How Society Defanged The Vampire

 Pages 1 2 NEXT
 

How Society Defanged The Vampire

Are bloodsuckers losing their mystique? As Halloween approaches at the end of this month, Robert looks at the vampire and what it has become.

Read Full Article

Eh, let them fade away and be replaced by something new. Christ, anything new.

One of my gripes with vampires (and similar monsters), is that despite not existing, they are easily recognisable, with rules that are set in stone (sparkling vampires are bad because it's a bad idea, not because it's "raping the mythos" or somesuch nonsense).

Mind you, zombies have it worse. Nothing like zombies have ever existed, and yet everyone recognises them. But whenever they are created out of nowhere in a movie, they follow the same rather silly rules (for some reason) and nobody in the story knows what they are (for some reason). There are exceptions, of course, but they are exceptions.

I remember my grandfather's funeral. I knew he was dead and he wouldn't move, but when I looked at his corpse, I had the unsettling feeling that he was going to open his eyes and sit up in any minute. No videogame I have played has been creepier than that real-life moment.

RIP gramps.

Let the Right One In also seemed to present the modern day vampire as kind of a drifter/homeless -- someone for whom there is no place left in the world. It actually made being a vampire seem more like a curse, with the inability to enter any building that housed people unless invited, and only being able to consume blood and nothing else.

thaluikhain:
Eh, let them fade away and be replaced by something new. Christ, anything new.

One of my gripes with vampires (and similar monsters), is that despite not existing, they are easily recognisable, with rules that are set in stone (sparkling vampires are bad because it's a bad idea, not because it's "raping the mythos" or somesuch nonsense).

Mind you, zombies have it worse. Nothing like zombies have ever existed, and yet everyone recognises them. But whenever they are created out of nowhere in a movie, they follow the same rather silly rules (for some reason) and nobody in the story knows what they are (for some reason). There are exceptions, of course, but they are exceptions.

Well, that's the thing: virtually NO vampire rule bar "They drink blood" is set in stone. The sun? Dracula could give it middle fingers all day. Religious symbols? Blade vampires don't give a fuck. Neither of those are scary for Kain and his lieutenants, but water on the other hand is his acid. Night Watch and Let the Right One In vampires have to be invited to enter people's homes, while most just ignore it. Is it silver that works against them (weird export from Werewolf mythos) or iron like in Supernatural? How do you kill them? Is just a stake in the heart enough or you should also cut their head off, put it upside down in their corpse and throw the coffin into the river? What kind of abilities they have? Vampires endure because they have little to no clear ruleset.

thaluikhain:
Eh, let them fade away and be replaced by something new. Christ, anything new.

One of my gripes with vampires (and similar monsters), is that despite not existing, they are easily recognisable, with rules that are set in stone (sparkling vampires are bad because it's a bad idea, not because it's "raping the mythos" or somesuch nonsense).

Mind you, zombies have it worse. Nothing like zombies have ever existed, and yet everyone recognises them. But whenever they are created out of nowhere in a movie, they follow the same rather silly rules (for some reason) and nobody in the story knows what they are (for some reason). There are exceptions, of course, but they are exceptions.

I dunno, I kinda like there being a (somewhat) consistent, public mythos that stretches across works of art from countless authors and artists. I see no problem with people using vampires, and continuing to use vampires, just as I see no problem with people using dwarves, or werwolves, or mummies. They're a stable of the genre. Detective novels have femme fatales and incompetent police forces. Scci-fi novels have space travel and aliens. Fantasy has vampires and elves. You can still do interesting things with them and keep in with the mythology. And you can still tell an interesting story with absolutely boring vampires. I don't see anything wrong with them.

thaluikhain:
Eh, let them fade away and be replaced by something new. Christ, anything new.

One of my gripes with vampires (and similar monsters), is that despite not existing, they are easily recognisable, with rules that are set in stone (sparkling vampires are bad because it's a bad idea, not because it's "raping the mythos" or somesuch nonsense).

