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Originally published November 17, 2011 at 5:54 AM | Page modified November 17, 2011 at 5:54 AM

Scarecrow Video recommendations for 'Breaking Dawn'

Fun fact: as far as I know, I'm the only Scarecrow Video employee to have watched all three previous "Twilight" films. I even enjoyed two of them. And before you say anything, no, I wasn't forced to watch them by my girlfriend; she refused even to be in the same room when they were on.

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Fun fact: as far as I know, I'm the only Scarecrow Video employee to have watched all three previous "Twilight" films. I even enjoyed two of them. And before you say anything, no, I wasn't forced to watch them by my girlfriend; she refused even to be in the same room when they were on.

For those who haven't heard, the "Twilight" series is about a teenage girl who falls in love with a 110-year-old man who, because he is an immortal vampire, has been going to high school over and over again since before the Great Depression. This reminds me of Matthew McConaughey's character in "Dazed and Confused," who continues to troll for high school girls well into his 20's because, as he says, "I keep gettin' older ... they stay the same age."

But I digress. This last film has been cloven in twain, certainly for purely artistic reasons. The first part of the final installment in the "Twilight Saga" is called "Breaking Dawn." Part one appears in theaters this weekend, with the second half coming next summer. If you liked it, here are some other romance-tinged vampire films to seek out.

First there's 1973's "Ganja & Hess," starring Duane Jones from the original "Night of the Living Dead" as an archaeologist who becomes a vampire after his crazy assistant stabs him with an ancient dagger. When the assistant's wife comes looking for him (he committed suicide after the attack), Jones begins to fall in love with her. This is a very unusual vampire film; in fact the word is never used at all. It's also deliberately very disjointed, both visually and narratively, in keeping with its main story of a man who feels himself both physically and psychologically divided.

In the mid-'90s, especially given the success of Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles novels and Neil Jordan's film of "Interview with the Vampire", you found a lot of gritty indie vampire movies. In 1994 there was "Nadja" and in '95 we had "The Addiction" and "Habit." All three of these films are about disaffected hipster New Yorkers who find themselves with a thirst for blood. We wanted to pick just one to recommend, but then we realized they're all sort of the same movie.

But if you're a "Twilight" fan, maybe you want something a little less serious. Might we recommend 1979's "Love at First Bite"? George Hamilton stars as the legendary Count Dracula, evicted from his home in Transylvania and forced to come to the Big Apple to find love. Let's just say this has a scene in which Dracula and Susan St. James hit the disco floor to "I Love the Night Life" and leave it at that.

We'll be back next week!




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