Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Fang Me

Recently at Wal*Mart I saw a plethora of Vampire TV shows and old films. When I was a kid till I was 12, Vampire Movies freaked me the hell out. The Worst offender was the old Hammer Horror Dracula series with Sir Christopher Lee. That Man’s intense glare and demeanor made me want to run for the hills. He stills scares me, but I love it now. For me he is the best Villain EVER. So, I did not get interested in Vampire Media, until I discovered an interesting fact. In the Time-Life Folklore series, the Vampire book stated that in Eastern Europe they believed that Cleft lip and palate people were either Werewolves or became Vampires when they died. Since I have a Cleft lip and Palate, my curiosity was ignited.

So let’s look at the various Vampire Media. The first for me was the bad pilot Nick Knight with Rick Springfield from 1989. It was pretty cheesy; it was later resurrected in 1992 as Forever Knight. I watched that show for the first couple of seasons. It was not the best, but had some very good characters. La Croix the main villain was great; he was the proto-Spike. Then there was the revival of Dark Shadows in 1991, it had Ben Cross as Barnabas Collins. I am a little young to have seen the original series in first run. I later watched it, when SciFi Channel launched in 1992. The remake was not as cheesy as the original, but the original’s kitschiness was gold like Original Star Trek was. Interview with a Vampire Came out, it was fun. I agree with Lestat that Louis is a Whiney Wuss.
I never got into Vampire Literature; Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles had me raising an eyebrow in disbelief. Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake is interesting; mind you I have only read the first three.

When Buffy the Vampire Slayer film came out, I saw it as a kitschy satire of Vampire films. It also reminded me of Polanski’s The Fearless Vampire Killers. Years Later the TV Show came along. Now I am the first to point out the Film and show are different animals all together. The Show was smart, sarcastic; the heroine was not as blindly shallow and vacant as her Screen counterpart. I still think today, that a young Nicholas Brendon should have been Spiderman. The Buffy Series also gave us Angel and Spike, the best instance of familial rivalry in Vampire fiction since Lestat and Louis. Whedon did well with this series and its spin-off Angel. In 2007, Blood Ties on Lifetime came out, this time the main Vampire was based on a historical figure. The Vampire was a supporting character like with Buffy. Recently with the Film Version of the Twilight series and the TV version of Vampire Diaries, the young Adult Vampire Novels have taken the forefront. Twilight’s version of Vampire breaks some serious Vampire Lore. Don’t get me started about sparkly Vampires. In 1996 Kindred the Embraced, premiered on Fox. It was an Adaptation of Vampire: The Masquerade table top Roleplaying Game by White Wolf. Vampire: The Masquerade spawned its own culture including a Live Action Roleplaying Game.

Personally I enjoyed the Dark Shadows Revival, Forever Knight and Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Angel. Twilight got a so-so from me. Vampire Diaries seems like Vampire 90120. Now I am not a Vampire Media Aficionado, but I know what I like. I have read a few Vampire Novels, owned the Vampire Masquerade RPG at one time, and own a few Vampire show and movies. Too many have made the Vampire too cute and cuddly. 30 Days of Night, both the comic book and Film, went about bringing back the menacing dark, visceral Vampire. I think both accomplished their jobs. I am just giving an overview here and barely skimming the surface. A series of books can be made about Vampires in Media. Before I go I will mention a few more Vampire Film I enjoyed. Fright Night, Love at First Bite and Once Bitten do Vampire Comedy well. When people mention Dracula: Dead and Loving It, I steer them to those three films. Well there it is my rundown.

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