Monthly Archives: May 2010

The Best of Sucks to Be Me by Kimberly Pauley


Today marks the end of May — and the end of our May Book of the Month, featuring the Sucks to Be Me series by Kimberly Pauley. We’ve had so much fun featuring this whimsical, coming of age vampire stories — and getting to explore other vampire stories & legends, plus finding ways to incorporate Sucks to Be Me into the classroom. So as we wrap up this month’s featured book, here’s a look back at some of the highlights:

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Sucks to Be Me Contest

We asked you to write a list of 3-5 things and explain why it sucks to be you. Three winners will get a set of hardback copies of Sucks to Be Me and Still Sucks to Be Me, plus Novel Novice bookmarks and a signed bookplate from author Kimberly Pauley!

The deadline to enter is midnight (PT) tonight.

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Exclusive Interview with Kimberly Pauley

We love getting to interview our favorite authors — and Kimberly was no exception. She was patient enough to answer all our questions, so we brought her responses to you in three parts:

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Kimberly Pauley Guest Blog: Why I Love Being an Author

Besides our interview, readers can get to know Kimberly even better through the guest blog she wrote for us — talking about why she loves being an author, and why the author-reader community online is so powerful.

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Desktop Wallpapers Galore

We had tons of fun making desktop wallpapers this month — including some for Sucks to Be Me, Still Sucks to Be Me — and even several featuring a bunch of our favorite vampires from literature and pop culture!

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Vampires! Vampires! Vampires!

Yes, we went a little vampire crazy this month in honor of Sucks to Be Me. We explored various histories & legends:

And we also checked out other vamps in literature and pop culture:

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Sucks to Be Me in the Classroom

And it wouldn’t be Novel Novice if we didn’t find a way — or two or three — to tie in our favorite books into the classroom. We got some help this month from the Sucks to Be Me classroom guide provided to us by the publishers at Mirrorstone/Wizards of the Coast. Here’s some of what we put together to help you get creative in the classroom:

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For the comments: What has been your favorite part from the Sucks to Be Me May Book of the Month?

It’s deja vu on the best sellers list

Rick Riordan’s The Red Pyramid holds the top spot for the third week in a row onThe New York Times best sellers list, followed by The Carrie Diaries — now in its fourth week — by Candace Bushnell. And it’s clear that readers are gearing up for Suzanne Collins’ Mockingjay by reading the first two books in The Hunger Games series, The Hunger Games (No. 3) and Catching Fire (No. 4).

CHAPTER BOOKS
This Week   Weeks on List
1 THE RED PYRAMID, by Rick Riordan. (Disney-Hyperion, $17.99.) Ancient gods (this time from Egypt) and a mortal family meet in a new adventure. (Ages 10 and up) 3
2 THE CARRIE DIARIES, by Candace Bushnell. (Balzer & Bray/HarperCollins, $18.99.) Carrie Bradshaw, years before “Sex and the City.” (Ages 14 and up) 4
3 THE HUNGER GAMES, by Suzanne Collins. (Scholastic, $17.99.) In a dystopian future, a girl fights for survival on live TV. (Ages 12 and up) 89
4 CATCHING FIRE, by Suzanne Collins. (Scholastic, $17.99.) The protagonist of “The Hunger Games” returns. (Ages 12 and up) 38
5 BIG NATE: IN A CLASS BY HIMSELF, written and illustrated by Lincoln Peirce. (Harper/HarperCollins, $12.99.) Wherever Nate may go, trouble is never far behind. (Ages 8 to 12) 8
6 DORK DIARIES, written and illustrated by Rachel Renée Russell. (Aladdin, 12.99.) Reflections of a junior Samuel Pepys of the female variety. (Ages 9 to 13) 11
7 FALLEN, by Lauren Kate. (Delacorte, $17.99.) Thwarted love at boarding school. (Ages 12 and up) 24
8 SPELLS, by Aprilynne Pike. (HarperTeen/HarperCollins, $16.99.) It’s time for major life and love decisions for the young denizens of fairyland. (Ages 12 and up) 3
9 THIRTEEN REASONS WHY, by Jay Asher. (Razorbill/Penguin, $16.99.) Before she commits suicide a girl sends explanatory recordings to 13 people. (Ages 14 and up) 63
10 RULES OF ATTRACTION, by Simone Elkeles. (Walker, $16.99.) A boy with gang ties, seeking safety, finds romance, too. (Ages 14 and up) 5
 
