Star his faith alone is strong enough to allow him to walk through the Vampires unscathed.
This is such a clever twist on the old idea of the cross and faith being able to repel Vampires. Having it that a communist is able to use the red star to ward off Vampires whilst a priest can’t with the bible, is one of the most daring things Who has ever done.
It serves as a nice comment on how in dark times one persons beliefs can shatter whilst another’s can grow stronger. The Reverend cannot possibly believe in an all benevolent creator that is watching over us in a time of global conflict, when innocent people are being slaughtered in ghetto’s and concentration camps. Even the allies are killing children in the bombing of cities like Dresden.
The Communist on the other hand’s beliefs are getting stronger as he believes not only will Russia win the war, but that afterwards there will be a time of great change and things can’t go on the way they are with two world wars in less than 50 years. He believes that people will turn to communism as he does genuinely believe that it is the way forward for mankind.
This story uses Vampires as a powerful comment on human belief as well as religion and man’s inhumanity to man, which is why it is not only one of the best Doctor Who stories ever made, but one of the best Vampire stories ever made as well.
Sadly the last of Doctor Who’s three Vampire stories “Vampires of Venice” is the weakest of the three. Don’t get me wrong its still a brilliant story, but compared to the other two it falls rather flat.
Its more of a lightweight run around type of story. Its not as creepy and atmospheric as “State of Decay” or as powerful and deep as “The Curse of Fenric”. Also I feel it is more of a standard “myths were caused by aliens” type of story. The Vampires in this story are just aliens who have arrived on earth to colonise it, after their own planet was destroyed. There’s no mix of fantasy and science fiction like the previous two Vampire stories.
Its still a good story though and the leader of the Vampires; Rosanna Calvierri, is a very well rounded and even sympathetic character, played superbly by Helen McRory. Unlike the Great Vampires demise; her death is actually very moving.
This story was written by Toby Whitehouse who would had earlier created the Vampire series “Being Human”. Personally I would say that this is his best Doctor Who story to date.
Overall Doctor Who gave us three very interesting takes on Vampires. Its quite interesting the way that not all Vampire myths come from the same source in the Whoniverse.
Most of them come from The Great Vampires, however the cross myths come from the Haemovores and the no reflection myth comes from the Vampires of Venice.
All 3 stories touched on different aspects of Vampire mythology and lore. “State of Decay” showed us powerful, evil, destructive Vampires, whilst Fenric showed us Vampires who were created through solely scientific means, yet at the same time gave us one of the best twists on one of the classic supernatural elements from Vampire mythology. Finally “Vampires of Venice” gave us a more sympathetic Vampire story.
Its just a shame really that Doctor Who which has only touched on Vampires briefly in 50 years has still managed to give us a much more interesting take on the idea than many series that are devoted to them have done.
9/ Supernatural Vampires
Also Known As: Children of Eve
Origin: Vampires were created by Eve, an ancient primordial entity that created the majority of other supernatural races including, Werewolves, Ghouls, Rugarru’s, Djinn’s, Crocotta’s, Wendigo’s, Shapeshifter’s, Vetala’s and Skinwalkers. The first Vampire claims to have been “the thing in the dark” when man kind “huddled around the fire”.
Powers and Abilities: Supernatural strength, greater than that of many other supernatural creatures including Ghouls, Wendigo’s, Skinwalkers, Rugarru’s and Shifters, as well as black eyed Demons as demonstrated by the fact that Gordon, despite only being a Vampire for a few hours was able to take on Sam and Dean single handed, whilst his Vampire bride who again had only been a Vampire for a few moments, was able to overpower Dean too. Ruby meanwhile a high ranking Black Eyed Demon was unable to overpower Dean in a one on one fight.
The older a Vampire gets the stronger it gets, with the Alpha Vampire being so strong that even after enduring hours of torture at the hands of one of the most skilled hunters who would know exactly how to hurt him the most, and being injected with enough dead man’s blood to down a nest of regular Vampires, it still took the combined might of three Demons to restrain him. Even then that was only after a further two shots of dead man’s blood to the neck!. Vampires also possess super speed, agility, healing and immortality and invulnerability with the only thing that can kill them being beheading.
