LET’S TALK ABOUT VAMPIRES! I’ve always been fascinated by and interested in vampires, but I didn’t actually become full-blown obsessed with them until around about last year when I decided to write vampire stories for my unviersity dissertation and did a ton of research. And by research I mean watching a crapton of vampire movies and picking apart the way that they’re portrayed. Watching movies does too count as research, shush. Anyways, I assume that most people who have a love for a certain kind of fictional creature have their favourites, so I here I’ve compiled a short list of mine. Because there are two things in life that I love: lists and vampires. So a list about vampires is just the best thing ever.
[INSERT CLICHÉ ABOUT HOW NO LIST ABOUT VAMPIRES IS COMPLETE WITHOUT MENTIONING DRACULA] Here’s the thing about the original Dracula novel that makes the character so interesting: you barely see him at all and very little is known about him. Dracula is such a mysterious person that it makes him so much scarier than he has come to be in more recent times with the countless adaptations there have been. I do still think that Dracula can be scary depending on how he’s portrayed, as Gary Oldman showed back in the 90s. Although I do have a very soft spot for Bela Lugosi.
I can sense so many eyebrows being raised right now, but here me out. As strange as it sounds, I love Sesame Street even as an adult, and the Count is one of my favourite characters. And for me, that’s the strange part because I hate anything to do with numbers and this character teaches youngins how to count (we all know about Sesame Street so there’s no need for me to explain this). Anyways, what I like about the Count is not only is he a vampire, he’s a vampire who actually has an incredibly traditional characteristic of vampires, which is an impulsive need to count things (or arithmomania, if you want to be technical about it). Did you know that? I did, and now I have something to be smug about. Also, he’s pretty adorable, as all Muppets are.
I feel like I should preface this choice with a mini rant: I don’t mind the Twilight vampires all that much. Yes, the sparkling thing is pretty silly, but just because they do doesn’t mean that every single vampire created for the rest of time will do the same thing. Vampires are incredibly versatile, you can do whatever you want with them as long as they’re dead people who drink blood, human or not. Some of them go out into bright sunlight and are fine, some of them burst into flame in just a little crack, but those vampires who can face sunlight are still vampires, just the same as Twilight vampires are still vampires even though they sparkle. Also, vampires in high school doesn’t have to be a realistic situation. In the fictionalised words of Edward D. Wood, as portrayed as Johnny Depp: “haven’t you people ever heard of suspension of disbelief?” Okay, rant over.
I’m not really into Twilight, but when I was, Carlisle was my favourite character. I’m not sure why but maybe it’s because at the time he was such an unconventional vampire (obviously the entire Cullen clan is made up of unconventionally-friendly vampires, but Carlisle moreso) and also because he’s a doctor. I like doctors (as long as they’re not my GP, but that’s not something I’m going to get into here). Also, in the movies, he was pretty damn fine. Peter Facinelli is one good looking dude.
I know that Mr. Burns was only a vampire in one non-canon part of one episode, but Burns makes for a perfect vampire, don’t you think? He doesn’t care much for other people, he pretends to get to know other people only to tear them down, and the most important person to him is himself. Perfect vampire material, so it only makes sense for him to be a vampire in a ToH segment. Especially with Gary Oldman’s look at the beginning of Bram Stoker’s Dracula.
Oh, look, another hot guy. We’re all in agreement that Colin Farrell is gorgeous, right? I really hope so. I haven’t seen the original Fright Night so I can’t really comment on the original version of Jerry, but I do love how this vampire seems virtually indestructible. Obviously there are plenty of weaknesses vampires have that writers can pick and choose from (I always say that as long as they’re dead people who drink blood, you’re good to go) but to see one that is immune to nearly all of the more traditional and well-known ways of killing a vampire, is pretty frightening. However, I don’t think I’d let him bite me because his pure vampire face isn’t that nice.
I personally don’t think that there are enough female vampires in fiction, even though there are people who will disagree with me on that. The problem that I have with female vampires is that they are almost always extremely sexual and there’s not a lot that’s done with them. Despite that, I do like Lucy as a character because she shows how gradual becoming a vampire can be. So many things show that people can turn into vampires almost instantly, but with Lucy it happens so gradually with not just her body changing but her personality too. I won’t bore you with an analysis of her language and all that crap because this blog isn’t an academic thing, but seeing her change from being a bubbly socialite into a sensual creature that feeds on children is pretty fascinating.
I’ve only seen this movie once, but it did leave a big impression on me in terms of how vampires can be done. One of the main ideas that I’d taken from this movie in my vampire stories is the idea of a “head vampire” that controls all of the others and that when the head vampire is killed, all of their victims will return to normal. That’s pretty damn creative, and so are all the ways that the vampires are defeated. But anyways, David: he’s played by Kiefer Sutherland and wears cool clothes. He has good taste in aesthetics, so that’s a plus on my vampire checklist.
This movie gives me life it is so damn good. Tom Hiddleston as a reclusive rock-star vampires? Um, yes please. I love the aesthetic of Only Lovers Left Alive and its characters, to the point that I wish I could look like them. Specifically Adam, who shares almost the same aesthetic as me and I wish I could be a female version of. Serious goals right there. What I love about Adam is that he has such a deadpan and cynical outlook on life but at the same time manages to find beauty in music, art, and even his surroundings. Also that kind of bohemian lifestyle of appreciating art and literature is the life I aspire to, but unfortunately, I’m not immortal or insanely rich so I couldn’t do that. Oh well.
What’s your favourite kind of fictional creature? Do you have any favourite characters that are said creature? And if you write: would you ever write about non-human characters?