Mind you, zombies have it worse. Nothing like zombies have ever existed, and yet everyone recognises them. But whenever they are created out of nowhere in a movie, they follow the same rather silly rules (for some reason) and nobody in the story knows what they are (for some reason). There are exceptions, of course, but they are exceptions.

Are you quite sure that "nothing like zombies has ever existed"? Because the whole point of this article is that vampires, zombies, werewolves and all that exist. As a symbol of our very real fears.

Why do you think zombie movies became so popular recently? In this society of huge toxic cities where we meet hundreds of people walking on the street, but never talk to them?

I must say, in any caqse, that I really enjoyed this article. It's nothing that I didn't already imagine, but it's pleasant to see it written on paper (well... on screen)!

I think in order to be anywhere near scary people would have to somehow eliminate Sexy Cosplay, eternal youth, & the other sexual aspects. In todays society Vampires have become this odd way of accepting at least fictional necrophilia.

The whole being bitten to become a vampire would also have to be removed. Instead maybe a pact one would make with devils. And even then these devils would only be interested in people who were wealthy during their lives. So most people couldn't be given the offer to become a vampire. Especially if they were poor.

"Corporations are Vampires, my friend." Although that might be a shift from scary to offensive. Still on some level that's financially scary. And that wouldn't prevent some people from finding power sexy.

....

Oh well back to The Food Network! There's this giant on it that has an amazing way to make bread!

Focusing strictly on the sex metaphor, I've always felt they represented rape and predatory tendencies in lieu of actual emotion, their being physically dead but in human form a kind of illusion of love and human intimacy that gives way to, since we're talking blood here, feral interactions that corrupts a live-creating act. I believe the older incarnations involve hypnotism and that you had to voluntarily invite one to be with you for them to get close. Plus, they're often charming, regal, sophisticated men or sexually drenched succubae, something that (at least in the stereotypes) attracts the opposite sex. I think a major reason vampires have lost their...bite is because we are not only more open about sex but have begun supporting sexual independence. I think it happened in something like Vampire Diaries (heard about it only), but the predatory aspect kind of fades when someone WANTS to be turned - it's a shift in the power dynamic.

I like the note from the article that we've lost a lot of our fear because of the religious nature of vampires and we're just not that religious anymore.

So, use them in other ways: The Strain treats vampirism like a virus/parasite plague we fear in the Ebola laden times, though

RealRT:

Is just a stake in the heart enough or you should also cut their head off, put it upside down in their corpse and throw the coffin into the river? What kind of abilities they have? Vampires endure because they have little to no clear ruleset.

In, I think, Dracula 2000, they determine Dracula is actually THE Judas and susceptible to religious symbolism and silver (as he sold Jesus out for Silver). But they don't tend to have clear rule sets. In the Strain, they are different acting and looking than any vampire I've ever heard of

But I do love when they mix old wives tails into a movie.

Another recent Dracula: throw some handfuls of corn around a vampire. He has to count each kernel and the hope is, it takes him so long the sun rises before he can finish and it will kill him. (They cheat in the movie and he counts them super fast. The trick barely slows him down).

EDIT: In Bram Stoker's Dracula, they don't even put a wooden stake in his heart. He's stabbed with a bowie knife. And, "Harker shears Dracula through the throat with a kukri"

Other old view of Vampires: they are literally animated corpses. They don't burst into flames in sunlight: they just rot faster than they would in the dank dark. And they're not super skinny and pale. They ruddy and fat, like a full Tick.

Watching the Strain, I think there's a lot of room left for these guys to still be scary.

Gorfias:

In, I think, Dracula 2000, they determine Dracula is actually THE Judas and susceptible to religious symbolism and silver (as he sold Jesus out for Silver). But they don't tend to have clear rule sets. In the Strain, they are different acting and looking than any vampire I've ever heard of

But I do love when they mix old wives tails into a movie.

