Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Top Ten Vampire Babes of All Time

Bloody Disgusting recently posted their list of The Top Ten Vampire Babes. Well, I don't align with ANY of their choices as a top 10 - as a top 100 - sure. But, overall, I thought Bloody Disgusting's choices were bloody awful. As this is a matter largely of personal taste I've decided to make my own Top 10. This is a list built entirely from personal (libidinal) preference; the choices are not a reflection of the films per se, rather this list is simply about laying down arms and surrendering to these dark, dangerous, creatures...

And so, without further delay, I implore you to lay down your hammers, stakes, garlic, holy water, super soakers, hedge clippers, what have you, because Chick Young Proudly Presents Trash Aesthetics' Top 10 Vampire Babes of All Time:

10. Count Yorga's Harem of Honeys - Count Yorga Vampire & The Return of Count Yorga 1970 and 71'


Can't have none of em' so I might as well have all of em'. Yes, that's right, just about all of the hot chickies from both Count Yorga films wind up becoming vampires - and what a harem this Bulgarian Vulgarian amasses. Special emphasis must go to Judy Lang for her Chef Boyardee slathered kitten munching scene. Although the Vampire Hunters in both films spend a tremendous amount of time running away from all this vampire hotness - in truth - they represent the ultimate vampire hunters wet dream. Don't go down fighting in these films - just go DOWN - and shout... "I regret Nothinnnnng!"

9. The Brides from Dracula 2000 (2000).


In keeping with the spirit of Number 10's having your cake and eating it too - Jeri Ryan, Colleen Fitzpatrick (Vitamin C) and Jennifer Esposito make an incredibly toothsome trio of vampire honeys!! Not to mention Justine Waddell - whose Mary is also utterly perfect. And, I mention in passing that Justine did a pretty damn good job playing Natalie Wood (The Mystery of Natalie Wood). Dracula 2000 is clever, original, well-executed, and has Christopher Plummer as Van Helsing - nuf' said. Underrated movie.

8. Ingrid Pitt as Carla Lynde - The House That Dripped Blood (1971).


The only actress that is on both Bloody Disgusting's list and my own, albeit for different films. My choice is for her snobby and bitchy Carla Lynde in The House That Dripped Blood. Oh the thrills I used to get watching her pop out of her shoes and fly up to John Pertwee - fangs popped, cleavage at the ready. This was regularly aired in Detroit in the late 70s and early 80s - and remains, for me, a very treasured (Robert Bloch penned) anthology.

7. Kate Nelligan as Lucy Seward - Dracula 1979.

I have always admired Kate Nelligan and was saddened that she was primarily used in supporting roles in the States. She's a vastly underrated actress, of whom, we sadly did not see enough. However, her turn in John Badham's also vastly underrated Dracula (1979) has become quite iconic. The spider to the fly scene in Sewards asylum is a magisterial display of clever and original mise en scène. I especially love the bat-like wings of her period costume. An Amazing scene in which Kate achieves a very, very dark beauty.

6. Andree Melly as Gina in The Brides of Dracula (1960).

This scene freaked me OUT AS A KID!! I wrote about it over at The Horror Blog Roundtable a few weeks ago. First the bit with the padlocks, and then BINGO! Up comes Gina propositioning all sorts of serious girl on girl action to Marianne. Wow, wow, wow. Andree was sort of like Barbara Steele's separated at birth twin. They shared similar physical features and both starred in horror films. Andree worked with Terence Fisher again on The Horror of it All (1963) which desperately needs a DVD release. Lord, I loved her - beautiful, lithe, and dangerous. What's not to like?

5. Barbara Shelley as
Helen Kent in Dracula - Prince of Darkness (1966).

What happens when you release decades of repressed Victorian psychic and sexual energies? Barbara Shelley turns psycho-vamp-nympho that's what. This truly lovely English actress has graced many films with her classy presence. But, it was her extremely frigid and prim Helen Kent that became a blast furnace of heat once the drives of her Id were ignited and seriously vented. Her "gang-rape" staking scene is one of the true marvels of English censorship - how it cleared the censors is beyond me - such a tremendously subversive scene! Old Drac really blew it in this one - he had an auburn haired fireball and let her get away. Tsk, tsk, tsk...