PAPERBACK BOOKS
This Week   Weeks on List
1 THE BOOK THIEF, by Markus Zusak. (Knopf, $11.99.) A girl saves books from Nazi burning. Excerpt (Ages 14 and up) 141
2 THE ABSOLUTELY TRUE DIARY OF A PART-TIME INDIAN, by Sherman Alexie. Illustrated by Ellen Forney. (Little, Brown, $8.99.) A young boy leaves his reservation for an all-white school. (Ages 12 and up) 58
3 IF I STAY, by Gayle Forman. (Speak/Penguin, $8.99.) A young cellist falls into a coma after she suffers an accident. (Ages 12 and up) 7
4 FANCY NANCY AND THE LATE, LATE, LATE NIGHT, by Jane O’Connor. Illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser. (HarperFestival/HarperCollins, $3.99.) The celebrity lifestyle leaves Nancy exhausted. (Ages 4 to 8 ) 4
5 THREE CUPS OF TEA: YOUNG READERS EDITION, by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin. (Puffin/Penguin, $8.99.) A former climber builds schools in Pakistani and Afghan villages. (Ages 9 to 12) 69
6 L.A. CANDY, by Lauren Conrad. (HarperCollins, $9.99.) Excitement in TV land. (Ages 14 and up) 20
7 MASTERPIECE, by Elise Broach. Illustrated by Kelly Murphy. (Square Fish, $7.99.) Meet the beetle, whose artwork attracts a human friend. (Ages 12 and up) 3
8 THE UNDERNEATH, by Kathi Appelt. Illustrated by David Small. (Atheneum, $7.99.) In a tough neighborhood, a dog and cat form a family. (Ages 9 to 12) 10
9 SCAT, by Carl Hiaasen. (Knopf, $8.99.) An eco-mystery, with a dismal swamp and wild characters who are not always what they seem. Excerpt (Ages 9 to 12) 4
10 SAVVY, by Ingrid Law. (Puffin/Penguin, $7.99.) Mibs is about to turn 13, the age at which supernatural abilities are conferred on members of her family. (Ages 9 to 12) 8
 

Reminder: Tell us why it sucks to be you & win!


Just a quick reminder, folks — tomorrow is your last day to enter our Sucks to Be Me contest!

Three winners will get a set of hardback copies of Sucks to Be Me and Still Sucks to Be Me by Kimberly Pauley — and Kimberly has just told us she’ll send signed bookplates, temporary tattoos & bookmarks to the winners, too!

Just tell us why it sucks to be you! Make a list of 3-5 things, and then explain why it sucks to be you in 250-750 words.

All entries are due by midnight (PT) tomorrow — Monday, May 31st.

E-mail your entries to sara.novelnovice@comcast.net

Get all the rules & details here.

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Tomorrow is also the deadline for our Iron King Contest.

The prize is a copy of The Iron King by Julie Kagawa and a $25 VISA gift card!

To enter:

Follow Novel Novice on Twitter & tweet @NovelNovice #IWantIronKing

For a second entry, become a fan of Novel Novice on Facebook & post to our wall “I want Iron King”

Entries are due by midnight (PT) tomorrow — Monday, May 31st.

See complete rules & details here.

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Remember — for ALL our contests, prizes can only be sent to U.S. addresses.

Novel Novice on TV: Watch the video now!


