Classical Movie Vampire

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Jump to: navigation, search
Legosi as dracula.jpg

The stock portrayal of vampires for years, but no older than movies, made famous by Bela Lugosi's portrayal of Dracula with Universal Pictures.

As a result, many aspects of his role have become iconic, to the point that almost every vampire for decades was like this. His slicked hairstyle (along with a widow's peak), his sinister yet gentlemanly demeanor, his outdated yet suave clothes consisting of an Ominous Opera Cape with a High Collar of Doom, his occasional dramatic flourish contrasting with a demeanor that is calm but menacing, and his Eastern European accent.

Occasionally, elements of the Classical Movie Vampire are also taken from Christopher Lee's portrayal of the Count in Hammer Horror pictures. In such cases, the vampire is over six feet tall and has both red eyes and more pronounced fangs.

Usually this is more a stock reference than an actual portrayal of vampires. If you have a Monster Mash, then Dracula will be like this.

A Sub-Trope of Our Vampires Are Different.

A Super-Trope to Vampire Vords (about the way this character type usually speaks, an exaggeration of the way Lugosi actually spoke).

Compare Looks Like Orlok.

Examples of Classical Movie Vampire include:


Advertising[edit | hide | hide all]

Comic Books[edit | hide]


Film[edit | hide]


Literature[edit | hide]

  • Bailey School Kids: Mrs. Jeepers shows every sign of this, being very suave and ladylike, with a widow's peak, a Eastern European accent, an air for the dramatic when she's not being calm and menacing, and outdated clothes.
  • All vampires in Discworld, except those who give up drinking blood. And even then, they retain most of the standard vampire features, such as not drinking... vine and dressing in black.
    • It's implied to be the result of their compulsive personalities and the Theory of Narrative Causality ganging up on them, which it takes an extreme effort of will to resist.
    • Count von Magpyr, however, being Dangerously Genre Savvy, still drinks blood and is specifically described as not looking like this:

For some reason a tiny part of Agnes was expecting a sombre looking man with an exciting widow's peak hairstyle and an opera cloak. She couldn't think why.

      • In fact, the Magpyr portrait gallery in Carpe Jugulum is a bit of a history of vampirism. Vlad is a parody of modern "cool" vampires, the Old Count is a Classical Movie Vampire, his father Looks Like Orlok, and a more distant ancestor is a beaked monster. Heck, Carpe Jugulum is a Reconstruction of the Genre, showing why a classical movie vampire will last longer than the cool new vampires. Especially since he's got the decency to spend a bit of time pretending to be dead after being staked.
    • There's also the character of Otto von Chriek, who is described as a "music-hall vampire" (which is the closest they have to stating outright that he is a Classical Movie Vampire.) However, it is mentioned several times that he does this to make people laugh, because if people are laughing at him, then they don't see him as a threat:

Otto: "I do not threaten. I am just a vorking stiff. And I make zem laff."
Vimes stared at the man. But yes ... Little fussy Otto, in his red-lined black cloak with pockets for all his gear, his shiny black shoes, his carefully-cut widow's peak, and, not least, his ridiculous accent that grew thicker or thinner depending on who he was talking to, did not look like a threat. He looked funny, a joke, a music-hall vampire. It had never previously occurred to Vimes that, just possibly, the joke was on other people. Make them laugh, and they're not afraid.

  • In The Dresden Files Harry dresses up like this specifically to piss the vampires off. It nearly gets him killed. But it was hilarious.
    • Also from the Dresden Files, Black Court Vampires kind of count, given that they are literally vampires straight out of Dracula.
  • Stephen King is notable for sometimes using this type of vampire in his stories and playing them perfectly straight (as in, that they are actually intended to be scary, and not humorous at all). The best example is in a short story where a man kidnaps a young child, and the child turns out to be a vampire. The child's grandfather shows up in the last few pages of the story and is specifically described as having a slicked hairstyle, pale skin, and wearing a large black cape.
  • Arnold Dotson in The Tumbleweed Dossier is a classical movie vampire, although he is not evil.


Live Action TV[edit | hide]

  • The Count in Sesame Street.
  • "Monster Movie", an episode of Supernatural where a crazy shapeshifter assumes the form of the Classical Movie Vampire (and other classic monsters later on).
    • In a series where Our Vampires Are Different, the fact that all the witnesses explicitly described the culprit as a Classical Movie Vampire is what convinced Dean and Sam that they were not actually dealing with a "real" one.
  • Russell Eddington, Vampire King of Missippi, from True Blood, to a tee. He is, however, perhaps the only classical vampire in the series.


Newspaper Comics[edit | hide]

  • A Spider-Man arc in the newspaper strips had an heiress fear a vampire was after her, and he was like this. It was a washed up actor trying to stage a stunt to revive his career.


Tabletop Games[edit | hide]

  • One The World of Darkness adventure featured a vampire living in a film studio. (He used to do Bela Lugosi impressions for a living when he was still human) He went mad during the transformation and was convinced he was Dracula, to the point of manifesting all 'traditional' vampire powers.
    • In Vampire: The Requiem, one of the elder vampires claiming to be the Dracula is nicknamed "Hollywood Drac." He looks like a cross between Lugosi and Christopher Lee, and is pictured wearing an outfit identical to the one in the picture above.
    • On a less serious note, Vampire: The Masquerade had the "Stereotype" flaw. In short, any character with this flaw, upon realizing that they were a vampire, immediately decided that they needed to dress the part, usually involving a long black cape and going "Blah! I vant to sahk yoor blahd!" a whole lot.
    • On a more serious note, Clan Tzimisce (generally believed to be Dracula's clan) is generally the more sophisticated variant of this. They live in old castles in the stormy mountains of Eastern Europe, show exceptional hospitality to travelers looking to stay the night, and generally call themselves Viscount or Baron or Voivode or what have you. They just also happen to be masters of Body Horror, and may or may not turn you into a hideously deformed freak or a living piece of furniture if you offend their delicate, old-fashioned sensibilities.


Video Games[edit | hide]

  • Some of the earlier Castlevania games made Dracula look like this. Since Symphony of the Night, however, he's typically depicted as looking closer to Bram Stoker's original description, with long hair and a moustache.
    • As does Order of Ecclesia.
    • Portrait of Ruin however goes for the classical look.
  • Vampires and Vampire lords in Heroes of Might and Magic 2. Complete with 'blah!' sound effects when they attack.
  • Valvatorez of Disgaea 4: A Promise Unforgotten had the classic vampire look during his days as Tyrant. He still maintains most of it, but with some more modern touches (the cravat was replaced by a Cleavage Window, for example).


Webcomics[edit | hide]

  • The Adventures of Dr. McNinja plays with this. Dracula's appearance is pure Lugosi, but he lives in a fortress on the moon, staffed with Dracula-bots and various presumed-dead celebrities.
    • And Hitler.
  • Nicht Lustig ... well, sort of.
  • Nosfera's Bram is this; the title character, slightly less so, but still has some aspects of it.


Web Original[edit | hide]

  • While generally not using Vampire Vords, stylistically, Vamp You, a vampire porn site, generally uses vampire like this. At least some elements are always kept. One artist especially focuses on the capes.