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‘1000 Vampires on Screen, Vol. 1: A-J’ (review)

Written by Simon Bacon
Published by BearManor Media

 

Have I ever mentioned that I collect Dracula movies? I have more than 70 at last count. No, I haven’t actually watched them all. I can read about them all, though, in the new two-volume set from author Simon Bacon entitled 1000 Vampires on Screen. I’ve just finished Volume 1: A-J, and if you’re a vampire movie fan, the gang’s all here.

After an intelligent and thoughtful introductory piece, we segue into a long alphabetical listing of movie vampires, with each section offering details on the film and the actor but mainly concentrating on their role, with sometimes a bit of fun speculation as to what led the character to that point.

Needless to say, there are 12 pages of separate listings for “Count Dracula” (followed, amusingly, by David Jason’s Count Duckula) along with eight more pages of entries under plain old “Dracula.”

While it’s interesting to compare the differences in the entries on the infamous Count, the bulk of the book emphasizes the lesser-known characters from vampire movies (and TV shows) both major and minor, domestic or foreign, and many of the entries are even cross-referenced.

There aren’t too many illustrations besides a handful of well-chosen photos and some artwork apparently done specifically for the books but I didn’t really miss having more.

After this volume’s first part of the alphabetical listings, there’s a long section of interviews with folks such as Doug Jones and director Neil Jordan. This is followed by two indices covering both volumes—one for titles and one for everything else.

When I said above that I could read about all the movies in my collection, it’s worth noting that someone, somewhere along the line, made the choice to not count any adult films for the book, thus excluding, among others, Jamie Gillis, who made a visually striking bearded Dracula in the 1970s XXX film, Dracula Sucks, which was also released in an R-rated version.

Still, what’s here is an impressive package to which the author has clearly given his all. For vampire movie fans, 1000 Vampires on Screen may well be the ultimate reference…and a fun read, besides!

Booksteve recommends.

 

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