Sunday, March 12, 2006
New Vampire Films


Perfect Evolution (and the Buried Soul)

What this year’s four vampire-hybrid films have in common is an overcoming of our oldest fear.

By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) ::: pheatures ::: ::: Read the whole thing



You might want to check out Octavia Butler’s last book Fledgling which deals with the same themes…

While your points about the “horrifying” practices of earlier societies is a good reminder for those who paint over the disturbing aspects of earlier cultures, your chronocentric glossing about our own cultures/eras (and definitely religions) similar atrocities is amusing… I’m sure sometime in the future there will be similar discussions about the brutalities of our current societies (including the US and Christianity).

Thanks for the reference to Taylor—sounds like a fascinating read…

Posted by Thivai on 10 Apr 06 at 10:41 AM

An interesting point, but there are much shallower traits that are the driving cash behind these films - marketing lust, fetish and violence to a young men’s audience. They are all cheap knockoffs of the Matrix formula, as happens in Hollywood trends.

The seduction of evil (the vampire bit) is part of it. Evil is an inticements to something which hurts/kills another (vampirism) But it’s not the critical factor - a Hollywood producer is not gonna get backing for a movie about homely-looking vampire girls in an emotional, dramatic story without violence. The audiences seeing these films could care less wether the black/red leather-clad woman is supposed to be a vampire, an alien, or robot. Lust and violence (the femme fatale) is the main driving force - the vamp stuff is a just a supporting role.

Another trait they all share is a militant feminism/dominatrix fetish. The scantily clad female beats the crap out of hundreds of male actors, who trade in their gonads for “fame” and fortune to be wussy punching bags in these films. This is a peversion of reality, and a unfortunately, an established sexual fetish in our culture. A good psychologist could explain why some are drawn to that crap. But it’s definitely a trend that these type of films are trying to capitalize on, and its a bigger theme than wether than characters are vampires or not.   

Of course the most common trait of all is, these films have been bombs at the box office. BloodRayne was practically shipped to Blockbuster the day after it opened and UV is still scraping to get above its production cost. With films needing to make 3 times their cost to break even, producers have lost money here. There is a bizzare Hollywood trend at work where producers are willing to lose money to make these kinda films that moviegoers consistently reject.   

Its not like they were trying for some dramatic creative breakthough that a studio was willing to roll the dice for. These are tired formula pictures, based on marketing lust and feminized violence, with a vampire face.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 19 May 06 at 08:02 PM

Cool article— I wonder if the author has read about connections between vampire stories and the Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation, first developed in the 9th, 10th centuries. 

Posted by Jim Rovira on 11 Jan 07 at 12:27 AM

Wow.  What a masterpiece of an article.  My hat is off to you, sir.

In particular, I find your conclusion that the vampire has been “recruited” to the side of the explorer profoundly insightful.  Vlad is, indeed, dead.

Your analysis makes me wonder if this “co-option” of boogeymen applies to a wider spectrum.  Demons leap to mind (Constantine?) (as well as, disturbingly, serial killers (Hostel?)) as possible places where cultural forces are attempting to turn the monster in the closet into something… more ambivalent, and potentially more useful.

Thank you for this article, I enjoyed every word.

  -the darklord

Posted by the darklord on 15 Jul 07 at 10:31 PM

I’m curious as to why the obvious metaphor of HIV and AIDS didn’t come up in this article.  Was it too obvious?  Anyway, the whole idea of a deadly disease involving blood becoming a manageable longterm lifestyle simply screams HIV and AIDS to me.  Hep C, also.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 28 Apr 08 at 07:34 PM
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