BY Adrienne Stanley | Feb 06, 2015 04:43 PM EST
Vampire mythology is getting a reboot in Korean pop culture in the upcoming K-Drama, “Blood.” “Blood” stars Ahn Jae Hyun as a vampire doctor who struggles with his desire to help humanity, while battling his omnipresent blood lust. Gu Hye Sun channels the spirit of the archetypal self sacrificing ingenue. While vampire romances easily conjure contemporary scenes from Stephanie Meyer's “Twilight,” the heart of the myth lies within the horror of “Dracula.” Here are six dramas and films which explore the myriad facets of vampire myth.
1. “Vampire Prosecutor”
The 2011 fantasy crime procedural show “Vampire Prosecutor” exemplifies the creativity which often differentiates Korean dramas from other television programming. “Vampire Prosecutor” is like “Law and Order” meets “Supernatural” but the drama captures the best elements of those shows where American television programs like “Constantine” have failed. With its sleek production and solid acting, the OCN program yielded two seasons. Yeon Jung Hoon (East of Eden) stars as Min Tae Yeon, a vampire prosecutor who can determine a victim's cause of death from the smell of their blood.
2. “Vampire Idol”
The best way to approach watching “Vampire Idol” is to consider it as a campy, low-budget comedy. “Vampire Idol” is jam-packed with eye candy thanks to its cast of hunky actors including Lee Soo Hyuk, Kim Woo Bin, and Hong Jong Hyun. ZE:A's Kwanghee, who is well regarded for his awkward sense of humor is included in the cast, along with Kang Min Kyung of Davichi. After a few scenes, it becomes evident that even the actors find their lines to be corny and contrived. However, “Vampire Idol” makes for lighthearted viewing and a few episodes may deliver an easy transition to watching heavier vampire-themed dramas.
3. “You Are My Vampire”
“You Are My Vampire” is a love letter to aspiring writers who are seeking inspiration, while dealing with naysayers. Choi Yoon Yeong (Passionate Love) portrays Gyoo Jeong, a would-be writer whose benefactors are abandoning her. She becomes fascinated by her new neighbor, Nam Geol, as she tries to pen a new vampire tale. Park Jeong Sik (Compassion) portrays Nam Geol, a young man whose appearance and behavior remarkably resemble someone who be a creature of the night.
Director Park Chan Wook is responsible for the intriguingly morbid film, “Thirst.” The 2009 movie was a dark ode to Emile Zola's novel Therese Raquin. “Thirst” illustrates the fractured life of a priest who becomes the victim of a failed medical experiment. Renown actor Song Kang Ho (Snowpiercer, The Attorney) stars as Sang Hyun, the priest who becomes infected with the virus which leads to blood lust. Shin Ha Kyun, who recently starred in the K-Drama “Mr. Back,” portrayed Kang Woo. Kim Ok Bin (The Blade and Petal) rounds out the main cast as Kang Woo's wife, Tae Ju. “Thirst” is considered one of the most disquieting vampire movies of all time, sharing accolades with “Let the Right One In.”
5. “Vampire Cop Ricky”
Kim Soo Ro, who brilliantly portrayed Im Tae San on “A Gentleman's Dignity,” leads the cast of the campy 2006 Korean cult film “Vampire Cop Ricky.” Whereas “Vampire Prosecutor” provides a slick approach to the concept of the crime fighting night crawlers, “Vampire Cop Ricky” is wonderfully lowbrow. Kim Soo Ro portrays Na Do Yol, a corrupt police officer, who is bitten by an infected mosquito from Transylvania. After he discovers the key to his superpowers, he decides to pursue a life outside of corruption, while seeking revenge against evildoers. Jo Yeo Jeong (Casa Amour: Exclusive for Ladies) and Chun Ho Jin (Doctor Stranger) also star in the film.
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