troperville

tools

toys


main index

Narrative

Genre

Media

Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
random
Kickstarter Message
TV Tropes Needs Your Help
X
Big things are happening on TV Tropes! New admins, new designs, fewer ads, mobile versions, beta testing opportunities, thematic discovery engine, fun trope tools and toys, and much more - Learn how to help here and discuss here.
View Kickstarter Project
Classical Movie Vampire

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 His slicked hairstyle (along with a widow's peak), his sinister yet gentlemanly demeanor, his outdated yet suave clothes consisting of a black Ominous Opera Cape with a High Collar of Doom, his occasional dramatic flourish contrasting with a personality that is calm but menacing, and of course his thick Eastern European accent. Note that, although Dracula has a mustache in Bram Stoker's original novel, the Classical Movie Vampire is usually clean-shaven.

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.

Now, this is more often 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:

    open/close all folders 

    Advertising 
  • Count Chocula
  • Recent commercials for Kelloggs Nutri-Grain bars feature the Mortons, a whole family of vampires who have learned to enjoy daylight. The dad, Stan, fits the trope best, wearing his evening clothes when mowing the lawn, practicing his golf swing, and jogging.

    Comic Books 
  • Dracula himself in The Tomb of Dracula. His only minor departure from the trope is his mustache.
  • Hellboy and B.P.R.D.. The series likes to borrow from every vampire tradition imaginable, but the classic movie vampires show up The Sleeping and the Dead, 1946, and 1947. Mignola also came up with an explanation for why Hellboy doesn't encounter these types of vampires more often: Vampires used to be a real epidemic in Europe, but humanity got too good at fighting back. So, in 1774, the heads of the European vampire families agreed to bide their time and go into hiding until humanity collectively forgot about them.

    Comic Strips 
  • 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.

    Films — Live-Action 

    Literature 
  • 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.
    • They don't technically have Eastern European accents. They have Uberwald accents, which written phonetically are pretty much indistinguishable from Eastern European accents. The word "Uberwald" is, more or less, "Transylvania" in German instead of Latin.
    • 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.
      • Everyone calls him The Old Count, but his actual name is "Bela".
    • 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.
      • Otto gets peeved at least once in the books, whereupon he proves that he's perfectly capable of terrifying people if he really wants to.
    • Arthur Winkings (Count Notfaroutoe) dresses like this. He doesn't have the accent, but his wife Doreen (who is not a vampire) does. They're both Ankh-Morpork natives, so it's entirely affectation on Doreen's part (she makes him wear the opera cape, but he drew the line at the accent).
  • 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.
    • The Dresden Files Black Court Vampires share all the Dracula weaknesses, but with their rotten stench and corpse-like appaerance, are more in looks-like-Orlok territory
  • 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 "Popsy", 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 
  • 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.
  • The Armstrong and Miller Show featured a series of sketches starring two classic style vampires struggling to adapt to a modern world filled with Twilight style vampires.
  • Russell Edgington, Vampire King of Mississippi, from True Blood, to a tee. He is, however, perhaps the only classical vampire in the series.
  • The titular "Night Stalker" in the original TV movie of Kolchak: The Night Stalker was one of these.
  • The vampire in the Doctor Who serial "The Chase".

    Tabletop Games 
  • 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.
  • Warhammer Fantasy's Von Carstein vampire bloodline have traditionally exhibited all the classic movie vampire traits, and most of the older model range is heavily inspired by the classic movie vampire look. More recent model incarnations have given them a harsher, more militaristic aesthetic, with heavy fluted armour and bat designs highly prominent. According to the designers, however, this is because the newer models are meant to represent the Von Carsteins on the battlefield, where it would be considered foolhardy at worst and very unseemly at best to dress in formal evening wear. Presumably they still dress like Bela Lugosi at home.
  • In Magic The Gathering, the vampires of the Gothic Horror-inspired world of Innistrad are very much this. This was actually a plot point in the preceding Zendikar block, where Zendikar-native planeswalker Nissa Revane didn't realise Innistradi planeswalker Sorin Markov was a vampire until near the end of the block's storyline, because the vampires on Zendikar don't fit this trope at all.
  • Strahd von Zarovich, the vampiric Big Bad of the Ravenloft setting.

    Video Games 

    Webcomics 
  • 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 
  • 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.

    Western Animation 
  • Thatch from Casper Scare School
  • A Halloween episode of The Simpsons had a this type of vampire be a father and contrast to a younger, Edward Cullen style vampire.
    • An earlier Halloween episode featured Mr Burns as a vampire living in Pennsylavnia.
      Kent Brockman: Another local peasant has been found dead, drained of his blood with two teeth marks on his neck. This black cape was found at the scene, (shows cape that reads DRACULA) Police are baffled.
  • Pretty much any vampire appearing in the Scooby-Doo franchise.


Cross-Melting AuraVampire TropesDaywalking Vampire
Char CloneFountain of ExpiesThe Cowl
Cobweb JungleImageSource/Live-Action FilmsVampires Are Sex Gods

alternative title(s): Vlad The Imposter; Looks Like Lugosi
random
TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from thestaff@tvtropes.org.
Privacy Policy
34252
4