Another recent Dracula: throw some handfuls of corn around a vampire. He has to count each kernel and the hope is, it takes him so long the sun rises before he can finish and it will kill him. (They cheat in the movie and he counts them super fast. The trick barely slows him down).

EDIT: In Bram Stoker's Dracula, they don't even put a wooden stake in his heart. He's stabbed with a bowie knife. And, "Harker shears Dracula through the throat with a kukri"

Other old view of Vampires: they are literally animated corpses. They don't burst into flames in sunlight: they just rot faster than they would in the dank dark. And they're not super skinny and pale. They ruddy and fat, like a full Tick.

Watching the Strain, I think there's a lot of room left for these guys to still be scary.

Actually the one about counting is a very old one.

I like Stephen King's Salem's Lot vampires - those (except for their Dracula-like patriarch) are basically animals that talk only to lure their victims in.

Saetha:
I dunno, I kinda like there being a (somewhat) consistent, public mythos that stretches across works of art from countless authors and artists. I see no problem with people using vampires, and continuing to use vampires, just as I see no problem with people using dwarves, or werwolves, or mummies. They're a stable of the genre. Detective novels have femme fatales and incompetent police forces. Scci-fi novels have space travel and aliens. Fantasy has vampires and elves. You can still do interesting things with them and keep in with the mythology. And you can still tell an interesting story with absolutely boring vampires. I don't see anything wrong with them.

Agreed. Using staples like elves and dragons is evocative of the fantasy genre, and a story that focuses on the characters and their adventure can still be compelling if it doesn't attempt to be an original setting. Using genre staples can be a useful shorthand: viewers will have expectations when they see sword-wielding heroes in a tavern, so exposition is not needed to understand their world.

The way I see it, the vampire isn't so much ''defanged'' as it is yet another thing subject to being sanitized/romanticized/whatever-you-wanna-call-it by people who find certain aspects of them appealing while ignoring or ironing out the aspects that were meant to be seen as cautionary (don't know if that's the right word).

See also: pirates and gangsters.

I wouldn't worry all that much. We have The Reluctant Dragon, but we also have Smaug. We've got Edward Cullen, sure, but we also have Daybreakers' take on vampires. For every literary or cinematographic current that's going to focus on using the vampire as a metaphor for the outsider or the outcast, we'll still have other projects that will find ways to use it as a marker of existential dread. Disease, war profiteering and corporate hegemony really are the new existential evils of the 21st century, when you think about it.

I figure Dracula needs to ogle the White House and use Western society's remaining fears of class-based or race-based discrimination to push a vampire-led modern war. We'd have a perfect metaphor and call-back to the military-industrial complex, which is itself a political and military "vampire" of sorts.

RealRT:

Actually the one about counting is a very old one.

That's why I was so pleased to see it in a movie, except, then they cheat by having him count super fast. First time I'd heard of it was in black and white Vampira magazine around 1976 in summer camp. It had about a dozen other old wives tales about vampires.

I like Stephen King's Salem's Lot vampires - those (except for their Dracula-like patriarch) are basically animals that talk only to lure their victims in.

The book or the show(s) (original and a remake)? Might get it on books on tape if the book is what is advisable.

Gorfias:

The book or the show(s) (original and a remake)? Might get it on books on tape if the book is what is advisable.

I wholeheartedly recommend you the book. The shows... well, they are not worth it.

RealRT:

Gorfias:

The book or the show(s) (original and a remake)? Might get it on books on tape if the book is what is advisable.

I wholeheartedly recommend you the book. The shows... well, they are not worth it.

I just listened to a clip at audible.com. Sounds great! I've 2/7 of The Saga of Seven Suns books left to listen to, then this! Thanks for the referral.

Reading this article got my mind firing on how to "re-fang" the vampire, so to speak, as a horror figure for the modern world. It's taking off from the corporate greed bleeding the world dry aspect of Daybreakers, going around towards the more classic singular monster terrorizing a town with modern fears and concerns and it's starting to get pretty fun. I was thinking of naming him Baron Munchausen but forgot they already made a movie with a character by that name. Still, feels like its coming together nicely.

