Federico Luppi as Jesus Gris in Guillermo Del Toro’s “Cronos”- October Films
5. Cronos (1993)
Most of the films in the list don’t have the typical classic vampire film narrative. Cronos, however, like a lot of the films Guillermo Del Toro has directed in his storied career, flips the vampire narrative on its head and then throws it out the window.
Starring Federico Lupi (Pan’s Labyrinth) as antique store owner Jesus Gris, and Ron Perlman (in his first collaboration with Del Toro) as Angel De la Guardia. Unbeknownst to Gris, he has a priceless artifact lingering inside an ancient statue that somehow wound up in his antique shop. The artifact is Cronos, a device created by an alchemist in the 15th century that allows the person who owns it to live forever, but not without a rather messy price.
As you can imagine, if you’ve ever seen a film by Guillermo Del Toro, the film is beautiful, complex, and heartbreaking. Ron Perlman is delightfully wicked as Angel. This is actually the first Ron Perlman performance I ever watched other than as Vincent on the 90’s tv version of Beauty & The Beast but I was too young to know it was him. Cronos is worth watching based on his performance alone, but Luppi is also spectacular, as is Claudio Brook (The Exterminating Angel, Simon Of The Desert ) as the “timeless” de La Guardia.
I highly recommend watching Cronos, as it is Del Toro’s first feature film, and shows strokes of the greatness he will reach later in life. You can stream the film for free on FilmStruck (if you’re a member, which, take it from me, it’s totally worth it to join), Kanopy (with your library card), and it is also for rent on Amazon, Youtube, iTunes, and Google Play.
There are many other compelling vampire films I could list, but these are five of my absolute favorites! If you’d like me to do a Part 2 to this list, comment below!!! Thanks for reading!