They are sexy, fun, cruel, hungry, fashionable, deadly, soulless and everywhere. The big question about vampires is how they went from being the one-note figures of nightmares to being the complex characters of desire and dreams.
If you read Bram Stoker’s classic, you’ll be surprised. The subtext is fear of female sexuality and the nightmare is that the young women will be lured from their safe, and chaste, lives by this other worldly creature of the night. When the hero is sent on a business trip to visit the monstrous villain (yes, a true business trip from hell) he’s subjected to the seductions of Dracula’s ‘wives.’
By the time Buffy came along to slay, and lay, vampires in one of the best TV shows of recent years, vampires were sexy bad boys. What happened in-between?
Anne Rice’s Interview with a Vampire (and the subsequent film), Catherine Deneuve in The Hunger, the rise of funny vampires (like Love at First Bite) and, eventually, Charlaine Harris’s True Blood paranormal romances and the HBO TV show that has brought her undead to life and permanently altered our idea of vampires.
The Twilight series of books and movies made vampires into teen heartthrobs and I don’t think there’s a chance that vampires, in general, will ever be un-sexy — while being undead — again. One exception, there’s always an exception or two in vampire-land, is the child vampire in the Swedish Let the Right One In — I was so terrified by the first film, I skipped the U.S. remake.
I’ve read paranormal romances and urban fantasies featuring vampires on reality TV shows, in detective agencies and as undead matchmakers.
So, who is YOUR favorite vampire? Do you like Spike or Angel from the Buffy series? Bill or Eric from True Blood? Do you have a crush on Edward from Twilight? Chime in, or put a stake into the discussion.