Vampires suck–literally. Ruthless and bloodthirsty, these mythical undeads drain the life of their victims, yet America cinema and television has a morbid fascination with them that dates back to the 18th century. Raking in $141.8 million its opening weekend, the final and fifth installment of the The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn 2 inspired Blackamericaweb.com to explore the historical bloodline of Black vampires from the silver screen to the boob tube.
It's beyond us why a black man would seek help from a white man, er, we mean Count Dracula to free his people. For some reason Prince Mamuwalde (William Marshall), the ruler of an African nation, trusted the Count would take a bite out of crime and stop the slave trade. And surprise, surprise! Dracula refuses and transforms him into a bushy-browed (think scary-hairy like "Muppets" hecklers Statler & Waldorf meets X-Men's Wolverine) hairy-faced bloodsucker better known as Dracula's soul brother avenger. Dang, even in death, a brother can't catch a break. Watch video of Blacula's origin here.
Ganja and Hess (1973)
Archaeologist and geologist Dr. Hess Green's (Duane Jones) new assistant stabs him three times with a cursed dagger from the ancient Black civilization Myrthia that he's been studying making him a slaughterous immortal. Eventually he falls in love and marries his assistant's widow Ganja (Marlene Clark) and gives her the gift life after death. This bloody vampire movie doesn't have much bite (literally) because you never see any fangs onscreen, but enough of the victims' tomato juice, er, blood, oozing from their veins. Trust, by the end you'll wish you could've had a V8. Watch Dr. Green's first feed.
Rock 'n' soul diva Grace Jones proves she's still a thrill in this collegiate horror-dramedy where she portrays Katrina, an Egyptian Queen-turned-bloodsucking-mute-matriarch of a bloodthirsty harem of strippers at Los Angeles' After Dark Club. A couple of unsuspecting fraternity pledgees are challenged by their hazers to recruit exotic dancers for a campus party but after encountering Katrina and her toothy clique are faced with trying to stay alive until the break of dawn. Donning Kabuki makeup, red wig, body paint and a matching spiral metal bra and undies, Jones delivers a mating striptease that ends with a disturbing exhibition of her oral skills on a headless male statue. Eventually, the sunrise marks her demise but not before her skeletal hand flips the bird to Greeks and perhaps, higher learning. Watch a clip here.
Def by Temptation (1990)
Fly-girl temptress (Cynthia Bond) sucks the life out of horny New York men who dare to be warm for her form. As she seduces and destroys, the beautiful demon meets her match in a minister-in-training Joel (James Bond III) who eventually kills her with his cross. One of the funniest scenes from the film is when Dougy (Bill Nunn) warns K (Kadeem Hardison) to stand back because once he douses the succubus with holy water,she's gonna start "slobbing, farting and gagging." Something tells us that involuntary, bodily exhaustions and drooling lips should be the least of anyone's worries when confronting Satan's concubine. Watch the she-vamp in action.
Vampire in Brooklyn (1995)
Long before Eddie Murphy traveled from Africa to Queens, N.Y. to find his intended in 1988's "Coming to America," he took a trip from the Bermuda Triangle to Brooklyn as Maxmillian, the lone survivor of a massacred tribe of Caribbean vampires. His mission: to find and procreate with his half-vampire soulmate, NYPD's finest Det. Rita Veder (Angela Bassett). Besides the ridiculousness of his uncanny resemblance to the late great soulstar Nick Ashford of R&B hubby-and-wife duo Ashford & Simpson, Murphy also portrays Preacher Pauly, an Al Sharpton look-a-like that can not enter the House of the Lord without his relaxed coif smoldering amid its cross-bearing walls. Eventually Max sinks his teeth into Rita making her a full breed but in the end blood proves not to be thicker than water when she causes his extinction. Watch Preacher Pauly spread The (wrong) Word.
Kindred: the Embraced (1996)
Hunky Det. Sonny Toussaint (Eric King), a vampire who helps protect the masquerade of the vampires, takes his job seriously. Unfortunately, we never got to see the full extent of his evil powers because the television show, loosely based on the white-wolf, role-playing game "Vampire: The Masquerade" ended after its first season. Unfortunately, lead actor Mark Frankel who played Julian Luna, the leader of the Vampire Clans, dies in real life.
