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"You're like my personal brand of herion." My god, are you -twelve-?"
June 21, 2009 1:23 PM   Subscribe

In Buffy Vs. Edward (Twilight Remixed), Edward Cullen from the Twilight Series meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer at Sunnydale High. It's an example of transformative storytelling serving as a visual critique of Edward's character and generally creepy behavior. Seen through Buffy's eyes some of the more patriarchal gender roles and sexist Hollywood tropes embedded in the Twilight saga are exposed in hilarious ways. (Previous Twilight discussion on MeFi )
posted by ShawnStruck (92 comments total) 54 users marked this as a favorite

 
That was pretty hilarious, and neatly puts the entire "girls just want to be chased" weirdness of Twilight in perspective. Bravo.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:32 PM on June 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


While I'm all for using Buffy as a rebuttal to Twilight, the drastic color difference between the Buffy and Twilight clips is just plain distracting. Why so green? Yet another reason to never watch Twilight.
posted by oinopaponton at 1:33 PM on June 21, 2009


Hmm. I guess I should stop calling myself Lestat...
posted by greekphilosophy at 1:40 PM on June 21, 2009


Been there, bought the t-shirt.

(Sorry, that was just reflexive snark. The video has some nicely edited juxtapositions - it almost makes it seem as though Joss Whedon wrote Buffy the Vampire Slayer in reaction to Twilight. And since Stephanie Meyers hasn't even read Dracula, her ignorance of Buffy may be safely assumed.)
posted by Doktor Zed at 1:41 PM on June 21, 2009


Okay, kinda funny. I wish Twilight weren't getting so much attention, given how anti-progressive and ephebophiliac it apparently is.
posted by kalessin at 1:43 PM on June 21, 2009


I agree with oinopaponton, it was mostly a blue/green vs. pink/orange remix....
posted by HuronBob at 1:47 PM on June 21, 2009


Green-grey is the color of danger and intrigue.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:49 PM on June 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


posted by kalessin: Okay, kinda funny. I wish Twilight weren't getting so much attention, given how anti-progressive and ephebophiliac it apparently is.

This sounds like ephebiphobia to me! i kid, i kid
posted by Foci for Analysis at 1:50 PM on June 21, 2009


For some background, I decided to go to Wikipedia and read the synopses of the Twilight series books.

Ugh. I'll never get those minutes back.

That being said, I'm glad Buffy was successful in destroying Salvador Dali in this remix.
posted by King Bee at 1:51 PM on June 21, 2009


That was good, and well done.

My partner loves the Twilight books. She dosen't get the sexism criticism of it, saying she's looked but can't find it. I'll have to show her this. Might finally help her understand where everyone is coming from.
posted by Effigy2000 at 1:53 PM on June 21, 2009


Haaa, that was really well done.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 1:59 PM on June 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


I like this, but to really appreciate it I think I'd have to see Twilight.

That's not a sacrifice I'm willing to make.
posted by Orange Pamplemousse at 2:00 PM on June 21, 2009 [9 favorites]


Oh, man, that is TOO hilarious. "What, are you twelve?" Perfect in tone and execution, even if they didn't take the time to color-balance the mashup. (Honestly, I sort of liked that -- it helped me grok where the clips were coming from when it wasn't completely obvious by who was on screen.)
posted by hippybear at 2:01 PM on June 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


This is fantastically hilarious. What little I know of Twilight has creeped me right the fuck out.

As an aside, does anyone else think that if Robert Pattinson is pretty much consigned to be the teeny-bopper's poor imitation of Christopher Walken?
posted by amelioration at 2:01 PM on June 21, 2009


Edward is a pedophile.
posted by dopamine at 2:05 PM on June 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


I loved how the first 80% of the mash-up is basically Buffy completely rebuffing Ed's horrible attempts at flirting. It got better each time.
posted by oddman at 2:06 PM on June 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


Just awesome.
posted by signalnine at 2:06 PM on June 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


Something I dislike exposing the absolute terribleness of something I hate. Sweet!
posted by Saxon Kane at 2:07 PM on June 21, 2009


Amelioration: I thought he was trying to impersonate De Niro and failing miserably.
posted by pxe2000 at 2:10 PM on June 21, 2009


For some background, I decided to go to Wikipedia and read the synopses of the Twilight series books.

