Monday, November 5, 2012

The Changing Face of Bloodsuckers (and No, This is NOT about the IRS)

It's about vampires. Yep, vampires. 

I used to love vampire movies. I loved horror movies in general. The old Universal Studios films were my favorites--Dracula, The Wolf Man, Frankenstein, The Mummy, The Creature from the Black Lagoon, I loved them all. 



I even loved the cheesy B horror movies. When I was a kid, our pre-cable equivalent of the Syfy Channel was Saturday night's Chiller Theater. They ran stuff like Attack of the Crab Monsters, which I've been trying unsuccessfully to get through Netflix. There were movies about giant snails, nuclear apocalypse, alien invasions, you name it.

When I was five years old, Mom and Dad, against their better judgment, took me to see 1958's Horror of Dracula, the first vampire movie filmed in color. They also took the neighbor's kids along, after being assured the kids had no problem with "scary movies." All was well...until Chistopher Lee appeared in closeup with blood dripping from his fangs.



The kid next to me fainted, and for the next five years, I slept with a crucifix stashed under my pillow.

I liked being scared, to an extent. I don't like being grossed out. I'm not a fan of zombies. I've never seen any of the Saw films or The Hills Have Eyes. If it weren't for Stephen King, I'd have to get my thrills and chills from horror repeats.

The opposite of being grossed out is just as bad. Yep, I'm talking about Twilight. Vampires are supposed to strike terror into the hearts of us who aren't dead and don't want to be. We're supposed to run from them, not fall in love with them, for crying out loud!

Edward Cullen has done more to undermine the public image of vampires than any bloodsucker in recent history. I guess he would sell a lot of caskets if he were to pose in one, but.... 

I imagine a scenario in which vampires past--Nosferatu, Dracula, Lestat, and other "real" vampires are staging a strike at the midnight premiere of Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part Two, demanding fair depiction of vampires in books and movies....

13 comments:

  1. Attack of the crab monsters???

    I can see the respectable vamps holding up signs: "Give us back our immortal dignity!"

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    1. If they were real, I'm sure they would!

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    2. Yes--Attack of the Crab Monsters was about giant crabs on a beach.

      Malibu has never been the same.

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    3. So it wasn't a documentary about the sexual diseases among the Jersey Shore cast?

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    4. No...but that would be a good title for such a documentary!

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  2. I so agree with you... sparkly vampires who kill by being controlling and stalk their victims er lovers.
    My father once told me that the first "Mummy's Hand" was very scary when he was younger of course it has been remade many times in many different plot lines.
    I don't like movie that have violence against women, which they all seem to do, like The Hills Have Eyes.
    I know it is a comedy but I have always wanted to see the Attack of the Killer Tomatoes ! The poster for it is a hoot !
    Keep up the good work on getting rid of Sparkly Vampires.

    cheers, parsnip

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    Replies
    1. I've seen the Killer Tomatoes--George Clooney is in it.

      I agree...I really dislike the gratuitous rape scenes and violent murders.

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  3. Norma, I agree! They should be scary creatures! And I like scary but not gross!I think there is room to play with new plots, but we should never get 'sparkly'! The book I'm working on, it is done a bit differently. My main character new these guys and grew up with them before they became other creatures; however, she definitely has no inclination to join either one of them in becoming like them. That would be totally messed up. She does feel sympathy for them, at least one of them. We need to get back to the basics: truly, scary creatures of the night that haunt your dreams rather than becoming your dreams!

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  4. Absolutely right Norma! Vampires are not cool pale guys you want to "hook up" with, they are undead evil creatures you run from. Christopher Lee was my favorite vampire and horror flick star. I just saw him in Devil's Bride on TCM. He was a good guy in this movie- fighting satanists.

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    1. Christopher Lee is my third favorite Dracula. Bela Lugosi was second and Gerard Butler is #1.

      If I'm going to be bitten by a vampire, it helps if he's a scary-but-good-looking one....

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  5. Funny how the imagine of vampires has changed! Personally, I've never found them sexy and I suspect I never will.

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    1. That would be like finding serial killers sexy!

      But I'd still prefer to be bitten by a vamp who looks like Gerard Butler. (You know, he was prepared for the role...before he was an actor, he was a *gasp* lawyer!)

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