Are Vampires Overused In Today's Industry?
Vampires Are Now Well And Truly Out Of The Coffin But Is It Time For Them To Go Back Underground For A While?
It seems more and more people these days are becoming infatuated with our devilishly beautiful, fanged monsters. Flocks of big time TV producers and film companies have cashed in on the craze in recent times, sucking every last drop they can out of this wonderful creature. It seems you can't change the channel without seeing a new vampire TV series or movie airing these days. Don't get me wrong I am A HUGE Vampire enthusiast and have been from a young age. In my mind there's no disputing that the Vampire always will reign supreme as the number one horror monster ever created. Whilst it's pretty cool that the vamps are getting there time in the sun without fear of turning to ashes, could all this popularity in mainstream pop culture actually be damaging the very essence of what makes a Vamp so awesome in the first place? Lets explore, shall we.
It wasn't too long ago that we were only familiar with the traditional idea of the vampire; you know the charming, supernatural being who sustained itself through piercing the necks of humans to drink their blood? Vampires came from folklore legends in the early 18th century, particularly in Europe and caused a surge in fiction writing. However Bram Stoker's 1897 novel Dracula is remembered as arguably the quintessential vampire novel which provided the basis of modern vampire fiction.
The days of morbidly sinister vampires have ended, and a new breed of vampirism has evolved. There is no denying that modern day vampires have become a fascinating part of mainstream pop culture and their popularity keeps going from strength to strength with no signs of stopping in sight. So why is this? Perhaps it's because the humble Vampire has largely been given a makeover to suit modern day life in both image and personality. They are no longer completely evil. In fact, some of these legendary beings have become self-controlled and compassionate in their design and purpose.
TV series and movies like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Blade, Interview with a Vampire, Van Helsing, Twilight & The Vampire Diaries have all encouraged a new breed of vampirism. The bloodthirsty creatures have become more sympathetic to humans and have entertained intimate relationships with them. The goal of the new vampire is no longer one that centres on domination and control but on intimacy and respect. Times have changed and peppy, overly friendly personality types are out of style. Modern culture has evolved into a darker and more emotionally intimate climate. Paving the way for a more moody, intelligent and internalized vampire, capable of connecting with the audience on a deeper level.
Lets just take a moment now though to take a quick look at the other side of Vampires and the subculture surrounding it. Vampires are emotional and Gothic in style and dress and this led to the creation of Vampire lifestyle. Vampire lifestyle relates to a subculture of personalities, largely within the Gothic lifestyle, drawing from the rich recent history of popular culture related to occult symbolism, horror films, the fiction of Anne Rice and the styles of Victorian England. Active vampirism within the vampire subculture includes both blood-related vampirism and psychic vampirism, or supposed feeding from psychic energy. As well as serious vampire fans who dress up in vampire clothing, live a vampire lifestyle (e.g. sleep in coffins), and primarily participate in Role Playing Games. To an extent, I would even class myself as a Vampire lifestyler and will say it can be a lot of fun. To give you an example I met my husband (who coincidently is a fellow writer here on Chaos Hour, give us a wave Brandon!) through buying custom fit Vampire fang tooth caps online and I wear said fangs to social events - including my own wedding!
As I have mentioned, I am a massive Vampire fan and have been for a very long time but I must admit, I am not a fan of this new Vampire revival. Do you have any idea how infuriating it is when you meet some one and the usual chit chat ensues when they find out you are interested in vampires to be told 'Oh right so I bet you love that whole Twilight thing then huh?' Since when does liking Vampires mean you're Twilight's number 1 fan? But because that's the first thing people associate with Vampires now, they make that assumption. I'm sure plenty of you guys feel my pain right?
I believe this once mighty monster has lost a lot of the charm that made them so appealing in the first place. Now very young girls swoon over the idea of finding their own vegetarian vampire to be their boyfriend. Vampires are meant to be dangerous and seductive, are they not? How on Earth can you take a so called vampire seriously, when they don't even have fangs and sparkle in the sunlight? They are not meant to be lusted after by children who don't know any better because today's society teaches them that this is acceptable and 'cool'.
The only recent TV series that have taken some strides towards redeeming the name of the Vampire is True Blood which is, based on the Southern Vampire Mysteries Novels by Charlaine Harris. True Blood focuses on Vampires being integrated into modern society thanks to the invention of synthetic blood and explores themes of discrimination and equality. Sure this is a very interesting and unique concept that returns to the traditional idea of vamps with no bars held on blood, feeding etc but even True Blood is beginning to lose its way after several seasons.
In conclusion, I believe our undead friends have earned a much deserved rest from the media or risk ruining them forever. Who's with me on this one then, anyone? That being said, the image of the Vampire may have changed and will undoubtedly go through several more re-vamps in the future. They will always have a dedicated fan base for each generation to love and adore them- including mine!
Self-confessed Batman freak, vampire enthusiast & Harley Quinn obsessed!
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