Recently, Novel Novice was featured on a couple of local news programs here in Portland — and here’s the video:

(Okay, yes, this is from the TV station where I work — but I promise you, Stephanie — the reporter — put this piece together without my influence. Special thanks to Darryl M. for converting the video clip so I could upload it to our YouTube channel!)

Linger by Maggie Stiefvater – ARC contest winners


It’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for … yes, we’re announcing the winners of our Linger ARC giveaway! Drumroll …

Rivkie R. is the winner of a Linger ARC

In second place …

Ana M. is the winner of Ballad by Maggie Stiefvater

(Winners, check your email this weekend for details on claiming your prize!)

The winners were chosen completely at random … each person received one entry for every point earned in the contest. (So if you had x3 points, you had three entries in the drawing.)

Now, of course, many of you wrote essay responses to the question, “What makes you shiver?” And while you may not have won the drawing, we want to recognize your hard work. So after the break you’ll find all of the eligible essay entries we received.

Congrats to the winners & thanks to everyone who entered! Remember, keep coming back every week for more contests & features in our Linger Countdown!

Continue reading

News update about The Hunger Games movie & Mockingjay


This week at Book Expo America, Scholastic hosted a cocktail party in honor of Suzanne Collin’s The Hunger Games trilogy, and the upcoming final installment, Mockingjay.

While there, MTV talked to producers at Lionsgate and got the latest scoop on The Hunger Games movie adaptation:

They said Suzanne had given them her draft of the script, which is now being revised by another screenwriter. They hope to be able to announce a director this summer, and go into production in January to release the film later in 2011.

MTV also got to listen in as Collins read some of the first passages from Mockingjay (no advance copies are being made available — to anyone):

Collins smiled slyly as she pulled out a handful of galley pages and, yes, read the opening passage of “Mockingjay.” Even though the scene was even sadder than the conclusion of “Catching Fire,” and I fought back tears as she read, I was also fighting back the urge to jump up and down with excitement at getting that tiny sneak peek. (SPOILER: It begins with Katniss looking at the ashes of her home in District 12.)

Who else is just dying for August 24th???

MTV picks 5 options to be the “next Twilight


After checking out the offerings at Book Expo America this week, MTV sat down to consider which books could become the “next Twilight.” And while we cringe that this phrase — really, what they’re talking about is what’s going to be the next big thing in book to movie adaptations — we think they’ve picked out some really great contenders.

In fact, we’ve already started buzzing about some of these books — and a few others that MTV didn’t mention.

Here’s what MTV picked:

“I Am Number Four”

What Could Make It the Next “Twilight”: The book by “Pitacus Lore” (the pseudonym of James Frey and Jobie Hughes) doesn’t hit shelves until August 17, but that didn’t stop Steven Spielberg, Michael Bay and the creators of “Smallville” from teaming up to produce a big-budget film that’s set for a 2011 release. Alex Pettyfer of “Beastly” and Dianna Agron from “Glee” are among the stars already attached. That alone could help the book shoot to the top of the pile, but at its heart the title is about one young man and his quest discover himself, get the girl and take down the enemy.

“The Passage”

What Could Make It the Next “Twilight”: Author Justin Cronin developed his book, which come out on June 8, while listening to his 13-year-old daughter obsess over Stephenie Meyer. Like the “Twilight” series, the story revolves around a special girl. Director Ridley Scott (“Gladiator,” “Blade Runner”) apparently agrees and has optioned the book to develop into a feature film.

“The Hunger Games”

What Could Make It the Next “Twilight”: Suzanne Collins’ trilogy (third book, “Mockingjay,” is out August 24) has created a fierce, selfless heroine, a tragic love triangle and a frightening dystopian future that’s captured adults and teens alike. There aren’t any vampires in sight, but fans’ enthusiasm for these books is growing mighty feverish. Lionsgate is slated to begin filming a movie adaptation in early 2011.

