So just like most True Blood fans, I am eagerly (impatiently) anticipating next week's latest installment of this dirty south vampire novella. However, I can't help but notice how huge the vampire market is these days. Now, I haven't seen Twilight, nor have I read anything by Stephanie Meyer (funny, too, since I went to high school with a girl by the same name - but no, it's not her), so I can't really give an honest opinion about either. Part of me wants to say it's probably crap. It looks very... fantasy-ridden and the actors/actresses all look relatively young and unappealing to me. Maybe if this had been going on when I was still in high school, it would be more relatable. Still, I have several friends who have jumped on the Twilight bandwagon and claim it is amazing. I may watch it online someday... for free.. when i'm done watching everything else that needs to be watched.
But anyway! Back to the point. Vampires are hot right now! There hasn't been this much hubub about the beautiful undead since perhaps Interview with the Vampire showed two of the hottest male actors at the time (Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt... and actually, Antonio Banderas was big at the time as well) in all kinds of homo-erotic situations.
I saw the film back when it first came out in 1994 when it first came out (I was about 10 at the time), but it wasn't until about 3 years later that I became immersed in the world of Anne Rice and her seductive yet practically asexual vampires. And once I read Interview (and later, The Vampire Lestat, Queen of the Damned, Pandora, Tale of the Body Thief, etc.), I quickly realized what crap the Cruise-Pitt flick was. And let me not get started on Queen of the Damned... which had all the potential in the world and had to turn out to be one of the biggest film let-downs of my relatively short life.
Vampires have existed in legend and folklore for centuries, and have become popular in pop culture ever since F.W. Murnau put Nosferatu on the big screen. I finally got around to watching that recently (or re-watching... saw it on Halloween night at some theater in Boston a few years back) and thought it was pretty great, albeit a bit slow. I haven't gotten around to Bela Lugosi's Dracula portrayals, but plan to do so this coming October (the month wherein I only allow myself to watch horror films!) I do have some personal favorites in the vampire genre asides Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles, including but not limited to:
The Lost Boys
Buffy the Vampire Slayer (the MOVIE, not the show!)
Vampire Hunter D
From Dusk Til Dawn
(yes, i'll admit I used to hate it because I felt that the first half of the film was just much better and the vamps come out of nowhere, but upon later inspection, it's pretty great.)
Vampire Princess Miyu
X-Files: Bad Blood
So why the fascination? It could be that we all want to believe we can escape our own mortality. There's something romantic sounding about living forever. And most vampire stories have been overly-romanticized, with old period clothing and candlelight and coffins and lace and undying love. Either way, like zombie films, they're just good fun.
What are some of your favorite vampire portrayals?