Foul, prowling spectres of the moonless night; ancient, wretched abominations sired from unholy union betwixt Man and bloodthirsty bat; ungodly horrors of the arcane underworld! No, not The Rolling Stones (ZING), we’re talking vampires, and - more specifically – really, really shit ones.
Allow us to elaborate: there are plenty of old-skool toothy mutha-suckers out there who take pride in their appearances, presenting themselves in line with our clichéd, pre-conceived notions of vampdom. We have no problem with these guys - yet it surely goes without saying that all vampires, regardless of circumstance, should be evil, cooler than penguin balls and – most of all – scary enough to make you do a fart with a lump in it.
In Dark Shadows Johnny Depp plays Barnabus Collins, a toothless, meandering waste of immortality who is about as frightening as a Bakewell Tart, and in Barnabus’ dishonour we’ve compiled a list of ten similarly pathetic specimens who can all consider themselves to be nothing short of abject, pitiful failures. Obviously, if you’ve got any further additions to this list then please do name and shame them in the comments section below, but to start, we begin with:
Sure, the edification of young minds is a just and noble aim, and perhaps the countiest of counts’ bloodlust was inflicted upon him when all he ever really wanted to be was a foppish, elbow-patched supply teacher in a particularly bad episode of Blossom. But come on, Count, get a grip - you look the part, but there is absolutely no easier prey than children because they are (a) small, (b) weak, and (c) quite alarmingly stupid. Stop lying to yourself, be who you really are, and chow down. You’ll feel better.
Biggest failure: The Count has been on our screens since 1972 and, since then, there hasn’t been a single ‘accident’ on the Sesame set where someone ‘got a splinter’ or ‘stubbed their toe’ and died of total and disastrous blood absence.
Now, we have no problem with burly shoutyman Gerard Butler at all. Indeed, in managing to drag his career out of the stink trench that was this piece of blundering effluence he actually elevated himself into water-into-wine territory, and certainly earned some considerable respect. His Dracula ostensibly exhibits many of the traits he should, too, yet Dracula 2000 is, nevertheless, a hatefully dull, turgid discharge of a film, in which Butler’s Drac shows no malice, wit, eerieness or cunning and is about as cool as the contents of a freshly cooked McDonald’s apple pie.
Biggest failure: Dragging the good name of Dracula through the mud, before insulting its mum and then doing a shit on it.
A truly chilling combination: the crippling, gnawing solitude of being the last man alive in a vast, deserted New York and the perpetual threat of imminent attack from hordes of vampiric ‘infected.’ And yet we end up receiving a tiresome mess of a film, entirely down to the vampires themselves looking like a bumbling gaggle of badly CGI’d ballbags with stupid, floppy mouths.
Biggest failure: Being 100% less scary than a street filled with NOTHING AT ALL.
Listen, that he’s a nice guy and only a shit vampire because of a badly performed vampiric ritual (in which blood was mistaken for tomato ketchup) shouldn’t matter – the fact remains that Count Duckula is a shit vampire. Sorry. He’s a vegetarian, for starters. He’s also got a teleporting, time-travelling castle, theoretically opening up the possibility of a brutally exotic kill-fest across both globe and the fabric of time itself. The blood-letting could be cataclysmic, and yet he’d rather eat carrots and become an entertainer. For shame.
Biggest failure: Completely wasting the talents of Igor, his servant, who wanted nothing more than for his master to embrace evil. Igor had feelings too you know, you dick.
The conceit here was that Angel (or ‘Angelus’) used to be cool, and then some angry gypsies restored his soul which made him feel guilty for all the killing, fun and whatnot. Please. So while the glum, contrite bore that was Angel skulked around, wearing leather jackets and developing worrying infatuations with high school girls (without it occurring to a single of her classmates to point and yell ‘STRANGER DANGER!’), he was a big, wet pansy.
Biggest failure: During the respective runs of the shows in which he starred he allowed himself – an immortal vampire, remember – to get fat and age by around 18 years. That’s abstinence for you, kids.
Pitt’s Louis is transformed into a vampire quite willingly (Tom Cruise’s Lestat quite specifically says ‘I’m going to give you the choice I never had’) which makes Louis’ maungy, somnambulant, guilt-ridden existence an insult, and an entirely self-inflicted one at that. After feasting on Thandie Newton (probably delicious), Louis abstains from blood and subsists on the blood of animals including rats (probably not delicious). He then – not once, but twice – attempts to murder the kindly vamp who sired him, before slaughtering an entire Parisian coven of his own kind.
Biggest failure: Being definitively out-cooled by closeted space-mentalist Tom Cruise.
Wesley Snipes’ daywalker has the cool factor, granted, but throughout the three instalments of the Blade franchise it always seemed like it was the ‘evil’ vampires he was fighting that were having the most fun. They had raves, hi-tech hideouts and lofty ambitions, while Blade mooched around a warehouse moaning to an old bloke about stuff even he didn’t seem to care about.
Biggest failure: Blade had all the strengths of vampires and none of the weaknesses, and yet he chose to become the sort of teacher’s pet who ends up with a poo in his lunchbox at dinner time.
The petulant, Chesney-haired little proto-twat that hung around The Lost Boys’ impossibly cool cave lair was only a half-vampire whose full vampire bollocks wouldn’t drop until he popped his bite-cherry, so to speak. He was also the blight on an otherwise fairly faultless vampire setup: the rest of the crew have bikes, babes, blood, hair metal and Kiefer Sutherland, and any young vamplet who finds himself amongst such illustrious company and then chooses not to get involved is a baby. There, we said it.
Biggest failure: Not ripping Corey Feldman’s arteries out at the film’s climax, thus sparing us all from the cack-haired, coke-befuddled reality TV goon he would eventually become.
On paper Maximillian has it all: he’s suave, debonair, sophisticated, handsome, has a whopping todger (this is at hinted in the film, it isn’t merely knobby conjecture) and does lovely, vampy things like sleeping in coffins and slaying and devouring innocents. And yet...it’s Eddie Murphy, isn’t it? A man who’s spent the last fifteen years of his career trying to ruin the first fifteen years of his career. A man whose best role in recent times has been as a donkey. Norbit. Pluto Nash. The horror. The horror... Sorry, Eddie, you’ve ruined vampires for yourself and everyone else.
Biggest failure: Being Eddie Murphy.
An obvious entry on the list, but one which is absolutely necessary. The glitter-faced gimp who pouts out from the bedroom walls of millions of teenage girls is supposed to represent chastity - the notion of which is an affront to everything any self-respecting vampire stands for. Vampires are hedonists: it’s supposed to be all about sex, pain, immortality, shagging and then some nasty, bitey sex to wind down after all the shagging. Edward spits in the face of these boons, and instead chooses to devote himself to one woman - one who happens to be the most boring, miserable woman who has ever lived.
Biggest failure: Remaining with the boring and miserable woman and not mercilessly ripping her neck out even once.