Perhaps vampires should give way to a mythical creature that speaks to the fears of modern society?

I propose: The Feminazi. An evil seductress who works behind the scenes, pulling strings and warping the world into the image she desires. There's nowhere her claws can't reach, even some of the men who she victimizes will be drawn to kneel at her side. These thralls are known only as the "White Knights".

Her victims aren't just people, she feeds on the quality of the media. Through her influence media will be forced to feature capable female characters who're beholden to no man and minorities as protagonists (legends of the Feminazi overlap frequently with those of the Social Justice Wights). Hollywood writers touched by her inevitably take their own lives, unable to live with the horror of the monstrosities their hands have wrought.

She speaks lies of the virtue of men, poisoning the masses against them. With a mere point of her finger, she'll incite a vicious mob to bring about their ruin.

Those who bear her sign (a uterus) will be bestowed with gifts and boons, the right to which they have none. The jobs of more qualified man are forfeit to the unqualified bearers of the uterus. Society will collapse under their untrained hands and her evil desires shall finally be sated.

However, every great villain needs opposition, and there is none nobler than the Feminazi's. A secret society, lurking in the shadows rallying forces against Her. To the world, they do not exist, but in the wake of a Feminazi they will raise their standards emblazoned with their sign: "M. R. A.". Yes, I speak of the fabled Patriarchy. Whenever a Feminazi rises to power they shall meet her and put the foul beast in its place.

Also, I heard someone in another thread say that Social Justice Wights terrify them, so there is already a lot of potential for horror coming from this vein

I liked Peter Watts's take on vampires.

In this age, we're wrapped up in a quest for identity and terrified of losing connections to each other. Well, vampires, since they evolved to prey on us, are incapable of connecting to each other, or to humans on an emotional level, since they're also sociopaths. So, if you want the hyperintelligence/omnisavantism/super-speed and other goodies, you also have to deal with losing your conscience, and the loneliness that will come with it.

RealRT:
Is it silver that works against them (weird export from Werewolf mythos)

The silver bullet is actually found in a lot of different places. We associate it with werewolves these days, but that probably only comes from later editions (around 1930) of stories about the Beast of Gevaudan. It also traditionally applies to witches, like in Grimm fairy tales. The root seems to come from old beliefs that silver was useful for warding against disease, as a primitive recognition that silver has some anti-microbial properties, and so came to be associated with fighting off supernatural "infections" such as witchery, lycanthropy and vampirism.

vid87:
Focusing strictly on the sex metaphor, I've always felt they represented rape and predatory tendencies in lieu of actual emotion, their being physically dead but in human form a kind of illusion of love and human intimacy that gives way to, since we're talking blood here, feral interactions that corrupts a live-creating act. I believe the older incarnations involve hypnotism and that you had to voluntarily invite one to be with you for them to get close. Plus, they're often charming, regal, sophisticated men or sexually drenched succubae, something that (at least in the stereotypes) attracts the opposite sex. I think a major reason vampires have lost their...bite is because we are not only more open about sex but have begun supporting sexual independence. I think it happened in something like Vampire Diaries (heard about it only), but the predatory aspect kind of fades when someone WANTS to be turned - it's a shift in the power dynamic.

There's a lot to what you're saying. Seduction isn't looked down upon anymore, and love is no longer required for sex. The amazing thing to me is that this is supposedly progressive - modern feminism for example celebrates women seducing men as representing "female empowerment", not as something terribly wrong on a basic moral level. Modern feminism doesn't seem to care or maybe even to understand that sex between people who don't love each other is traumatic, and degrades the people regardless of whether those people are sufficiently in touch with their own feelings to notice or whether they've been convinced by a pro-seduction society into believing it's right.

Back when seduction was deemed immoral, Vampires were symbols of that very immorality. That was WHY they had to hide in the shadows, have secret societies, and the like - because seduction was not permitted in society.