Weaknesses: Dead man’s blood can paralyse, incapacitate and hurt them. Though it is not fatal, it has allowed hunters and Demons who were normally weaker to over power them.
Bullets, arrows and blades coated in dead man’s blood are very useful weapons against Vampires but cutting their heads off kills them. Sunlight hurts their eyes and hurts like a nasty sun burn. They can also be killed by the colt a magical gun that can kill anything, and Angels who can destroy them in a similar manner how they smite Demons.
How Do They Reproduce: In order to become a Vampire you have to consume their blood first. If you drink the blood of the vampire who turned you before you have drank human blood, then you will change back into a human.
Unique Attributes: Supernatural Vampires have souls and when they die their souls go to neither heaven nor hell, but to purgatory alongside other supernatural creatures souls.
Monster Relatives: Vampires are the children of Eve and thus are related to all other monster races she created, which include Werewolves, Ghouls, Shapeshifters, Wendigo’s, Khan Worm, Wraith’s, Skin Walkers, Djinns, Vetala’s and Crocotta’s. Many of these monster races share similar traits to Vampires, though their closest relatives are apparently the Vetala’s. Vampires are also distantly related to the Leviathans, ancient monsters capable of devouring Demons, Angels and just about anything else. It is believed Eve the creator of the Vampires came from the Leviathan’s or was related to them.
Other Supernatural Creatures: Aside from the other monster races, Demons, Ghosts, Leviathans, Angels, Gods and the Judeo Christian god all exist.
Enemies: Hunters are the primary enemies of Vampires, with hunters by the time of the first season having almost wiped them out. Demons were briefly enemies of Vampires in season 6 when Crowley the king of Hell wanted to know where Purgatory was, he began capturing Monster races and torturing them for information on Purgatory. One of those he captured was the Alpha Vampire. The Alpha however proved to be too tough and later escaped. He would remain Crowley’s enemy with Crowley even keeping tabs on him afterwards. Other than this though Vampires and Demons don’t seem to care about each other. Vampires were also briefly the enemies of Leviathans who wanted to exterminate all monster races to avoid competition.
Alignment: Most Vampires in Supernatural do not seem to mind killing innocent people, but still Supernatural Vampires are somewhat more sympathetic than other depictions. Many of them including Benny Lafette, Lenore and an entire clan of Vampires have shown restraint enough to stop feeding on human beings. Lenore continued not to feed even after one of her pack was killed and she herself was captured and tortured. They also can love and even mate for life and generally care for one another’s well being. One Vampire even killed himself after his clan was wiped out.
Supernatural is one of my all time favourite television series. I have been a fan since pretty much the start of its run.
Still having said that I have always had mixed feelings towards its depiction of Vampires. As Vampires are my favourite monsters I must admit I am always very particular in how I want to see them portrayed.
Vampires for me should always be evil. In fact I feel they should always be the most evil monsters. In Being Human, Werewolves and Ghosts are happy to live in peace with mankind, but its the Vampires who are the ones who want to tear human society down and also at the same time persecute other supernatural races.
In Buffy meanwhile there are good guy Demons of all kinds and good guy Werewolves and Witches, but no good guy Vampires, apart from Spike and Angel who are special occurrences. In the Buffyverse Vampires are the only monsters seemingly incapable of redemption on their own.
In Supernatural however its the very opposite. Vampires are the softest, most emo monsters.
All Ghosts end up as angry spirits in Supernatural. All Demons are evil, sadistic assholes, a good portion of Angels are complete bastards, and all other monster species are also shown to be total dicks too like Wendigo’s, Wraiths and Ghouls. There are no good guy Leviathans either. There are only really good guy Vampires and quite a lot of them too!
Added to that the bad guy Vampires in Supernatural are also very unimpressive. Luther a Vampire leader from season 1 spends more time shagging his girlfriend, and whining about how hunters hunt him than killing people. He is also too afraid to kill a hunter in case other hunters come after him and chastises his girlfriend for doing that.
