What the hell happened to Vampires?
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Thread: What the hell happened to Vampires?

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    What the hell happened to Vampires?

    Okay, so a couple friends and I were discussing movies the other day. I had just gone to see The Hangover on a date (AWESOME movie by the way). After I was done praising The Hangover my friend mentioned that his girlfriend had made him watch the first Twilight movie. He told me that, in that universe, the reason vampires don't go out during the day is that natural light make them sparkle.

    I told him that was quite possibly the single stupidest thing I had ever heard, and that he should stop lying about movies just because he didn't like them. He insisted that the vampires in the movie did indeed sparkle. I refused to believe that someone would put something so stupid in a movie. We were going to resolve our differences through the exchange of fisticuffs, but a third party decided to pull out her iphone and prove that the first friend was not a liar and that sparkly vampires had not only entered popular culture, but appear to be taken very seriously by a disturbingly large portion of our population.


    I immerged from my room a few days later after a long bender. It seemed that the consumption of vaste quantities of cheap vodka served only to blunt the pain caused by revelation that writers, filmakers, and even artists have allowed vampires to go from terrifying creatures of the night to annoying panzy emo gang members. What pains me the most is that this change seems to have happened so gradually no one even noticed.

    Granted, there have been some cool vampires lately. The ones in 30 Days of Night come to mind, but they seem to be drowned out by the decidedly less awesome vampires that appear in movies like Twilight.

    Anyways the reason I'm spending my lunch break writing this is because I'm interested in hearing some opinions on the subject. Or even history, I imagine there a lot of members that no a lot more about vampire lore than I do.

    I'm aware I've put way too much thought into this, but as a fanboy I think that good vampires should have the following set of rules:
    1.) A newly created vampire should initially be little more than evil versions of their former selves that need to drink blood to survive.
    2.) A new vampire would be stronger and faster than their former self but only to a certain degree. The would also have slightly stronger senses.
    3.) Newer vampires struggle to control their blood lust and are thus seen as evil. However, this is something that many vampires can grow out of.
    4.) The longer a vampire has been around, the more powerful they become. A very old vampire would have the extreme super speed and strength they are shown to have in many of their book and film incarnations.
    5.) Regardless of age, it is extremely rare for vampires to have "extra" powers like shapeshifting, or direct mind control. These abilities are reserved for legendary vampires like Dracula or Graf Orlok.
    6.) Finally, a vampire is a blood sucking corpse. That is the fundamental nature of it, regardless of anything else that might get stacked on top. Getting bit by a vampire is generally not a pleasant experience (it kind of bothers me when people seem to get off as their getting their blood drained, it just seems like someone taking a bit out of you wouldn't put you "in the mood")

    Okay, I've went on more than long enough. And I'm not trying to be a troll or diss people who like Twilight, I'm genuinly curious about the membership's opinions on what a vampire should actually be. Wiggum out.

    Last edited by wiggum; July 13th, 2009 at 12:35 PM.
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    You are looking at this in the wrong way. You are just making a different skin for a vampire.

    Vampires represent a negative side of humans. So they need to portray that. The fundamental nature of a vampire is not a bloodsucking corpse. The fundamental nature of a vampire is alot more abstract. They represent lust, greed, barbarism. The decadence that is being misused these days is just a layer to hide the fundamentals. Sadly to many modern storytellers only focus on the decadence part, and forget the rest.

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    I hated Twilight and the Hangover, but when I hear complaints like this, I think people should just go write their own bestselling series of novels with their own, preferred version of vampires instead of moping around and telling people what vampires should and shouldn't be. Seriously. You could even turn this passion of yours for 'real' vampires into a kickass concept illustration if you really wanted to.


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    Excellent point, Dug

    But it seems like vampires have become less of a metaphor for evil, and more of a metaphor for STDs. The last time I remember seeing vampires that were almost always evil was in the Buffy show (and the spin-off Angel).

    If you've ever watched TruBlood on HBO (a show I love, despite the fact that I'm not a huge fan of their vampires), you'll see that that show uses vampires as a metaphor for opressed minorities (kind of...).

    Last edited by wiggum; July 13th, 2009 at 01:25 PM. Reason: making it clear who I'm responding to
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    You mentioned good treatment of vampires but didn't ever mention Let the Right One In.

    Criminal.

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    Welcome to the Machine. Movies are being made now to appeal to specifically delineated categories of people. It is a marketing thing. It happens in other media too. Manga even calls itself by specific category names based on the target market. Other forms of art are doing it too, though they may not be as obvious about it.

    If you want all the panzy emotards to go spend money on a movie, then make the movie about panzy emotards.

    Now for the important part of this post. If you want to see art that expresses your vision, then by all means you should make that art. Don't be shy. Just don't expect to make a fortune. If you make something that is aggro or seriously on the edge then you will probably be getting your money from a slice of the population that is 5% or less. From time to time something really dark strikes a chord and makes money anyway. Good luck.

