As the time inches closer and closer to the day the new “Twilight” movie is released, fans become more and more hungry for pale brooding guys with elongated hair. Though the vampire craze seems strongest now, society has always been fascinated with vampires. Perhaps because they are a monster that is actually human and could appear sexy in that “you might die but it will feel good first” type of way. The association that vampires feed or kill during sex is another alluring aspect to various desperate homemakers and young people with their inability to control hormones.
After the recent appearance of the show “The Vampire Diaries,” and movies like “The Vampire’s Assistant,” and of course the raging boner that is the Twilight franchise, I tend to wonder when it will end. Like I said before, society has always been obscenely fascinated with vampires. Early films like “Nosferatu” and “Dracula” sparked interest and were deemed classics. Especially “Dracula,” featuring the now deceased Bela Lugosi. Bela Lugosi’s swift suave movement and bulging eyes brought a unique aspect to the vampire image, one altogether different from the one we see today. Bela Lugosi could incite fear with a simple twist of the hand, one clawed gesture, and a deep penetrating stare with his slicked back hair and protruding lips. Though he did have a hypnotizing charm, he was more the image of a father than of a sexy man you’d want ravishing you.
This new wave of vampires makes you wonder, which is more enjoyable? The older frightening and primal vampires or this generation’s Bill Compton or Edward Cullen of Trueblood and Twilight fame. Clearly we know who is more frightening, the earlier movies incited fear where today’s might seem thrilling to some, the actual origin is left relatively untouched and romance is largely magnified. Certainly Hollywood and the population’s majority are set on bringing us more sex, not only with vampires but with everything. I’m always surprised by how sexual everything in America appears while the overall attitude is mostly that of a tattered old prude. I’m still waiting on a show or movie that depicts vampires as brutal instinctual animals who could never be a friend to any human. I guess that was “30 Days of Night” but still, let’s get noticed.
Aside from the countless vampire movies and TV shows made, there are actually a lot of songs inspired by those mysterious undead Romanians. Concrete Blonde’s “Bloodletting” (The Vampire Song) was inspired by the Anne Rice novel “Interview With The Vampire.” The soundtrack for “Queen of the Damned” was partially written by former Oingo Boingo keyboardist Richard Gibbs and Jonathan Davis of Korn. In an unusual teaming up of sister labels Warner Brothers and Reprise Records released the soundtrack on February 19th of 2002. Two singles from the CD were released simultaneously. “Cold” by Static X was the more successful single of the two, the other being “Forsaken,” featuring the lead singer of Disturbed.
We all know the band Vampire Weekend with their lively tunes and smart lyrics. The band’s name comes from a film their lead singer made with the same title. Hopefully it’s about vampires but with my questionable journalism skills I am unable to dig up any footage or information about this film other than the title. Punk band Bauhaus has a meaningful origin in the bloodsucking spirit. Their first single, released in 1979, was titled “Bela Lugosi’s Dead.” The song is a lengthy epic recorded in one take featuring the lyrics “Bela Lugosi’s dead, the bats have left the bell tower, the victims have been bled.” And later the line “undead undead undead” in repetition.
Godsmack, Slayer and My Chemical Romance have all penned songs about vampires but certain compilations stand out over others. While the Queen of the Damned soundtrack lacked luster, others flourished in all our memories, hopefully. The TV show version of Buffy The Vampire Slayer had a great little soundtrack featuring songs by Nerf Herder, Garbage, Rasputina, and Guided by Voices. Of all vampire-related things, the soundtrack and the movie alike for “The Lost Boys” belong in the Vampire Hall of Fame. “Cry Little Sister” by Gerald Mcmann, “People Are Strange” by Echo and the Bunnymen, and “Good Times” by INXS are favorites.
In reference to the new vs. old argument, I’d like to state that I’d take Dracula over Twilight’s Edward Cullen anytime. At least Dracula could entertain me. Robert Pattinson’s portrayal of a boring and mopey yet handsome character remind me all too well of how easily personality is disregarded. Somehow if someone cares about you and looks good you should just bury your nose in their ass and never leave their fecal fortress? Over anything else I am perplexed and aggravated by people with nothing interesting going on. It seems where Robert Pattinson lacks a personality, his costar Kristen Stewart makes up for it. Even the whiney werewolf character Jacob is more likable in that he at least cares. Oddly, while reading Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse and Breaking Dawn I even feel that author Stephanie Meyer is in some sort of trance when she writes about the character Edward. Everyone in the book is more intriguing than him but somehow he is a main focus of the series. The character is written about in little detail and is described mostly just as “beautiful.” Clumsy and pessimistic protagonist Bella somehow falls for his charms and boom, they’re in love and she can’t part with him. At least her dad has the good sense to dislike him.
Another recent author who writes of vampires is Charlaine Harris, writer of the many books that inspired HBO’s “Trueblood.” While her concepts and ideas are very interesting and original her actual writing leaves a lot to be desired. I get the impression that she is a person living vicariously through her characters, maybe too much so. Her last few books in the series lacked discipline and character development, so I can only really recommend the first four books with a straight face. The show itself is actually better than the books. Though more than half of the show has nothing to do with the novels, it does follow the same basic story.
I caught a few minutes of the latest CW pooper “The Vampire Diaries” and after a few minutes I’ve concluded that you need not waste your time with that one. As with “Gossip Girl” and the remake of “90210” this show sifts out all the good parts of “The O.C.” and filters in gaudy queens and their fumigated hair extension arm candy otherwise known as Blake Lively and that other one who tries to sing. Leighton Meester! I remember now. But I won’t in a few years now will I?
While Twilight’s fangs will never compete in sales with Harry Potter’s wand, fans are crazier than ever. I don’t envy not being able to walk down the street without cameras flashing at me. While Kristen Stewart is highly criticized for complaining of the downfalls of fame, Robert Pattinson gets nothing but sympathy when he whines about how he can’t get a date in real life. Which is funny/sad since he is dating Kristen Stewart. Vampire films have been around since 1909 to now, 2009. All I can do is wait to see if the craze swells or is replaced by something new. How about something less sexy, like the always popular Wolf theme? “The Wolfman” starring Benicio Del Toro and Emily Blunt, looks promising but sadly the box office will surely show that vampires are still number one. Perhaps the next monster movie will star Zac Efron as Frankenstein or Brad Pitt as The Mummy? I can only encourage Hollywood to get a little ugly or “real” with these ever increasing monster movies.