Sunday, December 6, 2009

Something to Sink Your Teeth Into

What is it that so continually fascinates us about vampires? The latest series of Twilight movies has once again rekindled massive interest in this odd cultural phenomenon. I've noticed that many of my respectable adult female friends are hooked on the School of Cullen, and I must admit to more than a passing fancy for that femme fatale vampire slayer Buffy myself. I saw the original Twilight movie and understood the attraction. Something must be going on here.

Recently, our area has been the site for filming of the new CW TV series The Vampire Diaries. I haven't seen this program, but I must say that the promotional poster for it, which I saw months ago in L.A., is strangely alluring. You have these good looking people lying out in the middle of this deserted field with only a raven for company, and yet, they don't look at all miserable. The very fact that a brand-new TV series about vampirism can appear in the midst of the Twilight frenzy speaks volumes about our interest in this niche of the supernatural.

A few months ago, friends told me about the HBO series True Blood, so lately, I've been catching up on that as well. The premise of True Blood is that the Japanese have managed to create a synthetic form of blood called "True Blood", which is sold as a bottled can even find it at convenience stores. Vampires consume True Blood instead of us, and therefore, they can live out in the open, at least at night. The main character is one Sookie Stackhouse, a petite blonde bundle of energy who, from all indications, appears to be destined for something better than her life as a waitress in Bon Temps, Louisiana. As it turns out, there's not much to do in town, so when razor-toothed Bill Compton appears on the scene, with those brooding eyes and gentle heart, otherwise savvy Sookie is captivated. What a roller coaster ride she's on now, though. There's no such thing as a free lunch, because Bill's friends see Sookie herself as lunch...wait, make that dinner...they don't do lunch. Oy, veh.

I remember watching Dracula movies as far back as elementary school, which is quite a long time ago, and generations before ours were captivated by Nosferatu. The 1979 German movie Nosferatu the Vampyre was one of those films which was warmly received by the critics but not so by the public. If you want a few laughs, check it out. Nosferatu's overblown stick-like teeth and the film's awkward scene transitions (an outdoor dinner party cuts to a shot of the rear end of a horse) are worth the price of the video rental. Of course, for the most part, we don't seem to laugh at vampire depictions.

This thing just has all kinds of dimensions, and we could spend weeks discussing it, but the central question is: have you seen New Moon? Hmmm...I thought so. As for me, I'm going to continue catching up on True Blood and see what happens to poor Sookie. I'm worried about her.