The 1980s were a decade of decadence, neon lights and of course, vampires. The vampire genre was at its peak, with numerous films released during this time period that are still regarded as classics today. We’ll look at some of the most iconic 80s vampire movies that have stood the test of time.

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(1) The Lost Boys (1987)

“The Lost Boys,” directed by Joel Schumacher and released in 1987, is one of the most iconic vampire films of the 1980s. This film follows a group of adolescent boys who discover a vampire coven living in their new hometown of Santa Carla. “The Lost Boys” is a must-see for fans of the vampire genre, thanks to its classic 80s soundtrack, memorable one-liners, and charismatic performances by Kiefer Sutherland, Jason Patric, and Corey Feldman. The film’s success also resulted in a cult following and a sequel in 2008.

(2) Fright Night (1980)

“Fright Night,” directed by Tom Holland and released in 1985, was another popular vampire film of the 1980s. The film follows Charlie, a high school student who discovers his next-door neighbour is a vampire and must persuade his friends to assist him in stopping the creature from killing more victims. To defeat him, he also enlists the assistance of a horror film actor. The film is a horror-comedy hybrid. “Fright Night” is known for its suspenseful and thrilling story, as well as Chris Sarandon and Roddy McDowall’s memorable performances. The film was followed by a sequel and a reboot with Colin Farrell as the evil vampire.

(3) Once Bitten (1985)

Once Bitten  movie poster (b)  - 11 x 17 inches - Jim Carrey, Karen Kopins - Picture 1 of 1

“Once Bitten” is a 1985 comedy horror film starring Lauren Hutton and Jim Carrey. The plot revolves around a vampire countess who must feed on the blood of virgins in order to stay young. She decides to target a high school student, and it is up to his girlfriend to save him. The film is praised for its comedic elements as well as Carrey’s early career performance.

(4) The Hunger (1983)

One of the lesser-known vampire movies of the 1980s is Tony Scott’s “The Hunger,” which was released in 1983. Starring as vampires alongside Catherine Deneuve, who is losing her immortality and searching for a cure, are David Bowie and Susan Sarandon. With its chic cinematography and fresh approach to the vampire mythos, “The Hunger” stands out. A real vampire genre masterpiece, “The Hunger” features gorgeous images, a haunting soundtrack, and compelling performances.

(5) Near Dark (1987)

“Near Dark,” directed by Kathryn Bigelow in 1987, is a vampire-western hybrid. The film follows a vampire cowboy as he leads a band of nomadic vampires across the southwest, avoiding both the law and the sun. The film received critical acclaim for its unique blend of genres as well as Bill Paxton and Lance Henriksen’s performances.

(6) Lifeforce (1985)

Tobe Hooper directed “Lifeforce,” a 1985 science fiction-horror film. The plot revolves around a group of astronauts who discover a mysterious alien spacecraft containing three humanoids and a parasitic life form capable of draining the life force of its victims. The life form is unleashed as the team returns to Earth and begins to wreak havoc, transforming its victims into vampires. “Lifeforce” is a fun and entertaining entry in the 80s vampire movie canon that remains popular with fans of the genre to this day, thanks to its fast-paced action, memorable special effects, and charismatic performances.

(7) Vampire Hunter D (1985)

“Vampire Hunter D” is a 1985 Japanese anime film set in a post-apocalyptic world where vampires rule over humanity. The movie is set in the year 12,090 AD, in a post-nuclear holocaust world where a young woman hires a mysterious half-vampire, half-human vampire hunter to protect her from a powerful vampire lord. “Vampire Hunter D” is a beloved vampire genre classic and a landmark film in the history of Japanese anime, thanks to its stunning animation, memorable soundtrack, and complex world-building.

(8) Vampire’s Kiss (1988)

“Vampire’s Kiss” is a 1988 black comedy horror film directed by Robert Bierman. Nicolas Cage plays Peter Loew, a literary agent who believes he is becoming a vampire after a one-night stand with a mysterious woman. “Vampire’s Kiss” is a unique take on the vampire genre, with its dark humour and over-the-top performances. The film has since gained a cult following for its offbeat humour and Cage’s energetic performance, establishing it as an 80s horror cinema classic.

While not strictly produced during the 1980s, these next two movies deserve an honorable mention:

(9) Salem’s Lot (1979)

Although not released in the 1980’s, “Salem’s Lot” is a worthy mention. “Salem’s Lot” is a 1979 horror novel written by Stephen King. The book follows the story of a writer named Ben Mears who returns to his hometown of Jerusalem’s Lot (also known as Salem’s Lot) to write a novel and finds himself in the middle of a vampire epidemic. The novel is considered a classic of the horror genre, and is known for its suspenseful writing, well-drawn characters, and eerie atmosphere. The book was adapted into a television miniseries in 1979 and again in 2004, and has inspired numerous other adaptations in various forms of media. “Salem’s Lot” remains a beloved and timeless work of horror literature, and is considered by many to be one of Stephen King’s best works.

(10) “Innocent Blood” (1992)

John Landis directed the horror-comedy film “Innocent Blood” in 1992. Anne Parillaud plays a seductive vampire who becomes embroiled in a turf war between the Italian Mafia and a group of vampires in the film. “Innocent Blood” is a unique and entertaining entry in the vampire genre, with its mix of dark humour and gory violence. The film features outstanding performances by its talented cast, which includes Robert Loggia, Don Rickles, and Anthony LaPaglia, and has since become a cult classic among horror and comedy fans.

The 80s was a golden era for vampire movies, and these films continue to captivate audiences today. Whether you’re a fan of horror, comedy, science fiction, or drama, there’s a classic 80s vampire movie out there for everyone. So, grab a bowl of popcorn, turn off the lights, and get ready for some timeless thrills.