Sunday, October 9, 2016

What We Do in the Shadows

In honor of Halloween coming up, I am going to write about one of my favorite genres: Vampire literature and movies.

Original Vampire Queen: Countess Elizabeth Báthory was a serial killer from the Báthory family of nobility in the Kingdom of Hungary. She has also been named the Blood Countess or Countess Dracula.

For a woman to actively own her sexuality, as opposed to conforming to the available stereotypes in mainstream culture, is about as radical a departure from accepted norms as the Blood Countess. See also Juliette from the Marquis de Sade’s Justine and Juliette saga. She must literally be a monster.
What it’s like to be a child Vampire: “Let the Right One In.” This is possibly one of my favorite all-time vampire movies. It is about love and pain, loyalty and vulnerability, and what I have learned from sometimes letting the wrong ones in. This movie is the antithesis of the “Twilight” series.

What I would have read at 15 (if it had been published at the time): “The Twilight Series” -- He’s the cool, misunderstood, sexy (and supernaturally powerful) outsider and he’s crazy about me. He’s so hot, sometimes I forget to breathe. Technically this should kill me and I’m not even undead yet. Now we get to be the new Barbie and Ken of our vampire coven, with my cooler mom and dad and vampire siblings who all get me, and we aren’t dealing with Algebra, we’re fighting extra-terrestrial forces. But wait, there’s no sex until marriage. Oh for fuck’s sake.

What I read in college (when I was avoiding studying  for exams): Anne Rice’s “Vampire Chronicles.” I really like Anne Rice. Unlike EL James, Anne Rice really does her research and gets the details right. Plus her vampire stories have more depth. These vampires have to deal with the existential ennui of being undead and living long past everything that is familiar and dear to them, or the sadness and complexity of being a vampire child, trapped in a child’s body with a mature woman’s mind, and hating her creators for what they have done to her.
The ending scene from the movie, where Lestat and Louis are driving in the convertible in San Francisco has always defined cool for me. Men look better in 18th century clothes. They just do. I like the Guns N Roses version of “Sympathy for the Devil,” better than the Rolling Stones’ original. When I first saw that movie in the mid-90’s, I decided that I was going to own everything about myself that Society told me was wrong, that I was going to live life on my terms, and I thought about what it would be like for a woman to utter these words:

Let me please Introduce myself
I’m a woman of wealth and taste
I've been around for a long, long year
Stole many a man's soul and faith

Favorite Vampire TV series: True Blood. In “Wed, Bed, Dead” game (well maybe the “One True Death” for some of them), my male picks: Bed - Vampire Eric most definitely, Wed - I’m a swinger, that wed/bed dichotomy just doesn’t work for me. Can I pass on that one and get two “beds?” So Bed #2 is Alcide, the werewolf. Dead - Vampire Bill, most definitely. He and his faux Southern accent just annoy me. For women: Let’s also dispense with the “wed” dichotomy here and go for two "beds": Pam, Eric’s female companion and Maryanne, the Bacchanalian maenad in Season 2. Dead: Sookie Stackhouse. Her mealy-mouthed character and Vampire Bill deserve each other. No wonder her fairy blood makes her irresistible vampire bait. Can we get rid of her already? Also, per Eric and Pam, I’d like to learn how to “glamour” people.

Wishlist for the LS: A club like Fangtasia.

What I read (for laughs) at forty: “50 Shades of Grey” - aka the Mommy Porn version of “Twilight” and a variant on the “Beloved Stalker,” bodice-ripper genre. He’s so hot, I get an orgasm just from looking at him across the room, he’s under thirty, a self-made billionaire (not millionaire), wants to cure world hunger in his spare time, speaks French, plays concert-level piano, pilots helicopters, and he’s obsessed with me...surprisingly running his billion dollar empire leaves him plenty of time to chat with and stalk me. But wait there’s more. He has a deep dark secret. And...emotional wounds that only I can heal.

What Vampire Movie do I think comes closest to describing the actual LS: “What We do In the Shadows.” Parallels with the LS: If you host a swinger party, you actually do need to think about practical party hosting buying slipcovers for those nice sofas...

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