I Vant To Zuck Your Blurd
I recently watched 30 Days of Night. It was a horror movie with poor pacing and atmosphere, a completely unlikeable or relatable main cast, and no genuine scariness. And yet, I am so very, very glad it was made, because it gives me hope.
Hope about vampires.
Everyone loves to rag on Twilight about ‘ruining’ vampires, and yes, everything even tangentially related to Stephanie Meyer’s middle-aged Mormon mastubatory fantasy is a steaming turd. But Twilight is just an easy-to-deride poster boy for an overall trend – vampires as pussies. Of the first seven Google Image search results for ‘vampires’, five are outstandingly pretty people wearing too much eyeliner, and only one actually shows any biting (it’s a sexy bite). True Blood, the Vampire Diaries, Anne Rice’s entire oeuvre – they unanimously portray bloodsucking fiends as more womanly than a tampon fashioned from rolled-up OK magazines. If a woman even touches a modern vampire it qualifies as lesbian sex. A vampire’s bite is no longer a hazard, a weapon or a feeding tool – it’s a sexual metaphor, a lover’s kiss, and the only way a man can show you that he truly understands you, and can take you to a world beyond the dark, pointless confines of an American teenager’s horribly mundane life.
Not vampires. Also, my search history is now horribly tainted.
It’s the death throes of monsters as they’re meant to be.
That upsets me.
Vampires are driven by a constant compulsion to maim and kill; they spread like a virus, and they are superhuman enough to endanger the human race as a whole. That is not a character archetype you use as an object for the carnal desires of trembling teenage girls. That is something you film murdering, being murdered and having fucking awesome fight scenes.
Soap opera, angsty love-drama is encroaching onto horror territory like genital mould on my Johnson.
You see, I’m an adolescent male who spends an absurd amount of time enjoying and over-analysing pop culture instead of acquiring, say, a job or friends. As such, you can trust me when I say that vampires can (and still do) be used in good movies or TV, as actual effective monsters, even (if you’re very careful) as protagonists or love interests. But if you’re going to tread that line, you have to remember a few key rules, which can be summed up the following mantra:
- VAMPIRES ARE MONSTERS.
- YOU ARE A HORROR WRITER.
- DON’T BE A FUCKING PUSSY.
You can follow these rules and still use vampires as something other than scary mindless animals. Blade was good fun, and it had a vampire protagonist. Daybreakers was freaking awesome, and it had a vampire planet! Supernatural got away with it… Even Bram Stoker’s original novel had a lot of big things to say about science, spirituaity and courage, and this was helped (rather than hindered) by the fact that his original Dracula was less Bela Lugosi and more Mummified Angry Danny Trejo.
But if you want concrete, absolute proof that you can have complex vampires as characters without raising the estrogen levels of all your viewers, look no further than Buffy and Angel (yes, I’m paying lip service to Joss Whedon again, what a surprise). If you haven’t seen either show, please do me a favour: this coming weekend, cancel all your plans and watch the first two seasons. Then try and watch another TV show without feeling let down.
In any case, those shows realized that while vampires were complex, sometimes tragic and – yes- sexual figures, that is all secondary to the fact that they are vicious superhuman cannibals, and they HATE you. Instead of building on that, today the media is attempting make vampires more sympathetic, more attractive, and more sparkly. Shit, vampires’ abilities keep increasing from ‘resistant to bullets, good at kung fu’ to ‘like Superman, but prettier’ in some deranged attempt to pre-empt any attempt at actually fighting them. “Can’t beat ‘em, might as well fuck ‘em” seems to be the reasoning here – while that may work for the American prison system, the French military and your mother’s method of paying excessive bills, it is not a viable strategy for dealing with a genocidal subspecies. And I’m not a father, but we probably shouldn’t be encouraging our teenager girls to lust only after people with a constant urge to murder them.
Vampire movies or TV series should not centre around the emotional, romantic and physical struggles of vampires. I should not watch True Blood and see the sordid love lives of beings that, if I remember my high school biology correctly, should not have the bloodflow to attain an erection. I should not watch the Vampire Diaries and see the struggles of vampires to fit in to a modern high school, overcome their tragic inner demons (but not enough to lose that bad boy allure), occasionally have half-hearted handbag-fights with other vampires for poorly explained reasons and engage in what, honestly, is paedophilia (he’s a century old!). What I should see is a race of inimical, monstrous once-humans with poor table manners, and the struggles of humanity to wipe them the fuck out.
Even media that focuses on fighting over French-kissing (Underworld, I’m looking at you) screws up the fine art of having a vampire protagonist. Now while you can get away with this (see above re: Daybreakers, Blade, Angel), it’s tricky. Normally a film that focuses on the lives, romantic or otherwise, of the cartoonishly evil villains is the outlandish exception rather than the norm – most World War II games tend to focus on rugged Allied war heroes rather than The Misadventures of Hitler’s Boner. It’s not that I’m averse to seeing Kate Beckinsale in a leather corset – it’s just that I prefer my women to not be serial killers.
We never made this mistake with zombies, even though both monsters are cannibalistic, pathogenic undead. Zombie movies are never about the fragile emotional state of Graarrrggh McRaaaarrrrgh. Of course, fantasizing about fucking zombies is both highly disturbing and physiologically unsanitary… Vampires are getting the ‘protagonist’ treatment because they’re fuckable.
Yeah, of course. The entire course of the horror genre is being determined by the same hormonal urges that has turned Tiger Woods into the respected public figure he is today.
This is a call to arms – not just for vampires, but for every red-blooded, American monster that believes in the cause of liberty. Throw off the shackles of Nina Dobrev’s PG-rated embrace! Take your sparkly skin, dark gothic eyeliner and hamster-sized eyebrows, and replace them with the BLOOD OF YOUR FOES, smeared over your bodies! Stop whining, stop fighting each other over who’s the least faithful to your original lore… for the love of Nosferatu, stop fucking and get over here… so we can have ourselves some quality entertainment. Or at the very least, some sweet-ass fight scenes.