<body><script type="text/javascript"> function setAttributeOnload(object, attribute, val) { if(window.addEventListener) { window.addEventListener('load', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }, false); } else { window.attachEvent('onload', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }); } } </script> <div id="navbar-iframe-container"></div> <script type="text/javascript" src="https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript"> gapi.load("gapi.iframes:gapi.iframes.style.bubble", function() { if (gapi.iframes && gapi.iframes.getContext) { gapi.iframes.getContext().openChild({ url: 'https://www.blogger.com/navbar.g?targetBlogID\x3d16149408\x26blogName\x3dThe+Blogulator\x26publishMode\x3dPUBLISH_MODE_BLOGSPOT\x26navbarType\x3dBLACK\x26layoutType\x3dCLASSIC\x26searchRoot\x3dhttp://chrisandqualler.blogspot.com/search\x26blogLocale\x3den_US\x26v\x3d2\x26homepageUrl\x3dhttp://chrisandqualler.blogspot.com/\x26vt\x3d7090024357285529333', where: document.getElementById("navbar-iframe-container"), id: "navbar-iframe" }); } }); </script>

« Home | Next » | Next » | Next » | Next » | Next » | Next » | Next » | Next » | Next » | Next »

Vampires -- An Open Discussion About Sucking

So, I hear that vampires are, like, all the rage in the pop culture realm in late 2008. What with HBO's True Blood and the Stephanie Meyers vampire book series Twilight turning into a movie series and the Swedes also getting into the vampire game by adapting the novel Let the Right One In into a feature film. Yeah, you could say that the vampire genre is sucking us in, but that would be a silly pun, right? You could also say that I have fully bitten into the craze. Well, to help sort out all these vampires, let me spring a vampire discussion here on the Blogulator before you go to your holiday parties and discuss all the bloody good pop culture. Your lucky date will be positively sm(b)itten with you.
In True Blood, the vampires are everywhere (remember, this is the show where the premise is that the vampires had "come out of the coffin"...), but there are more than just fampires. There are shapeshifters, maybe werewolves, rednecks, drunks, dogs, etc. Also, the vampires, unlike most vampire things, aren't all totally terrifying. For example, Bill Compton, the gentleman vampire who turned in the Civil War, has other more friendly interests than sucking blood, such as listening to Denuge Fever in his car, playing Nintendo Wii, and serving Fresca to his guests. In other words, yeah he's a vampire, but he also does other stuff. Eli, however, the eternally 12-years-old vampire in Let the Right One In lives in a bathtub, only makes friends with other lonely (albeit living) souls, and is generally creepy. Other than being able to learn morse code from a vampire like Eli, I'd rather be friends with Bill Compton. Needless to say, Eli is a much more vampire-y vampire than Mr. Compton.

Let the Right One In, set in Sweden and mondo-minimalist in its execution, was dark. True Blood, however, is more like a carnival of semi-wacky humor, blood, campy acting, and addictive cliffhangers. What do you prefer? Would you rather your vampire pop culture be lurid fun with the vampire quotient turned down a few notches in favor of broad entertainment? Or do you want your vampires to be dark, bloodthirsty and terrifying? I have yet to see or read Twilight -- how will that fit into all of this discussion? Are you ready to sink your teeth into all of these puns?

Labels: , ,

  1. Anonymous Anna | 9:11 AM |  

    Maybe this is the *~SPARKLES~* talking, but I like my vampires of the dark and broody variety. What fascinates me about Edward Cullen (and his family) is that they have all these violent impulses and choose not to indulge them, but also face the real possibility that their souls are damned for all eternity despite the fact that they're trying to live decently. They walk that fine line between human and animal, and what makes Edward's struggle interesting is that his desires lie on the human side of the line, but his impulses lie on the animal side. The possibility for madness to set in is very great, and is the unknowable variable in the way we experience Edward, one that I wish Stephenie Meyer would've explored more.

    You're supposed to fall in love with Edward from the very beginning, so you trust him implicitly, but he doesn't trust himself, and you shouldn't trust him, and it would be way more interesting if the tone of the book implied he could someday just go off the rails. In my opinion, David Boreanaz as Angel plays up this aspect much better than Meyer writes it.

    I wish I could weigh in on True Blood or Let the Right One In, but I haven't seen either yet. I also like my vampires as clowns, as in the film version of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

    "Let me in, Pike!"
    "No, dude--you're floating!"

  2. Blogger qualler | 10:17 AM |  

    I've got to see Twilight too to fully weigh in, but I have a feeling I'll totally love it. What LTROI did well was have its vampire tread that thin line between human and animal in a more tension-filled way than True Blood has done so far. But, I prefer the entertainment value of True Blood over the so-dark-there's-never-a-time-to-breathe approach -- I just hope the second season tackles the supernatural aspect of it with more gusto.

  3. Blogger Sean | 12:25 PM |  

    whoa, no way, another post about vampires.

  4. Blogger Sean | 1:37 PM |  

    forgive my tone. i'm just a little vampired out. i'm waiting for the next fad.

  5. Blogger Brigitte | 1:56 PM |  

    i enjoyed how in LTROI, you become a vampire when you are bitten by a vampire. i sort of dislike all the new vampire "rules" that true blood makes up. i felt that LTROI is more faithful to the vampire genre, or whatever. also, little kid vampires are always WAY creepier than adult vampires.

  6. Blogger chris | 3:33 PM |  

    I really don't think that vampires are a fad - it seems like one big coincidence. LTROI is Swedish and just happens to be released domestically the same time as Twilight, which has a very different target audience than True Blood. Usually when we get a fad, we get a Deep Impact/Armageddon or Dante's Peak/Volcano scenario where they're basically the same movie competing for attention.

    The more I think about it the more I like LTROI. The cinematography was gorgeous and the characters, which I first dismissed as too sparse and undeveloped, have now congealed in my head and stuck with more way more than I thought they would have. I totally want to read the book it was based on.

    True Blood is more immediately satisfying and engaging (the first five eps I saw anyway), but I was more affected by LTROI.

  7. Blogger qualler | 4:44 PM |  

    It's probably a little bit of both, I think. The makers of LTROI, True Blood, and Twilight probably didn't all capitalize on each other's success, but it certainly didn't hurt that all three were released around the same time. Twilight was bumped to Nov. 21 after Harry Potter 6 was moved to Summer 2009, which happened to coincide with the weekend of the season finale of True Blood. No doubt HBO benefitted from the joint press on the so-called "vampire phenomenon" and vice versa. The trailers for LTROI also really played up the fact that it was a vampire movie, despite the movie itself being more like a friendship movie that also featured a vampire.

    I actually had a little bit of the opposite reaction as you to LTROI, Chris. The cinematography was awesome but don't think the writers did a great job getting us to feel for the characters. Maybe it's just a language barrier type thing, too, but my confusion around the origin of Eli (mostly with the big reveal (no pun intended!) about 30 minutes before the movie ended) didn't help things much. The horror-type scenes to me didn't mesh extremely well with the tone of the rest of the movie -- i.e. sparse, typically Scandinavian filmmaking.

    That being said, it'll still probably crack my Top 10 Films of the Year list.

leave a response