“Vampire Academy”

What Could Make It the Next “Twilight”: When we covered the “Vampire Academy” books last year, we called Richelle Mead’s series the “perfect antidote” to frustrations over Bella often playing the victim. In this series, we get a strong female character who’s more liable to kick someone else’s ass on her own, rather than relying on any strapping hunks to do it for her. And as of today, the latest book in the franchise, “Spirit Bound,” has hit #1 on the best-seller charts.

“Beautiful Darkness” and “Beautiful Creatures”

What Could Make It the Next “Twilight”: Like “Twilight,” teenage angst is mixed with Gothic charm, dark secrets and choices to be made. The book is heavy on the romance aspect as it follows two young lovers and the feverous attempt by the boy to sway his girlfriend to the more righteous path.

While all of these sound great, we’re especially enthusiastic about Beautiful Creatures/Beautiful Darkness and The Hunger Games.

But besides MTV’s five picks, we’d also like to throw out a few more titles:

The Wolves of Mercy Falls series by Maggie Stiefvater

The supernatural romance in Shiver and the upcoming Linger are epic on a level likely to give Bella and Edward a serious run for their money.

The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare

Clare’s already got three books in this series out — plus one more next year, in addition to a trilogy of prequels. Besides offering filmmakers plenty of material to work with — Clare’s books also offer a much broader appeal than Twilight. In other words, guys would go check this series out, too. The same crossover appeal could easily be given to The Hunger Games (which we’re seriously obsessed with here. Who else can’t wait for Mockingjay?)

The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting

This is a relatively new book compared to the others on this list — it only came out this past March — but I’m telling you, it’s got all the makings of a blockbuster. I am calling it now. The Body Finder is an intensely chilling crime thriller — which offers broad audience appeal — but it also features one of the sweetest romances I’ve ever encountered in YA lit. A sequel is due out next year, and Derting’s already got plans for a third and fourth book, as well.

For the comments: Which books do you think have what it takes to be the next big thing?

Activities you can host for the Sucks to Be Me books!


We love reading here at Novel Novice, but let’s face it: reading is way more fun when your friends read, too — and then ya’ll can get together and geek out over your favorite books! Here are some fun activities you can do together for our May Book of the Month, the Sucks to Be Me series by Kimberly Pauley. These ideas come from the Sucks to Be Me Teaching & Discussion Guide, provided to us courtesy of Mirrorstone Books.

Vampire Movie Night

Yesterday, we shared a list of several of our favorite vampire movies. After reading Sucks to Be Me and Still Sucks to Be Me, host a party to watch some of your favorite vampire movies with your friends. Be sure to include the original 1931 Dracula for good measure. You can even serve red punch (“blood”) and creepy snacks!

Immortal Costume Ball

Host a party — or a dance at your school or library — and invite people to come dressed as famous historical figures who they think may have been vampires. You can even have guests vote in a costume contest! Don’t forget prizes.

Posters

Break out the craft supplies, and make some posters inspired by Sucks to Be Me and Still Sucks to Be Me. One could feature the pros & cons of becoming a vampire. Another could be an advertisement for a book club or reading group for Sucks to Be Me and Still Sucks to Be Me.

Vampire Poetry Slam

Host a poetry slam with a vampire theme. Ask readers to write and share poems about life as a vampire. You could even dress as vampires!

For the comments: What other activities related to Sucks to Be Me can you think of?

Review: Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side

Recently, our own Ms. Truitt wrote a review of Jekel Loves Hyde, the new book by Beth Fantaskey. The book sounded so good, I quickly headed to the bookstore to pick it up — where I discovered Fantaskey’s previous novel, Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side.

And being the “sucker” that I am for vampire stories (pun 100% intended), I couldn’t resist Jessica’s Guide and read that one first.

True confession: I read the book in only two days. And I read most of it in a single sitting, staying up way too late on a work night to finish.

