Book review: Vampire Cinema – the first 100 years

The bulk of this wonderful coffee table book about vampires on screen is illustrations, posters and production images from the various titles, starting with FW Murnau’s unlicensed adaptation of Dracula, 1922’s Nosferatu.

Vampires have proved big business, with constant reboots, dramatic takes and parodies across time. Many a curdling scream has accompanied a bloody bite, and comedy sketches have revelled in the pointed fangs of the creature of the night.

Christopher Frayling casts his net wide across the genre – the various Draculas of course appear, but so do the Transylvanian occupants of the Rocky Horror Picture Show.

This is simply a beautifully put-together tome which will appear to film buffs, art fans, and historians alike. The first few chapters place vampire literature and mythology in context – an amuse-bouche for the screen adaptations that are covered later.

Cover of Vampire Cinema

Hammer, of course, are heavily featured, as are parodies, reboots, and teen horror. Your favourite is bound to be here in all its glory, together with titles much less familiar.

A section on vampire television opens with Vampira and juggles the largely comic (The Munsters, Dark Shadows) with my personal favourite of the serious bloodsuckers, Count Dracula (1977).

At just over 270 pages, this volume from Reel Art Press is a must-buy for vampire devotees, genre lovers and lovers of all things vaguely Transylvanian. It is a fantastic visual feast which will occupy you for hours.

You can buy Vampire Cinema: the first one-hundred years by Christopher Frayling from 31 October – more details here.

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