Move over, Dracula. Vampires don’t have to be just old dudes in capes anymore, or even dudes at all. If there was a glass ceiling in vampiredom, women have definitely bitten through it — as is apparent from the new movie Vampire Academy. Based on Richelle Mead’s young-adult series of horror-fantasy novels, the film is a girl-powered visit to a boarding school for young women who are either vampires or the half-vamp/half-human bodyguards who protect them.
Of course, female vampires have been part of vampire movie lore for ages, but it’s only recently that they’ve gotten equal time with the guys. Thanks to authors like Mead and Twilight‘s Stephenie Meyer (and Anne Rice and Charlaine Harris before them), the vampire world is largely co-ed now, in books and TV (True Blood, Vampire Diaries) as well as movies.
Whether this represents a triumph or setback for feminism is a question we’ll leave to academics and Buffy fans. Still, a lot of girls and women had to bite a lot of necks for today’s female vampires to achieve such prominence. Here’s a look back at 10 of the parasitic pioneers whose big-screen bloodlust blazed a trail for the current crop of fang-bearing femmes.