Honestly what kind of a Vampire is that? Vampires should be bloodthirsty monsters who don’t give a fuck about hunters. If anything they should get angry at the idea that a hunter would dare to challenge them.
Then there is Dixon in season 3 who also spends more time whining about how hunters hunt him than actually doing any Vampire stuff too.
The only Vampires I have liked in Supernatural are Gordon Walker who seemed genuinely dangerous to everyone and everything around him, Benny who was likable and the Alpha Vampire.
The Alpha Vampire seemed genuinely formidable. Even when he was being tortured by Samuel Campbell, one of the worlds greatest hunters and also the king of hell himself.
He didn’t even scream or flinch for a second during the torture. My favourite scene is when he is in his cage and one of Samuel Campbell’s hunters is alone with him and he says calmly “are you afraid of me boy I would be afraid of me if I were you”.
How frightening do you have to be if your torturer is scared of you! Rick Worthy who played the Alpha was also perfect.
I love his confrontation with Sam and Dean, where rather than feel scared of these two notorious hunters who have taken down the Devil himself, he feels angry at the idea that they think they can frighten him. Even though he is the one who is seemingly completely powerless and locked in a cage.
Other than the Alpha Vampire who was brilliant and a few others however. Most of the Vampires in Supernatural were whiny bitches which was even worse as Supernatural ran right through the middle of the public’s obsession with romantic Vampires.
Even though Supernatural mocked the likes of Twilight in the episode “Live Free and Twihard” it seemed to me like that was now Vampires place in the supernatural pantheon to be the romantic, sappy, misunderstood, sympathetic monster, which is a shame as back in the days of Buffy they were always the main villains.
However Supernatural’s take on Vampires still gets major points from me for originality.
I liked the way the creators of the show were so bold as to throw out a lot of the traditional Vampire lore like cross, stakes etc. I think they came up with quite a few new cool ideas and weaknesses of their own. I liked the idea of dead man’s blood being a weakness. It was quite a nice irony that blood, the thing they fed on, under some circumstances could hurt them.
I also loved the lore of Supernatural that all the supernatural creatures could be divided up into different groups, kind of like how in the animal kingdom, we have mammals, reptiles etc.
Finally my favourite aspect of the Supernatural Vampires is what happens to them after they die. I love the idea that Vampire souls end up in Purgatory. It makes the idea of becoming a Vampire much more frightening.
Think about it in other Vampire stories when a person becomes a Vampire its horrible, but after they are slain they are released, their soul is set free. In Buffy their souls aren’t even in their bodies when they become Vampires.
In Supernatural however after you become a Vampire and you are killed by a hunter, your soul will end up in purgatory as a Vampire soul, where you will be forced to hunt other monsters forever. Thus you are truly eternally damned.
If your loved one is made into a Vampire then you will never see them ever again, as if you die you will go to heaven, whilst your loved one will go to Purgatory or vice versa.
If you become a Vampire regardless of how good a person you were in life, after you become a Vampire you will never see your loved ones. You will be stuck in an eternal forest hunting other monsters forever.
It doesn’t even matter if you are a reformed Vampire like Benny or Lenore, the fact that you are a Vampire will still mean that you end up in Purgatory forever. In this respect Supernatural Vampires and Werewolves for that matter are the most frightening of any interpretation.
When Gordon Walker a Vampire hunter is made into one as a form of revenge by a Vampire, then it truly is the worst fate for him as now he will be one for all eternity. Even if he is slain.
The poor young girl who is unknowingly turned at the start of that episode (played by Mercedes McNab, Harmony on Buffy the Vampire Sayer), who had no idea what was happening to her, will now be in Purgatory separated from all of her loved ones forever.
Similarly the werewolf Madison will never be reunited with Sam as when he dies. He will go to heaven, whilst she is in purgatory with the other monsters.
Thus whilst I have some issues with their moping, overall for me Supernatural has provided a very interesting and in some ways more terrifying take on Vampires.
8/ Reapers/ Blade 2
Origin: Created by Damaskinos a Vampire leader in an effort to create the ultimate Vampire.