So as you can imagine, I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

First things first — here’s what it’s about:

The undead can really screw up your senior year …

Marrying a vampire definitely doesn’t fit into Jessica Packwood’s senior year “get-a-life” plan. But then a bizarre (and incredibly hot) new exchange student named Lucius Vladescu shows up, claiming that Jessica is a Romanian vampire princess by birth—and he’s her long-lost fiancé. Armed with newfound confidence and a copy of Growing Up Undead: A Teen Vampire’s Guide to Dating, Health, and Emotions, Jessica makes a dramatic transition from average American teenager to glam European vampire princess. But when a devious cheerleader sets her sights on Lucius, Jess finds herself fighting to win back her wayward prince, stop a global vampire war—and save Lucius’s soul from eternal destruction.

Now, I’ll be the first to admit: Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side is not the most AMAZING book of all time. It’s not a perfect literary masterpiece. It’s not likely to end up being taught in English classrooms years from now.

But Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side is wholly entertaining and completely, indulgently satisfying. Fantaskey perfectly taps into the attraction readers get from a vampire-human romance, and she’s not afraid to satisfy those fantasies. She gives us exactly what we want — and that’s where the true success of the story comes from. She indulges our wants from a vampire romance, and she does so with expert finesse.

The plot unfolds with cinematic-like pacing, which makes it easy to keep turning the page (and, as I learned first-hand, stay up way too late reading). What’s more is that Fantaskey’s characters are multidimensional and its fun to watch them grow and develop — especially Jessica, as she matures and accepts her destiny — and Lucius, as he transforms from an arrogant [insert colorful word here] to a self-sacrificing and courageous, romantic hero. The romance between Jessica and Lucius is hot; it’s passionate. The dynamic, back-and-forth the pair engages in throughout the novel sizzles and builds until the heart-pounding climax.

And if that’s not enough to convince you that Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side is worth reading — consider my next statement. This is the book Twilight fans should read when they’ve finished those books & want something new to read, yet aren’t quite ready to move on. Lucius may not sparkle, but he’s brooding, moody and self-sacrificing enough to make you say, “Edward who?” … at least for a little while.

An additional kudos goes to Fantaskey for continuing the story of Lucius & Jessica with a light-hearted sequel available on her website for free.

Sucks to Be Me: Vampire Movies Worth Watching!


Earlier this week, we shared some other vampire books worth reading, in honor of our May Book of the Month, the Sucks to Be Me series by Kimberly Pauley. Today, we’re featuring some of our favorite vampire movies worth watching! (And no, I’m not including Twilight or New Moon, because — let’s face it — you don’t need us to tell you why you should watch those.)

The Lost Boys

lost_boysCorey Feldman & Corey Haim. Those two names alone should be reason enough to check out The Lost Boys. (Those of us old enough to be “in the know” remember them more fondly as “The Coreys.”) If you need more reason, how about this: The Lost Boys is about two brothers who move to California with their mom. Sam, the younger brother, falls in with new friends who convince him the town is a haven for vampires. His older brother, Michael, falls in with said vampires — with Kiefer Sutherland as their wonderfully wicked undead leader (or so it would seem).

Is The Lost Boys campy? Cheesy? You bet. But is it fun? Absolutely! Plus, it has a killer 80’s rock soundtrack (complete with cheesy synthesizer and a choral backup theme). (Click for trailer.)

Interview with a Vampire

interview_with_the_vampireAgain, the main draw for this movie is two big names: Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt, plus a little Christian Slater for good measure. (I should note: this is Cruise, Pitt & Slater circa 1994.)

Interview with a Vampire is an adaptation of Anne Rice’s novel by the same name. The movie features Brad Pitt as the vampire Louis — who recounts his life story (in the titular “Interview” with Christian Slater ), including his transformation at the hands of Lestat (Cruise) and their life together in 18th and 19th century Louisiana. Interview with a Vampire also features a very young Kirsten Dunst as a child-vampire (who shares a semi-creepy kissing scene with Pitt) and Antonio Banderas, in one of his earliest English-speaking roles.

