Thursday, October 30, 2008
My Friend Amy had a great idea: Vampire Day. I've always had a fascination with these mythical creatures. What is it about them? Maybe it's the idea of being ageless forever. Is it a blessing or a curse?
Where did the story of the vampire come from? Leslie Klinger attempts to answer this question here in this Seattle Times article for her annotated version of Dracula: The Annotated Dracula.
My introduction to the vampire came in the form of all those cheesy Dracula flicks from the 60 and 70's. Many are just terrible, some are campy (Once Bitten) but I think Dracula may have gotten back some respect with Coppola's lush 1992 version Bram Stoker's Dracula. Finally, Stoker was back with his creation. However, Coppola just couldn't stop making a romance between Mina and the Count. If you've ever read Stoker's novel, you'll know there is no love between the two.
Before reading Bram Stoker's novel, I had read Salem's Lot (Stephen King), and all of Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles. Reading Dracula was an experience. I had a lot of preconceived notions about vampires by then and was surprised at the creature in the story. He had evolved from Stoker's monster to the charming and suave being in the movies. What a strange transformation for the vampire.
I had given up on vampires after that, until recently. A few years ago, I read The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova. Dracula was back and terrorizing the modern world. Kostova combines the folklore of the Eastern European vampire with Stoker's Dracula, throws in an endearing heroine and create a fast paced tale for the 21st century.
As a blogger, I've reviewed a few vampire related books:
*50 Ways to Hex Your Lover- Jazz is a witch with a love/hate relationship with a vampire.
*The Rest Falls Away- Victoria Gardella fights vampires in Regency England.
*I Am Legend- The last man on earth, Robert Neville, battles humans turned vampires by a horrible plague. (I Am Legend inspired apocalyptic zombie films.)
Although the vampire is always changing to suit the needs of the audience, I don't think they are going to go away anytime soon. Maybe they will live forever.
What are your favorite vampire novels or movies?