Audiences and critics are on the fence about the new gory vampire flick Renfield starring Nicolas Cage, Awkwafina, and Nicolas Hoult. The film is equal parts violent hero’s journey and a tale about toxic relationships all wrapped up with a violent, Kill Bill-style bow, but it’s also a dark comedy. And, one thing’s for sure. We haven’t seen a funny vampire movie in a while.
Unless you count Twilight and its sparkly bloodsuckers. So, pull up a chair, pour yourself a vial of type O negative, and dive into this positively bloodthirsty list that your inner teenage goth would have loved.
The Best Funny Vampire Movies
1. Dracula: Dead and Loving It, 1995
Who better to spoof Dracula on-screen than the king of spoofs himself, Mel Brooks? Even better, Dracula is played by another classic jokester, Leslie Nielsen, known for hits such as Airplane! and Naked Gun.
While it’s admittedly not Brooks’ best movie (that’s Blazing Saddles — don’t make us fight you on that like the Waco Kid), Dracula: Dead and Loving It is still an amusing retelling of a classic tale. With hypnotic hijinks and the answer to the question of what happens when you stake a very full vampire, the physical comedy is at its peak.
We didn’t just throw up a little in our mouths, why do you ask?
2. Fright Night, 2011
Yes, there are multiple versions of Fright Night, but we’re talking about the 2011 one. Why? Because it’s got David Tennant. And any movie with Doctor Who (er, David Tennant) is just a good movie. Alright, maybe not The Decoy Bride. But, you know, most.
The film follows Charley (Anton Yelchin) as he meets a new neighbor, Jerry (Colin Farrell) who just so happens to be turning the town into vampires like him. Charley seeks the help of an “expert,” Peter Vincent (Tennant). But as Charley’s loved ones become Jerry’s latest victims, it’s on Peter to find a way to turn them back to humans and take Jerry out.
While it’s admittedly entertaining AF to watch Tennant do his best Criss Angel-meets-Russell Brand imitation, puppet master Farrell really steals the show. Which we’re hoping he comes back with as we need to return it to the store.
3. What We Do in the Shadows, 2014
Have you ever watched The Office and thought, “Funny, but it needs more vampires”? Well, What We Do in the Shadows is for you! The movie that spawned the hit TV series is a mockumentary by always-funny Taika Waititi.
In it, four vampires share a flat together. They live and feed and get into roommate squabbles in the shadows. But, when they bring another into the fold who doesn’t quite keep to the shadows, chaos ensues.
From the very first scene — in which you learn that some vampires put down towels before biting someone on a clean couch — you’ll find that several-hundred-year-old vampires are just like us. Rather, you. We’re just fine with all the chocolate stains thank you very much.
4. Vamps, 2012
Goody is obsessed with concealing the fact that she’s been a vampire since the 1840s. Intent on staying youthful, she recruits Stacy, who changed in the 1990s, to keep her up to date on trends. You know, like using whitening strips to fix dingy fangs. And, presumably, how to properly crop thrifted tees.
Along the way, Goody finds something more important to care about than her looks. And, although these two vampires are vegetarian, don’t let their creator, Cisserus (Sigourney Weaver), hear your heart beating. Better to just turn it off during the film.
5. Once Bitten, 1985
Think Jim Carrey got his start on In Living Color? Not quite. Before the ’90s hit show skyrocketed him to stardom, he appeared in Once Bitten, a 1985 teen comedy where his character’s claim to fame was literally being the last virgin in Los Angeles. Rough luck, buddy.
The story follows Mark (Carrey) as he meets the Countess (Lauren Hutton), who has to drink from a virgin three times before Halloween, or else she basically turns into the Crypt Keeper. And that’s not a good look for anybody.
When he becomes the Countess’s victim, it’s up to Robin (Karen Kopins) — who, until now, wouldn’t do the deed with him — to save him. Does it pass the Bechdel test? Despite the message that doing it with your girlfriend will literally save your life, the two women do actually have a conversation about something other than a man. What a plot twist!
6. Bloodsucking Bastards, 2015
Bloodsucking Bastards has a simple solution to make people more productive: turn them into vampires. (Elon, don’t get any ideas.)
It turns out that a new employee, Max (Pedro Pascal), has been turning employees into vampires. While that would be grounds for dismissal in most places, everything isn’t as it seems. For one, there are no summer Fridays.
7. My Best Friend Is a Vampire, 1987
Like Once Bitten, My Best Friend Is a Vampire is a teen comedy, this one tackling the rights of minority groups. In this case, vampires. In it, Jeremy (Robert Sean Leonard) is seduced by an older woman for his first sexual encounter. Except his tryst with Nora (Cecilia Peck) is less sexy and more… bitey. Not that we’re kink-shaming.
With the help of his new vampire guidance counselor, Modoc (René Auberjonois), Jeremy begins to adjust to life as a member of the not-alive-but-not-dead. Jeremy’s parents know something is “wrong” with him and begin to suspect that *gasp* he’s gay! They tell him that they’ll love and support him no matter what. It’s a touching moment. Until they are a little too relieved when they meet his girlfriend.
Considering that this movie was made in the ‘80s, it’s progressive… for its time. (Not today’s standards.)
8. The Little Vampire, 2000
This movie is aimed at a younger audience, but we watched The Little Vampire at around six and had way too many nightmares of creepy little boys hanging upside down for weeks.
Based on the book series of the same name, The Little Vampire follows Tony (Jonathan Lipnicki aka the kid from Jerry Maguire) as his family moves into a castle in Scotland. He has trouble making friends in his new school until he meets Rudolph (Rollo Weeks), a young vampire.
The two become fast friends because who doesn’t want to be friends with someone who takes you flying and scares the heck out of your bullies? With great power comes great responsibility, and we stan a true hero.
9. Vampire’s Kiss, 1988
Nicolas Cage’s first funny vampire movie was the Vampire’s Kiss. Like Renfield, it bombed at the box office, but it’s worth the watch
In it, Loew (Cage) believes he’s being transformed into a vampire after being bitten during a one-night-stand with Rachel (Jennifer Beals). He thinks she showed him that she was a vampire before biting him. Except Loew is also slowly losing his mind and gives into “vampire ways” despite probably not being a vampire. This somehow makes us feel much better about our karaoke nights where we pretended to be a “real singer.”
This movie isn’t for the faint of heart. But if you’re looking for stomach-churning decisions made by a madman, a debate over whether or not Nicolas Cage is a good actor, and an ultimate test of your sanity, it’s a good watch. Undigested Spaghetti-O’s, we’ll see you again soon.
10. Therapy for a Vampire, 2014
Who needs therapy more than vampires? (Ok, maybe Lucifer, but that’s a topic for another day.) With centuries of decisions, relationships, and victims behind them, there’s a lot to unpack. Both literally and figuratively.
Yet, most therapists aren’t equipped to handle all of that baggage. Enter: Sigmund Freud and Therapy for a Vampire.
If you thought couples counseling was hard, try being a centuries-old count and countess who are falling out of love with each other. Even worse still, the count has fallen for another whom he believes to be the reincarnation of his long-dead lover.
Yikes, is this a vampire movie or an episode of The Young and the Restless? Or maybe “The Extremely Old and the Restless.” Not even Freud is any match for this quarreling couple.
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