4. Yutte Stensgaard as
Mircalla/Carmilla in Lust for a Vampire 1971.


Probably the most famous vampire publicity still of the 1970s. Yutte Stensgaard' s (Did you say Yutte?) Carmilla was a most bewitching and seductive vampire. A Stunning Swedish export, Stensgaard's movie career was short-lived after she married - leaving acting for good in 1972. Pity, what a Bond girl she would've made! Charming, beautiful, and missed by her fans.

3. Sharon Tate as
Sarah Shagal in The Fearless Vampire Killers (1966).

What can you say about Sharon Tate that has not already been said. Although a tragically short life - her youthfulness is forever preserved on celluloid. And, The Fearless Vampire Killers (or Pardon me but Your Teeth are in My Neck) remains a wonderful mix of comedy and (light) chills, progressing the genre and leaving us with a lush, vivid, brilliantly conceived and shot film (really, has Polanski ever framed a bad shot?). In fact, I just watched it again today - "When I say barricade, I mean BARRICADE!" Although her dramatic chops were questioned by critics, I found Sharon to be a very adept comedian. I especially love her as Freya Carlson in the very fun Matt Helm romp, The Wrecking Crew (1968). She is delightful - when she parts her beautiful, wet, red locks and says to Matt - "It's too deep" - I lose it every damn time. Sharon is gorgeous.

2. Soledad Miranda as
Countess Nadine Carody Vamyros Lesbos 1971 - or Lucy Count Dracula - 1970. Take yer Pick!

Numbers 2 and 3 (and my beloved Natalie a bit further down) seem to be my life cut tragically short picks. The tragedy of Sharon's (and her unborn baby's) murder and the tragedy of Soledad's premature death are the bittersweet spectres of my list. Just as this ravishing, flawless Spaniard was about to catapult to major international fame - her life ended. Fortunately, she made a generous amount of films and music recordings, many with the man who called Soledad his muse, the infamous Jess Franco, who directed both of these entries. I nearly made her my number 1 - but, I just had to give that honor to...

1. Mary and Madeleine Collinson, aka The Collinson Twins as Maria and Freida in Twins of Evil (1971).


Come on - you can't beat this. As Richard Nixon's Head would say... "ARR-OOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!" The Holy Grail of Vampire Hotness. I just don't think you can top Playboy magazine's first twin-sister centerfolds. Really, I just don't think it's possible. And, why Bloody Disgusting has only ONE single Hammer film on their list (and for Countess Dracula??) is utterly beyond me. NOT when you have the Karnstein Lesbian Trilogy to pick from friends and neighbors, of which this film, 1971's Twins of Evil completes. I wore this VHS completely out! Fortunately, I have a region free player as this film has yet to see an NTSC release. The Collinson's are beyond the limits of dramatic prose here - so I'll just stop now.

THAT'S ALL FOLKS! Well, maybe I should notate a few more:

A Few Honorable Mentions:
Anne Gwynne as Rita Hussman - Well she doesn't exactly become a vampire in 1944's House of Frankenstein, she just sorta puts on Dracula's ring which acts as a sort jewelry piece of blotter acid for the undead. But, damn, Anne was sooooo beautiful. Just absolutely stunning. A timeless quality to her looks - like Ava Gardner or Rita Hayworth, she just radiated beauty. She was a very popular pin up during World War II and one of the first scream queens. Beautiful.

Lénore Aubert as Dr. Sandra Mornay in Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948). Sophisticated and very sexy Austrian-born actress, sadly blacklisted for her uncooperative nature when it came to "back-room" deals to help her "upward mobility." Ms. Aubert told em' to go to Hell! Her Sandra is one cool (possibly sadistic, it is hinted that she engaged in human experiments during the war) cucumber - even going so far as to challenge the Original Dracula (Lugosi) to a battle of wills! Guess who wins...

Kirsten Lindholm as 1st Vampire in The Vampire Lovers (1970). Holeee-Jawbone Batman! Kirsten pops her mouth open wide enough to swallow a cannonball before she gets decapitated, and let me tell you - my seven year old self was smitten right away. She really did provide dark frissons as she glided across that English landscape to her (sadly) death. Pity, to die in the first reel. Fortunately, Kirsten is in all three Karnstein films!

