Monster Mash Part III: Vampires

That's what friends are for!

That’s what friends are for!

Black clouds scud across the moon, nearly full. The chill breeze has a little…bite to it. A tap-tapping on the window startles you out of your slumber. Perhaps it is only a tree branch, shaking in the wind. Or perhaps it is something else? Someone else?

Pop culture may have remade vampires into sexy, brooding vegetarians, but Halloween reminds us that while vampires might be fangtastic, and know how to have a bloody good time, they are ultimately denizens of the night who enjoy violence and murder. So let’s sink out teeth into literature’s creepiest vampires…

1. Carmilla, Carmilla

Beautiful, languid, and mysterious, Carmilla insinuates herself into the lives of innocent young women, one at a time. Her mercurial moods and unsettling sexual advances distract her prey from her exotic tastes: the catlike monster that visits them in their nightmares and drinks of their blood is really her. Eventually, each girl wastes away and dies, leaving Carmilla free to find a new female companion. Best friends forever…or until you die.

read more…

Wherefore Vampires?

Who’s ready to sink their teeth into a little vampire discussion? (Pun totally intended.)

"Why yes, I do use my cheekbones to cut glass."

“Why yes, I do use my cheekbones
to cut glass.”

I recently read an interview with James Marsters, who played Spike in ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer,’ in which he discussed what it meant to him to play a vampire and how the representation of vampires in the media has changed since ‘Buffy’ aired.

“In the world of ‘Buffy’, vampires were supposed to be ugly and very quickly dead,” Marsters commented. “Joss [Whedon]…didn’t want vampires to be romantic. That’s why in Buffy when we bite people we become hideously ugly. Because in ‘Buffy’ vampires are a metaphor for all the problems you face in adolescence. So, the vampires of today are very different.”

I thought this was a really interesting take on vampires, especially coming from someone who played one on TV for years. And it’s true: although vampires have been around since at least Victorian times, in the past few years, the plethora of books, movies, and TV shows about vampires tend to present vampires in a much sexier, romantic way than they used to. So why the change? And why, at the end of the day, are vampires so damn fascinating?

read more…