The Union Jack the Ripper team share their favourite vampire flicks

Plus my next Marvel mini-series revealed!

The Union Jack the Ripper team share their favourite vampire flicks

Hello, hello, hello!

Issue one of Union Jack the Ripper, my first mini-series set in the Marvel Universe, hits comic stores today. Part of Marvel's Blood Hunt event, the three-part comic sees Brit superhero Union Jack facing an army of the undead on the streets of Manchester. Jack's been fighting bloodsuckers all his costumed life, but this is a new world, where the sun has set never to rise again and vampires rule supreme. Without any metahuman powers or abilities, Union Jack has always relied on grit, determination and a belief that his country is worth fighting for... but now that faith is wavering!

You can check out a special preview at Flickering Myth, including this stunning Philip Tan variant I've only just seen!

To celebrate the first issue, I asked the rest of the creative team to share their favourite vampire movies.

Java Tartaglia, our brilliant colourist was the first to reply:

"Bram Stoker's Dracula by Coppola. It's definitely my best vamp movie ever. The acting, that intense music, those scary scenes and backgrounds... It's terrific. And as a big fan of Bram Stoker's novel, this adaptation it's perfect."

Coppola's epic is right up there for this Drac-fan as well, mainly due to Gary Oldman's incredible portrayal of the count, although the sumptuous design has to be mentioned. Vlad's Transylvian armour has always been a favourite of mine, a work of unsettling genius by costume designer Eiko Ishioka resembling flayed muscles topped with a suspiciously wolf-like helmet. Absolute genius!

A familiar-looking waxwork at Whitby's 100% unofficial Dracula Experience as seen during my visit last year. No red armour though!

Next up was Craig Yeung, one of Union Jack the Ripper's phenomenal inkers:

"I'll keep it short: Underworld because Kate Beckinsale as a vampire in leather and guns. See attachment."

And here is the picture Craig sent with it, a private commission he produced a few years ago:

I dread to think how many times I've watched Underworld. In my head, it was a big influence on the third Doctor Who audio drama I wrote with Mark Wright back in 2003, Project: Lazarus, but it can't have been as, checking back, Lazarus came out three months before the movie hit UK screens. I know I listened to the soundtrack on loop when we were writing the next story in the Forge cycle, Project: Destiny, which came out seven years later in 2010.

And talking about leather-clad vampire hunters...

"Blade! I had to do it. Vampires, for me, were never really something I was a huge fan of. So, when I got to see not only the first of an era of Marvel movies that were made in earnest as films, but also got to see suck heads getting destroyed by a total bad ass in leather? Yes, please! Special shout out to the sequence in Blade II where Wesley Snipes goes to town while The Chemical Brother's Name of the Game plays. Some mother f@#$%ers are always trying to ice skate uphill."

That's our editor, Danny Khazem, making his Marvel and for good reason. George Mann and I rewatched Blade II again recently and I'd forgotten how balls-to-the-wall it is! Plus, it introduced me to one of my all-time heroes, a certain Guillermo del Toro who used it as proof of concept that he could a) deliver big comic book action and b) that Ron Pearlman could dominate the silver screen! Without Blade II we wouldn't have had del Toro's Hellboy!

Back to bloodsuckers before I get sidetracked by the BPRD! Letterer Travis Lanham is up next with a classic choice:

"Interview with the Vampire! I love the movie as well as the book series. I really enjoy how Anne Rice's vampires are three-dimensional characters and not simply monsters. Louie, in particular, goes to great lengths to show how vampirism has both good and bad sides."

Interview with the Vampire's eternally young Claudia (so beautifully played by Kirsten Dunst in the movie) is one of the reasons that MI666 is controlled by a perpetually ten-year-old Hex in Shadow Service. The concept of an immortal trapped in the body of a child is both chilling and heartbreaking, especially when that same 'child' is capable of destroying you utterly. See Let The Right One In / Let Me In for more proof!

So what about me? What vampire movies rise to the top of my bloody list?

Where do I start? Well, The Lost Boys for one. The name Mike can't be mentioned in our house without someone saying 'They're maggots, Michael.'

I will never get sick of watching that film.

The same goes for The Brides of Dracula, my favourite Hammer vampire flick. Sorry Chris Lee, but Brides has Peter Cushing's best turn as Van Helsing, plus the spooky hag-whispering-to-corpses-in-the-grave-scene is hard to beat! Captain Kronos - Vampire Hunter comes a close second. (Oh, what I wouldn't give to reboot Kronos! Come on Hammer! You know you want to!)

Byzantium is another winner complete with bleak seaside setting and folk horror. (Plus, another cracking writing soundtrack there too!) Heading into Universal territory, it's a toss-up between the melodrama of Dracula's Daughter and the 'is it Southern Gothic, is it camp noir?' Son of Dracula (Drac - or should that be Alucard - transforms into a bat for the first time on screen! I mean, that's cinematic history, right there!)

Oh, and talking about Universal, I really enjoyed Abigail which is veeeeery loosely based on Dracula's Daughter. Yes, some of the characters make extremely stupid horror movie decisions, but it's genuinely funny and Alisha Weir is sensational as the latest addition to the Universal roster.

I'm sure I've forgotten a few gore-soaked classics that I'll remember the moment I hit send (and I'm wondering if I should include Stephen Moffat and Mark Gatiss' recent trilogy of made-for-TV BBC dramas which I adored! The only thing I'd change? The last episode, set in the present day, could have been a full series in its own right!) And what about Salem's Lot, the primary reason I can't have curtains open at night to this very day?

Let us know your own favourite vampire movies in the comments and don't forget to hotfoot it to your local comic book store to pick up Union Jack the Ripper #1!

Not for kids!

They're creepy and they're crawly...

Before I go, I do want to mention my next Marvel mini-series which was announced last week and stays within the realm of super-hero – or maybe even super-villain – horror! Introducing Venom War: Zombiotes!

Just look at that gnarly cover from Juan Ferreyra!

You can get the lowdown, complete with a mini-interview with me, over at Looper while Super Hero Hype has the full Venom War solicits for August!

Right, time to sign off, as I'm attending The Podcast Show in London today! If you're also at the show and see me, please say hi!

Until next time, look after yourself and each other.

CORRECTED: I edited this post on the day of publishing after learning that the variant was by Philip Tan rather than Kyle Hotz as I originally thought! Apologies, Philip and Kyle!