    Edit: I had gotten called away by my boss for a lame meeting but I was going to point out that in the book Mina took an active part in tracking down Dracula and was a generally respectable character. Dracula could go outside by day, but wouldn't cast a shadow. Jonathan Harker was a knife wielding avenger. Even by the time of the 1930 movie Mina was reduced to a satin gown wearing ineffectual figure that the menfolk squabbled over. Jonathan Harker was a handsome young idiot who ran like a girl. Dracula was a snappy dresser who behaved in a generally civilized manner. (This was stuff that was proven to sell in a Broadway play version of the book and it could be gotten past the censors)

    Last edited by arttorney; July 13th, 2009 at 01:31 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Katfayheirti View Post
    I hated Twilight and the Hangover, but when I hear complaints like this, I think people should just go write their own bestselling series of novels with their own, preferred version of vampires instead of moping around and telling people what vampires should and shouldn't be. Seriously. You could even turn this passion of yours for 'real' vampires into a kickass concept illustration if you really wanted to.
    Ow...my pride...

    I get your point, I'm just trying to have a little fun and see what other people's opinions on the subject are (and, before it comes up, I didn't actually almost get in fight, or go on a bender over this).

    Remember, just because you have their attention doesn't mean you have their respect-Dale Gribble (from King of the Hill)
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    To Katfayheirti:

    It's all about what you like and/or find scary. To me, the things vampires are never portrayed viscerally enough. The way they bite might as well being a kiss from your pruny old great aunt. To me, it's got to me more action, more focus on the the things they do.

    To other people, they might not look cool enough, or aren't sexy enough, or dark enough. To some people, they're needs to be more emotional reaction going on. Going from a human to something else needs to feel like a drastic, life changing tranformation.

    Vampires are kind of a blank slate, there are a lot of things you can do with them. This is my personal bias entirely, but Twilight is not one of those things.

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    ...and soon we will see the Princess kiss the Frog only to become a frog herself. And little princesses everywhere are fondling plastic unicorns made in China.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wassermelone View Post
    You mentioned good treatment of vampires but didn't ever mention Let the Right One In.

    Criminal.
    ^This^

    Vampire movies pretty much suck these days and that includes 30 days of Night. What a terrible movie. I'm just so tired of the whole generic vampire these days with the goth clothing, wild eyes contacts, and "inward screaching/hissing" that they all have to do.

    Give me a movie like Let the Right One In, Near Dark, or George Romero's Martin (my favorite vampire movie ever) over that crap any day. I'm completely jaded on vampire movies in general, though, so I'm probably a little more bitter than most. It's cool if you like the inward hissing goths yapping about seduction this and that the whole movie, but it's completely tired to me. It needs something more for me to be interested. Twilight is definitely not the only problem with vampire movies these days, though it is painful to watch from what I have seen (which happily, isn't much).

    I'll tell ya what needs to happen, though.
    Someone needs to hire Kev Walker to design vampires for a movie...because this painting he did for WotC is probably one of the coolest looking vampires I've ever seen:


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    You say "tow-mate-o" I say "tow-mat-o"...One man's trash is another man's treasure...etc.etc.etc.

    You are not a teenage girl, therefore you will not like teenage girl things. You should not be upset about such a fact.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wiggum View Post
    Ow...my pride...

    I get your point, I'm just trying to have a little fun and see what other people's opinions on the subject are (and, before it comes up, I didn't actually almost get in fight, or go on a bender over this).
    Sorry. I didn't really mean to lash out at you. I think my eye just caught this thread when I was in a particularly bitter mood.

    Anyway, Twilight appeals to a mass audience which neither you nor I are a part of, but happens to have enough members to support huge book and movie deals. I'm sure there's a market for your type of vampire too, but it might not be as large or profitable.

    That said, I think all vampires should look like this ...

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    Surprisingly, I've never heard of Let the Right One In. I guess I'll have to go out and rent it.

    Goog, I get what your saying. But man, it just doesn't seem right to me. I kind of equate what Twilight and its ilk are doing to vampires to what Adam West did to Batman. If vampires find themselves pigeonholed into teen girl fantasies then it could be decades before they can be seen as anything else.

    Maybe i'm just overreacting.

    Last edited by wiggum; July 13th, 2009 at 02:08 PM. Reason: i suck at spelling
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    that show True Blood is pretty good. At first I was like "oh a show about vampires, that sounds retarded" but it's actually pretty entertaining

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    Quote Originally Posted by wassermelone View Post
    You mentioned good treatment of vampires but didn't ever mention Let the Right One In.

    Criminal.
    Quite possibly the best vampire movie EVER.
    And do yourself a favor, don't watch it dubbed.

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    vampires are kind of like men who love men to me. they both tend to sparkle sometimes, suck fleshy things, and i've personally always been keen to respectfully stay out of both social circles for fact that i dont share their interests of neck or dick. its totally cool to be either homo or hemo in my eyes. just not both. unless they're safe and wear little fang condoms to stop the spread of aids.

    oh and let the right one in was a great movie.


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    I rarely see this movie come up in discussions about vampires, but I highly recommend Habit. They use vampires more as a metaphor for addiction in that movie.

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    Ultraviolet (Channel 4 miniseries, not the godawful Kurt Wimmer film) was an interesting take on vampires I thought.