Interview with a Vampire may be a wee bit graphic at times … but it’s one of the best vampire movies around. I’m talking classic fangs, blood-drinking and general undead debauchery. Plus, we get to follow Louis as he deals with the agony of finding something to live for when you can live forever. (Yes, yes I am using a play on the Twilight tagline.)

Still not convinced? Click to view the trailer.

Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)

dracula 1992Though still a a very loose adapation, Francis Ford Coppola’s Bram Stoker’s Dracula is actually one of the more accurate takes on Stoker’s classic novel.  The movie stars Gary Oldman as iconic Count Dracula. (Younger audiences may know Oldman better as Sirius Black in the Harry Potter movies.) The movie also features Keanu Reeves as Jonathan Harker, Winona Ryder as Mina Murray and Anthony Hopkins as Van Helsing (the vampire hunter).

Besides the all-star leading cast — there are some other big names in the supporting cast, including Cary Elwes and, my personal favorite, Tom Waits as Renfield. (Seriously, his performance steals the show!)

In my mind, I always remember this movie as being really awesome … but then every year when I watch it (it’s sort of a Halloween viewing tradition in my family), I realize just how cheesy it is. But it’s good cheesy and totally fun to watch. And sure, the filmmakers took some liberties with Stoker’s novel. But they injected it with enough camp and melodrama that most purists don’t really care. (At least, this purist doesn’t really care.) This movie is just great, classic vampire drama at its finest. (Click for trailer.)

Dracula (1931)

dracula 1931It doesn’t get more must-see than this: Bela Lugosi as Dracula, uttering that now famous line, “I never drink … wine.” This was Universal’s 1931 adaptation of Bram Stoker’s novel — and though it’s a far cry from the original novel, it’s also one of the most iconic and well-known presentations of Dracula. It also came when big screen horror adaptations were all the rage — and during Unversal’s golden age of horror movies. Around the same time, the studio also released Frankenstein (with Boris Karloff), The Mummy and The Invisible Man, among other big hits.

Seriously, if you haven’t seen Lugosi’s star-making performance as Dracula, you just haven’t lived. (Click for trailer.)

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

buffy_the_vampire_slayer_ver2Before Sarah Michelle Gellar began patrolling with Mr. Pointy on the small screen, Kristy Swanson strapped on the wooden stake in this campy movie written by Joss Whedon (yes, that Joss Whedon). Fans of the show will find this a much campier presentation — but it’s essentially the precursor to the show, setting up how Buffy learns she is the slayer and fights her first vampires. It also shows us Buffy’s … er, “bimbo” side? Yeah, she’s a cheerleader and she really loves to shop. And, well, she can be a little less than friendly at times … but that makes it all the more fun to see her develop into the vampire-slaying, ass-kicking heroine we’ve all come to know and love. (Click for trailer.)

Underworld

underworldA sort of Romeo & Juliet for the vampires & werewolves set, Underworld is a moody action-drama starring Kate Beckinsale as the vampire Selene and Scott Speedman as the human-turned werewolf/vampire hybrid Michael. This movie is chock-full of mood and tension. And frankly, it’s just pretty to look at — with all the lovely blue tones and intense lighting. Plus, it’s a modern, action-packed take on the time-old “vampire vs. werewolf” storyline. (Plus, you can catch New Moon’s Michael Sheen as the werewolf leader Lucian.) This movie is also good for both ladies and gentlement … it’s got a nice mix of romance, intrigue and action to satisfy just about everybody. (Click for trailer.)

Blade

bladeWesley Snipes stars in this vampire action thriller as Blade, the half-human/half-vampire who uses his hybrid powers to fight vampires and protect humans. And though he’s filled with lots of angst and anger over his lot in life, my personal favorite in this movie is Stephen Dorff as the bad-guy vampire. He’s so delightfully evil, I can’t help actually rooting for him most of the movie. Still, Blade is an entertaining vampire action romp — no matter which side you root for. (Plus, this is another one you can watch with your boyfriends, husbands, guy-friends, etc.) And if you enjoy this, there are two more Blade movies you can follow-up with. (Click for trailer.)