Ugh. I'll never get those minutes back.


Vastly preferable are Cleoland's Twilight LiveJournal entries. The tone is pretty much set her quote at the beginning of her Midnight Sun discussion: "The first thing I want to discuss is the fact that I cannot stop reading these books even though they fill me with feminist rage and horror."
posted by Johnny Assay at 2:12 PM on June 21, 2009 [3 favorites]


well, I thought that was pretty awesome. I've never seen the twilight stuff, but what I've heard of it in passing sounds depressing, and what was shown in that mix was just awful. And I always liked Buffy back in the day, so seeing her respond appropriately made me happy.

it is kinda weird that it feels like there's a pendulum swing away from self-assured / smart-ass women toward more traditionally feminine roles. Maybe I'm wrong, and this is just a random coincidence not an indication of anything, but it's a little surprising it's the older production making a point to the newer one...
posted by mdn at 2:14 PM on June 21, 2009


Next: A mashup of the Jonas Brothers and Spin̈al Tap, or maybe Dethklok.
posted by dunkadunc at 2:17 PM on June 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


As an aside, does anyone else think that if Robert Pattinson is pretty much consigned to be the teeny-bopper's poor imitation of Christopher Walken?

"The way your dad looked at it, this tube of hairgel was your birthright. He'd be damned if any slopes gonna put their greasy yellow hands on his boy's birthright, so he hid it, in the one place he knew he could hide something: his ass. Five long years, he carried this tube of hairgel up his ass. Then when he died of dysentery, he gave it to me. I hid this uncomfortable tube of plastic up my ass for two years. Then, after seven years, I was sent home to my family. And now, little man, I give the tube of hairgel to you."
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:18 PM on June 21, 2009 [6 favorites]


This is the first thing that has ever made me want to watch Buffy...
posted by jschu at 2:28 PM on June 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


jschu, that's all the Buffy you'll every need. The fact that that clip could be made, shows how, lets say, well worn", those visual tropes are. Nonetheless, it was very well done and I liked it.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 2:40 PM on June 21, 2009


That was one of the best things I've ever seen. Anytime Twilight is praised, I turn it into a big argument of how much it sucks and how much better Buffy was. Well, Buffy is-- that series will never die. See previous posts as to movies, comics, etc. This video is just one clear example of that fact. Love it!
posted by CPAGirl at 2:43 PM on June 21, 2009


My friend's theory, who has read Twilight - I refuse - is that these books offer an explanation to 14 year old girls about what these mysterious creatures, BOYS!!11!!!!, are thinking. Not that it's an accurate portrayal, but here is this chatty, vapid dude who will OMG STOP A CAR FOR YOU, and it speaks to that uniquely 14-year-old longing to have a boyfriend who's really just your girlfriend. Or something.

Frankly, if your vampires sparkle, I am not willing to forgive you for that, and it doesn't need to be feminist-rage-inspiring to get me to NOT give you my money. But the inspiring feminist rage bit does not help.
posted by Medieval Maven at 2:45 PM on June 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


Buffy > Twilight
posted by newfers at 2:49 PM on June 21, 2009


It's interesting that Edward actually behaves less like Angel and more like Angelus (his evil alter ego, for those of you who didn't watch the show) in a lot of ways. There are some tremendously weird gender politics going on with those books.
posted by EarBucket at 2:56 PM on June 21, 2009


Been there, bought the t-shirt.

Aw, I was hoping for this one.
posted by Sys Rq at 2:59 PM on June 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


sexist Hollywood tropes

I think you mean sexist Mormon tropes.

Edward is a pedophile.

