What is it with vampires, anyway?
Sorry. I just don’t get it. Why would anybody find a vampire sexy? C’mon, folks. They ‘live’ in coffins during the day and crawl out at night to suck people’s blood. I don’t mind vampires per se, you understand. In the right context and all that. Like Dracula, who wasn’t nice, anymore than the lovely gentleman upon whom I believe he was based (that would be Vlad the Impaler). And Terry Pratchett’s vampires, such as the family of vamps in Carpe Juggulum. They’re not nice, either.
But this fascination for blood-sucking fiends as sexy heroes is- sorry – just plain weird. I mean, do you find mosquitoes sexy? They come out at night and suck your blood and while they’re at it, they can leave you a nice little reminder like malaria or Ross River fever. Same thing, really; admittedly without any gratuitous sex but that would be really kinky, wouldn’t it?
I haven’t read Dracula the book but I did have a go at Anne Rice’s Interview with a Vampire. For me it was a DNF* but I skim-read and I found the early parts particularly interesting where she describes the MC being ‘converted’ and his experience of draining a man’s blood. For me, she concentrated on what the MC gave up to be a vampire; normal meals, human companionship, daylight. I felt it was pretty sad, really. A shadow existence albeit for hundreds of years.
I don’t have the same WTF feeling about some of the other paranormals, like shape-shifters. I can imagine it would be cool to be able to change into a wolf or a tiger and I can see lots of sexy elements in there. Take Sir Terry’s werewolf, Angua. She’s a beautiful woman most of the time but she can change into a wolf at will. And yet to Terry’s credit, that dark side of the original legend shines through. Angua is constantly fighting her other nature and The Fifth Elephant goes deeper into her family and her past and her very disturbing brother, Wolfgang. As I write, some of the images from the movie An American Werewolf in London come to mind. Seriously not sexy.
Maybe it was the introduction of tuxedos and virgins in flimsy white nightgowns in Hollywood that has led to the sexification (sorry) of vampires. I noticed at least four movie versions of the classic Dracula book, the most recent in 1992 directed by no less than Francis Ford Coppola. But the idea of a one hundred-year-old vampire at a high school? It’s all beyond me. What about you?
* DNF = Did Not Finish