New Vampire Cinema by Ken Gelder (book review).

Ah, vampires. Can love them but can’t bite them, although they can bite you. Author Ken Gelder, with his book ‘New Vampire Cinema’, points out that there are too many vampire films to catalogue them all here and chooses only to examine a select few modern ones as an important aspect of the cinema.


His selection steers away from the old classics so you won’t see anything but the odd mention of the Tod Browning version or the Hammer fodder. Even so that still leaves a lot of other vampire films from across the globe and many current ones from the past couple decades, like ‘Night Watch, ‘Dawn To Dusk’, ‘Blade’, ‘Underworld’ and ‘Twilight’, so should happily complement any previous books you own on the vampire film subject. Interesting how so many come out in trilogies these days, isn’t it?

Reading this book, it does become obvious to me that the role of the vampire is typically that of good versus bad and the vampire neatly fits that role, having an agenda that is clearly nothing human. If the humans don’t win, then they are clearly lost. Vampire films are clearly a means to remind humans of their own humanity.

The analysis is interesting and if you’ve missed any of the thirty-three films he covers, then you should come away from this book with a working knowledge of them, although not a credits list which might have been a decent topping on the blood cake.

Don’t be put off by the small page size as the book uses small print and packs in twice the amount that way and is an interesting addition to the BFI collection of film books.

GF Willmetts

December 2012


(BFI/Palagrave Macmillan. 156 page minor illustrations indexed small enlarged paperback. Price: £16.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-84457-440-7)

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