My favourite type of ‘monster movie’ has been and always will be vampires.
No other monster even comes close. Not zombies, not werewolves, Godzilla, aliens, or any other other-worldly creature.
The fascination probably started when I was a child. I was rather obsessed with Death – much more so than other kids. The very idea of Death terrified me and I’d never believed in stories of heaven or anything in the bible; even at the age of five I equated Death with complete and final extinction. Very scary. I can’t pinpoint exactly when I first read or heard about vampires but I was young enough that at the time I believed they were real. And immortal! There was a Dracula-type comic book I borrowed from the library and I remember a nascent frisson when the vampire came into the bedroom of his first prey… No wonder that as a teenager I was drawn to ‘Goth’ although nobody called it that back then.
In my free time I’ve been working on a vampire novel (the screenplay is pretty much done) and working with concepts that don’t seem to be that popular right now. I’ve wanted to concentrate more on the supernatural aspects and introduce other rather esoteric elements into the overall story (there will be a sequel, possibly a trilogy) that I hope is at least somewhat original; I certainly haven’t come across this particular blend before at any rate.
Another thing I’ve been pondering more recently is vampires vs zombies. Both are hugely popular and probably always will be, though I find in mainstream culture right now both ‘genres’ have moved quite far from their origins.
Vampire hunters have become almost a genre in itself and although I wouldn’t consider myself a fan I can appreciate its appeal. I saw Buffy the Vampire Slayer when it first came out, and have since seen a couple of John Carpenter flicks, Dusk til Dawn and the various sequels, scanned several books in Google preview and most recently, saw Tim Burton’s Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter. Now while I enjoyed these films and might read some of the books I previewed I wasn’t too crazy on the vampire aspect.
In the Vampire Hunter lore I’ve read and watched (which admittedly isn’t that much), there seems to be a growing divergence between the vampires in such books and movies and fast zombies*, which I also find objectionable.
Maybe I’m a purist, or too traditional in my outlook but I just find that many of the elements that made vampires so great for me was that they were difficult to kill, highly intelligent, they were attractive, sometimes mesmerizing, and the books and movies that were true to form explored the themes of loneliness, obsession, and lost or unrequited love that I always found so compelling. Hunted vampires seem more like zombies – generic, diseased, highly infectious; a plague to be eradicated.
People are welcome to disagree with me; and suggest better films or books than I’ve come across but for now I’ll stick with the Vampire lore that has revolves around more classical story lines…
*The reason I find fast zombies objectionable is because the zombie was often a metaphor for the mindless masses and sometimes for consumerism as well. Slow moving but relentless in their assault. I don’t find anything wrong with some fast-moving diseased monster that eats people and spreads their plague but I just wish there’d be another name for them.