Vampires are so hot right now. Well, they have been in recent years thanks to Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles, Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight et al. I’ve read the former with little joy - I didn’t enjoy Lives of the Mayfair Witches books nor the Interview with a Vampire movie. The Twilight saga has been such a sensation that it was very hard not to see one of the movies but again - no joy for me there.
Apart from these two later-day hitches, I have been a solid fan of the vampire. They are at the sexy, beautiful end of the monster spectrum. The traditional story of Dracula has been retold in film many times and is always a good yarn.
Interestingly, the vampires never win the war. Oh they can come out on top for the battles, but these unnatural blood suckers are usually turning to ash by the end of the movie. Unlike zombies, they’re a bit selective as to whose blood they drink, and who they decide gets to “live” on as a vampire.
For those of you who aren’t aware of some of the rules of vampirism:
- vampires are immortal
- they thirst for human blood, though they can survive on animal blood, they don’t like it
- they can bite your and drink your blood until you die, or
- let you drink their blood, and then you turn into a vampire yourself
- vampires burn in sunlight (which is why they have Familiars to pick up their dry cleaning)
- can be killed with a wooden stake through the heart
- beget similar to a pyramid scheme (kill the original vampire and all vampires he infected, and were infected in turn, will die)
- like in a pyramid scheme, those who got in early have the most accumulated wealth
- can transmogrify (into a bat, usually)
- have some levels of telepathy and/or kenetic abilities
If you’d like to sample some good vampire cinema, I present the following list:
- Bram Stokers’ Dracula
- The Lost Boys
- Let the Right One In
- What we do in the Shadows
- From Dusk til Dawn
If you prefer bad vampire cinema, almost anything else will do.
Or, add to my list - let me know which vampire movies you’d recommend.
The natural progression for me from comics and books, was the movies. Just as soon as I was old enough to get myself to and from the cinema I was buying tickets for the horror films.
And what a time to come of age and be a fan of horror - the eighties!
I saw Friday the Thirteeth, Nightmare on Elm Street, Halloween, Gremlins et al all at the cinema as they were released. If there is a movie equivalent to book first editions, that’s how I saw these movies - with hoards of like-minded twenty-somethings in a dark theatre scaring ourselves senseless.
And truly, is there a better way to see a scary movie?
Recently, on Facebook, the gorgeous Nick Butcher posted the Rotten Tomatoes list of the top horror movies and claimed he’d seen 21 of them. I clocked in at 32 - with a lot on that list I’d love to have seen.
And some I remember I never want to see.
Like Saw and Hostel (though I have seen that one) its ilk. I enjoy that extreme gore, torture-porn type of movie that was popular in the early 2000s. I prefer more finese like we see in the fabulous Silence of the Lambs, and The Sixth Sense, and Let the Right One In. Those kind of movies where the scare gets into your bones because the horror is only a thin veil away.
And that’s why I’m still scared of the dark.
Oh man, that video thumbnail in yesterday’s post is seriously giving me the heebie jeebies. What a terrifying face! Faces! Clown faces!! What was I thinking?!
Each time I’ve come to my own blog in the last 24 hours I’ve freaked myself out. Well, almost. I self. There’s no way I’m digging up an image for *this* post.
If you’ve seen the movie IT, you know why I find clowns scary. If you haven’t seen that movie yet, NEVER SEE THAT MOVIE! Honestly, the scariness of IT has stayed with for more than 30 years. I’m not even going to find a trailer for it because, honestly, you never want to see it.
The movie IT was adapted from a Stephen King book of the same name published in the 80s. He references the town it was set in and a couple of original characters in one of his latests novels, Doctor Sleep - maybe closing the loop, or just reminding us of how the imprint of fear is still branded in our memories.
That Stephen King - man can he write a good read.
I read Doctor Sleep a few months ago, and it’s the first Stephen King I’ve read since I was a teenager. King’s never going to win a Man Booker Prize, but few are as skilled as he when it comes to crafting a novel that you can’t put down.
Carrie, Cujo, Salam’s Lot, The Stand, The Shining, Firestarter, Christine - I thought I was obssessed with the horror genre but really, looking back after reading Doctor Sleep, I think I was just in love with a damn good read. King writes so I always wanted more - he got me through each chapter making sure I was hungry for the next one. His pacing is just right and the scary ramps up and up - okay so maybe I was a winsy bit obssessed with the scare-factor as well.
The best one for me was Salam’s Lot not least because I didn’t read the book-blurb, so I had no idea what the story was about. It unfolded as I read without any of my expectations getting in the way - and scared the beejezus out of me. I consumed every horror he wrote in the late 70s, early 80s that I could get my hands on. They were all good; they were all scary.
Now I’m old, and crossing the road is scary enough, I don’t need to read horror any more. I did enjoy reading Doctor Sleep but made sure the sun was high in the sky whenever I was made time to pick it up, because at night there’s still a clown waiting for me to go into the bathroom.
Damn, I did it again. Looks like I’ll be sleeping with the light on tonight.
This playlist is from MadeYewLook’s youtube.com channel. Incredible, fascinating, nightmarish makeup tutorials that are bound to help you get your scare on for Halloween parties.