An Illustrated History of Freaky Vampire Eyes

An Illustrated History of Freaky Vampire Eyes

by | Mar 27, 2016

Since I was young, there was always one thing that frightened me above all else. Demons, creatures and Twisted monstrosities from hell, none of these even came close to how terrified I was when Mr Barlow opened his unholy eyes and stared down the camera at me. I’m of course talking about Tobe Hooper “Salem’s Lot” and the creepy Barlow who’s eyes are indeed something from the darkest pits of hell. I’ve never felt fear like I did when I first saw that film, and it started a strange fascination with the many different vampire forms that cinema created. In particular, the eyes were always intriguing for me. I loved how intimidating there were, how they changed from normal to frightening in the space of a couple of seconds. Sometimes the change was subtle, sometimes it was quite dramatic, but it was always enough to tell you that something was not quite right.
I wanted to share with you my personal fascination, by illustrating the different eyes through film history. There are many vampire films out there, so i’ve picked my personal favorites from across cinema. I hope you enjoy this as much as I enjoyed putting it together. It’s been a crazy look into a side of cinema we rarely look.
Christopher Lee’s most famous look, using  mini sclera contact lenses. Dark Brown iris with veined sclera that makes the eyes look red and angry.

Salem’s Lot – 1979

Mr Barlow’s crazy eyes have a dirty yellow sclera with a bright yellow iris. They are broken by a wild blackish green limbal ring and heavy red veins. One of the more terrifying lenses made for film.

Fright Night – 1985

Amy’s half Vampire form has seductive hazel brown iris with a black outer ring. The natural colours offset by the more wilder colour scheme for her full vampire transformation later.

Fright Night – 1985

Amy’s vampire form has an enlarged bright orange iris, with a yellow outer iris with a bright red limbal ring. Achieved with a mini sclera.

Fright Night – 1985

Jerry’s vampire eyes have an orange iris with a wild dark red limbal ring. This look is widely adopted for vampires, with varying degrees of change from film to film.
With a larger fracture limbal ring and desaturated iris, that grades to a bright green, Vamp manages to be different enough to stand out from the standard vampire look.

Fright Night Part 2 – 1988

As a call back to the original Fright Night, Regine’s vampire eyes are very similar to Jerry’s, but her iris has a gradient colour, from a dark orange at its ring, to a lighter at the pupil.

Lost Boys – 1989

With a neutral coloured iris and pronounced fractured lines along the limbal rings, these full contacts give little movement but are beautiful and terrifying.

Interview with a Vampire – 1989

Interview With the Vampire uses a more subtle approach, with only a larger black limbal ring defining the vampires look.

Innocent Blood – 1992

Maries vampire eyes are the most unique, A startling effect created using highly reflective contact lenses and fast changing lights. This disco effect results in a wild ferocious look.

Bram Stoker’s Dracula – 1992

Gary Oldman’s Dracula has a few different looks, but none more startling than this blood-shoot transformation. With a red iris and a pinpoint pupil, the veined limbal ring fans out into the white sclera.

From Dusk Till Dawn  – 1996

Santanicos transformation is completed with a decorative set of lenses. With vertical slit pupils, and an interesting outer iris ring, this look is far from your regular vampire style and a clear indication of the creatures non-human status.
Continue to page 2 for more Freaky Vampire Eyes!



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