The way modern feminists would have it, sex has no emotional, relational, or psycho-chemical involvement whatsoever - it amounts to "getting your rocks off", it's merely a more pleasurable alternative to masturbation. The sex partner is, at least while he or she is in bed, not a human being at all, as pornography shows - he or she is a tool who gives you pleasure.

The underlying message of the Twilight series and why they appeal so much to young, pro-seduction people is that vampires are integrating into society. Vampires are no longer shunned - yes they have their own clique but they are allowed into school as students, allowed into hospitals as doctors - they are close to becoming fully integrated with humanity, at which point that "human" society will have fully accepted seduction as an acceptable social practice. For pro-seduction people, Twilight is saying "Your time is coming soon".

It's like a feminist in the Star Wars universe being approached by Darth Vader. She recoils instantly but then senses the power that she can use to "make the genders equal". So she accepts the Dark Side, believing that men celebrate seduction and she can't stop that so if you can't beat 'em, join 'em. Women should celebrate seduction too, and the power it gives them! she triumphantly realizes. "I fuck who I want", the celebratory mantra, with a smile creeping across Vader's face.

It's not so much "how society defanged the vampire" as how the vampire fanged society. Once the vampire's work is done, there's no need for him in art.

Once human society integrates anything into it, it always calls the result "society" - the identical word is used for both the new society and the old society. So 1930 Germany was "society" and 1940 Nazi Germany was "society".

When something becomes real, it is no longer as interesting as fiction.

Ugh, Daybreakers. They had an interesting, unique setup in the form of "what if humanity was involuntarily* transformed into vampires, but modern civilization survived?", and then wasted it on a stupid thriller plot. The premise would have been much better as a TV series, exploring how the involuntary vampirization plays out on society.

* Actually, I can't remember them being coherent on this. Sometimes it seemed like the vampirization was something that happened to humanity plague-style, other times it was more of a choice to become vampires.

Actually, the vampires aren't just the X-Men with fangs, one of the X-Men is indeed a vampire. Jubilee was infected when a vamp exploded like a dirty bomb in the middle of a city, instantly infecting dozens of people.

The vampires from the Strain remind me of what a vampire should be - a ferocious beast that feeds on the blood of the living. It doesn't hurt that they can infect you from 8 feet away with a tentacle that shoots from their mouth. Perhaps that's the fear we can use, our fear of disease and the collapse of modern society as a result. With multiple bloodborn illnesses ravaging Africa, one of which we have a certain measure of control over after its introduction in the 70s and 80s, the other an old and well-known disease that has itself been the topic of Hollywood blockbusters, so that having a single infected person here has become newsworthy. Sure this is a niche that's currently occupied by our never-ending zombie craze, but vampires could fill it equally as well.

Sylocat:
I liked Peter Watts's take on vampires.

In this age, we're wrapped up in a quest for identity and terrified of losing connections to each other. Well, vampires, since they evolved to prey on us, are incapable of connecting to each other, or to humans on an emotional level, since they're also sociopaths. So, if you want the hyperintelligence/omnisavantism/super-speed and other goodies, you also have to deal with losing your conscience, and the loneliness that will come with it.

This is a concept that I've always liked. Darker Than Black was interesting as an anime to me for this very reason. Contractors do for superheroes/powered individuals what this would do for vampires. Darker Than Black dictates that "So yeah you can have a superpower, but here are your prices and here is what you sacrifice by becoming something that is essentially the human animal morphing into something inhuman that pushes the borders of human understanding. What I'm saying is that it works perfectly as a sort of new cautionary tale which is also a part of what came together to create the vampire mythos in the first place.

Someone earlier in the thread said that vampires were religious monsters. I don't really agree with that. To me, vampires evolved from two of humanity's bases fears and then sort of swirled them into something that basically represents both and then pieced together with societal taboos so that it can also be used as a cautionary tales.

