Almost half an hour before Hallowe’en starts officially (as of this writing), so I thought that to get into the spirit (lol pun) of things I’d write a post on vampires, because I don’t like werewolves and zombies are getting old already.
I don’t think any other creature has undergone the number of image changes that the vampire has over the centuries. Waaaay back when you had monstrous formerly-dead people who rose from the grave to suck blood. Apparently at one point (according to one of my professors) Catholic and Orthodox churches competed with each other by assuring the public that their church could best protect them from blood-sucking fiends.
These days though, we’ve gone from seeing the vampire not as a super-powered zombie with a case of hematolagnia and more as a brooding romantic type who actively tries to avoid becoming a blood-sucking fiend. Some like to call them the Ricean vampire, but my first exposure to this type of vampire were the St. Germain books by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, which are more like historical fiction that just so happens to star a vampire, but I digress. I avoided Anne Rice’s books for years, and then I read both Interview with the Vampire and The Vampire Lestat and seriously wanted to introduce Lestat to a sunrise, a machete, and a meat-grinder in quick succession (I kind of think it would have been better if I’d read Lestat’s book first, and not Interview, but then I probably wouldn’t have understood what was going on) and apparently Rice herself can’t decide whether she wants to find Jesus or not. My friend read me the interesting parts of Memnoch the Devil, and that’s the extent of the Anne Rice I’ve read. (Oh, and I’ve seen the movie version of Queen of the Damned, but not Interview’s movie) I’ve heard her Sleeping Beauty erotica isn’t bad–and by isn’t bad, I mean so hilariously over the top that no one pretends it’s anything but smut.
Anyways, fast forward to recent years and now we have supervampires that can run around in broad daylight (oh wait, they can’t, because their sparkling will distract people–humans like shiny things) and don’t have weaknesses to much of anything.
To tell you the truth, I still like the romantic vampire, even though yes, it’s been overdone, and plenty of people have expressed how creepy it is that you’re technically cuddling up to an animated corpse. There’s that whole inner struggle that you don’t get with monstrous vampires, which usually aren’t given much of a personality, and honestly, if it’s a choice between ten more reiterations of Lestat versus another Edward, I’ll take the Lestats, thank you.
Or better yet, can I get another Legacy of Kain, game? Kain is just fucking awesome. Except I still haven’t figured out how Zephon evolves into an egg-laying spider queen when he’s, you know, a guy, on the other hand, one of the main characters can still speak without a jaw, and devours souls, so I guess…video game logic?
Oh, and in case you missed it, I wrote my own vampire story awhile back. Check it out if you haven’t already.