The Blade Trilogy: Blade (1998, Blade II- 2002 and Blade Trinity, 2004)
Sword-wielding daywalker Blade's (Wesley Snipes) vampiric destiny was written before his birth by his pregnant mother (Sanaa Lathan) who was bitten. Unlike other vamps, Blade can tan without suffering a destructive sunburn. Who can forget when Blade crashes and slashes a bloody party of fanged vagrants? Blade's undeniable swagger and Bruce Lee-like skills hooked many on his unconventional heroism and sequels. Watch Blade shut the club down.
Dracula 2000 (2000)
In this coming-of-age tale about Dracula's 21st-century resurrection, ringleader Marcus (Omar Epps) and his sticky-fingers crew end up in a robbery gone awry when he steals a coffin from the antique shop of his girlfriend's (Jennifer Esposito) boss (Christopher Plummer). Unfortunately, he and his shady crooks succumb to the wrath of the bloodsucking vamp aboard a New Orleans-bound plane that crashes. In true thug-vamp fashion, he rolls up on the antique shop's apprentice (Jonny Lee Miller) in a public parking garage and goes for the jugular. Testing his agility, Marcus dodges silver blades and nails until he's decapitated, landing head-first in a dumpster. Watch Marcus' evil rampage.
Queen of the Damned (2002)
A pre-Egyptian Queen from Kemet and mother of all vampires Akasha (Aaliyah), is resurrected in the 21st century by the music of rockstar Lestast de Lioncourt (Stuart Townsend). During a visit to a London nightclub, Akasha learns that the vampires plan to take down her boo Lestat limb by limb and she blacks out, ripping the ringleader's pulsating heart from his chest, eating and crushing it without breaking a nail. Unaware of her formidable power, the remaining vampires are no match as they are reduced to embers with a flick of her hand they are reduced to embers and set the club ablaze. Moral: Don't mess with the Queen's king. Watch Queen Akasha set the roof on fire.
"True Blood" (2008-2013)
Merlottes bartender Tara Thornton (Rutina Wesley) is an Atheist with a chip on her shoulder, a perfect combination and recruit for a vampire. Caring for her alcoholic mother stresses her out, but she relieves it by throwing attitude and shade to the drunk patrons she deals with at work and knowing her telepathic childhood bestie Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin) has her back. Eventually she's killed by Debbie Pelt (Brit Morgan), but she is saved by vampire sheriff Eric Northman's second-in-command Pamela "Pam" Swynford de Beaufort (Kristin Bauer van Straten) who despite her disregard for humans, gives her the gift of immortality. Tara's new powers enable her to move at lightning speed so when she gets into a brawl with nemesis Jessica she's on her like white on rice. Clearly, this ain't your average catfight. Watch Tara kick butt.
Twilight, Twilight Saga: New Moon (2009)
If you've got a thing for brothers with dreadlocks and a European rudely swagger Laurent's (Edi Gathegi) that dude. The vampire with a conscious is also the leader of the three-member nomadic Denali vamps. In Twilight, he betrays the James' coven (to which he initially belonged) that includes vampiress Victoria (Rachelle Lefevere) who wants to kill Bella Swan (Kristin Stewart), by warning the Cullens, an evolved "vegetarian" (animal-feasting) clique that feasts on animals not humans, and protects Edward Cullen's (Rob Pattison) love Bella. Once the New Moon arrives, Laurent obeys his thirst for the "mouth-watering" Bella during an impromptu reunion. Unfortunately, another Bella-suitor Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner) and his wolf pack draw Laurent's blood before he can drink hers. Watch Laurent obey his thirst below.
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn 2
The final epic introduces the United Nations of vampires–Egyptians, Irish, French, Italians, Brazilians and more–that congregate to prepare for battle with the Aro, the leader of the V0lturi and his posse. Two Amazonian vampires, Zafrina (Judith Sekonia) the dead-ringer-for-supermodel-Tyra Banks and Senna (Tracy Heggins), come out swinging, literally, from trees to join the Cullens to protect Renesmee Carlie Cullen (Mackenzie Foy) the rapidly-aging, half-human, half-vampire daughter of Edward (Pattison) and Bella (Stewart). When it's time to throw down the Amazons create visual illusions to deter their enemies. Although we can't help but give a fierce black-girl side-eye to the Twilight author for describing these sisters as the "less" civilized vampires, we can still appreciate the unique bond of their abilities. Watch trailer here.