Thursday, 28 July 2011

Vampires, zombies and other creatures of the night

A couple of weeks ago, my sweetie starting watching the new series of True Blood. I'll be the first to admit that I don't get what the big deal is with vampires (or zombies, or werewolves, or any other creatures to that effect). Apart from enjoying the tv series Being Human and the irrepressible Count von Count from Sesame Street, I've never understood the appeal of brooding, teenage blood suckers and things that go bump in the night. Can't everyone see how fake it all is? I tweeted as much and went to bed with a non-vampire book.

Imagine my surprise the next morning to find these posts in my Twitter stream:


It would seem that creatures of the night do in fact polarise people; as one person pointed out, you either love or hate them. (I'd argue that I'm indifferent to them, but that's probably just semantics.)

And now there is something called The Walking Dead, eagerly anticipated by zombie fanciers and horror connoisseurs all around the world. My Facebook and Twitter streams were full of it yesterday. For me, Wednesday nights will now mean an early night with a good book.

So, who can enlighten me on the appeal of such characters and stories? What have I missed?

7 comments:

Kate @ UpsideBackwards said...

I have no good answer for you - I don't get the vampire thing either. That said, I "accidentally" ended up reading the True Blood series and really enjoyed it. I had read other mysteries by Charlaine Harris and liked them, and picked one of the True Blood ones up at the library without realising it was about vampires (this was well before the TV series was made). My heart sank a little when I did realise, but I read on anyway and - as I said - liked it. I have seen an episode or two of the TV series, and they seem remarkably like my visualisation of the books. Mostly it's on too late for me though!

shaz said...

Thanks for posting my tweet. I feel I need to comment. I had watched the Twilight movie and was in love with the golden vampire eyes. My friend had already read the books so I borrowed and reading the chapters, I was slowly sucked in. I read all 4 books in a matter of 2 weeks. Its a love story. Two guys wanting the same girl to love them. The story is much better read. However, I love 'supernatural'. I remember taping Charmed (witches/warlocks) as a teen.

Hazed & Confused said...

I'm not really sure what started my vamp obsession. Zombies are the one kind of "scary movie" I can't watch - they freak me out (no matter how fake they appear), and warewolves I'm fairly ignorant of. But vampires I've always loved - since I was really little (as I mentioned in my tweet). It started with cutesy images, like Sesame Street, and running riot through the house with a bed sheet for a cape pretending I was some creepy little creature of the night. There was a tv show on at the time - The Little Vampire, I used to watch it and they always seemed to gloss over the fact that vampires kill people by drinking their blood, so I guess I never actually stopped to think about what I was really glued to. I was probably about 5 years old at the time... I don't remember when it changed from just thinking they were cool, to a sort of obsession though. I know it peaked when I was about 14 years old and discovered Anne Rice - and then of course, Interview with a Vampire was made into a movie and vampires just exploded everywhere. I think there was a general shift in that gothic direction, The Smashing Pumpkins and Marilyn Manson were at their height, so the weird kids needed something to read and her characters were so tragic and sad... I loved those books - some of her characters were thousands of years old and from so many different cultures, so there was always of lot of history (or at least her version of it), costumes, art, music, and it was just fun to indulge in her version of those worlds... Vampires tend to get popular every 10 years or so, it's like they come in cycles. They're huge, then they die off and something else steps in, and then when there's nothing else going on they get huge again. I don't know really - I guess they've always been portrayed as these sort of dark beautiful creatures that aren't really like anything else. I don't really have an arguement for or against them - it's either your "thing" or it isn't. But it doesn't seem that different other trends or fictions that seem to grip the world, like alien robots, or forensics, or magic (which is pretty up there with vampires in my books), or dragons (yay!), or (dare I say it) rugby. I wouldn't lose too much sleep on this one.

donna said...

They do. Twilight was my first real diving in. And then the True Blood Series started and I read the books to see how good they were compared to the show. But since then, I've read a shape shifter series, and of course started reading the fantasy books that deal with magic. Resist as long as you can because these things suck you in. LOL

kimbirdy said...

i don't particularly get it either. vampires in my day were the tough, punk, hard rock-loving types. you know, the buffy days. now vampires are the mopey, brooding sorts. i've actually never seen true blood and i'm totally indifferent to the twilight series. meh. now the count from sesame street? he i get! :)

Raz said...

hey i don't know how old this is but my friend told me your queries on the vampire stuff and I just remembered now and so I thought I would just share my 2 cents worth. I was like you not really interested in the vampire scene and not really getting why people were so obsessed with them and then when Twilight came out and I went to see the movie I thought it was stupid not realising that it was actually part of a series. When I finally found out that it was a series I was intrigued as to see where this movie would lead to so I bort the book series. Now I'm not much of a reader, you mention book to me I switch off automatically but as I was reading these books I found that it was really about the storyline and the storyline got to me emotionally. To my astonishment though the vampires in this story wasn't your normal bloodsucking vampires that loved to kill humans, they controlled themselves and stopped feeding on human blood because they didn't want to hurt them or worse, kill them. That's the bit I love about Twilight series is that vampires are portrayed in a different way. The werewolves I loved in this series because again they weren't your normal werewolves, they were huge werewolves but they never approached or harmed humans only vampires whereas if you were to watch other movies on werewolves they usually change and their instinct kicks in and then they feed on humans. Now I'm not saying that i'm totally obsessed with vampires or werewolves or anything of that matter, but I am happy to know that vampires and werewolves can be other things other than the normal. I'm sure if you started reading the books rather than watching the movie then maybe they would appeal to you. As for true blood, not that I'm dissing it, but it really doesn't appeal to me as much as Twilight series did.

Café Chick said...

Thanks, everyone, for your 'help'. I still don't quite 'get' it all but hear from lots of people that the newer generation of vampire stories have some pretty awesome story lines, which certainly appeals. Still not sure if it's enough to sway me, though - I missed a whole trend of hospital dramas because I can't bear inside bits on the outside. On that note, The Walking Dead has just started so that's my cue to grab my book and head to bed. Night! :-)