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Saturday, May 12, 2012

Vampires! My Obsession... before they Sparked!

If you know me, or know me well, you might know that I was
obsessed with vamps LONG before Edward sparkled! Long, long ago when I was a little girl, vampires were SCARY. They were on Nightmare Theater or Friday Night Theater, late at night on Friday and Saturday nights. Even though I was a scaredy cat, or girl, I was very drawn to these wonderfully evil, bloodsucking creatures! When I was old enough (which was 8, by my mom's rules) I had sleep overs with my best friend. All of her very large family gathered around the TV and my friend and I snuggled in our sleeping bags to watch these scary/exciting/wonderful monsters. I LOVED them, even though sometimes I watched through the cracks of my fingers with my hands over my eyes. This was the 60s.

Another exciting thing about growing up when I did was the afternoon soap opera, Dark Shadows. I sometimes snuck and watched it at home, since my mom watched other soaps, and I'm sure she wouldn't have been okay with me watching this. But when I was at my best friends house we all watched. Barnabas Collins was scary cool!

 As I grew up my fascination for scary bloodsuckers only intensified. I especially loved Halloween season when they'd show old black & white vampire movies - most were made before I was born. I loved the many versions of Dracula, and adored the dark scary castles and creepy stairways, plus the inevitable romance of the beautiful victims, which would over time ultimitely lead to them being turned for and eternal mate. Oh yes, that I loved!

 In 1987 Lost Boys took over as the newest teen cult vampire flick, and made us madly crazy over the scary but hot vampire played by Kiefer Sutherland. I was by no means a teenager, but completely obsessed, as were my very small kids! I rented Lost Boys over and over (yeah, the good old days when you'd RENT movies on VCR).

As the years went by I enjoyed the newer versions of Dracula movies, and there were many. Brahm Stoker's Dracula in 1992 was scary and amazing, plus cute Keanu Reeves was great eye candy.

I sat in the movie theater with my husband and kids in 1998 watching John Carpenter's "Vampires," with a very manly James Woods leading a crew who were sponsored by the Vaticin to hunt and destroy the evil ones hiding in New Mexico farmhouses. An exceptionally scary but wonderful vampire in this movie and supposed projenitor of all vampires was Valek, played by Thomas Ian Griffith. Yummy evil!

I became completely HOOKED when I began reading Anne Rice's "Interview With The Vampire!" I loved Lestat and Louis both! When I heard that Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt would play them in the movie version, I inserted Brad Pitt as Lestat (since he was blond) and Tom Cruise as Louis ( Louis had brown hair). It was WEIRD when they made the movie and they had made Tom blond to play Lestat and Brad dark haired to play Louis. But I got used to them, and even though the movie made so many mistakes with Anne Rice's vampires, I loved it anyway! It was SCARY, romatic, and I loved how Anne Rice wrote her novels to include historical facts into her fiction. I also LOVED Antonio Banderas as Armand and the darling Kirsten Dunst as child vampire Claudia. I've never grown tired of watching it.

Of course I went on to read "The Vampire Lestat, "The Queen of the Damned," "The Tale of the Body Thief," "Memnock the Devil," "The Vampire Armand," "Merrick," "Blood and Gold," "Blackwood Farm," and "Blood Canticle." It was sad that Anne Rice wouldn't write any more of her vampire series, but they were a great collecion, and are still my favorite vampires EVER!

 I was really happy when someone decided to produce another movie based on Anne's book, "Queen of the Damned." This time Lestat was wonderfully played by Stewart Townsend. I couldn't imagine HOW they could make this movie actuate, for instance, how they would show the mother and father of all vampires, Akasha and Enkil appear as stone statues, and then show as Akasha appears to come alive. Well done, Warner Brothers! I loved Lestat as a rock star, a great part of the story telling in Anne Rice's books. I also loved Lestat playing his violin among the gypsies at their bonfire next to the sea. (In his origin as a human, Lestat was born in France in 1760 and yearned to play the violin which was frowned upon by his parents, since only circus people did things like that!)

I will add a few of my favorite vampire movies over the years, because I definitlely think there were some GREAT ones, and I've ignored the hundreds of very bad ones. (Have you ever noticed how many bad vampire flicks they have at movie rental stores or sites???)  I adored Wesley Snipes as Blade in the triology of movies, but really fell in love when beautiful, hearthrob Dominic Purcell played Dracula in Blade Trinity! 

