Arts & Culture News

10 Vampirey, Teen-Angsty Things That are Cooler Than Twilight

Tweens, shut-ins, cat ladies and frustrated housewives too timid for 50 Shade of Grey entered their final throes of Twilight-related delirium last week. Apparently, not all vampires live forever. As fans search for another fantasy franchise to fill the emotional void, the rest of us see simply the end of a long national nightmare. For that reason, we've decided to celebrate by rummaging through the monster flick/teen lust junk drawer and picking out 10 Things that Are Cooler Than Twilight.

1. An American Werewolf in London - Back when Taylor Lautner and Robert Pattison were merely a twinkle in their parent's genetically perfect eyes, Griffin Dunne ruled the world. Ok, maybe not ruled the world but An American Werewolf in London is the perfect blend of comedy, teen sex romp and full-on horror movie. They don't make 'em like that anymore.

2. Blacula - Which one is cooler: a pasty, angular vampire pretty boy or a badass blacksploitation African prince vampire? Robert Pattison isn't fit to sniff the jock strap of William H. Marshall's Prince Mamuwalde from 1972's Blacula.

3. Franco Zefferilli's 1968 Romeo and Juliet - If watching teenagers let their hormones lead them to make terrible life decisions is your bag, Italian director Franco Zeffirilli's 1968 is a must. It's not the Gen X music video onslaught that was 1996's take on the Bard classic, just a solid performance by two then-unknown teen thespians. No one would ever use the phrase "teen thespians" to describe anyone from the Twilight series.

4. Werewolf Bar-Mitzvah - A sketch from 30's Rock's fictional show-within-a-show TGS, Werewolf Bar-Mitzvah sees Tracy Morgan transforming into a werewolf during the sacred Jewish rite of passage. Bonus points for the theme song ("Werewolf bar-mitzvah, spooky scary/Boys becoming men, men becoming wolves") being written by Community's Donald Glover AKA Childish Gambino.

5. Adventureland - Listen, I'm sure Kristen Stewart is a very nice, albeit scowling, young lady. But intense emotional depth in her performances has never been her calling card. Which is part of what makes her so utterly tolerable in the raunchy teen comedy Adventureland. Yes, it's true. She has a setting other than "brooding". 6. Teen Wolf - Let's just pretend that the current MTV incarnation doesn't exist because it's cut from the same cloth as the equally awful Twilight. But the Michael J Fox/Jason Bateman tag team of Teen Wolf and Teen Wolf 2 will never be topped no matter how many doe-eyed Ford models you cram into the remake. Trust me, just go with the original.

7. Let the Right One In - Let's do a little SAT analogy here: Twilight is to vampire movies as Fanta is to fresh squeezed fruit juice. To experience what vampire movies are actually supposed to be like, check out Let the Right One In. For what it lacks in teenagers conversing in cheesy romance novel dialog, it makes up for in being a truly terrifying vampire thriller.

8. Hammer Horror - The British horror staple has tackled everything from vampires to witches covens to Frankenstein. The film production arm of Hammer Horror has recently been revived after a decent into obscurity in the late 1970's. But don't forget the awesomely cheesy and cheesily awesome Hammer Horror television series of the early 1980's. It's definitely worth tracking down.

9. Count Duckula - Also a UK export, Count Duckula is the ultimate 1980's anti-hero. Namely a vampiric duck who also happens to be a vegetarian. Do yourself a favor and watch the funky, synth-y, oh-so-80's theme song. Seriously, go do it right now.

10. The Lost Boys - It's a complete mystery to me why anyone even attempts to make teen vampire movies knowing that they will all pale in the blood-sucking shadow of The Lost Boys. The Twilight kids are the theater kids of the high school, while The Lost Boys are the slightly scary, smoking-behind-the-gym, thug youth. The Lost Boys win every time.

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Amanda Mann