Friday, November 21, 2008

A Petty Pet Peeve about Vampires

The movie Twilight opens today. The movie is based upon a book series; the author, Stephenie Meyer freely admits she did no research on Vampires prior to writing the books, “Because I was creating my own world, I didn't want to find out just how many rules I was breaking.”

This disrespect for the genre has always bothered me. (Told ya it was petty.) I watched movies where Vampires can go in daylight. Where Crucifixes and garlic doesn’t bother them. Where a wooden stake is meaningless. I can’t tell you which ones because after I watched them I did not bother watching them again.

Apparently in Twilight the Vampires can choose to be “vegetarian” meaning they will on suck blood from animals and not humans. Too bad for the animals, of course. Yet the Vegan Vamps (Come on—how stupid does that sound?) still have quite a longing for occasional human Vintage 2008, so they have to keep their sexual desires in check and refrain from thinking too longingly on a juicy, ripe, pulsating jugular.


Look, part of the complete, scare-the-bejesus-outta-ya fact of Vampires was their moralless view of humanity. It wasn’t evil to kill humans; it wasn’t moral to save humans—humans were food. Much like most of us would approach a hamburger at McDonald’s. We don’t wrestle with the implications of eating a brown-eyed Bessie. We order it with extra ketchup and let our chompers fly.

What made Vampires scary was the inability to reason with them. They considered you one or two steps down on the food chain, and thus unnecessary as part of any moral quandary. A vampire with angst? What is scary about that?

I love the idea they cannot be in sunlight. There is something so temptingly delicious about this weakness. As if somehow we could conquer a Vampire within the few hours of daylight, due to their inherent inabilities. Yet (as the great authors write) it always seems as if time is slipping away. Daylight, once thought so plentiful, becomes less and less. And every time one is finally prepared to meet the Vampire—daylight is almost gone. Stephen King’s writing in Salem’s Lot comes to mind.

Or the idea they can be held at bay by simple sticks of wood. Sure, if they come at you from behind—you’re royally screwed. But if you can find a couple a popsicles, and a corner, and can hold out all night—you could survive a Vampire. There is hope, even in the darkness. Of course, part of the problem was the Vampire’s cunning, hypnotic eyes, and ability to shape-shift; all resulting in this being a terrible strategy—doomed to failure.

The adrenaline-enhancing fright of a Vampire was how one could—so close—perhaps overcome it; yet never quite manage to do so.

I know, authors who re-write Vampires make millions more dollars than I do, and another Vampire move like Count Dracula wouldn’t even make it to pre-pre-production.

I just happen to like the scary, “Holy Crap!” vampires—not the “Ain’t he just dreamy?!” sort.


  1. Are these vampires in Twilight perhaps immune to kryptonite too?

  2. To be fair, many of these weaknesses were later additions. Stoker's Dracula could go out in the daylight, for example. So it's not like Twilight isn't being true to the genre - it's just that the genre is flexible.

  3. yeah, it really sickens me how the easter bunny today is not depicted as laying the eggs himself.

  4. He He He. I did say it was petty. And stupid. Goes to show my humanity.

  5. I recently watched a really cool vampire movie called "Let the Right One In." It's a Swedish film with subtitles, so I don't know how easy it would be for you to find it, but if you do, it's well-worth seeing. It was unlike any vampire movie I've ever seen. It's playing at the Alama Drafthouse in Austin TX right now. I've seen it twice.