Nosferatu

NosferatuThis silent film from 1922 is based on Bram Stoker’s Dracula – though a lot of the finer details were changed, since the filmmakers didn’t actually have the rights to the book. But more importantly, Nosferatu is one of the earliest (if not the earliest) vampire movies around. Even to this day, the image of Max Schreck as the vampire Count Orlok remains one of the most iconic images of vampires in cinema. Watching this movie — as with any silent movie — is a different experience than most modern filmgoers are used to. But for any vampire fan, Nosferatu offers a lot of insight into the transformation and progression of vampires in film. It’s a nice glimpse into the history of these creatures of the night that we’ve come to know and love. (Nosferatu is free to the public domain. Click to view the entire movie for free here.)

Shadow of the Vampire

shadow_of_the_vampire_ver1Once you’ve seen the original Nosferatu, you’ll have new appreciation for this 2000 movie. Shadow of the Vampire is the fictionalized story about how Nosferatu was made. The movie suggests that the actor protraying Nosferatu (with Willem Dafoe portraying Max Schreck in an Oscar-nominated performance) may have taken his role as the vampire a bit too seriously. In fact, the movie plays out as if Schreck is actually a vampire — except only the movie’s director knows this. It’s been awhile since I watched this movie, but Shadow of the Vampire is a really creepy, original story and it’s especially fun to see how they recreate scenes from the original Nosferatu. (Click for trailer.)

Ed Wood

ed wood posterNow, this isn’t really a vampire movie. This is Tim Burton’s tribute to the worst director of all-time: Ed Wood, the man behind such horrific movies as Plan 9 From Outer Space and Bride of the Atom. But for vampire fans, this movie is worth watching just to see Martin Landau’s Oscar-winning performance as Bela Lugosi. (Of course, the movie also features other outstanding performances — such as Johnny Depp as the title character, Ed Wood, and Vincent D’Onofrio as Orson Welles … just to name a few.) It’s also based on the true life story of Ed Wood … and honestly, who doesn’t love a good Tim Burton-Johnny Depp collaboration? (Click for trailer.)

30 Days of Night

Here’s a creepy, moody vampire movie from Eclipse director David Slade. But don’t be fooled — there is no sparkling here. 30 Days of Night tells the story of a sheriff in an isolated Alaska town — where for 30 days every year, the sun never rises.

It is during these 30 days of night (heh, get it?) when a group of blood-thirsty vampires lay siege to the town, bent on gorging themselves for an entire month. It’s up to the sheriff & his team to try and protect the survivors.

(Click for trailer.)

Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assitant

vampire's assistantThis whimsical adaptation of Darren Shan’s book is fairly family-friendly, despite the vampire storyline. I’m not sure it was nearly successful enough to warrant a sequel — which, in a way, is too bad — since the first movie does more to establish future installments than it does to stand alone. Still, it’s a cute movie and is definitely worth watching at least once. Here is the official movie synopsis from IMDB:

A young boy named Darren Shan meets a mysterious man at a freak show who turns out to be a Vampire. After a series of events Darren must leave his normal life and go on the road with the Cirque Du Freak and become a Vampire.

(Click for trailer.)

Daybreakers

daybreakersReleased earlier this year, Daybreakers is definitely a movie for grown-ups, and looks at a world where there are more vampires than humans. But that means bad news for the vamps — since they’re running out of food (aka human blood). Of course, in a world run by vampires — things don’t look too pretty for the humans, either. These definitely aren’t your pretty, sparkly vampires, but this movie looks like a cool, unique take on the vampire story:

In the year 2019, a plague has transformed most every human into vampires. Faced with a dwindling blood supply, the fractured dominant race plots their survival; meanwhile, a researcher works with a covert band of vamps on a way to save humankind. (Click for trailer.)