"The notion that such persons are gay of heart and carefree is curiously untrue. They lead, as a matter of fact, an existence of jumpiness and apprehension. They sit on the edge of the chair of Literature. In the house of Life they have the feeling that they have never taken off their overcoats."
- James Thurber, My Life and Hard Times

Thursday, October 13, 2011

We might as well talk about "him"


I first read the novel when I was 23 years old. Despite its archaic language, it scared the pants off me. Even now, I think of Lucy becoming a vampire and seeking out the small children of the village, and Van Helsing cutting her head off and stuffing her mouth with garlic, and it's all so real. Apparently, Stoker's inspiration was from a Count Vlad of Romania.

Looks pretty colorful, but I'm not certain I'm afraid of him drinking my blood. Looks more like he'd like to do my nails. Is it just me, or does he have Marty Feldman eyes?

This guy doesn't give me the willies, either.

How does he get his fingers to bend backward like that? That's creepy.

On the other hand, Nosferatu makes me do the icky-shudder dance. Eeew, get away from me, you freak!

Then we went through a plethora of Christopher Lee/Peter Cushing vampire movies, full of buxom virgins and bloody action sequences. Scary, not because they were undead, but because they were ungood.

Nowadays, vampires are sexy. We have glittery teenaged vampires, full of angst and hormones, or drop-dead, morally upright vampires who get their meals from the blood bank. It's a long way from Bram Stoker, and I can pinpoint who is to blame for this:

Frank Langella made it cool to give hickies. Plus, for the first time, the vampire wins. WTF?

I would be remiss not to mention Anne Rice and her interviews with vampires, but quite honestly, I didn't care for the books. I couldn't find anything sexy or compelling about her Undead cast of characters. They were just pretty sad. Actually, Anne Rice gives me one more reason to use the word 'nihilistic' in a sentence, as in, "I don't care for Interview with the Vampire, as it is much too nihiistic for my tastes." Pink Floyd is the only other reason for me to use that word, which is a shame, because I like the way it sounds.

Who is your favorite vampire? Do you like the dead-on, scary? Or the semi-campy 60s? Or do you like your bloodsuckers to be sexy? It's okay. There's no wrong answer here.

This is my personal favorite:

I think I know who next season's Dancing with the Stars contestants should be.

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