October 22, 2008


Posting about True Blood got me thinking about great TV and movie vampires. Poking around, I realize that though I've seen my share of vamp flicks, I'm hardly well-versed in the genre. Perhaps that's because I have a definite preference for postmodern reimaginings over classical horror, however well done.

My love of Buffy and Angel is well known, of course, and I've also mentioned a few times the British show Ultraviolet, which had themes that prefigured True Blood in many ways, though it was more MI5 adventure than gothic. Also, it co-starred Idris Elba, later to make his name in The Wire. In this scene, the hero confronts his best friend, now a vamp, and one of the moral issues of the show are laid out: are vampire hunters nothing more than a fascist death squad? (The question isn't as loaded as I probably just made it sound. The vamps in this show are really evil, after all.)

Near Dark also toyed with the mythology in fun ways, as did Lost Boys, I suppose. What are your favorites -- again, with an emphasis on clever twists. I mean, 30 Days of Night looks creepy and fun, but is it interesting?

And WTF is Vampire High?

Posted by Daniel Radosh


30 Days of Night earns its keep. It looks great and is seriously gory. The vampires are implicitly Inuit with a grudge, so it's got a tiny bit of political subtext. You can do way worse.

We'll likely see the genre pushed a bit when Tim Burton does his remake of the 40-year old soap opera, Dark Shadows. Johnny Depp as Barnabus Collins might be expected to do an envelope pushing job on Vampires similar to that which he did on Pirates.

Are you talking just movies and TV? If not, the concept has been well-executed several times in comics of the modern age. The original comic to 30 Days of Night is creepy and gorgeous. (I haven't read any of the others and I've read reviews suggesting there are diminishing returns). You may also want to check out "Bite Club"--Sopranos with vampires (I forget who wrote it--I suppose I could Google it. But hey, so can you!). "Wanted" by Colin Bunn is a film noir with demons--think "Brick" set in the "Angel" universe.

@ trout. I was just thinking TV and movies. For comics, I loved Life Sucks by Jessica Abel and Warren Pleece. Click that link for the first chapter. It a very funny, smart story of slacker vampires. My favorite joke is that the main character has a non-vamp roommate and you can't actually tell the difference between them because both just lie around the house all day. It would make a fabulous TV series. The graphic novel alone has at least 3 seasons worth of material.

Your pitch for Wanted intrigued me, but I couldn't find anything about it online. Do you have a link?

I've heard good things about Blood+, a recent anime series available on Netflix.

Both Nadja and Shadow of the Vampire probably rely to heavily on the classic version for your taste, but they're both unquestionably postmodern and very good.

The real question is: what's your take on Twilight?

Oh, I loved Shadow of the Vampire. And both versions of Nosferatu too. Never saw Nadja, though. Not all postmodern vamp films are necessarily good -- ever see Abel Ferrara's The Addiction?

I can't gather up the interest to read Twilight. From everything I've heard it just seems like typical hokey nonsense.

This list reminded me of Vampire's Kiss, which I recall liking a lot. Any thoughts on any of the others? Nightwatch is in my queue.

My thoughts on that list: they should have stopped at 49. Any best-of list that includes Underworld and Van Helsing has problems.

I didn't hate The Addiction. Maybe the idea of a mass slaughter of my graduate school department just appeals to me...

i recently got a galley of what looks like the first book in a series: "Sucks to be Me," an ohmigod i am so undead high school vampire novel. (stephenie meyer, what hast thou wrought??) i couldn't get past the first two pages, which were totally in that cringe-inducing Teen Voice. made me miss buffy...but then, what doesn't.

christopher moore's You Suck was cute, though. and perhaps you are saving books for another post....

Vampyr (1932) Directed by Carl Th. Dreyer


Saw this on TCM about a year ago - creepy, atmospheric, ultimately unforgettable.

You have to be honest with yourself about how bad true blood really is. The plot is exceptionally slow moving and the characters are obnoxious. I know you listen to This American Life, did you ever hear the one where a southerner talks about how preposterous every movie southern accent is? I cant help but think of that when the black girl speaks. Oh, and as for the plot, there is none, nothings coming because true blood is adapted from Danielle Steele books with vampires the meat of the story is Sookies love life. We all love vampires, but for gods sake take a second, honest look at this series and the wikipedia entry about the painfully silly books.

Oh, eff me. "Wanted" is of course the graphic novel that became the blink-and-you'll-miss-it Angelina vehicle. I meant "The Damned." And the author is CULLEN Bunn.

Any other fans of Cronos in the house?

Personally, I'm more of a zombie guy, and I think that for most people it's a fundamental division, on the same order as "Dogs or cats?"

'The Hunger': Deneuve, Sarandon, Bowie; what more do you want?

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