Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Vampire Shows: Fangs, But No Fanks

"Annoyed to Death by Vampire Shows"
Postcards From the Funny Farm (October 14, 2009)

"Remember way back when Interview With a Vampire was all the rage. The male cast appeared on Oprah and the fanged fantasy seemed to rule the magazine shelves at the grocery store? Well, I should have known better when it appeared that annoying genre had come to an end. The next wave came through television. Buffy the Vampire slayer became all the rage and a crumbling of knock-offs. A bit later came Blade and of course you know between then and now we have been suffocated by Twilight...."

I'm not entirely on the same page with this blogger: but I sympathize. This sort of over-harvesting of a genre is nothing new. Remember "Frankenstein;" "Bride of Frankenstein" and "Son of Frankenstein." (1931; 1935; 1939)

Returning to the subject of Funny Farm's post, who can forget "Dracula;" "Dracula;" "Dracula;" "Dracula;" and, one of my favorites, "Dracula." (1931; 1958; 1979; 1992 and 1973) I'm pretty sure there's something very psychological (and, therefore, scientific) about this fascination with the Transylvanian bloodsucker. Me? I think it's because the count is spooky and cool.

Back to Dracula in the movies.

There was a "Son of Dracula" in 1943, but we had to wait until 1960 for "The Brides of Dracula." Then, in 1970, you guessed it: "Son of Dracula," again. And, of course, "Return of Dracula." (1958)

It could have been worse.

In the early forties, it looked like we might eventually get to something like "Son of Frankenstein's Third Cousin Once Removed Meets the Wolf Man." We actually did get "Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man" in 1943.

Mercifully, in 1948 "Bud Abbott Lou Costello Meet Frankenstein" was a sign that Frankenstein's monster was going into retirement. For a while. (They also met Dracula and the Wolf Man.)

What would be odd in those titles, if we weren't so accustomed to Hollywood's less-than-firm grasp on their source material and/or logic, is that Baron Frankenstein isn't the chap who's featured in all those 'son of' films. It's Frankenstein's monster, cobbled together out of spare parts that somebody dug up.

Back, again, to the vampires. By now, we've got "Lesbian Vampire Killers." (2009) IMDB fingers the United Kingdom as being responsible for this action/comedy/horror flick. Which, as an America citizen, I find something of a relief. At least this country isn't the only one - - - No, I'm not going there.

Anyway, I'm not completely in agreement with Damien Riley that it's time to put a stake through the heart of the vampire genre - but it's a bit hard to imagine an imaginative angle that hasn't been shish kabobbed, exposed to sunlight, and otherwise done - pardon the phrase - to death.
A tip of the hat to damien_riley, on Twitter, for the heads-up on his post.

2 comments:

Damien said...

Brian, I love the way you wrote this. Your voice reads so clearly off the page (page?). Thanks for the mention buddy. My wife is bezerk for New Moon. I'm just like blah, gimme something new.

Brian, aka Nanoc, aka Norski said...

Damien,

Wow, thanks! And yeah, the vampire genre has gotten very frayed around the edges.

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