I came across a blog post the recently by “Bartender cabbie” that attempted to settle the “controversy on which of the modern era film vampires are the best”. The author examined only a handful of vampires: Twilight, True Blood, Interview with a Vampire, Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992), and I am Legend, and seemed entirely fixated on vampire intelligence, beauty and most of all just how evil these vampires are. There are a lot of vampires missing from this argument, Vampire Diaries, Blade, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Lost Boys and for gay content The Lair, Scab and soon Twinklight (the softcore version). And, I take exception to rating how evil these vampires are when there are other characteristics more important: immortality, power, fangs and special abilities.
Aside from I am Legend (more of a zombie/vampire film) which had creatures that were very ugly and their evilness was driven by the virus and the basic instincts, the other examples feature fairly good looking and moderately evil vampires. The blog author focused entirely on the beauty and how evil the vampires of Twilight were, with no mention that they don’t have fangs or that they avoid direct sunlight because they sparkle. Fangs were not done very well in Interview with a Vampire either, though the sequel Queen of the Damned featured more prominent canines. Actually Twilight seems to be the only “modern” vampire that does have fangs, and in my book this is a hugh strike against it, even if I keep watching it.
Another fault with Bartender Cabbies’ blog post was the vague use of the term “modern” as if to suggest the most recent crop of vampires on screen, but then Gary Oldman’s 1992 portrayal of Dracula and Interview with a Vampire was included in the argument. What is the correct definition of modern vampire? Well vampires at least in the last 10 or 20 years would fit well in the modern sense, and really to apply the term correctly, we should only be talking about the last 10 years. Throughout the early days of cinema vampires were stuck on the Dracula image until the film The Hunger first broke with the stereotype. Lost Boys was a significant turning point as well for the 80s while films like Fright Night kept close to the traditional vampire.
Interview with a Vampire the book is most often credited with creating the modern vampire as far back as the 70s. Finally we saw the world through the eyes of the vampire, who was partly evil, but it would be easy to say they still had souls as they were capable of emotion. When Interview with the Vampire hit screens, vampires were already changing. Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie had come and gone, and the tv show was soon to follow and set the bar for soulless demonized vampires, which were sexy too. Bartender Cabbie made no mention of these vampires even though they were probably the most evil of vampires. Maybe the tongue-in-cheek humor displaced too much evil.
So in the last decade we’ve seen Blade come to screen which has given viewers a martial arts sci-fi vampire who are apparently evil enough to slaughter. And this brings us finally to the most recent vampires, Twilight, Vampire Diaries, True Blood and even The Lair. With every year the vampires become human and their level of evil is either lessened or comparable to (if not less) than how evil humans can be. It is possible that Bartender cabbie missed the point by focusing on the lack of evil in modern vampires; that vampires are evolving on screen and keeping up with the times. All the vampires on screen at the moment need to fill their hunger. Some feed from animals while other still take human life, but we haven’t arrived at vampires who don’t need blood yet.
However we have seen the inclusive of gay vampires change over the years. Bartender Cabbie referred to Interview with a Vampire as gay, which honestly it nearly was but I think Lestat turned Louis so he had a drinking buddy; being a vampire can be lonely. True Blood is finally introducing mainstream viewers to a vampire who is also gay, and since all vampires are gay, this is good. Twilight is gay too… okay, that’s another discussion, why people on the internet feel it’s necessary to slag Twilight by saying it’s gay. Such an attempt at an insult in rather immature (10 year olds say “that’s so gay”). But clearly after watching the first two Twilight films I have yet to spot a gay vampire; just a few I think should be.
This has been a long ramble. Vampires are not evil. Vampires should have fangs, look hot or cool as vampires, not vicious evil monsters. And vampires are evolving as society learns to accept them.
But which vampires are the best?
Personally I like the True Blood vampires but they fail in a number of ways and the show has several shortcomings. Like vampires from The Lair, they are not given enough screen time. The way their fangs appear is also, well, stupid. Some of the hottest and best looking vampires are from The Lair. It’s just too bad the story line sucks. I still think the Lost Boys vampires are some of the best of the last 30 years, and the recent sequel is no exception. The vampires in the Vampire Diaries are quite good looking, though the best looking vamps keep getting killed (hello David DeCoteau discovery Sean Farris). They also don’t show their true natures enough. Obviously my current favorite vamps are in Twinklight; they are hot, and look like proper vampires.
Still that leaves the question unanswered. Well Bartender Cabbie didn’t answer the question properly either. What are your favorite vamps?