It's been a while since I made a proper entry, so I thought I should discuss something that interested me vastly in my teens, and now too, if not as much.
I was introduced to them the wrong way around, so to speak, or perhaps I should say the right way. Of course, vampires was part of my childhood's monster, along with ghosts and other creepy creatures, but they were just there, with no explanation or history.
When I was around eleven there was a documentary on TV about Dracula, and that was the first time I realised that there were several aspects of the myth; history, books and movies. The documentary mixed the history about Vlad Tepes with clips from movies, and what really caught me was that it was Christopher Lee who played Vlad- which added depth to the movies clips of his movies. He managed to look very alike the Impaler as well.
I got completely hooked, and ransacked the library, though my findings were meagre; Stoker's Dracula and a book about vampires, In Search of Dracula which I found was the book behind the documentary. I love Dracula and re-read it several times. I was then too young to realise the amount of sexual innuendo in the book, but I'm quite sure one of the reasons I got so hooked, is that it was there to begin with.
This was the times before the VCR, so for years I went through the timetables very carefully, so I wouldn't miss the occasional vampire movie. By that way I managed to see quite many of Lee's movies, Polanski's brilliant parody Dance of the Vampires and Bela Lugosi's Dracula along with it's “sequel” Dracula's Daughter. The sequel is actually quite brilliant, where Lugosi's is rather laughable.
Then VCR became common, and there was also a number of vampire movies made in the Eighties, Fright Night I & II, The Lost Boys and Bram Stoker's Dracula. I also saw Nosferatu, both the old and newer version. The first one is good, the newer extremely boring. Bram Stoker's Dracula is IMO a very good version of the book. Not totally truthful to it- and with some added element, but then I don't think any of the movies are totally exact either. Gary Oldman makes a good Dracula, and I like both Mina and Lucy. Keanu Reeves is unfortunately his usually wooden self,t hough.
I started to collect vampire movies eventually, and I buy even the bad ones- they are at least good for a laugh. My favourite is still Dance of the Vampires though. It has some very serious aspects to it, which I think is a mark of a good parody, apart from being screamingly funny. But my favourite Dracula is Christoper Lee. Perhaps because he was the first Dracula I saw, because the movies aren't always that good.
I looked for books too, which wasn't all that easy then- then we became flooded with vampire novels, but for a long times I only had Dracula. I also found some short stories, and I must say that it's very often the short stories that are the brilliant ones, not the books.
I like Yarbro Chelsea's books about Saint-Germaine, though he is a very romantic hero- but as historical novels go, I enjoy them. I've read Anne Rice's books, but I don't much like them. Well, I did like Interview With A Vampire and the first sequel, but then it just goes on and on and on. She has imagination, but no sense at all when to stop.
And now, the poll:
Who is the ultimate vampire