Yeah, but you can make the same argument about Angel in the Buffy series. He's a couple of hundred years old and he's fucking a teenager?
posted by rodgerd at 2:59 PM on June 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


But Angel was so dreamy!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:02 PM on June 21, 2009


(Which isn't as bad as New Who, of course. You're a thousand years old and you're getting it on with 20-something humans? Doctor, I hate to tell you this, but you're fucking the house pets.)
posted by rodgerd at 3:02 PM on June 21, 2009 [11 favorites]


That was pretty hilarious, and made me remember why I loved Buffy (the character) so much but also reminded me, in the midst of all this Twilight flap, that she pretty much had two vampire stalkers of her own.

I haven't seen Twilight, but I have heard Bella described as very passive, so it might be more on point to see a video comparing Buffy's reactions to being pursued by Angel and Spike against Bella's reaction to Edward's puke-face creepiness.
posted by Squeak Attack at 3:03 PM on June 21, 2009


Wow I can't believe that! I just had to comment on this. I've never seen or read Twilight but I honestly can't believe that lines like "I wanted to kill you" and "I like to watch you as you sleep" and "you're my own personal brand of heroin" are actually considered wholesome and romantic?? What a creep. He's just so creepy creepist.

It is really, really sad that the female protagonist of Twilight actually falls in love with this awkward, ugly, creepy boy (man? I assume he's really old and she's a teenager) instead of reacting more like Buffy in this video.
posted by Danila at 3:11 PM on June 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


Jenny Turner on Twilight in the London Review of Books.
posted by WPW at 3:14 PM on June 21, 2009 [3 favorites]


Isn't Twilight really just a wish-fulfillment myth for girls who feel they are ugly and who have had their advances rejected by boys, probably because of the disparity of sexual development age? It seems like a pretty crippling kind of archetype to feed young women -- that if you wait, eventually you will be pursued and won over and protected and eventually even "made right" by your man. It's like a dark, fucked-up version of the already poisonous Disney Princess trope.

I'm sure all this has been covered on MeFi before, but still... Thank goodness for critical thinking and well-done mashups!
posted by hippybear at 3:18 PM on June 21, 2009 [6 favorites]


My first 'taste' of twilight came from this comic and it seems like that was pretty accurate. The whole thing seems awful, and it's hard to understand why it's so popular.
posted by delmoi at 3:20 PM on June 21, 2009


delmoi: The whole thing seems awful, and it's hard to understand why it's so popular
I haven't touched any of the books (not remotely interested), but I've skimmed a few criticisms/analyses of the series and one thing that's lingered with me is that the writing is exactly what you'd find in erotica & porn novels, only because the author's a devout Mormon you never actually get to the naughty stuff. Salivatory writing on the body without any saliva ever being traded or applied.
posted by Decimask at 3:26 PM on June 21, 2009


Firstly, I haven't watched all of Buffy yet, or any of Angel's own series, or read or watched Twilight. So I don't know much about the specifics of these stories, though I've read and heard a fair bit of analysis of both.

The editing was extremely well done, and the idea is good. But in Buffy's own narrative, she interacted with a seemingly not-very-dissimilar person, Angel, in an entirely different way. Is Edward that much worse than Angel? Is Angel that much better than Edward? Why?

Apparent similarities: vampire (duh), seems to be genuinely attempting to behave within normal human standards of moral conduct, chronologically centuries old, emotionally fifteen-ish, unambitious and given to timewasting, vapidly moons over one teenage girl, sexually conflicted due to the "need for blood" replacing sexual motivation ... missing anything?

What about Bill from True Blood, and his relationship with Sookie? Of the three, he seems to me to be the most a decent human being.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 3:30 PM on June 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


There are some similarities between Edward and Angel (or Edward and Spike, later on in the Buffy series.) It is one of the reasons the mash-up works so well. There are a few important differences -- for example, Angel never presents himself as a teenager, and he doesn't *&(*&! sparkle in sunlight -- but if you want to make a case for Edward and Angel being similar examples of the "brooding but good-hearted vampire in love with the much younger teenage girl" trope, well, sure.

