Let's blame Anne Rice
. She started it, this whole vampire craze. We used to be fans, but enough is enough. Sure, vampires have been popular fodder for ages, but once you slap a pair of fangs on Brad Pitt
, you can kiss the scary bit goodbye.
There used to be standards, you know. There used to be rules. No sun, no garlic, a stake to the heart and kaput. Burnings were good, as were decapitations, and you were safe so long as God was your co-pilot. Vampires were evil, blood-sucking fiends from places like Romania. They owned castles and could turn into bats. They lived in shadows. They had style, but not necessarily sex appeal.
Image © Courtesy Channel 5
Nowadays all we've got are a bunch of castrated Hells Angels who mope around and whine about being monsters - and they're everywhere. They don't drink from humans or practice polygamy, they can take long walks in the park under the sun, chow down on pesto pasta, and attend Mass on Sundays. Why not just make up a new name for these sparkling vegetarians because they sure as hell aren't vampires. If you want to ignore the rules so that your undead hero can get into your heroine's pants, fine. Just please stop pretending that these guys are any more dangerous or alluring than a biker in a leather jacket.
They have feelings. They fall in love. And, like penguins, they frequently mate for life, though they don't seem to be keen on sharing their immortality with their true loves, resigning themselves to centuries of celibacy and emo rock after their human lovers wither and die. Modern vampires seem big into self-flagellation.
Image © Paramount Pictures
We get it. Vampires are the ultimate bad boys, the ones every girl in her heart of hearts wants to tame. Fine. Then they should really be bad. None of this, "I want your blood, but I respect you too much to drink it." They should be trying to sink their teeth into young virgins left and right, until you're forced to smack them across the nose with a newspaper like a misbehaving puppy. Modern vampires are always trying to control their "primal instincts," but why? They're not supposed to care what other people think of them, they're vampires.
They don't even make effective bodyguards because they're too busy worrying about their damsels in distress, who are inevitably being tortured by the "bad" modern vampires. Despite having centuries of life experiences and chances to adopt hobbies, these vampires are rather...boring. It's all about the sex, clearly. That's why vampires are everywhere now, because they're sexy. One fat, bald vampire would take the wind right out of Hollywood's sails, wouldn't it?
Image © Home Box Office
It's not hard to see where the vampire myth and sex became inextricably intertwined; the symbolism of puncturing a woman's jugular and sucking out her life force isn't lost on us, but that strong embrace and those color-changing eyes also come with possessiveness, mad jealousy, and a side of stalking, which are not particularly attractive qualities.
If we're going to keep going with this "vampires are dead sexy and secretly cuddly little puppies" motif, we could at least try a new spin: a female vampire in love with a human male. He wants to watch football, she wants to bathe in the blood of virgins - they're the ultimate odd couple!
Either let the vampire thing rest in peace, Hollywood, or give us one that hasn't been neutered.
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Story by Megan Christopher
Starpulse contributing writer