Powers and Abilities: Super strength, speed and agility greater than that of all regular Vampires. They also possess a leech like three way jaw that allows them to paralyse their victims whilst they feed.
Weaknesses: Can be killed by sunlight and UV lights.
How do They Reproduce: Through a bite
Unique Attributes: Horrible ugly three way jaw (above)
Monster Relatives: Ordinary Vampire race and Zombies
Other Supernatural Creatures: Werewolves
Enemies: Regular Vampires, particularly the Blood Pack and Blade himself of course.
Alignment: The Reapers are savage, animalistic monsters that are a threat to everything and everyone around them.
The Reapers are one of my favourite Vampire variants in anything. They are just such an inspired idea. The Vampires that prey on Vampires. This actually does have some basis in mythology. The Nelapsi were said to be Vampires, who were more powerful and ferocious than regular Vampires, and were feared even by them.
The Reapers are everything people who can’t stand Twilight style Vampires could wish for. Ugly, monstrous, bloodthirsty animals. No one is going to fantasise about being bitten by these guys.
Their loathsome three way jaw has become iconic, and has even been replicated in other monsters such as Professor Lazarus in Doctor Who. Someone needs to show Charlie Brooker who said that Vampires are the worst monsters because they are pussies the Reapers. I like Charlie Brooker, but his article about why all Vampires are crap just because of Twilight is ridiculous. By that logic then all Ghost movies are sappy because of that Patrick Swayze movie.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer would later attempt to do its own take on the idea of there being a second more powerful, feral race of Vampires who regular Vampires fear the Turok Han.
Personally I think the Reapers were a much more effective interpretation of this idea. The Turok Han were scary in their first episode where we saw one beat Buffy almost to death and slaughter dozens of potential slayers. However famously when we saw an army of them in the final episode of Buffy “Chosen” they got thrashed very easily with even the likes of Xander, Dawn Summers and Andrew beating them up.
The Reapers were consistently scary and their leader, the only member of their kind to retain his intelligence Nomak played by Luke Goss has to rank as one of the all time greatest screen Vampires.
7/ Discworld Vampire
Now these Vampires are very different to the regular kind and I confess I don’t know everything about them yet which is why i am not going to do a bio on them unlike the others. I have only just got into Terry Pratchett recently (I know how could I avoid his work for so long).
Still these guys have to make the cut among my favourites, cause they are just so bat shit mental. Though they don’t always have the largest role, they are always immensely entertaining due to their more eccentric qualities, such as their need to give their prey a sporting chance.
Many have used Vampirism as a metaphor for addiction before but none to quite the same extent as Pratchett. His Vampires having support groups for their blood addiction and even go “Cold Bat”.
Whilst I generally like my Vampires to be evil I don’t mind more comical takes on Vampires either.
6/ American Vampire, Vampires
The Vampires in this criminally underrated comic book series are among the most interesting take on the creatures I have seen. Rather than come up with one type of Vampire with a set of strict rules. They have instead come up with the idea that there are several different species of Vampires, who have given rise to the many different Vampire myths.
For this reason we wont be including a bio of these guys either are there are simply too many to list. If you haven’t looked at this series yet you definitely should. One story is even written by Stephen King writer of one of the greatest of all Vampire stories “Salem’s Lot”.
5/ Being Human Vampires
Origin: Two brothers who made a deal with the devil to live forever became the first Vampires.
Powers and Abilities: Super strength, speed, immortality and healing.
Weaknesses: Can be killed by a stake through the heart, fire, beheading and cannot enter a house without an invitation if they do they will burn. They are also vulnerable to holy items though only in small numbers.
How Do They Reproduce: It only takes a drop of their blood to turn a person into one of their kind.
Unique Attributes: Werewolves blood is like acid on their skin.
Monster Relatives: Werewolves and Ghosts, who were created by The Devil like Vampires were.
Other Supernatural Creatures: Werewolves, Ghosts, Demons, Succubi, Inccubi, Zombies, Psychics and Warlocks and Witches.
Enemies: Werewolves are the sworn enemies of Vampires, though this is more on the Vampires part.
