Vampires: Are they still relevant?
Posted 19 December 2012 - 06:43 PM
Werewolves are all about anger,
Zombies are about man's inhumanity to man, the fear that humanity is nothing more than our base instincts, and the creeping inevitability of our mutual doom,
Lovecraft's monsters were about the insignificance of humanity on a cosmic scale,
Frankenstein was about... a lot of things, but in brief it had a lot to do with science and morality.
All of these themes remain relevant t'day. All of these issues are still important and/or scary.
But what about vampires?
Vampires have traditionally represented society's views on sex and seduction. In the society that originated vampires, this made sense. "Purity" was valued, and pretty much all attempts at seduction were viewed as predatory. Sex was taboo and frightening.
Modern culture is different. Better, I think, but I don't want to derail this conversation into an argument on cultural values.
People complain about Twilight, and rightfully so, for "ruining" vampires, but I don't think that the Twilight series is to blame for the dilution of vampire lore and literature. I am beginning to suspect that vampires have lost their thematic relevance in modern society.
I mean, is *anything* about Blade frightening, really? Or Buffy?
Posted 19 December 2012 - 07:14 PM
Although, are vampires still relevant? I am not sure. I think humanity will always crave for immortality in some fashion. Vampires depict immortality coming at a great cost. A curse.
Posted 19 December 2012 - 07:32 PM
Though I do not agree that werewolves are all about anger.
More like blood lust and freedom from inhibitions.
I would say that vampires are still relevant today.
They may not hold as much fear or power as they once did, but that is only because they have been mainstream for a long, long time.
We have become so accustomed to the concept of a person risen from the dead who needs to feed on blood (usually human) to sustain itself that it is no longer a spooky tale about a monster in the shadows, it is common place.
Picture yourself in a zombie apocalypse.
I bet you aren't dead in your own mind, even though you almost certainly would be.
You are probably running train on a few zombies that are shambling toward you trying to eat your face and traversing the wasteland toward your next refuge.
This is because we have all been jammed so full of zombie content that they are no longer all that scary to us.
We have convinced ourselves that zombies aren't all that terrible and that we could probably deal with them should we need to.
Same goes for vampires, only we hit that level of objective irrelevance long ago.
That being said, they are still relevant in a sense that they are a fairly regular part of our world now.
It would be like if people just stopped putting elves in movies and books.
No one really cares about something until it is no longer there.
It is perfectly acceptable to fear and admire a being you could not possibly understand.
Posted 20 December 2012 - 04:05 AM
Michael J. Fox will always be the werewolf...
Nemesis (RE3) will always be the ultimate zombie....
The butler from Adams Family will always be the Frankenstein
Posted 21 December 2012 - 04:03 PM
And I don't care what anyone says, I like Twilight. I don't love it, and I do think the sparkly part is sickening, but I still like them (screw the films, I'm talking books here). With that said, it is nothing compared to what was written "in the good old days". I'm just a sucker for vampires, I suppose.
And don't diss Buffy!
Posted 22 December 2012 - 07:28 PM
The romantic vampire, Byron’s Giaour and later on, Le Fanu's Carmilla and Stroker’s Dracula, went much father away from the primitive fear of death that vampire legends had in darker times. They were horror stories, almost playful when compared to the ancient beliefs.
Although, The Vampyre by Polidori was more romantic. I haven’t read this one myself, I only know it’s supposed to be romantic. Dead man comes back as vampire, woman knows but can’t say anything. Vampire does his seduction thing on woman’s sister, conflict ensues.
Vampires in the 20th centurey, Ann Rice and her kin, kept the romanism, but lost alot of the horror element. All that was left was the idea that they were monsters of some sort, but pretty monsters with baby-blue eyes, so it was okay to bang them. The new age bad boy.
Modern 21st century vampires have been split into two basic categories: romantic bad boys and horrifying monstrosities with the twisted bodies of nightmares (They also have blue baby eyes, that they took from a baby!)
The medium doesn’t matter. The legends have conformed to whatever archetypes were relevant at the time.
That being said, Dracula, Dead and Loving It was the best vampire movie since Bela Lugosi did his thing.
Posted 23 December 2012 - 10:07 PM
Posted 25 December 2012 - 05:03 AM
That being said, Vampires in the original form they where created in society, do not play as large a role, due to changes in society.
However the idea of vampires to humans does still evoke fear.
the idea of a silent, graceful, undying predatory that is much stronger and swifter than us, and cannot be killed* is a terrifying prospect indeed
* being killable depends solely on the literature you are looking at, some you need a specific item to kill them, some any old thing will do, they die as easily as us! As for other stories... Well, I dare say they are the unkillable prowler of the night, you shoot them, and they laugh at you.
Posted 25 December 2012 - 06:10 AM
Posted 25 December 2012 - 06:15 AM
And don't diss Buffy!
(I'm totally not dissing Buffy, btw. I like Buffy, I watched pretty much every episode of the spinoff, Angel. I'm a standard Joss Whedon minion. I just don't find the vampires in Buffy to be very frightening. They're good antagonists, and I feel like they are portrayed well for the role they take on in the series, but they don't scare me.)
Posted 25 December 2012 - 08:02 AM
Posted 25 December 2012 - 03:18 PM
Just seems like nowadays they're just goth superheroes and antagonists with superpowers. Notsomuch scary, as was their original purpose.
Although now I'm wondering if they might have new themes to be explored, like Galactus said: The theme of undergoing a curse for immortality. The idea of trading one's soul away.
And, extrpolating in a different direction here: The fear that we are ruled by a classist "elite" who manipulate things from the shadows by virtue of having been around longer than us. (Good one for us rebellious young folk.)
Posted 29 December 2012 - 11:23 PM
Modern vampires are dark, broody, cunning, arrogant, sexually dominant, characteristic of a very specific type of antihero.
It’s not a bad thing, just overused. When done right, you get a likeable underdog. When botched, you get a whiny emo kid walking around New York, wishing he was a deaf-mute.
Maybe that’s a bit harsh. I do like that book, but it’s just so full of itself, ya know?