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  1.  (4328.1)
    @johnjones

    Puppets who kill had it's moments, it was funny more often then not. Back when I had no internet I watched most of the series in it's first run on the Canadian channel that produced it.
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      CommentAuthoroddbill
    • CommentTimeDec 15th 2008
     (4328.2)
    All of these vampires, and nobody has yet mentioned Peter Watts' hard science fiction take on them from his novel Blindsight. They are the scariest take on vampires I've read in a long time. A lost branch of hominids that evolved to prey on other hominids in the late stone age era, omnisavant natural sociopaths, reconstructed from dna traces and foolishly employed by the government/pharmaceutical industry.

    Really surprisingly plausible. For instance, just watch this fake pharmaceutical industry slideshow he put together to describe the concept while still writing the book. It's about 20 minutes of brilliant, amusing and scary science fiction.
  2.  (4328.3)
    Okay, so I just caught up to this thread, but have to respond to earlier comments.

    @Justineger - LARP ruins V:tM for a lot of people, so that makes sense, I'm sorry it went that way for you. I find tabletop is more useful for actual storycrafting anyway, avoid LARP at all costs.

    Forever Knight was one of my favorite shows growing up. I keep trying to get a copy of each season, but they're rather pricey. I loved Natalie in particular, but I doubt the show will hold up now that I'm an adult, oh well.

    As for vampires folklore vs. "modern vampires" - I think what we really could use is the modern without the perfection. My favorite concept of vampire is the clever preditor with a human mind, animal instincts, and a few supernatural capabilities (not a lot, and not flashy). When people try to add sex appeal (other than the natural attraction to danger that some feel), things go bad, as with the angst and romanticism. I feel that the folklore was great for the time, because it was believed, I doubt it would feel right for a modern audience. Of course, vampires like in Twilight, Anita Blake, and many other modern series, are just a walking metaphor for the "dangerous guy", the bad boy, the guy from the "wrong side of the tracks". It has nothing to do with horror and everything to do with romance, forbidden love.

    I really quite enjoyed the novel series that White Wolf published for V:tM, the Clan Novels, and the anthology at the end. In particular, the vampires who interacted with humans pretended to have a conscience, humanity, but in the end were nothing like that. Hesha Ruhadze, Follower of Set, hired a woman for a research project, romanced her, and in the end
    turned her into a vampire, chained her up, and left her for the sun.
    (slightly non-spoiler version: not only screwed her over, but in such a cold hearted way it was unbelievable, and awesome) It was so great to read because he was totally believable to her (most of the time) but you got to see inside his head and watch him when he wasn't with her. She was a useful tool.

    I think what I'm getting at is Vampires should be disturbing characters, but not horror monsters, and NOT romantic objects. In my opinion.
    • CommentAuthorOddcult
    • CommentTimeDec 19th 2008
     (4328.4)
    'Let the Right One In' was a damn fine film. Just seen it today. Proper classic vampire mythology, but utterly modern. Is the book worth a read, given that I've seen the film?
    • CommentAuthormlpeters
    • CommentTimeDec 19th 2008 edited
     (4328.5)
    @Indigo Rose
    "Forever Knight was one of my favorite shows growing up."

    A '90s show? Drive a stake through my ancient heart, why don'tcha?

    When I were a lad of 5 or 6 years old, I remember pulling up the collar of my jacket, draped cape like over my shoulders, playing Barnabas Collins, the vampire protagonist from Dark Shadows, with a neighbor girl playing... I forget who Barnabas' love interest was. The show was actually slightly before my time (it ended the year I was born), but was re-run during the golden age of US TV syndication known as the mid-late '70s. I suspect that show has something to do with my interest in things Gothic and supernatural -- an early formative influence, for better or worse.

    "but I doubt the show will hold up now that I'm an adult"

    There's no way Dark Shadows holds up -- I haven't seen it since I dunno... 1978, or so.
  3.  (4328.6)
    @Oddcult: "Proper classic vampire mythology"" Does it have vampires with red faces who look like they're inflated with blood? Are they created from people who lived wicked lives, or who were unbaptized or born with teeth or a caul over their faces, rather than being infected by other vampires? Do they turn into animals, and to kill them you have to stake them, cut off their heads, stuff their mouths with garlic, and bury them face-down?

    No?

    Then it's not classic vampire mythology.

    ;-)

    (Sorry. I'm a stickler for such things.)
    • CommentAuthorOddcult
    • CommentTimeDec 20th 2008
     (4328.7)
    @Brandon.

    Yes. Very good.