So what's the important difference? The difference is *Buffy*. Unlike Bella, she has agency. She makes choices. She is *not* the helpless damsel in distress who needs to be rescued by Angel. In fact, he is just as likely, if not more so, to need to be rescued by her.

She does decide to sleep with him. She also at one point decides to kill him. Eventually, they break up and never get back together. He is not her One True Love For All Time that she met when she was a teenager. He's her second or so boyfriend, and yeah he's a lot older than her and can be a bit obsessive, and yeah THAT CAUSES PROBLEMS, and eventually they break up and manage to remain friends after some bumpy spots along the way to that.

These facts make the difference in perspective on the trope between Buffy and Twilight rather extreme. Well, in that Buffy *has* a perspective on the topic, and Twilight is a sub-softcore bodice non-ripper about Twue Eternal Wuv between two characters with no personality.
posted by kyrademon at 3:43 PM on June 21, 2009 [28 favorites]


That was pretty cool, but I'd love to see a remix showing how one of Peter Watts' vampires would deal with a sparkly vampire. (Flash. PDF.) (OK, fine, one of FizerPharm's Homo sapiens whedonum. They did put in the years of research that led to the accidental, then deliberate redevelopment of vampires, so let's give them credit. They have lawyers.)
posted by maudlin at 3:50 PM on June 21, 2009 [3 favorites]


Oh dear Lord. That's incredible. This is getting shown to every one of my bookstore coworkers, so they can also laugh to the point of exhaustion.
posted by Schlimmbesserung at 3:52 PM on June 21, 2009


rogerd You're a thousand years old and you're getting it on with 20-something humans? Doctor, I hate to tell you this, but you're fucking the house pets.)

I don't think this particular criticism, when made of any of the characters mentioned, has much depth to it. It is itself an artifact of expectations of sexual relationships created by the fact that most of us real people live about 75 years, give or take, and we age at almost the same rate, therefore the choice of a life partner really is choice of a life partner. A woman aged 25 who marries a man aged 45 can expect to lose him at her age 55 or so, well past the age of easy remarriage, and be a widow for 20 years. She can't be unaware of that (in the case of the classic 20 marries 60 gold-digger story, it's part of the plan - but he can't be unaware of that either, and presumably considers a happy fifteen years for him, to be worth giving her a further happy 40).

So, the species is obviously close enough to trigger the sexual attractors. The mind is close enough in terms of what they know, what they think, how they think, etc to be capable of genuine interaction. Surely you wouldn't object to Doctor Who (or Arwen) being friends with Rose (or Aragorn); it is possible to be friends with people you know you will outlive by decades. Why object to the sexual relationship if both parties are informed and willing?

If Lois Lane spends her entire lifetime married to Superman, and dies of old age while he's still in his physical prime, has she lost out? She could have married someone else of course, perhaps someone she's interfertile with (it's never clear in that story); but she chose him, knowing she'd die and he'd move on; he chose her, knowing she'd die, and he'd have to.

There's a very good movie on the topic of what it would be like to live an extremely long-life, to watch your grandchildren die of old age, to have to move from town to town, to tell people she's your wife ... to pretend in public that she's your mother, and your children are your siblings ... to take her to the hospice and quietly accept the comfort of the doctors and their compliments on how kind to your grandmother you are ... to mourn her, perhaps for decades ... and eventually to be open to the possibility of letting yourself (inasmuch as it's a choice) love one again. "The Man From Earth".

And in any case none of us ever know how long our lover will be with us. They might be diagnosed with incurable cancer tomorrow, and then you'd have to watch them slowly die over months or years, deal with everything that comes with that, mourn them ... and maybe you would, eventually, be able to love someone else. Watching them die of natural aging while you don't seems much the same, in terms of its emotional toll on both parties ... and people do sometimes fall in love with people with incurable cancer. Would you ask them if it was a waste of time?
posted by aeschenkarnos at 4:01 PM on June 21, 2009 [5 favorites]


The difference is *Buffy*. Unlike Bella, she has agency. She makes choices. She is *not* the helpless damsel in distress who needs to be rescued by Angel.

