Friday, 14 August 2009

Vampires... Have they wussed out?

Yes, I know it has been a while. Meh... I figured I would come back eventually when I had something to say.

I have something I wanted to get off my chests. There has been a lot of talk recently in the sci fi/fantasy/horror media, that Vampires have wimped out. I think, looking at the evidence, they may be right.

When I was young, I eagerly devoured as many horror books as I could get my mits on without the parental units noticing. Back then, the vampire was a thing of horror. They were a veritable creature of the night, and a true Prince of Darkness. Books like Dracula, Pan Book of Horror, and the many Hammer films starring the enigmatic Christopher Lee, or the strange atmospheric Nosferatu were the staple reading/viewing of my youth. Of course, I also had a soft spot for the werewolves and mummies etc. too ... but the vampire always fascinated and drew me in, while at the same time, made me afraid of the strange shadows cast by the Star Wars curtains in my room as the street light shone through from outside.

What drew me to the vampire I think, was the fact that even though they were a monster, they looked human, and could pass for human quite convincingly. They did not have our fear of death or disease. They had a freedom from the rat race and did not have the same petty concerns that rule most adult's lives. They were more often than not wealthy, and lived a life of luxury and darkness. The Victorian vampire epitomised hedonism. The sting in the tail, the horror, came from their animalistic, all encompassing hunger - their need to feed on the blood of humans. While on the one hand I would like to romanticise that I could consider humans as little more than cattle, but any truly non-psychotic person finds the thought of taking a human life – even for sustenance - as abhorent.

Then... along came Ann Rice. Along came her vampires who were troubled, and tormented by their nature, and resorted to feeding from animals. We sympothised and empathised with them. The Lost Boys made them a bit rock n roll, but ultimately little more than misunderstood boys looking for a mothers love. The vampire was further defanged by Buffy the Vampire slayer, who actually turned out to be more of a vampire layer. Her vampire beau had a soul, and fought evil in order to redeem himself for all the death & destruction he caused during his long. He got his nutrition from stolen donations from the blood bank.

The vampires in the Underworld franchise had all the poise and grace that wannabe Vamps/Goths imagine a vampire to be, and I had hoped that they would prove to be the comeback that vampires needed, but they got their asses handed to them on a plate by the werewolves…

This trend continued with books like Anita Blake Vampire Hunter and all its copycats. The final nail in the coffin is the Twilight series. I tried… I really did try to like this series but there are so many faults with them, some previously discussed in this blog. The thing that grinds my gears the most is the vamps of the Twilight-verse are nothing more than sparkly vegetarians. It is quite laughable really. Talk about watered down. Not real vampires in my opinion.

There have been a few glimmers of hope. Let The Right One In for instance was heading in the right direction, although I am horrified to hear that they are making a US version – for audiences to lazy/ignorant to be bothered reading subtitles. This will of course be an inferior offering because of it. The graphic novel world has tried to stay faithful. If you like gory you could check out 30 Days of Night.

This examination began when I heard Neil Gaiman proposed that vampires go underground for a couple years and re-emerge as something different. I quite agree Neil. Go away you sparkly tortured souls, and make room for the new Count Orlak, Dracula or Richard Straker.

Okay… rant over {/rant}

In other news, my tarantula Athena shed her skin yesterday. It is always a traumatic time for the spider and the owner. Thankfully, it all went swimmingly, and now she is all shiny and new. I have to wait a good 10-14 days for her exo-skeleton to harden and her innards to sort themselves out before I can feed her again, then it will be a rampage on locusts.

I have recently had one of my young nephew to stay overnight. He has been plaguing his mother & me for months to come to my house 'on holiday'. Mr Madnad & I picked him up from his mums on Saturday morning, and he was so excited he did not shut up for the first hour in the car. Constantly talking absolute drivel and finding it all hilarious, in that slightly manical and hysterical way kids can be when they are excited. He fell asleep for most of the rest of the way. Phew!

We took him to the castle for the rest of the afternoon but I think the thing he wanted to play with most was the sand pit - and this is a kid that lives on the coast. Back at mine, he got to beat my husband at wii bowling - and then got to top his own pizza. He all spent a good hour running up and down the garden ( in an effort to tire him out ). He was very good, and went to bed after his bath with no complaints or fuss. I look forward to his next stay.

Any of you that have had to tolerate me boring them about Michael Sheen will know that I am very excited at the recent news that he is to star in Tron 2. It has not been confirmed what role yet, but I am suspecting it will be the big bad replacing, or in a similar role, that David Warner held in the original film. This appeals to me on many levels as I loved the original and lurve Michael Sheen – so win win!

It also kind of makes up for him appearing in Twilight. *rolls eyes*

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