    What I meant is that it have the 'forget everything you think you know about vampires' line, which so many films have, when trying to establish their 'rules' and without ever actually stating them outright it does stick to the rules everyone 'thinks they know'.
    • CommentAuthorpoor_boy
    • CommentTimeDec 20th 2008
     (4328.8)
    I feel kind of silly bringing this up...has anybody mentioned The Hunger yet? Sorry for the lack of detail, but I haven't watched that for years.

    I loved how the younger vampire had that little knife hidden in his necklace. His co-stars were impressive as well.
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      CommentAuthorkimieye
    • CommentTimeDec 20th 2008
     (4328.9)
    @ Brandon

    thank you , the Vampire mythology most of us grow up with is the Bram Stoker variety. But Vampirism is many different things to many different people all over the world, every culture has a different vampire.

    @ Indigo Rose
    I don't think anyone injects sexuality into vampires it's part of the myths, Incubi and succubi for example.
  4.  (4328.10)
    As Brandon was mentioning, the original vampires were men who became monsters, quite horrific and not sexy at all. It may not be a brand new addition to the vampire genre, but it also wasn't the original idea.

    That said, I have no problem with the idea that a vampire can use desire as a tool, quite the opposite. My problem is with all the books out there that have the vampire-as-sex-object character turn out to be a good romantic fixation, instead of unhealthy to an extreme. Edward, Jean Claude, and their ilke drive me crazy. "I'm a monster, but I still love you, would never want to hurt you, you young fragile thing. I'll protect you, but I may accidentaly hurt you, oh the angst." -or the sexy bad boy, who ends up saving the lead female. Bah!
  5.  (4328.11)
    Aren't Incubi and Succubi demons? Granted, Vampires are often considered demons, but I'm pretty sure they are different breeds, since the only thing they have in common is preying upon humans in some disturbing fashion. (and unnaturally cold lower appendages)
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      CommentAuthorFinagle
    • CommentTimeDec 20th 2008
     (4328.12)
    Reading through this whole thread made my hindbrain barf up Tujiro, the Kabuki vampire from Grendel - Devil's Legacy. Tujiro had some of the cold, shark-like animalism that some have been referring to as missing.

    If the series were being done now undoubtedly there would have been a romantic subplot between him and Christine Spar. I miss the old Comico.
  6.  (4328.13)
    As far as vampires and desire goes, there were certain vampires "species" in folklore that were pretty damn horny, and others who would use sex appeal to lure you someplace secluded so they could kill you. But for the most part, they were just rotting corpses.

    (And though incubi and succubi are frequently thrown in with vampires — that is, the blood-drinking undead — they were very different creatures. They weren't undead, they'd never been human, and they fed on your breath rather than your blood.)

    @Oddcult: I figured that was what you meant — but I felt the need to be pedantic.

    @kimieye: And here's me being pedantic again — technically, the vampires we grew up with were the Revised Bram Stoker kinds. Bram Stoker's actual story didn't have things like vampires being vulnerable to sunlight or turning into bats, and Dracula was a pretty unappealing guy with hair on the backs of his hands and fetid breath.

    @Indigo Rose: That's exactly the problem I have with lustful vampires, too — the lionization of rotting corpses who'd rape their widows into tragic, good-hearted heroes. I'm not a fan of that trend.
  7.  (4328.14)
    @ Stygmata
    re: Tujiro:
    You beat me. Tujiro scared me when he first appeared, and was even creepier when he came back later in the series. "Grendel" is still the best thing Matt Wagner has done.

    I thought "Interview With the Vampire" was fun enough, and "The Vampire Lestat" was a blast... but then the Rice thing got pretty old pretty fast.
    "'Salem's Lot" is hella fun. King spends the first third of the book setting up a small town soap opera... then the last 2/3 sending it straight to hell.
    Dan Simmons has an interesting take in "Children of the Night".

    I guess, to me, the vampire legend is so old and so big that it can contain several interpretations comfortably. I think the vampire is the receptacle of the "sins" that we secretly find a little attractive, all the things that human societies have found evil at one time or another, over thousands of years. What's interesting then is what that means in recent times, when some of those old sins- like sex- are not seen as necessarily evil... at least rationally. Not to get too Freudian about it. To me, the best vampire I've read (and seen, in the adaptation) is Hannibal Lecter. Not technically a vampire, but he really kind of is- a serial killing cannibal. And he's smart, cultured, charming... cool. We like him, even knowing what he is, and it disturbs us.
    Finally, from earlier in the thread, I always liked the old vampire OCD. There was something very inhuman, very bizarre about that. I always found it a bit creepy.
    Back to Lurkland.
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      CommentAuthorFinagle
    • CommentTimeDec 20th 2008
     (4328.15)
    @Brandon -