Tina Louise as Countess Gilligan Gilligan's Island S03,E01 Up at Bat. The decision of Mary Ann or Ginger is made considerably easier - at least in this episode, as Mary Ann plays a weathered old hag and Ginger is the succulent wife of Bob Denver's Count Gilligan. Another memory scorched into my temporal lobe at around age 4 or 5. The best part is that Tina really has a good time with the role - hamming it up, and laughing maniacally. It's classic TV at its best.

Arlene Martel as Lorelei in The Monkees S02, E50 The Monkees Monster Bash. Arlene Martel sure has a cult following. Her turns on Star Trek, Wild Wild West, Hogan's Heroes, The Six Million Dollar Man, and The Man from U.N.C.L.E (to name only a few!) have guaranteed her legions of fans. She was on The Monkees twice, but I'll always remember and love her for her incredibly sexy, groovy and hip vampire - Lorelei. "You fool it is not my kiss, but the Magic Necklace!" The Monkees was decades ahead of its time; its extremely sophisticated visual design and creative uses of pastiche, intertextuality, fourth wall transgressions, and self-relexivity make it the perfect postmodern television series. I loved it as a kid and am in awe of it as an adult. And, just to illustrate Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein's influence and impact - the plot of this episode is identical. Swap brains of the monster with pacifist/hippie/simple Peter Tork. We even have an "Invisible Man" tag at the end! Nice.


And lastly, in the "I wish this actress would've made a vampire film" category. Well, it should come as NO surprise to anyone who has read this blog that this honor would fall to Natalie Wood. But, in all honesty, that would may not have been such a good thing after all. I'm sure many of you remember the Benny Hill skit where Benny's in the nursing home playing strip poker with his hot young nurse? She's already down to stockings, garters, panties and bra and loses another hand - as she's about to take off her top he gets a massive heart attack from the anticipation. Well, that would be my fate - to see Natalie in full Vampire garb would result in severe Tachycardia and probably death, but I'd go with a smile on my face! In fact, I do believe that the next piece of art that I commission (when I have the money) will be this scenario. Niice.

Well, that's it then. I'm completely sure your list differs - depending on your sexual tastes, preferences, and orientation. A film's place in history, the canon to which it belongs, its "importance" or thematic and aesthetic "qualities" can be debated, BUT, a list of Hot Vampire Women is a very personal project. If you do fancy a sizzlin' vampiress - perhaps you'll agree with some of my choices and perhaps you won't. There's DOZENS of women I had to leave off of this list (I'm tempted to start listing them) which was made in haste, but they're up here (taps forehead) all right, they're up here...

17 comments:

Taliesin_ttlg said...

Chick, these things are always subjective (and there are some real babes in your list) and as you rightly said “I'm completely sure your list differs” but come on...

Salma Hayek in From Dusk Till Dawn.... Monica Bellucci in Bram Stoker's Dracula... Catherine Deneuve in the Hunger…

Okay, I too could go on all day, however it is a great post mate, enjoyed reading it.

Incidentally, have you noticed the “Review a Vampire Film/Talk About Vampires for an unspecified Length of Time Blog-A-Thon”? Ryne over at “The Moon is a Dead World” is behind it… I put a little post about it here. This post would seem perfect for inclusion.

Taliesin_ttlg said...

And, having jumped in feet first, I have now gone to the B.D. list and noted that two of the actresses I mentioned are on their list!!! lol

Chick Young said...

Tali Ol' Chum. Thanks for your feedback mate! Yes, this is a highly personal thing - but your picks would be on my larger list. I hate Fron Dusk til Dawn and as such it taints lovely Salma. Bellucci and Jovivich and the other bride (not sure who she was) from Coppola's Dracula would be in my Top 15, but whereaas they are mere set dressing in the Coppola/Hart vision- the Brides in Dracula 2000 have MAJOR roles in the movie. Deneuve would be in my top 20.
And believe me, there are dozens more. But these were my gut reactions. And - I think you'll find Great Britain boldly represented on my list!

Cheers!

