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Romancing the Vampire

Romancing the Vampire

Below is a special Halloween article, written by guest writer, Brandon about True Blood’s vampires and their contribution to the vampire genre.  

Enjoy and, Happy Halloween everyone!

guestwriterbuttonTrue Blood’s vampires aren’t the evil, soulless monsters of a century ago, only out for themselves and worried about nothing so much as their next meal. What HBO brought to the table with their massively popular series was a humanized version of these mythical creatures that had viewers craving for more week after week and boosting HBO’s subscription numbers in the process (you can easily join those numbers by contacting your television provider and signing up for HBO or HBOGo, even without a cable box). These vampires are nightclub owners, they’re sensitive beings looking for commitment, and they’re trying to be good people, just like you and me. How did this happen? What has changed so much that instead of being villains in horror movies, vampires can be central figures in a prime time TV show?

Basically, we aren’t afraid of them anymore. Comedies such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer (the movie) showed us it was OK to laugh at vampires. If a teenager could make pithy one-liners while slaying vampires and be more concerned about whether she broke a nail than about the horrors lurking in the shadows, is there really anything to worry about? Buffy’s TV series taught us they might not be as dangerous as we’d thought, and we learned through Angel that not all vampires are villains. Instead, they are dreamy heartthrobs who just want to protect the human race and atone for past sins. Angel’s hellish history makes Bill Compton’s family issues look downright tame. Who doesn’t bring a little baggage to a relationship, anyway?

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It also helps that vampires don’t need to drink human blood anymore. Interview with the Vampire brought us Louis, who retained enough of his humanity that he would rather prey on rats than kill a human. Similarly, True Blood introduced vampires with no more need to prey on humans at all due to the synthetic blood they could now live off of, allowing vamps to go back to living basically normal undead lives and free to pursue relationships with mortal men and women.

Weird? Probably. But it doesn’t seem like it, since the last few decades gave levity to the subject as well as giving vampires more complexity, depth, and morals. Bela Lugosi’s Dracula may have been evil and something to fear, but the late 70s came out with a string of game-changing stories about vampires, including George Romero’s 1976 movie Martin; Werner Herzog’s 1979 Nosferatu remake, Nosferatu the Vampyre; John Badham’s 1979 version of Dracula starring the sexy, lithe Frank Langella; and Stan Dragoti’s 1979 Love at First Bite. These movies all made their mark on our conception of what it means to be a vampire. Martin showed us a likable, shy vampire who went through a lot of trouble to make sure his victims didn’t feel any pain. He was pretty sweet, really, in a sociopathic kind of way. Herzog’s Nosferatu let us start to imagine the loneliness of immortality without love. Langella as Dracula gave us the concept that maybe this whole vampire thing was pretty sexy and not necessarily a bad thing, and Love at First Bite took it even further with a heroine who actually chose to become a vampire instead of remain mortal.

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By the series premiere of True Blood in 2008, we were ready to accept that Bill Compton and Eric Northman were serious contenders for Sookie’s love. Years of TV and cinema treated the vampire as an increasingly fascinating, human, moral, sexy character with needs and desires all its own. The vampire is the ultimate bad boy we want to fix, and the person who can manage to do it might spend eternity beautiful and rich. Next to that, does it really matter that much that a vampire’s glass is full of True Blood instead of a nice merlot?

 

Brandon

Brandon

Brandon Engel is a horror enthusiast, multimedia artist, and blogger based in Chicago. Among his favorite authors are: Clive Barker, Bram Stoker, H.P. Lovecraft, and Stephen King. Follow him on Twitter: @BrandonEngel2
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Written by Brandon

Brandon Engel is a horror enthusiast, multimedia artist, and blogger based in Chicago. Among his favorite authors are: Clive Barker, Bram Stoker, H.P. Lovecraft, and Stephen King. Follow him on Twitter: @BrandonEngel2

40 Comment responses

  1. Avatar
    October 30, 2014

    How I miss True Blood!

