NextMovie – How Does Edward Cullen Compare to Cinema’s Most Notable Vampires?


Edward Cullen is without question the most iconic movie vampire of the 2000s. Critics cannot argue with that (go ahead, try to argue, critics; I’ll wait). However, many take issue with “The Twilight Saga’s” portrayal of vampires, complaining that it breaks many of the genre’s ”rules.”

While it’s true, does that really matter since it’s all fiction, anyway? And aren’t rules, as they say, meant to be broken? (Imagine if Batman still looked like this.) The answer depends on whom you ask.

In this week’s column, I compare Edward with his blood-sucking predecessors, matching him up with the most iconic film vampire from each era.The breakdown should give Twi-Hards a better understanding of the lineage “Twilight” draws upon… or choices to ignore. Use the information as you see fit: to defend Edward’s character, to criticize it, or to stock in your brain as useless trivia to spout out at your next party. If nothing else, it should give you some new titles to throw in your rental queue.

Count Orlok – The first famous vampire in cinema, this hideous monster haunted dreams in the 1920s. Hideously ugly, he’s like the anti-R.Pattz.
Count Dracula –This Transylvania resident is the template for all subsequent vampires. Only Sherlock Holmes (and possibly Nicolas Cage) is a major character in more movies than Dracula.
Zombie Vampires (ZVs) – While not the technical term, these vampires display many zombie qualities. They’re unintelligent, hunt in packs and are often turned by virus.
Blacula – Created at the height of Blaxploitation, this African-American vampire diversified the genre. Not to be confused with “Vampire in Brooklyn.”
Lesbian Vampires (LVs) – Hinted at in 1936′s “Dracula’s Daughter,” vampiresses are often lesbians. The ’60s sexual revolution brought these ladies to the genre’s forefront.
Lestat de Lioncourt — Anne Rice’s main narrator in the “The Vampire Chronicles,” this dandy is as cruel as he is gorgeous.
Blade – The most iconic vampire killer, he’s half-human/half-vampire and must constantly battle his evil demon urges to battle actual evil demons.
Edward Cullen – Stephenie Meyer’s sparkly heartthrob, he appears to break more established precedents than any other.

Notable Films
Orlok: “Nosferatu,” (1922), “Nosferatu The Vampyre” (1979), “Shadow of the Vampire” (2000)
Dracula: “Dracula,” (1931), “Son of Dracula” (1943), “Billy the Kid vs. Dracula” (1966), “The Monster Squad” (1987), “Bram Stoker’s Dracula” (1992)
ZVs: “The Last Man on Earth” (1964), “Salem’s Lot” (1979), “I Am Legend” (2007)
Blacula: “Blacula” (1972), “Scream Blacula Scream” (1973)
LVs: “Blood and Roses” (1960), “The Vampire Lovers” (1970), “The Hunger” (1983)
Lestat: “Interview with the Vampire” (1994), “Queen of the Damned” (2002)
Blade: “Blade” (1998), “Blade II” (2002), “Blade: Trinity” (2004)
Edward: “The Twilight Saga” (2008 – 2012/infinity)

Notable Portrayals
Orlok: Max Schreck, Klaus Kinski, Willem Dafoe
Dracula: Bela Lugosi, Frank Langella, Gary Oldman
ZVs: James Mason, Reggie Nalder, CGI
Blacula: William Marshall
LVs: Ingrid Pitt, Anulka, Catherine Deneuve, Susan Sarandon
Lestat: Tom Cruise, Stuart Townsend
Blade: Wesley Snipes
Edward: Robert Pattinson

Orlok: Revolting
Dracula: Alluring
ZVs: Animal-like
Blacula: Superfly
LVs: Definitely “lipstick lesbians”
Lestat: Sexy in a classic way
Blade: Buff African-American
Edward: Sparkly, fangless, red-eyed dreamboat

Orlok: Ancient knowledge, spreads plague with rodent friends
Dracula: Super-strength, hypnosis, telepathy, ability to defy gravity, shapeshifting
ZVs: Spread rapidly, fearless
Blacula: Same as Dracula, voodoo, Afro-growth
LVs: Alluring to sexually-confused women, powerful over men, hypnosis
Lestat: Telepathy, super-strength, literate, musical, telekinetic, pyrokinetic
Blade: Weaponry and martial arts skills, vampire traits without their weaknesses
Edward: Telepathy, super-strength and speed, intelligence, chastity

Orlok: Sunlight, stakes (through the ticker), true love
Dracula: Sunlight, garlic, crucifixes, holy water, stakes
ZVs: Fire, intelligence, sunlight, stakes
Blacula: Same as Dracula; also, women who resemble his dead wife
LVs: Jealousy, will power, plus the above classics
Lestat: Stakes, depression, occasional morality, love, fire, corpse blood
Blade: Serum to prevent need to drink blood, ages like a human
Edward: Fire, decapitation, must live nearby wildlife for feeding

Orlok: Neglected castle in Carpathian Mountains
Dracula: Transylvania
ZVs: Northeastern United States
Blacula: Los Angeles by way of 1700s Africa
LVs: North America and Europe
Lestat: New Orleans by way of France
Blade: America by way of a 19th-century London whorehouse
Edward: Forks, Washington

Orlok: Thomas Hutter, Professor Bulwer, women pure in heart, film critics
Dracula: Jonathan Harker, Van Helsing, Billy the Kid, Monster Squad
ZVs: Dr. Robert Morgan (Vincent Price), Robert Neville (Will Smith)
Blacula: Dracula, slave traders, Dr. Gordon Thomas, Lt. Peters, police, pimps
LVs: Former lovers, homophobes
Lestat: Louis de Pointe du Lac (Brad Pitt), Claudia (Kirsten Dunst), Akasha (Aaliyah)
Blade: Vampires, cops
Edward: Jacob Black (technically a frenemy), non-vegetarian vampires

Dating Life
Orlok: N/A
Dracula: Hypnotizes his many “dates”
ZVs: Feral, if at all
Blacula: Still not over ex-wife
LVs: Extremely busy with men and women
Lestat: Bisexual and active
Blade: Has a thing for human chicks
Edward: Married to Bella Swan

Best Quote
Orlok: “Oh. The script girl. I’ll eat her later.” (“The Shadow of the Vampire”)
Dracula: “There are far worse things awaiting man than death.” (“Dracula,” 1931)
ZVs: “God didn’t do this. We did!” (“I Am Legend”)
Blacula: “As for kicking my ass I’d strongly suggest you give it careful consideration before trying.” (“Scream Blacula Scream”)
LVs: “Yep, lesbian vampires. Just another one of God’s cruel tricks … “ (“Lesbian Vampire Killers”)
Lestat: “Evil is a point of view. God kills indiscriminately and so shall we.” (“Interview with a Vampire”)
Blade: “It’s open season on all suckheads.” (“Blade”)
Edward: “Bella, would you please stop trying to take your clothes off?” (“Eclipse”)

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