June 23, 2017

Vampires for all!

Let's talk vampires.

Oh I see you roll your eyes. Not THOSE things again. Didn't they, like, die out with Twilight or something? Zombies are where it's at now, sista. Vampires are sooo dead...err undead. Well, who are you to judge me 'person in my head who never actually said this'? You've got some nerve! But also, I like zombies. Zombies are fun. However, zombies are extremely limited. True, you can make them run fast or stagger slow, and their origins vary (disease outbreak, rabid monkeys etc.), but still, they're just zombies. But vampires? Vampires are more versatile.

Vampires are top of mind for me because I recently watched the movie Only Lovers Left Alive where Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton play a stunning vampire couple - she, a bit of a bohemian, and he a rock god. Not gonna lie - Tom alone in tight leather pants was worth the price of admission. It wasn't a traditional horror film though. The vampires in this movie weren't scary, they were sexy. They didn't bite (or tried not to) because they got their blood from other means. If you met them in a dark alley, they wouldn't attack you. They'd just walk right past you because they are the ultimate in cool and you're a troll doll unworthy of their attention.
Not all vampires are sexy though. For example, there's Dracula. You say his name and an image immediately comes up in your head but that image is different for everyone because really it's just a name. Yes, Bram Stoker wrote created the character but that's not the first frame of reference that people generally have. The ORIGINAL Dracula wasn't a mack daddy at all. No, in Stoker's book, Dracula was described as being a repulsive elderly fellow with a mustache and bushy eyebrows. As for the great love affair between he and Mina, well, it just wasn't there. He didn't try and turn Mina because he loved her. He was just pissed off that Harker, Van Helsing and the gang were trying to kill him. In essence he was saying "Fuck you people, I got your woman! Ha!"

Yes, Dracula was a bit of bastard.

But a lot of people don't want to see Dracula that way. They want a gothic Byronic, sexy, mysterious guy. He can be Bela Lugosi, Frank Langella, Gary Oldman...ladies (and some of you gentlemen), you have your pick. Or if you want your vampire to be a scary monster who not so much seduces you as scares the beejeebus out of you - well you can have that too.
I have to admit, I'm kind of torn between the scary and the sexy. On the one hand, as evidenced in my last post about fictional bad boys, the dark and brooding hypnotic villain can be oh so appealing. On the other hand, I love to be scared and a frightening creature, more beast than man, also appeals to me as a horror lover. While Edward from Twilight doesn't appeal to me at all, because I have taste.

So, there's literally a vampire out there for everyone. They can be Stoker or a Rice creation. A tortured soul or an arrogant noble. They can be cruel or kind, disgusting or beautiful. Vampires are for everyone. Vampires are for all.

So, what's YOUR vampire like?


  1. So. Many. Vampires.

    You're SO correct, when you say there's a vampire for almost every possible taste.

    For the most iconic, bad-ass, "image of a vampire in my head" choice, I'm going to have to go with one that you didn't mention: Christopher Lee. His Hammer Horror vampire brings The Distinguished, The Sexy, The Scary, The Intellectual and The Dominating. He is not a vampire to be effed with. He'd have Frank Langella's wimpy-by-comparison vampire for lunch.

    So I'd cast my lot with Lee.

    Beyond that, I'd give props and shout-outs to the original TV version of Kurt Barlow in Salem's Lot, even if it diverged greatly from the book and was mostly a Nosferatu rip-off. He rocked.

    On the other side of the spectrum, if I had to pick and sauve and funny vampire, the kind of guy you'd eat (rare) steaks with at fancy restaurant before he sucked your veins dry, I'd definitely have dinner with Chris Sarandon from Fright Night.

    1. Love your choices! And the make-up on Barlow in Salem's Lot was AWESOME! That never felt like a made for TV mini-series, it was wonderful.

  2. I love me a problematic vampire - someone with good cheekbones and human emotions but no (or very few) qualms about killing to eat. Or sometimes just for fun. I like to see what that kind of attitude DOES to a character, if you know what I mean?

    So, Spike is a prime example of this - he's the most human of the Buffy vamps, he's sensitive, capable of both real heartbreak and love (both platonic and romantic) - but he's also a ruthless and sadistic killer. In fact, it's his very humanity (scorned by other demons in the series) that permits him to be so ruthless and such a survivor.

    I want someone that you root for, that you feel for, until you remember that they got there by snapping the necks of innocents.

    1. I had a friend once who was OH so cultured. She seemingly only watched PBS, didn't believe in cell phones and had a membership to Detroit Institute of Arts. Turned out she was secretly a HUGE Buffy fan and Spike was like her dream guy. He was a LOT of people's dream guy. ;)


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