We as human beings fear death and we fear the unknown. Vampires are essentially both. They are the dead (i.e. death which we fear) they come back to spread death to the living and they are unknowable monsters with motivations that we as humans can only really guess at. With that monster squarely in the drivers seat we then proceeded to make the cautionary tales. Don't be out in the dark. Don't follow strange men/women. Don't get lost in your desires and lusts. Don't invite strangers into your home. The vampire is more or less a collage of all the things that once worried society or were thought outrageous or taboo and even now they evolve to be new metaphors for newer worlds

RealRT:
Well, that's the thing: virtually NO vampire rule bar "They drink blood" is set in stone. The sun? Dracula could give it middle fingers all day. Religious symbols? Blade vampires don't give a fuck. Neither of those are scary for Kain and his lieutenants, but water on the other hand is his acid. Night Watch and Let the Right One In vampires have to be invited to enter people's homes, while most just ignore it. Is it silver that works against them (weird export from Werewolf mythos) or iron like in Supernatural?

It's dead mans blood or beheading in Supernatural, iron seems to work on ghost and to identify other big bad's...
say's the fan girl in the corner...
and I only spotted the article because of it's use of a Supernatural image

Episode 5 season 4 Monster Movie

I think it's somewhat misleading to class the vampire mythos as particularly enduring in the first place, given that the "standard vampire" in the sense you're talking about didn't really exist in literature until 1897 ("Dracula" published) and didn't even exist _at all_ prior to Polidori (1819). Strigoi, etc, aren't really any more the "same thing" than, say, fairies from the British isles, western european revenants (aka zombies) or even most versions of the werewolf myth.

Given that it was cobbled together from random mythological elements (most notably fairy tales, the stuff about having to be invited to enter, not crossing running water, etc are straight-up bans of the fair folk, among whom blood-drinking was not uncommon at all) to begin with, lasted barely a century before being a comic-book trope instead of a horror literature trope, and was never a serious belief for anybody, assigning it that level of importance is... odd.

I mean, you're allowed to find whatever you want important, but rolling with this logic I could find a random mythological beast that happened to have a bunch of eyes and be generally magical and claim that the D&D beholder is a venerable and enduring myth from the ages and that it's mysterious why people don't take a floating ball of gas with loads of eyes seriously these days.

EDIT: the iron/cold-iron thing used to be a reference to Rome rolling in and killing off all the old priests and depriving them of their political power... Rome was chill with individuals worshipping whatever but they'd take no competition in governing terms and most European religions were designed to hold secular power, so that ended poorly. Later it morphed into the general theme of human technology warding off the perils of nature. You have to remember that the idea that we had influence on nature rather than it being the other way around and 100% of nature being dedicated to murdering us (fairly accurate, actually) only dates back to like the 1960s as a wide-spread idea. Cold-iron (cast iron) was mostly specified because it was household iron/tool iron as opposed to weapon-grade steel.

putowtin:

RealRT:
Well, that's the thing: virtually NO vampire rule bar "They drink blood" is set in stone. The sun? Dracula could give it middle fingers all day. Religious symbols? Blade vampires don't give a fuck. Neither of those are scary for Kain and his lieutenants, but water on the other hand is his acid. Night Watch and Let the Right One In vampires have to be invited to enter people's homes, while most just ignore it. Is it silver that works against them (weird export from Werewolf mythos) or iron like in Supernatural?

It's dead mans blood or beheading in Supernatural, iron seems to work on ghost and to identify other big bad's...
say's the fan girl in the corner...
and I only spotted the article because of it's use of a Supernatural image

Episode 5 season 4 Monster Movie

You gotta behead them with an iron blade, IIRC. Besides that, iron is found in early slavic myths about vampires.

briankoontz:

Seduction isn't looked down upon anymore, and love is no longer required for sex. The amazing thing to me is that this is supposedly progressive - modern feminism for example celebrates women seducing men as representing "female empowerment", not as something terribly wrong on a basic moral level. Modern feminism doesn't seem to care or maybe even to understand that sex between people who don't love each other is traumatic, and degrades the people regardless of whether those people are sufficiently in touch with their own feelings to notice or whether they've been convinced by a pro-seduction society into believing it's right.