Also, Buffy has depth. Even if she was a damsel in distress, it'd be damn interesting to watch. Unlike Bella, whose character flaw is that she's... clumsy.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 4:04 PM on June 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


Vastly preferable are Cleoland's Twilight LiveJournal entries. The tone is pretty much set her quote at the beginning of her Midnight Sun discussion: "The first thing I want to discuss is the fact that I cannot stop reading these books even though they fill me with feminist rage and horror."

And, just as good as Cleoland's... these, where Edward's weirdassed "hello I am a 100-year-old weirdo"-ness is really brought to the forefront...
posted by bitter-girl.com at 4:12 PM on June 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


There's a very good movie on the topic of what it would be like to live an extremely long-life, to watch your grandchildren die of old age, to have to move from town to town, to tell people she's your wife ...
To some extent, this might also fit your description. (Trailer)
posted by pxe2000 at 4:22 PM on June 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


Pretty good mashup. My biggest complaint is that, editorially, the editor crosses the line a lot in the editing. It makes the edits discontinuous, and it could be fixed by simply horizontally flipping one or the other of the shots.

Also, yeah, the green thing. All modern non-linear editors have perfectly reasonable color correction in them, there's no reason why the weird colors from Twilight couldn't be made to match Buffy.

But those are principally technical complaints. Overall, I'd give it a B+.
posted by MythMaker at 4:26 PM on June 21, 2009


Ha ha, that was great. I just loved Buffy's constant cutting through the mopey Edward bullshit, and the way her friends reaffirmed how creepy the stalking behaviour was rather than framing it as "romantic."
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 4:42 PM on June 21, 2009


I couldn't even make it through a 6 minute sendup of Twilight (the presence of Buffy didn't help). Boy am I ever glad my kids aren't in the right age to be reading or watching this crap.
posted by DU at 4:50 PM on June 21, 2009


Buffy's constant cutting through the mopey Edward bullshit

That really says something.
posted by DU at 4:51 PM on June 21, 2009


I have a serious love/hate with Twilight, and nothing but love for Buffy. The first time I read the series I couldn't put it down and hated myself every second of it. Then I watched the movie and hated myself every second of it. I just picked it up again and didn't find it as terrible the second time around. If you just accept the premise, and read it kind of quick so you don't really have time to think about what's happening, and remember what it was like to be 13 and clumsy and have none of the boys notice you... it's not that bad.

Then I watched this and remembered how creepy it truly was.
posted by lilac girl at 4:57 PM on June 21, 2009


pxe2000: "Let The Right One In", another excellent movie. Being stuck physically as a 12-year-old would make life among the short-lived more and less complicated in so many ways that it's a whole different problem. So is vampiric immortality vs other kinds of immortality. Merely being "forever young" would be a lot better fate, I think, even if you miss out on cool vampire powers. (Although to physically do that, ie not age, you would have to have what amounts to regeneration; I think regeneration and unaging, if they really existed, would necessarily be the same thing.) Here's an interesting story, or perhaps urban legend, about some putatively unaging young men.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 5:01 PM on June 21, 2009


Re: Angel vs Edward

In Twilight, Edward repeatedly breaks into Bella's room to watch Bella sleep and that's seen as romantic.

In Buffy, Angel breaks into Buffy's room to watch her sleep a) after he's turned evil (long story) b) he does it specifically to fuck with her c) after he does it, Buffy finds a way to keep him from coming into her house ever again.
posted by nooneyouknow at 5:03 PM on June 21, 2009 [5 favorites]


I got everything I need to know about Twilight from cartoonist Lucy Knisley's summary of the books in 16 panels (second comic on the page, although the first one is awesome too).
posted by roboppy at 5:12 PM on June 21, 2009 [7 favorites]


In Buffy, Angel breaks into Buffy's room to watch her sleep a) after he's turned evil (long story) b) he does it specifically to fuck with her c) after he does it, Buffy finds a way to keep him from coming into her house ever again.

