Vampires have been written about for over 300 years, dating back to the mystical folk tales of Western and Eastern Europe, that spoke of the undead returning to drain the blood of young maidens, and while they are fearsome creatures, there has always been a not so subtle eroticism associated with them in literature.
From Heinrich August Ossenfelder’s 1748 poem “The Vampire” to John Polidori’s short story “The Vampyre” of 1819, these creatures of the night have continually been romanticised and inspired some of the most lust-worthy characters on the page and on the screen. The very notion of a vampire, and becoming one, is steeped in sexual imagery with the transference of bodily fluids symbolic of sexual intercourse. Nowadays, those sexual metaphors are coupled with actual love making and over the last thirty years we’ve seen the vampire genre expand across literature, film and television, as society’s yearning for it increases.
There are so many desirous vampire characters in the pop culture, who have haunted both our nightmares and dreams, but here are eleven that stand out from the rest and who we would probably offer our neck to…
Oh Angel. What a babe. David Boreanaz probably caused the sexual awakening for many a teen girl when the original series aired during the early noughties, this writer included. The tortured vampire with a soul was half the reason I watched “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” and the full reason I watched his spin-off show. The fact that he and Buffy couldn’t consummate their love without him losing his humanity was a cruel fate bestowed by that gypsy curse, but to be fair, evil Angel was just as sexy. Ok, ok he killed thousands during his early centuries as Angelus but Angel was a beautiful hero that saved the world on countless occasions and looked damn fine while doing it. I’d happily offer my neck to him in his hour of need.
If Angel is the vampire you marry, Spike is the one you fuck and Buffy did plenty of that during the later series of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” James Marsters’ cold-hearted and sardonic vampire became one of the most essential characters of the series because he was the seriously bad boy you just couldn’t help but love. Later, when he got the implant, and then his soul, a whole new side of the vamp showed through as he became part of the Scooby gang, but it was so hard to decide just who out of Spike and Angel we wanted the Chosen One to end up with. Of course, he never got his happy ending with Buffy, and hearts broke everywhere when he sacrificed himself in the last episode, but I’m still holding out for a Spike prequel series. Come on, Joss Whedon. Give the fans what they want.
“Queen of the Damned” was the last movie Aaliyah appeared in before her death, and she was certainly memorable as the titular vampire queen, but the book is where the true appeal of Akasha lies. The mother of vampires was a feminist force to be reckoned with as she tore down any man, including her vampire king husband, who would try to oppress her. She may have been a tyrannical menace who wanted to create a New World Order without men (arguably not a bad idea) but she was also charismatic, sexy and worthy of her own novel in Ann Rice’s The Vampire Chronicles.
Ann Rice’s most famous character, Lestat’s dangerous allure transcends both the page and the screen. He is a complex vampire; both vain and altruistic, ruthless and heroic, and his appearances in the movie adaptations of “Interview with the Vampire” and “Queen of the Damned” have shown the conflicting nature of his personality. Tom Cruise’s Lestat is alluring yet merciless while Stuart Townsend’s portrayal is narcissistic yet valiant. In every version of his character, Lestat is above the notions of gender and sexuality, going from relationships with men to women, vampires to humans, enchanting pretty much everything that walks across his path. Swoon.
Arguably Salma Hayek’s most iconic character, Santanico Pandemonium from Robert Rodriguez’s “From Dusk till Dawn” was the ultimate succubus of the Nineties. She oozed unrestrained sex appeal and when she performs that dance with the snake around her neck, Santanico had the patrons of the Titty Twister, as well as male and female viewers, mesmerized. Yeah, she might have been part of centuries old vampire coven that lures unsuspecting bikers to their death, but she did also kill Richie Gekko (Quentin Tarantino) who very much deserved to die, so she gets a thumbs up and an exposed neck from me. Also have to give special mention to Eiza Gonzálezl, who is a worthy successor to the Satanico role, but she could never make quite the same impact as Salma’s original seductress.
I haven’t read Charlaine Harris’s “Southern Vampire Mysteries” but if the Eric in the books is anything like Alexander Skarsgard’s portrayal in “True Blood” then I’m heading to Amazon right now to buy them. The Viking-born vampire is the ultimate anti-hero who is lusted after by pretty much every person he comes into contact with. Watching his character develop over the series, from arrogant and manipulative to heroic and protective of those he loves, makes your heart melt and body heat up. And let’s be frank, his sex scenes are just ridiculously hot. I think every True Blood fan has dreamed of ending up on Eric’s side, or more likely, in his bed.
How can you include a list of hot vampires and not include the OG? Bram Stoker’s eponymous Transylvanian has been brought to the screen on Count-less occasions (sorry) and most of the times it’s been in the most charismatic of ways. There’s been over 200 Dracula appearances since the book was published in 1897, but the most romanticised version was in Francis Ford Coppola’s “Bram Stoker’s Dracula” with Gary Oldman playing the lead. His Dracula becomes a vampire after his wife commits suicide and 400 years later believes she has been reincarnated as Mina Murray (Winona Ryder). He might be a manipulative creature of the night, but his motives were basically founded in love and I’m a sucker for a love story.
Vampire in Brooklyn is a cult classic and one of the few films in the genre that feature a predominately black cast, with the Dracula-inspired character played by Eddie Murphy. Eddie’s Maximillian is suave, charming and funny and despite the dodgy hairdo – something Murphy blames the movie’s poor reception for – still gets you hot under the collar. Seeing the chemistry between him and Angela Bassett – who played the object of his vampiric affection Rita – only made Max more attractive and given the choice between him and Rita’s human partner Justice, we know who we’d share a bite with.
Everyone in “Kiss of The Damned”
I honestly couldn’t pick one vampire from Xan Cassavetes’ 2008 film as they are all just mouthwatering. From Josephine de la Baume’s innocent yet worldly Djuna to her out of control sister Mimi, played by Roxane Mesquida, as well as Anna Mouglalis’ Xenia, they give the three sisters of Dracula a seductive run for their money. And has there even been a vampire transformation scene as sexually hot as the one where Djuna turns Paolo (Milo Ventimiglia)? Honestly, it’s a thing of erotic beauty and no wonder there are people out there who actually want to be real vampires. One watch of Kiss of the Damned and you’ll be dreaming of moving into Xenia’s house. Immediately.
Forget the Salvatore brothers and their obsession with Elena, Enzo is the vampire who got my blood racing in “The Vampire Diaries.” When Michael Malarkey joined the cast in season five he reinvigorated the flagging CW series and replaced the Damon-shaped hole in the anti-hero role. Enzo was just a reluctant babe. He had been through absolute torture, literally fifty years of it, but he still forgave Damon for leaving him for dead during their escape from the Augustine Society. Throughout the next few seasons until the show’s end, the vampire ruthlessly protected the ones he loved, all the while looking damn hot and dropping pithy comments with his damn sexy British accent. Is there anything sexier than a British vampire?
Before the likes Klaus in “The Vampire Diaries” and James in “Twilight,” Bill Paxton was bringing new psychotic meaning to the vampire name in Near Dark. One of Kathryn Bigelow’s early films, the late actor played Severen, a vicious and immoral member of a vampire gang who will happily complement the flavor of your blood while eating you alive. Despite his sociopathic nature, Severan just looks so rock star hot with his leather jacket, black sunglasses and floppy hair that would totally have you under his spell. He might rip your throat out, but he’d look finger lickin’ good while doing it.