Back when seduction was deemed immoral, Vampires were symbols of that very immorality. That was WHY they had to hide in the shadows, have secret societies, and the like - because seduction was not permitted in society.

Lots of things have been deemed immoral at some point in history and now the majority of us agree they're just fine and not harmful. Homosexuality, sex outside of wedlock, interacial relationships. Sex is no longer something to put on a pedestel, to be saved and remain "pure" for that one special someone. We're thankfully past the point where purity in relationship to your genetalia is linked to your value. It's recognised as BS in most of the civilised world. Thankfully weve moved away from the idea that women need to be virgins on their wedding day to have worth.

You are right, love doesnt have to be twinned with sex although its awesome when it is. Sex between consenting adults is far from traumatic or degrading, at least how Ive done it. You dont have to be in love with someone, just be honest and have fun so people dont get hurt.

I've had sex with people where we both knew it was for a short period and going no where, but it was enjoyable while it lasted and we both got what we were after. Equally Ive had sex with some once and never again. It made for an entertaining evening. Just dont tell people you love them when you dont and dont "play" with people who love you. Honesty is key and Ive neither been degraded or traumatised.

OT, I think vampires are just over exposed and thats why they're no longer scary. It is the same with zombies. They are also far from scary. As a child they were teriffying but now theyre everywhere and my son thinks theyre awesome because of this.

Guys, I agree! We need to have a new threat.
How about we take a leaf out of the book of Tony Abbot. You see, all we need as the new horror stars are people in burqas. Because, you know, they are horrifying and make children uncomfortable, apparently.

thaluikhain:
But whenever they are created out of nowhere in a movie, they follow the same rather silly rules (for some reason) and nobody in the story knows what they are (for some reason).

Except that those reasons aren't silly at all; tropes exist for very good reasons. If something doesn't behave in a way that's at all familiar to the audience, you have to take time to actually explain it. Using a recognisable trope instead allows you to spend that time actually telling the story you want to tell. If zombies didn't follow largely the same rules, they simply wouldn't be zombies. A film (or book or whatever) explaining the details of how their not-zombies behave and why could be interesting in itself, but that's not necessarily the aspect the creator wants to address.

8bitOwl:
Why do you think zombie movies became so popular recently? In this society of huge toxic cities where we meet hundreds of people walking on the street, but never talk to them?

That sort of thing may be part of it, but large, impersonal cities have been around since well before the recent zombie craze. I think a larger part of it is simply that vampires are far from the only monster to have been defanged in modern times. Frankenstein and other similar monsters* (The Island of Doctor Moreau) base their horror on things like defiling the human body and mixing human and animal nature. But surgery and transplants are now common, and not only do we know that humans are animals, you can hardly look at the news without seeing another story about some animal using tools, learning sign language, or otherwise showing behaviour previously thought to be uniquely human. Gross-out body horror still exists, but the more general societal fears about human and animal nature are largely gone.

And it's the same for so many other monsters. Demons and other religious based monsters have many of the same issues that vampires do. Werewolves are still somewhat popular, but both the fear of wild animals and our own animal nature are generally much less. Witches have lost their mystery since we understand most of the thing they used to be blamed for, and things like modern Wicca tend to give them a much less monstrous reputation. And the list goes on. Name any traditional monster, and the fears that originally made it scary have almost certainly gone, or at least been much reduced, in the modern world.

Except zombies. Loss of personality. Loved ones turning on you. Contagion. Implacability. Pretty much all the things that make zombies monsters in the first place are still very much in place, and in some cases potentially even more so than in the past. Zombies are popular monsters because they're one of the few that is actually still monstrous.

*Yes, the monster is also called Frankenstein; he took his father's name.

