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The 13 Most Iconic Vampire Movies and TV Shows in Pop Culture

Dracula_movie_poster_smallDo you heart vampires?

I’m not so sure I’d have phrased it that way, but I do enjoy a good vampire movie or TV show. So I admit, I’m intrigued by Why We (heart) Vampires, what NBC is promising is a “collection of fun, comedic interviews accompanied by entertaining clips from our favorite vampire moments” to air this Friday, November 1, at 8pm EDT. This hour-long special will hold a mix of conversations with some of “Hollywood’s greatest vampire experts,” including author Anne Rice, True Blood’s Kristin Bauer and Carrie Preston, Cassandra Peterson (aka Elvira, Mistress of the Dark), and James Marsters from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

I suppose if there is a time for a vampire show — even a funny one — it’s one day after Halloween and one before All Soul’s Day. Convenient week to celebrate the undead all around, right? So I got to thinking: Why DO we heart vampires? What’s so compelling about an immortal figure that feeds on the blood of humans and maybe a rat from time to time?

I think that’s a question that answers itself in the asking.

I got obsessed with vampire culture through books when I tore through Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles series in the 1990s. By the time I made it to Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 in New Orleans years later, I was just as creeped out as I expected, although the Vampire LeStat’s tomb (as pictured in the movie version of Interview with the Vampire) was entirely fictional. I’ve since been back a few times, and I’m still pretty convinced he’s there, though. It’s hard to convince me differently. Even fictional vampires are funny like that.

This week’s vampire special airs before the 10 p.m. time slot for NBC’s new vampire series, the aptly named Dracula. Jonathan Rhys-Myers plays a 19th century American businessman who goes to London, partly to investigate this new thing called electricity, but mostly to get revenge for being turned into a vampire. You know, as you do. Since Dracula is produced by the same people who brought you Downton Abbey, I have a slim chance of not getting addicted to this show. I’m warning myself right now. Here’s a trailer you can check out to see if you want to go down this path with me.

Also out on DVD November 5? Twilight Forever: The Complete Saga. Check that link if you’re into attractive werewolves, too. Taylor Lautner and Robert Pattinson trade up serious for silly, and Taylor finally tells RPatz what he may have wanted to say all along: “I’m hotter than you.”

While we’re getting ready for all of this TV and movie vampire action, let’s check out the most iconic undead characters in television and film. There are a bunch, from Bram Stoker’s horror stories to the camp of ’60s sitcoms to today’s American Gothic trend. No matter what the setting or the level of seriousness involved in a story’s plot or dialogue, one thing remains the same for each and every vampire: They want to suck your blood.

The 13 Most Iconic Vampire Movies and TV Shows:

Image credit: Wikipedia

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