Vampire films have been a staple since the era of silent films, so much so that the depiction of vampires in popular culture is strongly based upon their depiction in films throughout the years.[neutrality is disputed] The most popular cinematic adaptation of vampire fiction has been from Bram Stoker’s Dracula, with over 170 versions to date. Running a distant second are adaptations of Carmilla by Sheridan Le Fanu. By 2005, Dracula had been the subject of more films than any other fictional character.
As folklore, vampires are defined by their need to feed on blood and on their manipulative nature, this theme is held common throughout the many adaptations. Although vampires are usually associated with the horror and sometimes zombie genre, vampire films may also fall into the drama, action, science fiction, romance, comedy or fantasy genres, among others.
One of the first animated vampire series was the 1989 series Count Duckula, a parody of Dracula. In 1985, the anime film adaptation of the inaugural Vampire Hunter D novel was released direct to video, and became popular in both Japan and the United States, prompting an adaptation of the third novel to into the also direct to video film Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust in 2000.
The two films and the novels they are based on revolve around the eponymous D, a vampire hunter who is the apparent half-vampire/half-human son of Dracula who battles vampires in the year 12,090 AD. In 1997 the anime series Vampire Princess Miyu became popular in Japan, many other anime followed. Later in 2012, Hotel Transylvania was released, followed by a sequel in 2015, Hotel Transylvania 2.
By far, the most well-known and popular vampire in the films is Count Dracula. An amazing number of films have been filmed over the years depicting the evil count, some of which are ranked among the greatest depictions of vampires on film. Dracula has over 170 film representations to date making him the most frequently portrayed character in horror films; also he has highest number of film appearances overall followed by Sherlock Holmes.