Alignment: Most of them are racist, chaotic, psychotic, sadistic bastards who enjoy not only torturing and killing people, but Werewolves and Ghosts too. Many of them are shown to violently attack Werewolves in the streets beating them up for no reason other than sadistic cruelty. However they are capable of controlling their bloodlust and a few have done so including Mitchell and Hal. It is implied that they all feel guilt for their actions at some point in their lives, but cover it up as its the only way they can go on.
When I say Being Human I am referring to the British version only here. I haven’t seen the American version. Maybe its good, I don’t know, but I am only talking about the British version.
I loved the Vampires in this series. I felt Toby Whitehouse really fleshed out their characters well, showing us how they integrate themselves into our society, and how they view other supernaturals, particularly Werewolves.
I loved the idea of Vampires hating Werewolves because Werewolves in wolf form were stronger, and also because Vampires were jealous to an extent that Werewolves had “time off”. They could remain human most of the time and live otherwise normal lives whilst Vampires were monsters all of the time.
Whilst the idea of Vampires vs Werewolves is certainly not original, I think Being Human did it best. The Dog fights they subject Werewolves to are truly disturbing. When the Vampires lock Werewolves in cages on the night of the full moon with innocent people, so that the Werewolves will rip them apart, it feels like the Vampires are trying to drag the Werewolves down to their level.
The Vampires know that they can never control their bloodlust and will be destined to be killers, so forcing Werewolves to be as well in some ways makes them feel better about themselves.
I also like the way that the Vampires are the most evil and dangerous supernatural creatures in the Being Human universe. Ghost’s, Werewolves, Demons, Succubi’s are all willing to live in peace with humanity (until the last series at least), but Vampires are constantly trying to create a world where they will rule over all other races. A world they actually do manage to create in an alternate timeline in series 4.
In this timeline we see the Vampires run a Nazi like regime, rounding up human beings and Werewolves into concentration camps, where they kill them for fun, torture them, burn L for Lycan and H for human into their skins, and force them to fight each other on the night of the full moon. They also presumably do the same to other supernatural races Ghosts, Demons etc, as they are shown to rule the entire world. That’s more what I like to see Vampires as the most evil of all the supernatural creatures that exist, rather than as the most sensitive, and caring, and wimpy like in Supernatural.
Also their leader Mr Snow played by Mark Gatiss is awesome too. Personally I think that’s Gatiss’s best performance in anything either comedic or serious. The leader of the Vampires in seasons 1-3 Herrick, played by Jason Watkins is also a brilliant villain as well. He’s a really nasty piece of work.
I mean we are talking about a guy who once stabbed a pregnant woman in the kidney, with a butchers knife, just to prove he hadn’t gone soft. Its even worse when you consider that said pregnant woman, was in fact the only person who was nice to him when he had amnesia, and even saved his life on a number of occasions too.
Other than a few exceptions Being Human Vampires are among the most evil and twisted of any interpretation and that’s why they are among my faves.
4/ I Am Legend Vampires
Origin: Strain of bacteria that can infect both living and dead hosts.
Powers and Abilities: None, they are slow moving and weak.
Weaknesses: Stake through heart and sunlight, they are also vulnerable to holy items due to a psychological belief that it can hurt them, but it ultimately has no real effect on them.
How Do They Reproduce: Through an airborne bacteria.
Unique Attributes: They are slow moving, weak and frail creatures, unlike the majority of other super strong Vampires we see in most works of fiction.
Monster Relatives: The infected who have managed to overcome their need for blood and aversion to sunlight.
Other Supernatural Creatures: none
Enemies: Robert Neville and the infected who recover and hunt them down.
Alignment: Not evil per se, they just want to feed. At the end of the book, some are able to overcome their infection and try and build a new society.
Richard Matheson was really the first author to have Vampires as being created by science, rather than magic, something which many other Vampire stories have since emulated.
I am Legend was also very influential on the Zombie genre too. Indeed it could be argued that it created the modern day Zombie genre, as George A Romero drew inspiration from this when creating “Night of the Living Dead” which did literally invent the modern day zombie genre.