    Reply

  2. Avatar
    October 30, 2014

    Stt thật hay và thật ý nghĩa 10000 like trong 5p :D
    Nhanh tay chơi ứng dụng động nhất fb này nào. Ứng dụng hacklike đang cực kỳ hot hiện nay :D .
    Link: http://Autolikevi. cf :D xóa dấu cách đi nhé :D

    Reply

  3. Avatar

    I miss True Blood a lot!!!

    Reply

  4. Avatar
    October 30, 2014

    OMG i miss you guys U0001f60c

    Reply

  5. Avatar
    October 30, 2014

    Well written blog. Thx for the share!

    Reply

  6. Avatar
    October 30, 2014

    I miss watching it so much!

    Reply

  7. Avatar
    October 30, 2014

    Well written and engaging!

    Reply

  8. Avatar
    October 30, 2014

    My goodness I just love Stephen Moyer.

    Reply

  9. Avatar
    October 30, 2014

    this was my ultimte favorite scene……… totally loved season 4

    Reply

  10. Avatar
    October 30, 2014

    Miss true blood a lot

    Reply

  11. Avatar
    October 30, 2014

    Aww my favorite scene

    Reply

  12. Avatar
    October 30, 2014

    Los amooooo

    Reply

  13. Avatar
    October 31, 2014

    Loved this scene and the song”burning down the house”.

    Reply

  14. Avatar
    October 31, 2014

    Burning down the house! :)

    Reply

  15. Avatar
    October 31, 2014

    I miss True Blood, Sookie and Bill should have been together

    Reply

  16. Avatar
    October 31, 2014

    ben bu bölümü hatırlıom lan !!
    :P

    Reply

  17. Avatar
    October 31, 2014

    SHOW ESSA CENA

    Reply

  18. Avatar
    October 31, 2014

    não cheguei aí ainda :/

    Reply

  19. Avatar
    October 31, 2014

    Eric

    Reply

  20. Avatar
    October 31, 2014

    I want see the Last one episode

    Reply

  21. Avatar
    October 31, 2014

    eu sei

    Reply

  22. Avatar
    October 31, 2014

    mas mano

    Reply

  23. Avatar
    October 31, 2014

    I enjoyed this very much.  I remember in the first season it was established that the humans were as monstrous as the vampires, if not more, particularly in the case of Bill, who was trying to live a decent life. Miss the show so much.

    Reply

  24. Avatar
    October 31, 2014

    True Blood was the Greatest !!!!

    Reply

  25. Avatar
    October 31, 2014

    Eric Northman i miss u so much!

    Reply

  26. Avatar
    October 31, 2014

    I miss this show !

    Reply

  27. Avatar
    October 31, 2014

    Jessica: I am so sick and tired of silvering myself every day. And being so pissed all the time. This is what PMS used to feel like.

    Reply

  28. Avatar
    October 31, 2014

    <3

    Reply

  29. Avatar
    October 31, 2014

    I remember that , miss true blood !

    Reply

  30. Avatar
    October 31, 2014

    I miss True Blood

    Reply

  31. Avatar
    November 01, 2014

    This is when it started going down hill, such a shame the first three seasons were great.

    Reply

  32. Avatar
    November 01, 2014

    I miss True Blood too! I’ve been watching it for Halloween.

    Reply

  33. Avatar
    November 01, 2014

    Missing you, guys!

    Reply

  34. Avatar
    November 01, 2014

    I missed it again im soooiooi upset I guess I have to wait until season 7 comes out

    Reply

  35. Avatar
    November 01, 2014

    I so miss you guys

    Reply

  36. Avatar
    November 01, 2014

    GO GET EM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply

  37. Avatar
    November 01, 2014

    I miss true blood!!!

    Reply

  38. Avatar
    November 02, 2014

    Thank you Brandon for your well reasoned article on Romancing the Vampire. This all make sense to me since my early teens and True Blood with Bill has been my True Vampire Romancer.

    Reply

  39. Avatar
    November 02, 2014

    I miss True Blood too!! <3

    Reply

  40. Avatar
    November 04, 2014

    Very nice article. a good read. I love and miss True Blood also but would love to see Stephen in other roles soon.

    Reply

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