Played by: Max Schreck
Bram Stoker’s 19th-century novel, Dracula, has been adapted so many times, and vampirism has been a central plot element of so many movies, plays, TV shows and books over the past century or so, that not too many vampire-heavy pop culture offerings still manage to unnerve. But 90 years ago, the great German Expressionist director F.W. Murnau made Nosferatu, a movie with a bald, pale, pointy-eared horror (Max Schreck) in the role of Dracula—renamed Count Orlok for the film, in a lame effort to avoid copyright issues that set an incredibly high standard for portrayals of the fearsome, bloodsucking undead. With his slow, trance-like gait, staring eyes and hunched-over posture—as if he was horrified of his own appetites—Schreck’s Orlok/Nosferatu (or vampire) was in many ways the model for countless cinematic fiends to come.
Evil deeds: Sucking a dinner guest’s bleeding thumb (without permission); murder