The Vampires in this story are more like zombies, deformed, weak shuffling creatures who are scary when they travel in large numbers. Though the book has been filmed three times “The Last Man On Earth”, “The Omega Man” and “I Am Legend” only “The Last Man on Earth” retains the idea of it being Vampires.
Make no mistake however this is a Vampire story and I think it offers one of the most interesting takes on the Vampire myth as well as one of the most influential. When Charlie Brooker went on about Vampires being the worst monsters because they are wimps, whilst Zombies (the Romero flesh eating variety) are the best because they just kill people, someone better tell Mr Brooker that the modern Zombie genre he loves so much, practically comes from a single Vampire story.
The modern day Zombie is almost a variant of Vampire, and owes far more to this Vampire story, ironically than it does to the old Voodoo Zombie myths and legends.
Powers and Abilities: Super strength said to be as great as twenty men, Immortality, shapeshifting, hypnotic powers.
Weaknesses: Wooden stake through the heart, cannot enter a house without an invitation, beheading, garlic, they are weaker during the day but, it does not destroy them, and they cannot cross running water at a low or high tide.
How Do They Reproduce: Through a bite, though it may take several.
Unique Attributes: None as everyone has copied the Vampires rules of this story in some way or another, though at the time it was very original.
Monster Relatives: None
Other Supernatural Creatures: Werewolves and Witches
Enemies: Vampire hunters
Alignment: Pure evil seek to overthrow humanity, though they do seem to be able to care for one another, as Dracula despite beating his wives claims to love them very much.
Whilst I would agree that Dracula is the best Vampire story ever written, there are other types of Vampires that I prefer. Still its no exaggeration to say that the majority of attributes of other Vampires come from this tale.
Stoker combines many different old legends together to create what are really the ultimate Vampires. Dracula himself contrary to popular belief, does not embody the seductive Vampire persona. He is a hideous old man, who gets younger the more blood he drinks, though his wives certainly do follow the seductive Vampire model.
The Vampires in this story are generally portrayed as evil monsters too, and it would be later versions of Dracula that would recast him as a more seductive, romantic and even sympathetic character.
Over the years Dracula has been portrayed on film more times than any other fictional character. Whilst there have some amazing films and performances, very few have actually remained completely faithful to Stokers original novel.
2/ Blade Vampires
Origin: Created by Drake though his origin is unknown.
Powers and Abilities: Super strength, speed, agility, healing to the extent where they can regrow limbs, immortality.
Weaknesses: Can be killed by a stake through the heart, or anything made of silver piercing the heart and brain, direct sunlight, UV lights and garlic.
How do they Reproduce: Through a bite only.
Unique Attributes: These Vampires can turn people into zombies as well.
Monster Relatives: Reapers, a mutant race of Vampires, and Zombies who are created when the process of turning someone into a Vampire does not work properly, and the person comes back as a living, rotting corpse with no higher brain functions, and a desire not just to feed on blood but to devour anything (including even other Vampires) that they come into contact with. Thus Zombies in Blade are merely an offshoot of Vampires.
Other Supernatural Creatures: Werewolves.
Enemies: Blade a human/Vampire hybrid who has the strength, speed, agility and healing of a Vampire (as well as their thirst which he keeps under control) but none of their weaknesses. Blade has been responsible for wiping out most of the Vampire race, as seen in Blade Trinity. Though he believed he had killed them all, he later discovered that a few had survived in Blade the Series. Blade is the Vampires main enemy, but there are many other Vampire hunters around such as Blade’s mentor Whistler and the Night stalkers.
Alignment: All irredemably evil except for Blade and that’s only because he is part human.
The regular Blade Vampires I feel deserve a seperate section from the Reapers, as they are a different race after all.
Now the Blade Vampires were effective villains in a number of ways. They were powerful, evil and brutal antagonists to the main hero with Frosts’ torture of Whistler alone demonstrating how vicious they are. However what really scores them so high on my list is the way they worked as a secret society.
I quite liked the idea of Vampires running things from behind the scenes, controlling our police force, covering up their crimes, framing those who hunted them, having human servants who use modern day weaponry.
