Saturday, April 25, 2015

A to Z Challenge: V is for Vampires!


This was kind of an obvious one, as anyone who knows me knows my past with these creatures of the night.

I was a vampire freak well before Twilight and all of the spin-offs that followed. As a young kid (around the age of 6), I watched a halloween special on television, and fell in love with the vampire character. I don't remember the show's name, what it was about or anything else, all I remember was the vampire was  attractive to me.

We had HBO by the time the movie, Love at First Bite, came out for home viewing, and I was once again swept away by George Hamilton's portrayal of the romantic Count Dracula. That same year Frank Langella's version of the sexy undead came out and furthered my obsession. I only caught snippets of these two movies, as I wasn't allowed to watch either of them all the way through.



When I was in the fourth grade, ABC began re-running the 1966 series of Dark Shadows right after General Hospital, and I was throughly besotted by the character of Barnabas Collins, played by the unparallelled Jonathan Frid. Frid's vampire was tormented and human, and although he was still evil and draining women's blood in the night, he was also gentlemanly and polite, a proper English gentleman.



Gary Oldman's version was probably my favorite in Francis Ford Coppolla's 1992 version of Bram Stoker's original novel. Gary Oldman is an amazingly talented actor, and he manages to make the vampire sexier than ever. I didn't read Interview with the Vampire until 1994 when the movie came out, but once more I was drawn in by the tortured Louis, a vampire who hates what he is and does everything he can to avoid killing humans.



So what is the deal with these guys? They are the undead for heaven's sake! They kill people and drink their blood. They're really just a few steps above being a zombie, so what is it that makes them so alluring and sexually attractive? I believe it's a strange, twisted desire in the hearts of women for bad boys. The vampire (as depicted in these films) is dark, seductive, romantic. He's charming, says all of the right things, and makes women swoon as he commands them body and soul. He's mysterious and they've never met anyone like him. He deceives them in his "desire" for them, which is really a desire to kill them and master their soul.

Isn't the vampire, Dracula, actually just a stand-in for the devil or Satan, the Great Deceiver? He makes us believe he's something attractive and appealing--the dark, the mystery, the seduction is all just a cover-up for the ultimate destruction.

http://www.amazon.com/Dracula-Bram-Stoker/dp/0486411095


Bram Stoker's Count Dracula was a beast. Yes, he had power over women, and to the Victorian reader, the overtly sexual overtones of the novel were shocking and symbolic. The character of Dracula is actually downplayed in the novel; Mina, Jonathan, Lucy, and Van Helsing are the highlights. Even so, Count Dracula is not described as a soave romancer, but as a deadly creature--one who looks, smells, and acts like something vile.

Are you, or were you ever, a fan of vampires?

11 comments:

  1. I agree with you on Gary Oldman - he was brilliant in that film. I liked Interview with a Vampire, too, although I've never read it.

    Annalisa, writing A-Z vignettes, at Wake Up, Eat, Write, Sleep

    ReplyDelete
  2. I have to say I did enjoy watching Dark Shadows on TV :) Otherwise, not much of a vampire fan here :)

    betty

    ReplyDelete
  3. I've never gotten into vampires but they certainly have become popular!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I loved Dark Shadows.

    Sunni

    http://sunni-survivinglife.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me too, Sunni! I'm still watching old episodes.

      Delete
  5. I never got onto the vampire bandwagon myself but as I get older I am more and more intrigued with some of these old vampire movies.

    Sean at His and Her Hobbies

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The old movies are fun! The black and white monster movies are fun to watch.

      Delete
  6. Wow, you really do have a history with vampires, from even before Interview. You've earned your love.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha! Yes, but I'm really more a fan of the traditional "romantic" vampire.

      Delete
  7. You know I love vampires! Remember when we saw Nosferatu at Wolf Trap? Now that was an ugly vampire. I was mesmerized by Bela Luguisi's Dracula when I was young. And Gary Oldman - that was an amazing movie. I am NOT impressed with modern vampires - they have lost their masculinity and are too sensitive. I still like to draw smiley faces with a pair of fangs. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree, Lisa! Come on vamps! Get it together! Don't wimp out on us!

      Delete