Here’s the first interesting tidbit I want to share about Strange Blood: 71 Essays on Offbeat and Underrated Vampire Movies, edited by Vanessa Morgan: it’s a book filled with essays about horror movies. So I realize that some people may find it odd that I read it, since I’ve mentioned before that I’m not really a fan of horror movies, and I’ll admit that I tend to watch even fewer vampire movies.
But someone gave me a copy, and I was curious, so I read it. And I’m glad I did, because it helped me discover a whole bunch of movies I otherwise never would have known about.
The world of vampires movies is extensive, probably moreso than most people realize. In Strange Blood, 71 essays explore some of the most well-known hits of the genre, as well as some of the most underrated.
The essays in Strange Blood are these really interesting combinations of movie summaries and reviews all in one. They’re great at piquing your interest enough that you want to know more. At the same time, though, they tell someone like me just enough that I could go watch the movie if I wanted to, but also enough that I don’t actually need to if I still haven’t reached my once-in-a-blue-moon horror-watching mood.
I also quite liked the mix of movies that was included in Strange Blood. The movies covered were released as far back as 1933, and produced in 23 countries. The vast majority were titles I’d never heard of—which, admittedly, shouldn’t have come as a surprise.
This is an overview of the most offbeat and underrated vampire movies spanning nine decades and 23 countries.
Strange Blood encompasses well-known hits as well as obscurities that differ from your standard fang fare by turning genre conventions on their head. Here, vampires come in the form of cars, pets, aliens, mechanical objects, gorillas, or floating heads. And when they do look like a demonic monster or an aristocratic Count or Countess, they break the mold in terms of imagery, style, or setting. Leading horror writers, filmmakers, actors, distributors, academics, and programmers present their favorite vampire films through in-depth essays, providing background information, analysis, and trivia regarding the various films. Some of these stories are hilarious, some are terrifying, some are touching, and some are just plain weird. Not all of these movies line up with the critical consensus, yet they have one thing in common: they are unlike anything you’ve ever seen in the world of vampires. Just when you thought that the children of the night had become a tired trope, it turns out they have quite a diverse inventory after all.