RealRT:

putowtin:

RealRT:
Well, that's the thing: virtually NO vampire rule bar "They drink blood" is set in stone. The sun? Dracula could give it middle fingers all day. Religious symbols? Blade vampires don't give a fuck. Neither of those are scary for Kain and his lieutenants, but water on the other hand is his acid. Night Watch and Let the Right One In vampires have to be invited to enter people's homes, while most just ignore it. Is it silver that works against them (weird export from Werewolf mythos) or iron like in Supernatural?

It's dead mans blood or beheading in Supernatural, iron seems to work on ghost and to identify other big bad's...
say's the fan girl in the corner...
and I only spotted the article because of it's use of a Supernatural image

Episode 5 season 4 Monster Movie

You gotta behead them with an iron blade, IIRC. Besides that, iron is found in early slavic myths about vampires.

Nah, don't really matter what the blade is so long as the head comes off. In the first episode with Gordon Walker, Dean takes the head off one with a circular saw.

/Supernatural geek

thaluikhain:
Eh, let them fade away and be replaced by something new. Christ, anything new.

One of my gripes with vampires (and similar monsters), is that despite not existing, they are easily recognisable, with rules that are set in stone (sparkling vampires are bad because it's a bad idea, not because it's "raping the mythos" or somesuch nonsense).

Mind you, zombies have it worse. Nothing like zombies have ever existed, and yet everyone recognises them. But whenever they are created out of nowhere in a movie, they follow the same rather silly rules (for some reason) and nobody in the story knows what they are (for some reason). There are exceptions, of course, but they are exceptions.

Not true on both accounts. Vampires and Zombies both have historical placement. Not as the monsters they are not represented as, but there are plenty of cases of people drinking blood for entertainment and sustenance, and when you are dealing with a medieval culture the people are likely going to create a monster out of the concept.

As for zombies, they are even more realistic than you think. In the Caribbean there are voodoo and hoodoo practitioners who use tetrodotoxin to create zombies out of people. Now when I say zombie, I mean the historical meaning. The tetrodotoxin makes it look as though the subject has died, and while the body is on display, the priest will then administer the antidote and some drugs to keep the person docile and receptive to orders. They would then use the "Zombies" to harvest their fields and basically work as slaves. This is where the concept of zombies came from.

RealRT:

thaluikhain:
Eh, let them fade away and be replaced by something new. Christ, anything new.

One of my gripes with vampires (and similar monsters), is that despite not existing, they are easily recognisable, with rules that are set in stone (sparkling vampires are bad because it's a bad idea, not because it's "raping the mythos" or somesuch nonsense).

Mind you, zombies have it worse. Nothing like zombies have ever existed, and yet everyone recognises them. But whenever they are created out of nowhere in a movie, they follow the same rather silly rules (for some reason) and nobody in the story knows what they are (for some reason). There are exceptions, of course, but they are exceptions.

Well, that's the thing: virtually NO vampire rule bar "They drink blood" is set in stone. The sun? Dracula could give it middle fingers all day. Religious symbols? Blade vampires don't give a fuck. Neither of those are scary for Kain and his lieutenants, but water on the other hand is his acid. Night Watch and Let the Right One In vampires have to be invited to enter people's homes, while most just ignore it. Is it silver that works against them (weird export from Werewolf mythos) or iron like in Supernatural? How do you kill them? Is just a stake in the heart enough or you should also cut their head off, put it upside down in their corpse and throw the coffin into the river? What kind of abilities they have? Vampires endure because they have little to no clear ruleset.

I agree with you, but I would like to expand on what you said. The reason that vampires have no clear cut rules is because almost every single culture has its own version of vampires. Now what we typically think of when we hear vampire is the Romanian Wamphr. That is what dracula was based on, and is rumored to have been set in motion by Vlad the Impaler (however most history buffs would say that he only reinforced the myth). However there are as many types of vampires across the world as there are serpent like creatures, and because of this there are almost as many rule sets for them.

Vampires are inherently sexual, and therefore inherently personal. Meaning that they'll always be adapted differently, and recieved differently. There is no absolute

 Pages 1 2 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Posting on this forum is disabled.