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0169501/

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    Quote Originally Posted by DSillustration View Post
    Quite possibly the best vampire movie EVER.
    And do yourself a favor, don't watch it dubbed.
    Seconded. The dubs are TERRIBLE and completely ruin the mood/atmosphere of the movie. My wife read the book and said that it was good as well.

    I've also gotten into True Blood because of my wife, who read all the novels the series is "based" on. I have to say despite a few actors being kind of annoying I really like the shows take on Vampires in modern society attempting to gain mainstream acceptance while also still in many cases still being fairly monstrous in their treatment of humans. The church fighting their acceptance, and the blood as a drug aspect of it also lend interesting facets to the show. It's certainly not Shakespeare but it's definitely entertaining. Plus now there's a crazy Maenad who gains power from having crazy parties and orgies where people go all wild...this season is actually shaping up to be pretty fun.

    Last edited by Cthogua; July 13th, 2009 at 03:24 PM.
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    True Blood starts over here this week so I'll give it a shot.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wiggum View Post
    But it seems like vampires have become less of a metaphor for evil, and more of a metaphor for STDs.
    Do some reading into the history of vamp literature*. They've always been a metaphor for both, for any sort of contagion, for sex and death. Dracula has echoes of syphilis, and Anne Rice and The Hunger are products of the age of AIDS.

    *David Skal's Hollywod Gothic is a good place to start.


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    Quote Originally Posted by DSillustration View Post
    Quite possibly the best vampire movie EVER.
    And do yourself a favor, don't watch it dubbed.
    I'd like to put out a warning in regards to the Let The Right One In DVD, non-dubbed/subtitled version. The subtitles have been definitely "dumbed down" - they're NOTHING like the US theatrical release. I know for sure the DVD available on Netflix is this version.

    Read about this here: http://www.fangoria.com/home/news/16...an-extent.html

    Just thought I'd throw out my PSA (Public Service Announcement) as I felt this film was THE best of last year. Not just a good vampire flick, but a damn good movie overall.

    And don't get me started on "written for 12-yr old by a woman who REFUSES to watch any Rated-R movie or ANY vampire movie" Twilight. I work part-time in a book store and I can't count how many times a breathless 40-something woman with her teenage daughter in tow comes up to the register begging for this book (or any book in the series). Asking me with pleading eyes, "have you read this?? My friends can't stop talking about it". And how glazed her eyes are when I suggest to also read, "Dracula" or watch either "Let the Right One In" or "Near Dark" (my fave vamp movie of all time).

    Grrrrrr.....


    ETA: I'm now a True Blood fan and the Sookie Stackhouse books by Charlaine Harris are good reads. As for the vampire/blood/addiction metaphor another good and interesting film is Abel Ferrara's "The Addiction".

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    Whooooooooaah... waitaminute.. loved "let the right one in", but best vampire movie ever? I have to disagree.. the top spot will always be held by "Near Dark" in my oppinion

    Also I liked the vampies in the first "blade" movie: snobbistic, hedonistic yuppies without a concience, who couldnt care less about humans and behave like the mafia. actually a pretty realistic interpretation if you ask me.

    The only thing that always bothered me about the countless interpretations of vampires was the missing junkie aspect (except for the movie "habit" as tmbritton already pointed out).
    think about it: they behave miserably or like animals if they dont get blood, they get superstrong and high as long as they have a steady supply of it, they are willing to kill anyone or anything just to get their next fix- sounds like freaky crack junkies to me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wiggum View Post
    He told me that, in that universe, the reason vampires don't go out during the day is that natural light make them sparkle.
    In my vampire novel, vampires also won't drink blood, but instead they'll love nachos! They also won't be the living dead, but instead just be very sleepy...

    Yeah, I don't mind someone having their own take on things now and then, as long as it's interesting and has a purpose. Vampires that sparkle just served to make them seem magical and beautiful and added nothing to anything except to make young girls swoon with the sheer beauty of it (which I hear the book was incredibly dull about having the main character constantly day dreaming about how dreamy the vampire was...).

    I really enjoyed Let the Right One In, especially the ending, and what happens when you don't invite a vampire in True Blood has been a lot of fun, and while at first I wasn't sure about Vampires all out in the open, it did lead to some interesting new directions to take vampires in, which is an example of the GOOD ways to change things up in order to explore other possibilities.

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    Twilight =/= all new vampire films or tv shows. You mentioned True Blood yourself, so you know there's hope.

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    I can't believe you could be bothered to write that post mate, never mind get bothered by the topic. Who cares?! If you have an imagination you can reinvent the mythos of something to how you want it to be anyway.

    edit-

    One recent show that I loved, that dealt with mythical creatures in a modern setting was Being Human. Great series, the writing takes it's ques from Doctor Who's approach to Sci-Fi/fantasy writing, by treating the fantastical elements as a platform to explore the existentalist message whilst being a populist set-up.

    Also check out the short story The Vampyre by John Pollidori.

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    It's just the usual PR makeover. I geuss they thought it was time to redo their image a bit.
    Considering at least their old rep though I think you might want a lower profile on the expose.

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