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Vampires

October 24th, 2005 (09:19 pm)

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

Vlad Tepes
1(14.3%)
Max Schreck
1(14.3%)
Bela Lugosi
0(0.0%)
Christopher Lee
3(42.9%)
Gary Oldman
0(0.0%)
Leslie Nielsen
0(0.0%)
Ferdy Mayne
1(14.3%)
Other
1(14.3%)

Comments

Posted by: The HBP (initial_aitch)
Posted at: October 24th, 2005 08:43 pm (UTC)

With many gothic horror novels I believe that the book is always scarier/more disturbing/more alive than the films. (Phantom of the Opera!--wow!) Though I'm not as knowledgable about the older films, I very much enjoyed Bram Stoker's Dracula. Gary Oldman can do no wrong. (I agree with you about Keanu.)

What about Shadow of the Vampire, which is more about the filming of Nosferatu? Willem Dafoe can do no wrong, either, and he makes Max Schreck seem terribly freakish! My college degree is for filmmaking, so the behind-the-scenes aspect of this film appealed to me.

Now I see why you were eager to comment on my Dr Wonka-costumed-as-Dracula reference. THANK you for that, by the way! I'll post that fic on wonkaslash closer to Halloween, but I expect you'll be the only one to have remarked on it. The members of that community are mostly rather young, and I think a lot of my references are lost on them.

Posted by: dancing_salome (dancing_salome)
Posted at: October 24th, 2005 08:58 pm (UTC)

Phantom of the Opera is a rather disturbing book, I think. And not that easy to read.

I agree with you on Oldman, I have yet to see a movie with him were he is bad, even if the movie itself isn't that good.

I haven't seen Shadow of the Vampire yet, much to my annoyance. I've wanted to, but never got around to it. It's on my list next time I'll order from Amazon though.

Now I see why you were eager to comment on my Dr Wonka-costumed-as-Dracula reference.
:-D

Posted by: Captain Jas. Hook (bad_form)
Posted at: October 24th, 2005 10:28 pm (UTC)

Oh! You should definitely read The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova, if you haven't already. I just finished it myself. It has a lot to do with Vlad Tepes as Dracula. (I almost voted for Vlad, but Christopher Lee was just too good in that role!)

Posted by: dancing_salome (dancing_salome)
Posted at: October 25th, 2005 07:21 am (UTC)

Ah yes, I've heard about it just a few days ago- it's just been translated to Swedish. But I want to read it in English, and as I buy way too many books as it is, I decided to wait for the paperback, which will be released any day now, if it hasn't already. *lives in a backwater country* It sems like a very interesting book.

Posted by: alice_in_oranje (alice_in_oranje)
Posted at: January 7th, 2006 07:39 pm (UTC)

Hello there, can i add you, you seem like an interesting person :)...

Posted by: dancing_salome (dancing_salome)
Posted at: January 8th, 2006 12:02 am (UTC)

Sure, though I don't know how intersting I really am... I'll add you too.

Posted by: alice_in_oranje (alice_in_oranje)
Posted at: January 8th, 2006 07:01 pm (UTC)

Well, i will find that out ;). Thanks for adding me too!
Looking forward to reading your posts :)!

Posted by: dracschick (dracschick)
Posted at: June 12th, 2006 02:31 am (UTC)
OT:Hi........
wwdd

Just wanted to stop by and introduce myself since I think we share similiar interests. I found your LJ through one of the LJ groups that I belong to. I'm 36 and have been a Dracula/vampires fan for well over 20 years. My fav vampire writer is Yarbro but I also enjoy Saberhagen, Elrod, Huff, Hamilton and Les Daniels. My other interests include Phantom of the Opera (since '89) and the anime/manga Hellsing.

Feel free to read my LJ, Dracula stories and friend me. I'm always interested in making new buddies that share my interests.

Take care,
Chris

PS--I am also a huge Isaacs fan. I enjoy his portrayal of the British American Revolutionary soldier called Tavington. Though the character would look sexier with fangs:)

Posted by: dancing_salome (dancing_salome)
Posted at: June 12th, 2006 03:43 pm (UTC)
Re: OT:Hi........

Hello. I've only just found Yarbro- so far I've only read Hotel Transylvania, but I really liked that one.

I've friended you. :-)

Oh yes, I really like Tavington- though I must confess to not likeing the movie at all. But Isaacs is superb.

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