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Michelle Lane Makes Some Recommendations

Last week we talked with Michelle Lane about vampires. She is currently promoting her debut novel Invisible Chains, which is an alternate history. Today Lane tells us some of her favorite vampire-related works of fiction and movies.

When asked which classic vampire she liked the best, Lane stated that she likes Carmilla a lot, but Dracula will always be her favorite classic bloodsucker. “Count Dracula” is a monster, but ‘he’s one that many of us can relate to and have empathy toward. ‘He’s an outsider living far from home and is viewed as a threat by upper-class British males who see his purchase of land and interest in a British woman as reason enough to kill him, even if he ‘wasn’t a vampire. Dracula may not be the first vampire with complicated emotional baggage and a desire to fit in, but he is the most memorable and is almost always portrayed by handsome actors,” Lane says. As we learned last week, she has a soft place for the dashing vampire.

Lane mentioned that she writes primarily about women of color dealing with monsters. She believes that there are not enough vampires of color in the current fiction market or in movies.

“There ‘aren’t many vampire films with predominantly black casts,” she says. Lane lists several movies that do feature black or vampires of color. These include Blacula and its sequel, Scream Blacula, The Vampire in Brooklyn; the Blade movies, and Queen of the Damned. She recommends the books The 40 Best Horror Movies Starring Black Actors and Actresses, and watch Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror (2019) for more examples of horror films feature people of color as the primary cast.

Lane recommends the following contemporary novels about vampires. Note that not all are Considered straight horror novels.
● Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter Series, Laurell K. Hamilton (1993 – 2018)
●African Immortals Series, Tananarive Due (1997 – 2011)
●The Dresden Files, Jim Butcher (2000 – Present)
●The Southern Vampire Mysteries, Charlaine Harris (2001 – 2013)
●Fledgling, Octavia E. Butler (2005)
●Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, Seth Grahame-Smith (2010)
●All Souls Trilogy, Deborah Harkness (2011 – 2014)
●NOS4A2, Joe Hill (2013)

She also recommends the following contemporary horror films.
●Habit, Larry Fessenden (1995)
●The Addiction, Abel Ferrara (1995)
●From Dusk till Dawn, Robert Rodriguez (1996)
●Blade, Stephen Norrington (1998)
●The Wisdom of Crocodiles, Po-Chih Leong (1998)
●Shadow of the Vampire, E. Elias Merhige (2000)
●Underworld, Len Wiseman (2003)
●30 Days of Night, David Slade (2007)
●Let the Right One In, Tomas Alfredson (2008)
●Daybreakers, Michael Spierig, Peter Spierig (2009)
●The Countess, Julie Delpy (2009)
●Fright Night, Craig Gillespie (2011)
●Byzantium, Neil Jordan (2012)
●Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, Timur Bekmambetov (2012)
●Only Lovers Left Alive, Jim Jarmusch (2013)
●What We Do in the Shadows, Taika Waititi, Jemaine Clement (2014)
●Dracula Untold, Gary Shore (2014)
●A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, Ana Lily Amirpour (2014)

For classic novels featuring the creatures of the night, Lane thinks the following list is a very a good place to start your studies in vampire literary history. Please take note that some of these Books may not be ancient classics.
●The Vampyre, John William Polidori (1819)
●”Berenice,” Edgar Allan Poe (1835)
●”La Morte Amoureuse,” Théophile Gautierer (1836)
●Varney the Vampire, or, the Feast of Blood, James Malcolm Rymer and Thomas Peckett Prest (1845-1847)
●Carmilla, Sheridan Le Fanu (1872)
●”The Horla,” Guy de Maupassant (1887)
●”‘Dracula’s Guest,” Bram Stoker (1914)
●I Am Legend, Richard Matheson (1954)
●’Salem’s Lot, Stephen King (1975)
●Interview with the Vampire, Anne Rice (1976)
●The Hunger, Whitley Strieber (1981)
●Fevre Dream, George R. R. Martin (1982)
●The Vampire Lestat, Anne Rice (1985)
●The Light at the End, Craig Spector and John Skipp (1986)
●The Queen of the Damned, Anne Rice (1988)
●The Gilda Stories, Jewelle Gomez (1991)
●Lost Souls, Poppy Z. Brite (1992)

For classic vampire films, she recommends:
●Nosferatu, F. W. Murnau (1922)
●Dracula, Todd Browning (1931)
●Horror of Dracula, Terence Fisher (1958)
●The Last Man on Earth, Ubaldo Ragona, Sidney Salkow (1964)
●The Vampire Lovers, Roy Ward Baker (1970)
●Daughters of Darkness, Harry Kümel (1971)
●Vampire Circus, Robert Young (1972)
●Ganja & Hess, Bill Gunn (1973)
●Blood for Dracula, Paul Morrissey (1974)
●Martin, George A. Romero (1978)
●Nosferatu the Vampyre, Werner Herzog (1979)
●Dracula, John Badham (1979)
●Thirst, Rod Hardy (1979)
●The Hunger, Tony Scott (1983)
●Life Force, Tobe Hooper (1985)
●Fright Night, Tom Holland (1985)
●The Lost Boys, Joel Schumacher (1987)
●Near Dark, Kathryn Bigelow (1987)
●’Vampire’s Kiss, Robert Bierman (1988)
●Cronos, Guillermo del Toro (1993)
Lane was fun to talk with, and she had a lot to say about vampires and their place in the world of horror. Check out her debut novel, Invisible Chains.

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