Combining the folkloric conventions of vampirism with the sleek scientific notions of recent centuries has often produced truly mixed cinematic results. As the horror and sci fi genre's came to overlap, however, producers displayed a modicum of imagination in their attempts to satisfy monster-lovers of all stripes. The following 10 arguably memorable sci fi vampires have been scrutinized for your approval:

10. Planet of the Vampires (1965)
Good looking, slow and arty, this one's an acquired taste. Italian horror maestro Mario Bava rings a real note of mysterioso with this saga of black leather-clad astronauts investigating an ancient, seemingly haunted planet. Barry Sullivan was never better.

9. Devil Bat's Daughter (1946)
Disappointing follow up to the undeniable cult favorite Devil Bat attempts to clear Lugosi's name and expose the genuine killer. This oddity is most interesting when viewed as a follow-up to the superior Strangler of the Swamp, both featuring the same director/star team: Frank Wisbar and Rosemary LaPlanche (Miss America 1941).

8. The Last Man On Earth (1964)
Richard Matheson's I Am Legend served as the basis for this film which is far better than it has any right to be, due in great measure to the tormented presence of Vincent Price. Its depiction of a horrific plague which leaves everyone on Earth a vampire except Vincent, is not without atmosphere. Actually kind of scary if you watch at night -- more than can be said of its remake, the mind-numbing Omega Man.

7. Queen of Blood (1966)
Whether you know it or not, you've probably watched scenes from the Russian space epic Planeta Burg more than once. Roger Corman purchased the film and had several of his minions fashion films around the effects footage. This is the best of them, boasting an eclectically watchable cast: Basil Rathbone, John Saxon, Dennis Hopper, Forry Ackerman and Florence Marly as the silent green bloodsucker the film is named for.

6. The Vampire Bat (1933)
Another creakily enjoyable curio made entertaining by a can't-miss cast. Melvyn Douglas holds his own even with psycho supreme Lionel Atwill in the driver's seat. Fay Wray and Dwight Frye ("Me do! Me do!") are icing on the cake.

5. The Vampire (1957)
John Beal pours on the pathos as a dedicated small-town doc accidentally done in when his own daughter mistakes his aspirin for an experimental vampire tablet. Hyde-like, he takes to the streets to stalk former patients. Stalwart cop Ken Tobey and ever-ready nurse Coleen Gray do what they can. One or two effective fright shots make this one memorable.

4. Attack of the Giant Leeches (1959)
Nature's very own bloodsuckers in their first starring vehicle. It seems the swamps are alive with gigantic leeches that drag victims to an underwater cavern, there to feed on their blood until refills are necessary. Director Bernard Kowalski's cult classic features Yvette Vickers, Ken Clark and the immortal Bruno Ve Sota.

3. The Devil Bat (1941)
Lugosi chews the scenery to shreds in one of his very best post-Dracula roles. As a demented, vengeful scientist (is there any other kind?) he perfects an after-shave that doubles as a sure-fire bat lure. After splashing the stuff on, victims are promptly sucked dry by Bela's ferocious fledermaus. Don't miss this one.

2. It! The Terror From Beyond Space (1958)
One of many fantasy films on director Ed Cahn's staggering resume, this one is a true standout and, in fact, served as the uncredited model for Alien decades later. The titular Martian menace is an ugly blood-slurping stowaway stalking a spaceship's hapless crew. The simple plot is unraveled with far more tension than usually found in Cahn's films.

1. Not Of This Earth (1957)
The sonorous voice of Paul Birch dominates this, arguably Roger Corman's best film. Birch is a mysterious emissary from a distant planet sent Earthward to gather gallons of the human blood so desperately needed on his home planet. Sporting shades that add to his otherworldly aura, Birch hypnotizes pretty Beverly Garland into nursing his blood-starved body back to health. Dick Miller's cameo as a squirrelly vacuum cleaner salesman is priceless.

"Sharp fanged blood sucking death dives from midnight skies!"
The Devil Bat

"When the axe swings, the excitement begins!"
Strait Jacket

"It's the picture that has the whole town shivering!"
Black Dragons

 All contents copyright The Astounding B Monster®