I was enamored by "Dracula 2000," played by Gerard Butler (no, not the actor, same name who won our hearts in 500). The different take on Dracula, which placed Judas Iscariot into the story was genius!!!

Among other vamps I've loved are those in the Underworld Triology! Kate Beckinsdale was tormented and beautiful, and a strong heroine. Ben Speedman was lucious as a new species cross-over between vamp and werewold. The addition of Rhona Mitra in the third movie and prequel gave us another beautiful heroine who was strong, torn and passionate.

Shall we talk about the ever-trending TV shows? Okay, I've ALWAYS loved the cheesy but compelling vamps in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Buffy was a girl who could really kick some vampire butt! Angel was dreamy and I loved him for seasons, but Spike is my very favorite! I love his bleached blond hair, his brittish accent (even though the actor is really an Orange County boy), and his wicked sense of humor. I was SO HAPPY when Buffy and Spike got together!

True Blood seemed interesting, and I watched it by ordering the DVDs from Netflix. Steven Moyer as Bill Compton was okay, but I think Alexander Scarsgard as Eric is just the cat's pajamas! Okay, I will admit that each season got raunchier, and when Sooki found out she was a fairy... well, I lost interest.

The Vampire Diaries has a huge following, and I've watched some each season, but mostly it bores me. I DO think Ian Somerhalder makes a cute vamp, but probably because I loved him as Boone on Lost!

I can't note TV shows without making a big deal about "The Gates!" Once more, Rhona Mitra just makes a GREAT vamp as Claire Radcliff. Her hubby is a treat too. I really hope it is renewed!

I'm ready now. Let's talk about Edward. When I read Twilight I imagined Ashton Kutcher as Edward. When I began seeing trailers for the movie I was a bit disappointed, but once I saw the movie, Robert Pattinson definitely grew on me! Okay, I still had issues with vampires becoming sparkly and all pop culturish, with everyone loving them. As if they'd just been invented! What about all the years of MY vampires, and of me claiming to be a vampire? I felt ignored and forgotten by my family and those who knew me pre-Twilight. I have always thought being a vampire was the perfect explanation why I have always been awake all night, and felt like sleeping all day. I HATE the sunlight, get very heat sick, and have horrible migraines when the sun is out! I, like the Cullens love the rainy, dark weather! There have even been times when I've hung out in vampire lairs, not that I've made that a public thing, and only certain daughters and a niece have been invited in. Those pictures have been hidden away from the general population, and NO, you may NOT see them! But on with the Cullens. I love them all. They are beautiful. Enough said. But...

...what about the BAD vampires? I really adored these three in Twilight! Victoria was a great, vicious vamp who acted like an evil villaness should act! I'll admit I have a thing for red-heads, so I love her EXTRA much!
When Twilight had passed, and I sat each day gazing at my beautiful computer desk top wallpaper of the GREATEST vampire, James, it hit me like a ton of bricks! JAMES WOULD NOT BE BACK! What? I went into denial. Why oh why would they kill off my favorite vampire, just because he tried to kill Bella?
My wallpaper

Oh James, beautiful bad James, I'll remember you always!

I just saw a poll in Us Weekly asking who makes the best vampire. The choices were Johnny Depp as Barnabas Collins, Ian Somerhalder as Damon, and Robert Pattinson as Edward. Robert Pattinson won, with Ian in second, and a small percentage voted for Johnny. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

So, I've saved THE BEST vampire for last. Johnny Depp as Barnabas Collins. YOU KNOW IT'S TRUE. Back to the scary vampires who suck blood, kill people and like it! I watch trailer after trailer of the new Barnabas Collins, with his hilarious jabs as an ancient vampire who doesn't understand this modern '70s world! They have made the trailers very fun. Instead of seeing the same one over and over, it seems each time one comes on TV, it shows new, hilarious scenes. I'm happy the movie is out, and will be seeing it next Thursday with my honey. Wonderful job, Tim Burton and Johnny Depp!
And now, a trailer, since this is the best thing since... well, just the best!

1 comment:

  1. I'm excited to see Dark Shadows too. :) Thanks for posting a picture of my boyfriend Scott Speedman. I have always thought of you as an Ann Rice kind of vampire person. :)