1980s Vampire Movies: Even Your Legwarmers Can’t Save You!

Simple bloodsuckers found the going rough in the 1980s, what with their nighttime hunting grounds invaded by the likes of Freddie, Michael, Jason, Chucky, and any number of knockoffs. But, through it all, these 1980s vampire movies proved that horror fans are always up for a little pain in the neck.

The Lost Boys

Released in 1987, The Lost Boys is a horror-comedy film about two brothers, Sam and Michael, driven out to California’s surf coast in order for Michael to escape his life as a new-coming vampire. At Santa Clara County beach they meet the Frog Brothers Eddie and Alan, along with their woman friend Star who invite them to dinner where Michael is bitten by an ill girl who’s been turned by the vampiric brothers. The Frogs then reveal themselves to be vampires as well, and Michael is saved from becoming one of them for good by his mate Sam using garlic on him.


Released in 1988 and directed by Anthony Hickox, Waxwork is a horror-thriller with four stories told consecutively. The film’s plot revolves around Sarah, a young woman who along with her group of friends enters an old waxwork museum, where the owner Mr. Simms tells them the tales behind each of the figures on display.

The first story is about a young couple, Jonathan and Mina Harker, who stayed in an abandoned castle overnight. The second is about Jack the Ripper whose killing spree in Victorian London begins to attract unwanted attention. The third story deals with a man named O’Brien who gets his hands on Solomon’s Key, which allows him to travel forward in time to learn the identity of Jack the Ripper’s next victim. The fourth and final story is about Dr. Wolfe, an occultist attempting to bring his wife back from the dead with the use of black magic.

Transylvania 6-5000

This comedy horror film released in 1985 revolves around two vampire hunters, Marty and Ferdy, who are sent to Transylvania to get rid of vampires that live there.

The last three decades has not treated the movie well as it is regarded by critics as one of the worst movies ever made. It has earned a 1% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a 2.9 stars out of 10 rating based on 25 reviews.

The movie was released in VHS format way back in 1985, but it did not find its way to DVD until 2010 with the release by MGM as part of their Limited Edition Collection series. The film was also featured in Fox Studio’s The Rocky Horror Picture Show TV special in late 2015.


This unusual 1986 entry starred Grace Jones as an Egyptian vampire queen who terrorizes the living, vanquished by a master vampire hunter in Transylvania. In terms of vampires, this one was as far removed from Bram Stoker’s original novel as you can imagine.

Some critics have said that since the director was Hungarian, he may have been more familiar with Bela Lugosi’s version of the Dracula character.

Unfortunately, the film didn’t seem to find an audience in 1986 when it was released and only managed a poor $1 million at the box office. It’s too bad because though this is no masterpiece, it does have its share of enjoyable moments and entertaining visuals.

The Hunger

This 1983 oddball starred Catherine Deneuve as Miriam, a vampire who attacks men in their sleep and feeds on them like a succubus . The film is notable for its extremely graphic violence, especially during the closing scenes.

The Hunger begins with an interesting premise: A mysterious disease brought about by overpopulation forces humans to resort to cannibalism to survive.

Fright Night

This 1985 horror classic revolves around Charlie Brewster, a teenager who discovers his new neighbour Jerry Dandrige is in fact a vampire. He enlists the help of charismatic horror movie host Peter Vincent to do battle with the undead that’s moved into town. The two form an unlikely friendship and together they take on Jerry and his vampire cronies as well as trying to win over Charlie’s girlfriend Amy.

Beverly Hills Vamp

This 1988 campy horror film went direct to video and stars Jim Youngs as the titular vampire who stalks the residents of Beverly Hills and attempts to build an army of our fanged friends.

(Like 80s Vampire Movies? Then you might like our article on Horror Movies of the 1980s, click here.)

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