    There's a lot to be said about the figuration of vampires and desire and how that's all evolved historically. My assumption always was that it had to do with the social anxiety around the rise of gay culture - as if Anne Rice didn't make this explicit. Pleasure and danger, linked through the blood. And now that trope has been so totally hollowed out and rendered toothless (heh) that the figuration has been brought around 180 degrees to represent chastity, fidelity and heterosexual union (Twilight). How can the beautiful immortal youth represent pleasure, danger and angst in an age of Will and Grace?
    • CommentAuthorOddcult
    • CommentTimeDec 20th 2008 edited
     (4328.16)
    Bram Stoker's actual story didn't have things like vampires being vulnerable to sunlight or turning into bats, and Dracula was a pretty unappealing guy with hair on the backs of his hands and fetid breath.


    To be pedantic again, Dracula turned into both a wolf and a bat, and whilst not destroyed by sunlight, he was weakened by it. And he was only unappealing at the start. Before leaving Transylvania he stole a baby and drank its blood which is what made him appear younger.

    In the first edition of the text, he takes Harker's suit and wears it when stealing the baby, then when its mother comes to the castle, she sees Harker in the suit and blames him instead of Dracula. Which is pretty retarded really. So I'm not sure if the version you may have read mentions the 'drinking babies blood to become young and good looking again' bit, as I know the 'nicking Harker's suit' bit was excised in later editions, but it was in there.
    • CommentAuthormlpeters
    • CommentTimeDec 20th 2008
     (4328.17)
    @ Brandon
    Plenty of ancient vampire lore leaves out the actual blood drinking too, so the connection to incubi and succubi is perhaps more relevant than would first appear. Plenty of deaths where people just whithered and died (like from non-visible cancers) with no bite marks or anything like that, were blamed on vampires... and any strangers in town at such an unfortunate time would likely be denounced as the vampire.

    There's no one accepted version of what constitutes a vampire, even if you confine the folklore to one region (like Eastern Europe, where many, but not all vampire legends originate), so I'm not sure how you can be a "stickler".

    "...unappealing guy with hair on the backs of his hands "
    Wait... you don't have any hair on the back of your hands? I think we might have a non-mammal on the board... thought I smelled something fishy...:) Might "Brandon Cyphered" be the screen name of one Abraham Sapien?

    @Stygmata
    I think the gay subtext is a Victorian (so relatively modern) invention -- and not really full fledged, but more a symbol of fashionable decadence and Byronic Romanticism. Vampire legends likely stem more from cancer and rabies than sexuality.
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      CommentAuthorFinagle
    • CommentTimeDec 20th 2008
     (4328.18)
    @mlpeters

    That's what I meant by the 'evolution' of the vampire figuration. It really illustrates how a cultural trope can be repeatedly reinterpreted to reflect current social interests/anxieties, regardless of the 'original' interpretation or origin of the myth. That's what makes /Twilight/ so interesting from a literary-critical standpoint - the dangerous, gay Rice vampire interpretation gets turned around and spit out through the lens of the Mormon heterosexual family unit.
    • CommentAuthormlpeters
    • CommentTimeDec 20th 2008
     (4328.19)
    @Stygmata
    The very idea of Mormon versions of vampires is either extremely fucked up or ripe for humor...

    At least we aren't apt to see Amish vampires... all that "early to bed, early to rise" stuff doesn't lend itself to creatures of the night.

    I liked Anne Rice's first vampire book and the others less and less -- and her imitators hardly at all. I did like her mythologizing of vampires(the whole Egyptian "Queen of the Damned" bit), but I'm a sucker for mythology.

    I forgot to mention a minor take on vampires I found extremely amusing -- Alan Moore and Steve Parkhouse's Bojeffries Saga had a vampire who spoke in... I think a modified Cyrillic text to imply Transylvania or Eastern Europe... and who could be hurt by hot crossed buns, among other things.
  8.  (4328.20)
    @Oddcult — Hmm. A number of vampire scholars are under the impression that Dracula's winged form in the original story was described as bird- or lizard-like, and that bats weren't associated with Dracula in the public mind until the 1920s-30s theatrical production starring Bela Lugosi — but searching the 1897 edition of Dracula on Project Gutenberg shows a couple of references to bats that were evidently Dracula transformed. So it looks like I was wrong about that. I'll have to do more reading up on that.

    (Maybe they were referring to theatrical and film adaptations that predated Lugosi's Dracula? I dunno.)