It made the Vampires seem a little bit more menacing. In most Vampire fiction like Buffy and Supernatural the Vampires are just skulking around in old graveyards fighting anyone who comes near them with their hands. The Blade Vampires however were definitely a lot smarter, in that they would often be protected in their mansions, by hundreds of heavily armed guards, making Vampire hunters jobs a bit more difficult to say the least.
The Vampire society was also really fleshed out too in all three films. It was interesting to see how they had their own language and also how there were divisions in Vampire society, with the pure blood (those who were born Vampires) looking down on those who were merely turned.
1/ Buffy Vampires
Origin: Created when Maloker a powerful old one fed off of a human being infecting him and turning him into a Demon human hybrid who went on to infect others.
Powers and Abilities: Super strength which gets greater when they get older. Older Vampires possess strength far greater than that of most demons as demonstrated by the fact that Angel a vampire over 200 years old (which isn’t even that old for a Vampire) is able to overpower most of the Demons he comes across in his own series. He regularly slaughters entire packs of Demons at a time. Buffy Vampires are stronger than Werewolves too as Angel managed to kill one with spectacular ease using only a pen. They also possess super speed, agility, healing and the ability to morph between human and vampire form.
Weaknesses: The usual weaknesses, a stake through the heart, beheading, direct sunlight, fire, cannot enter a home unless invited, crosses and holy water are also effective.
Unique Attributes: Though they are immortal the passing of centuries does affect them. Their vampire face becomes more deformed and they eventually lose the ability to look human.
Monster Relatives: The Old Ones who created them and other Demon races as Vampires are classed as Demons therefore they are their relatives. There are also the Turok Han another more powerful second race of Vampires who are described by Giles “As Neanderthals are to humans the Turok Han are to Vampires an old an entirely seperate race”.
Other Supernatural Creatures: Many, Demons, Werewolves, Witches, robots and even aliens.
Enemies: The Slayer, one girl in all the world gifted with the strength, and skill to hunt them.
Alignment: Very, very, very evil.
My favourite Vampires, not too surprising, considering how much I love Buffy.
Buffy Vampires, in my opinion manage to combine all the great qualities of other Vampires. We have the tragic tortured Vampire in the form of Angel, the fun, sexy cool Vampire in the form of Spike, and the hideous deformed, bloodthirsty Vampire in the form of the Master.
The Buffy Vampires are also genuinely evil and demonic. Unlike other Vampires they don’t just kill people. They enjoy torturing them too.
Indeed Buffy and its spin off Angel has been responsible for some of the sickest and most nightmarish Vampires seen in any medium.
There is The Master, an ancient Vampire who seeks to exterminate the human race, by unleashing an ancient army of Demons onto the earth, and punishes any Vampire who fails him severely. What does it say when one cuts of his own hand to avoid being punished by the Master! The Master also in one episode that depicts an alternate timeline, is able to overrun Sunnydale, turning it into a place where Vampires rule and humans are kept in cages and tortured for fun. He later builds a machine that slowly and painfully drains the blood from still living human beings turning them literally into cattle!
Angelus meanwhile is a Vampire who thrives on killing and torturing people in all kinds of ways. One of the worst examples of his cruelty is when he snaps several young infants necks and places their corpses in their beds, so that when their father comes to wish them good night he only realises that they are dead, when he leans in to kiss them good night and feels how cold they are. Angelus also does this to Giles, after he kills his lover Jenny Calendar and places her corpse in his bed, and sets things up to make it look like Jenny is waiting for him upstairs.
Then there is Drusilla an insane Vampire who enjoys plucking people’s eyes out including her own servants.
Her lover Spike also earned his nickname by slowly torturing his victims to death with railroad spikes, whilst Marcus is a Vampire who created several of the worst torture methods and enjoys torturing anything, humans, Demons even other Vampires. He also most disturbingly of all enjoys torturing, molesting and devouring children!
The scene where he acquires the Gem of Amarra, a ring that will enable any Vampire who wears it, to become unkillable and selects a group of young children as his first intended victims in the daylight, is one of the most genuinely chilling moments in any Vampire story. When he says calmly “Hello Boys and Girls” with a perverse smile it never fails to send shivers up my spine.