JMR said...

i haven't seen all of the films on either list, but i really can't disagree with any of the choices.

sidebar: i didn't realize that you hate "from dusk till dawn". may i ask why? i'm assuming that it has something to do with QT's script, but i'm just guessing. we should get together and discuss QT a bit more...i'm intrigued by your hatred of him.

Chick Young said...

Joey Joe Joe,

Yes, I truly hate FDTD - terrible. Just terrible. Sure, Salma is scrumptous, but the whole thing falls apart the minute it becomes a vampire movie. And somebody PLEASE tell QT: "Dude, you CAN'T act." Please decist from casting yourself in ego feeding small parts and ahem, LARGE parts (FDTD).

He's a one trick pony. Same for M. Night Shamalam or whatever his name is. Joke. The Happening? I can tell you where it's NOT happening - in that dude's imagination is where it is most assuredly NOT happening.

I understand QT is making a period piece? World War II period piece? I wonder if he can actually treat that genre with the proper respect it deserves - or are we going to get French Freedom Fighters doing the Batusi? I believe the guy has a great film in him - but he needs to bring a maturity to his canon that has been sorely lacking.

Thanks for the feedback Joey Joe joe.

JMR said...

actually, i agree with your QT assessment regarding his acting and maturity. he has been working on that WWII piece for the past ten years. one problem he has is that every time he comes up with an idea, he talks about it to the press. the press takes this as an announcement for his next project. my favourite film of his is a tie between "jackie brown" and "kill bill".

(incidentally, you sir are in good company with you QT criticism. the good doctor mark kermode also hates him.)

ah yes, m. night shamalamadingdong. here is my take on his ouvre:

the sixth sense - it works once...the first time that you watch it. once you know the ending, the movie is simply boring boring boring. the performances are excellent, but that's about it.

unbreakable - this is the only film of his that i truly like. the film works on its own and doesn't rely on his stereotypical twist ending.

signs - so we have an alien race that is advanced enough to travel millions of lightyears to invade another planet. said aliens are deathly allergic to water. you would think that they would've bothered to do a bit of research before invading a planet that is over eighty percent water.

the village - never bothered. my friend chris gave me a three minute reenactment and i'm glad i didn't waste time with this one.

the happening - read the alleged twist...wow...just...wow...

Chick Young said...

So we're in agreement? That's rare when it comes to QT. Oh, I don't hate him at all. I think that he's quite talented and a smart man. I just think his ego causes problems - AND, for a man who has such an expansive wealth of knowledge - he tends to repeat himself over and over. I would like to see him venture waaaay out of his safe-zone and try something unfamiliar. AND NOT FUCKING ACT IN ANY FILM EVER AGAIN.

As for m. night - or whatever. I agree on the 6th sense and pretty much find him a boring one trick pony who needs to read a book on PACING for cinema. SHOAH unravels quicker than a shamadingdong film.

Unbreakable was an interesting concept - poorly executed in my opinion - again, PACING!!

As always - a pleasure Joe!

Bill Courtney said...

Sharon Tate was a gem in The Fearless Vampire Killer (Dance of the Vampires). I recently picked up the complete Roman Polanski here and it stands out form his films. It is a satire/homage, but a great vampire film all on its own.

I also downloaded Abbot and Costello meet Frankenstein (and the Mummy too) and plan on a post on them soon. It is interesting you used the clip of Lénore Aubert's bat infested eyes because I want to make a gif of that soon. I will send you a copy of the file after I do (I have a bug in the process i need to squash if possible first, if not you will have to accept the "imperfect" version with the black letter box edges I cannot trim off yet).

Hard to get all the films I want to see here in China, but sometimes I stumble upon a jewel, such as Jess Franco's Vampyros Lesbos. I love lush and well shot Euro Sleaze, some of the best genre movies ever made really. I also love classic British horror and Hammer stuff in particular. Terrance Fisher's Brides of Dracula was a beautiful film and the scene of Andree Melly baring her fangs is simply iconic. All the Carmilla style films with Ingrid Pitt (and the one where she plays Elsbeth Bathory... I forget the name now) are immortal. I have never seen Twins of Evil but I have a less than pure desire to one of these days.

Only on your site would I see Tina Louise as a vampire top ten choice... excellent.

As usual your film and culture knowledge is very vast (or you are blessed with some sort of job where you get paid to watch this stuff all day and night) and I will have to go research some of this stuff, as much is new to me. Good list.

