In their early incarnations vampires were portrayed as monstrous misshapen creatures, but they've increasingly emerged as sultry and glamorous.

Rather than relying on brute strength, today's cinematic and TV vampires use their good looks to dazzle fair maidens or hunky men between the sheets, from whence they unleash their fangs. Or they may be "good" vampires, who earnestly fight their blood lust and play super-hero against evil.

These good vampires are far removed from the cultural father of all modern vampires, Count Dracula. Whereas old-school vampires appealed to our sense of danger and women's love of bad boys, the appeal of the likes of "Twilight's" Edward Cullen is more complex.

These New Vampires have a soft side and appeal to a desire to be protected. However, the underlying thrill of danger remains, as there's no telling if their iron will might snap, turning them into a wild animal!

Robert Patinson as Edward Cullen in Twilight

No. 5: Edward Cullen from "Twilight"

Stephanie Meyer's vampire series "Twilight" has been stupendously successful, and while packed with supernatural beings, it is essentially a love story between a vampire and a girl.

Much of the hype, however, has been the result of women of all ages swooning at the sight of Robert Pattinson as he portrays Edward Cullen, a youthful-looking vampire with a heart of gold who nevertheless faces a daily struggle not to hurt or endanger his beloved Bella.

Edward's skin sparkles when exposed to sunlight, which might not be a good evolutionary (or should that be evilutionary?) trait for a predator but further adds to Pattinson's pretty-boy looks.

The fact that Bella is such a clumsy wimp probably further adds to Edward's appeal, as countless women scream their annoyance at Bella's pathetic helplessness and protest that he would be better off in their arms.

Stephen Moyer as Bill Compton from True Blood

No. 4: Bill Compton from "True Blood"

From the moment he first walks into a Louisiana bar, there's just something about Bill Compton, even with his initial greasy mop of hair and bedraggled looks.

Portrayed by British actor Stephen Moyer, the 175-year-old former Civil War vet cleans up nice though and when he looks at you with those smoldering eyes you feel like he's looking straight into your soul -- probably because he is.

It doesn't hurt that "Vampire Bill," as the locals in Bon Temps, Louisiana, often call him, has a heart of gold and fights to within an inch of his undead life to protect his beloved Sookie Stackhouse (played by Anna Paquin.) That kind of dedication isn't easy to come by.

And then there's that Southern charm, gentlemanly nature and drawl.

Sure, his frequent foil, the 1,000-year-old former Swedish Viking warrior, Eric Northman, might find more favor with fans of the HBO show who prefer an even-older older man, but our heart belongs to Bill ... for now at least.

Salma Hayek in From Dusk Till Dawn

No. 3: Santanico Pandemonium from "From Dusk Till Dawn"

OK the name's silly, but most red-blooded guys will overlook this given that this sexy table-dancing vamp was played by Mexican beauty Salma Hayek.