I like to keep the blog topical, and reasonably local – so Bram Stoker’s 165th birthday is a two birds, one stone kind of deal.
I am a huge vampire groupie. I mean, seriously. If anything has any sort of vampire in it, I am all over that. Low budget and cheesy, or cinematic masterpiece – I don’t care. And, to me, the vampire trend most definitely started with Bram Stoker’s Dracula. If you haven’t read Stoker’s most famous novel, I highly recommend that you do. Now.
Don’t worry, I’ll wait.
There. That’s better. Great, huh? Each character is multi-dimensional, well written and charming. Dracula himself, especially so. Hell, Dracula is the original sexy vampire! Mysterious, brooding and sitting on top of the property ladder, it’s understandable how the guy managed to get himself a harem of wives.
Every writer who has approached the supernatural since 1897 has been influenced by this foundation of popular culture, whether they admit it or not.
While Bram Stoker brought us the original vampire, Anne Rice had a huge part to play in how modern media approaches the subject today, as we got to see the life of a vampire, told by a vampire. Their feelings, their motivations (beyond being evil blood suckers) and their immortal loneliness…Rice gave us these insights, and the majority of vampires written/filmed/acted today work with both these great works in mind.
Alas, the day of the literary epic has passed, and we are in a time of teen chick lit, where, were vampires are concerned, Twilight rules the roost. Like I have said, I am into anything with hunks with fangs, so I can’t bring myself to hate Twilight quite as much as I should. in fact, I appreciate it, for getting so many young people reading, invested in characters from something other than Hollyoaks. However, it makes me sad that the traditional vampire character and ritual have been lost in an attempt to turn down the gore, the sexuality and limitations that come with the vampire ‘curse’.
Sparkling in the sunlight? Give me a break. You should explode in a bloody and screaming firework display.
God, I nearly forgot The Lost Boys. I’m just skimming iconic vampires here, and the ’80’s gave us an awful lot. I used to have such a thing for Corey Feldman…
The important points remain. A blood lust that they struggle to control, torn between being human and an animal, and the misery of facing an eternity alone. These are the things we know and love about vampires, the constants.
So, Happy Birthday, Bram Stoker – thanks for the icon.