Bill

Bill Courtney said...

Chick

Here is a project I have been working on for some time at youtube. I was going to wait until I had 100 videos to promote, but it is hard work. It is just my video page there but I think you may enjoy some of the trailers I have rounded together in one place, only 65 so far, but there will be more.

http://www.youtube.com/user/billdancourtney

Bill

Chick Young said...

Bill my man! Hey! Thanks for all the kind words and praise. I'm glad that you agreed with many of the choices. If you can make a gif of Aubert's eyes with the bats flying in them, I would be MOST grateful!! That is my all-time favorite movie, so I thought that Lenore deserved an honorable mention. She got the FULL vampire treatment in the incredible "Return of the Wolf Man" by Jeff Rovin. You HAVE to find a copy of this book Bill, it is brilliantly conveived and a treasure for all Universal horror movie buffs. It starts where Abbottt and Costello meet Frankenstein leaves off and is just a wet dream for horror movie fans.

We really do share a lot of the same tastes, thanks for your thoughtful comments. I subscribed to your channel on youtube. That's quite an amassing of trailers and other goodies you got there man! Incredible!!!! My friend Don May Jr. collects trailers like a dog!

Take care pal!

Ed Waffle said...

Great list--particularly because it includes Jeri Ryan who is often overlooked due to her striking but far from unique beauty. She has a corn-fed midwest beauty queen look (fitting since she was) and the career choices she has made/been given keep many from considering her a "real" actress.

I must agree with Taliesin_ttlg regarding both Monica Bellucci (who I would gladly pay to watch and listen to her read the Milan phone book in Slobovian) and especially the divine Catherine Deneuve from "The Hunger", with extra points if Susan Sarandon gets included as a vampire after their shot from above while still wearing high heels tryst. "Are you making a pass at me, Mrs. Blaylock?"

Taliesin_ttlg said...

Chick, thanks to this post I have now (at 38) watched my first ever episode of Gilligan's Island.

Now, if only I could find the Monkees episode.

The Gilligan write up is here.

Incidentally, to Ed Waffle - Monica plays a vampire, in cameo, in the French flick Satan (she's on a TV screen in a gas station) and is due to be a vampire again (allegedly) taking on the role of Lucy in the sequel to Dracula 1931 - I still don't think she can be beat in Brotherhood of the Wolf, however.

Chick Young said...

Eduardo!

Thanks for the kind words buddy. Yes, you know how I love Monica, but they're (the brides) just too light a presence to make my top 10, they're in my top 15!

Milan phone book, still cracking up at that one hours later!

gilligan said...

What a great list - I have to say you have a great thing going here. I would like to add a couple vamps to the list for consideration:
1) vampirella and
2) Anne Parillaud in "Innocent Blood".

Chick Young said...

Gilligan lil' Buddy!

Much thanks for the kind comments! I'm really enjoying your site as well - more more! We certainly had the same memories and influences growing up. Vampi has ALWAYS been a major favorite of mine and were I not really focusing on cinematic representations, she would have been in the list - way at the top. Of course, I know the Vampirella film with Talisa Soto and Roger Daltry, I just kind of don't think much of it at all. As for Anne, she would be in the top 20 too. Take care and thanks again.

The Dreaded Rhubarb said...

I'm surprised you mentioned Barbara Steele but didn't include her for her smoking hot turn in Black Sunday

Being a fan of pretentious art films, I have to say I love Elina Löwensohn in the title role of Nadja not just because she can go from beauty to monster with a change of lighting but because she has the best exchange of dialogue in the history of cinema:

I think I'm in love.
Why do you think that?
I feel terrible.

Chick Young said...

Rhubarb,

Many thanks for the comment. Steele's definitely smokin' hot turn in Black Sunday isn't included basically because it's a tough call on wether she's an actual "vampire" in the traditional sense or an incredibly pissed off wtich/ghost/demon/vampire whatever, that is resurrected and then fulfills her sinsiter promises. Nadja is a top 20 call for me - and along those lines, there's a good quote from an Irish gem of a movie called Hear My Song. It goes: "I'd rather be in jail, than in love again..." Ain't that the truth...