In Buffy, no Vampire is shown to be capable of overcoming its bloodlust and evil nature. Angel only is because his human soul is returned to him, which allows him to feel remorse something which no Vampire is capable of otherwise.
Spike meanwhile only is because initially he has a chip in his head, that prevents him from hurting anyone as it causes him tremendous pain if he tries to. Even with this chip in his head Spike still doesn’t become a good guy.
He does plenty of evil things with a chip. He works alongside Adam, an evil cyborg killer to try and bring about the end of the world. He also later attempts to force a doctor to remove the chip, so he can kill Buffy, and later even when he is involved with Buffy, keeps Demon eggs that are capable of wiping out all of Sunnydale locked in his cellar, which he intends to sell on the black market.
Most telling however is a scene in season 6, when Spike believes his chip has stopped working and rather than tell Buffy that it has, and that he could be a danger to people. He lies to her, and then quietly tries to murder a helpless young woman. He even toys with her first, with it ultimately only being the chip that stops him from savagely ripping her throat out.
Then finally there is also the notorious scene where he actually attempts to rape an injured and seemingly defenceless Buffy.
It is only when he acquires his human soul something, which no other Vampire except for Angel has, that he finally becomes a good person.
Other than these two exceptions however, no Vampire in Buffy can find redemption and indeed no Vampire in Buffy is ever shown to want too either.
Unlike in Being Human where it is implied that all the Vampires do secretly want to overcome their evil nature but just don’t have the strength to do so, in Buffy they all relish in being as evil as they possibly can.
Its also made worse by the fact that they do not need to feed on human blood. They can get by just as easily on animal blood and thus could live in peace with mankind, but choose instead to prey on us.
Though Buffyverse Vampires can love only a very few of them have been shown too. Most only care for themselves as demonstrated by Darla hitting Angelus over the head with a shovel, and betraying him when they were cornered. Darla also became afraid that after she gave birth to her child, she would kill it as she was only capable of loving it when it was inside of her and its soul was affecting her.
The few Vampires who have been shown to be capable of love always do so in very twisted ways such anyway such as Spike. Though Spike did genuinely love Buffy, it was in a very selfish and perverse way as demonstrated by his attempt to rape Buffy.
The only occasion of a Vampire genuinely trying to better itself without a soul was when Spike won his soul for Buffy in the Demon trials. However even here it can be argued that soulless Spike’s motives were simply as Angel put it “to get into a girls pants”.
Like I said before the Vampires in Buffy are among the most evil creatures in the shows universe, as there are examples of many other types of Demon who are benevolent on their own, such as Clem and Whistler, but all Vampires are pure evil.
Whilst I liked the fact that Buffy’s Vampires were so evil at the same time, I also much preferred Buffy’s take on good guy Vampires too.
Often in other series like Being Human, as much as I like it I think it does look a little bit too easy for Vampires like Hal to suddenly stop drinking blood. I know they portray it like an addiction, but really Vampirism should be more than just an addiction its a curse after all.
The fact that Angel and Spike were only able to reform because of outside interference, such as a soul or a chip, makes the Buffy Vampires seem much more frightening. When you become one of them, you become a monster in every sense of the word.
Nothing of you remains. Its not as though, at one point you can regain your conscience like Hal or Mitchell did because you wont even want to!
Finally another area where Buffy Vampires where my favourites, was I feel their backstory was more fleshed out. Prior to Buffy I don’t think a lot of Vampire fiction had ever bothered to tell us where Vampires had come from.
Buffy however gave us a clear story, that they had been created by the old ones and gave us a full supernatural world for them to fit into. One where ironically, despite their power and evil nature, they were still looked down on by other Demons due to being Demon/human hybrids.
Other series have since followed Buffy’s lead and given us explanations for the monsters, such as Supernatural which has its own unique mythology, but I think Buffy was among the first to really tell us where do Vampires and Demons actually come from?
To me Buffy Vampires will always be the most effective. They are along with the Demons from Supernatural my favourite take on any Paranormal creature.