A Whole Lot of Sucking: Vampires Storm Popular Culture (Again)

If you're diving into television, movies, or books lately, you may have noticed that vampires are having a renaissance again. From Twilight jumping to the big screen to television shows, I decided to round up what's at stake this fall and holiday season (I'll show myself out). I guess enough time has passed since Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel ended, which was more than enough vampire for everyone.

Yes, that's right, vampires are back, and they are SEXY, darn it. Take a look at this almost-identical marketing campaign for a new television series on HBO, True Blood, and Jennifer's Body, a movie. Major props to the author of the article for dropping the phrase "blood-suckapalooza." It is funny to see how close the posters are, for sure.

True Blood stars Anna Paquin (affecting a fairly horrendous Southern accent) as a mind reader who falls in with vampires, who have been uneasily accepted into society. The trailer looks interesting, if cheesy (and graphic). I will check this out if I can get past Paquin's "shucks, y'all" acting that she is bringing to this show.

Jennifer's Body is a little less clear-cut. Some sources are calling it a zombie movie, and others say it is a vampire flick. Diablo Cody (Juno) wrote it, so I thought I'd hit her website and see what she had to say, but it doesn't look like Cody has much of a web presence right now. Megan Fox stars as the titular Jennifer, and it looks like we are supposed to buy that she is a high school cheerleader, and the biggest buzz around it is a supposed lesbian sex scene. Sounds more like straight to DVD to me, but if it's true that the "tone will be more like Heathers — but with more blood" then that could be fun.

Stephenie Meyer, the author of Twilight, a book series whose ecstatic, largely-teenaged fanbase would probably not fit shoulder-to-shoulder on Greenland, will see the first book in her series become a released film in November. Many people I know consider the series romantic or sensual also, much like the tone of True Blood, but Meyer won't let it get too sexy:

The books may revolve around the romance between the two lead
characters, but parents can rest assured that the relationship is a
chaste one. The author, a married mother-of-three from Arizona, says
her Mormon beliefs inform her work, and she refuses to write about
pre-marital sex.

Whew, thank goodness that the protagonist is only hanging out with the damned, and not pounding the ol' stake with any of them.

The hubbub over Twilight is causing some tension and conflicts with die-hard Harry Potterphiles. Movie schedules are being jostled to make space between Twilight and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. There is even a battle of the bands now. The Wizardrock movement has inspired a burgeoning Twi-rock one:

The 500-and-counting wizard-rock bands, who play clubs, libraries,
music fests and "Harry Potter" conventions, have not only created a
movement of their own, but they've acted as godfathers to a new one:
"Twilight" rock, or Twi-rock. ("Why aren't they calling it vampire
rock?" [Joe] DeGeorge [of Harry and the Potters] asked. "But it's cool to see 'bands about books'
realized in some way.")

Despite any behind-the-scenes flap, fans are still in love with the books, and more are coming into the fold every day. Comic artist and blogger Angela Bocage writes:

...The Stephenie (yes that’s how she spells it) Meyer series Twilight, New
Moon
, Eclipse, and Breaking Dawn, has taken over the reading hearts and
minds of dozens of extremely bright, articulate, mature professional
young women at my workplace. It is most commonly compared to crack. It
is wonderful. I felt like a latish adopter on this one, but after all I
am in Philadelphia, so cut me some slack....

Kelly Quinn on Ethereal World, Ethereal Girl adds:

Perhaps I have surpressed this part of my personality for awhile
because I haven’t taken interest in anything strong enough to foster a
full-on infatuation…until the Twilight
series, that is. These books combine all that I love- a scary,
suspense-filled story with a love triangle twist, all from the
perspective of a girl.

I am well aware that I used to be a normal person until these books
let loose my inner-nerd, now exposed for all the world to see.

So what do you think, readers and movie watchers? Are you excited about the "Vampire Renaissance" this autumn?

Super Jive Recommends More Fang-er-licking Goodness:

You Suck, by Christopher Moore: Moore is about dorky boy humor, as in dick jokes and stuff. It's like if Dave Barry had a pottymouth and a lifetime supply of Jolt Cola. But still enjoyable, and takes vampires in a different direction than the typical tropes, in my opinion.

Vampire Loves, by Joann Sfar, my favorite graphic novelist. Beautiful, funny, and sadly-written all at once.

Fright Night (1985). Cheesy 80's goodness! Starring Prince Humperdink as the Mean Ol Vampire Guy. Here's a clip of him as Sexy Disco Vampire. Ooh, chills. And that's just from the clothes. Wait til you hear the soundtrack.

Bella Rocks, a Twi-rock band. Also, check out this teeny little directory of Twi-rockers.

 

SJ sucks almost daily over at I, Asshole, when she is not watching Weasel Woar!

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