IIRC, he comes into her room through the window uninvited in Season 1 a few times, but it's to talk to her, not watch her sleep. Also, Buffy's a lot harder than Bella to sneak up on while asleep, otherwise she wouldn't be much of a Slayer. Van Helsing/Dracula reversal!

I'm not defending Twilight's narrative, but to some extent this discussion strikes me as a bit "why didn't Russell Crowe's character in State of Play go all Batman on the crazy ex-soldier's ass in the parking lot, instead of freaking out and hiding?". Because the character is a fat reporter, not Batman. And Bella isn't Buffy. I think making a character weak and flawed and a leaf floating in the wind of forces outside of their control is a perfectly legitimate, often narratively necessary, choice for an author to make. It is not an inherently anti-feministic act to write a female character who is not self-actualized. IMO (again, I haven't actually read Twilight) the problem with it is that the reader is told by the author that Bella is a self-actualized and fully realized person but shown by the author that she actually isn't. So it provokes cognitive dissonance in anyone bright enough to notice that.

As a somewhat extreme example, pretty much every single character in "A Fine Balance" is thoroughly disempowered, denied self-actualization, and is fucked over by circumstances outside of their control to a ridiculous degree, but the book works because of that. It's the most depressing book I've ever read, but it works. The author tells us that the characters try to determine their own fates, and shows us them trying, but has them fail. It's not inconsistent.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 5:36 PM on June 21, 2009 [4 favorites]


MetaFilter: constant cutting through the mopey
posted by hippybear at 5:37 PM on June 21, 2009


That was fucking great.
posted by rtha at 5:41 PM on June 21, 2009


Those Twilight books creep me out. And not in a good way.
posted by futureisunwritten at 5:59 PM on June 21, 2009


I don't like the Buffy TV series, just don't. I do have a small spark of respect for parts of it, despite my dislike. Twilight? Yeah, how fucking twee and vapid can you make the vampire genre? That stuff should be mulched.
posted by edgeways at 6:20 PM on June 21, 2009


I wanted to hate this so very much. But I can't. PURE WIN.
posted by Justinian at 6:22 PM on June 21, 2009


...remember what it was like to be 13 and clumsy and have none of the boys notice you...
I think making a character weak and flawed and a leaf floating in the wind of forces outside of their control is a perfectly legitimate, often narratively necessary, choice for an author to make.


No, no, no, no. NO.

Bella is quite possibly the most clumsy (hah!) and obvious Mary Sue ever written. She is fucking perfect. In every way, except she's "clumsy". That's it.

She moves to a new damn town, doesn't have to study because she's smart, everyone wants to be her friend, all the boys fawn over her, and the hottest boy in school (also, vampire) stalks her. She becomes a vampire, and she's like the best vampire to ever vampire and is never tempted by human blood because she's such a good vampire and GAH

Also, she has the best magical power ever and gets to use it in book four which turns into a sort of Harry Potter magical showdown. With vampires.
posted by graventy at 6:44 PM on June 21, 2009 [6 favorites]


IIRC, he comes into her room through the window uninvited in Season 1 a few times, but it's to talk to her, not watch her sleep.

Also, in the Buffyverse, vamps have to intially be invited in. And the invitation can be revoked.

Good point about Bella, but I was trying to get at how Edward's and Angels actions are treated by the narrative and, to a lesser extent, the characters.

In the beginning, Angel is like a 2 or 3 on the stalker scale*, (plus she's the Slayer) and treated by the narrative as stalking and the characters are all "WTF?" He doesn't go full on stalker until after he turns evil.

Edward starts out like a 15 and just goes on from there (in one book he disables Bella's car so she can't leave the house; when he breaks into her house to watch her sleep he oils the hinges on her window so the sound won't give him when he comes back**) and it's all treated by the narrative as okay behavior for someone in Twu Lurve!!1! And it's not that Bella is weak and flawed, it's that it never occurs to her or anybody else in the novel that Edward's behavior is completely out bounds and he needs to be staked right quick.


*From one to ten. One is low, ten is high.
**I have not actually read the Twilight series, but I have read a lot about it.

posted by nooneyouknow at 6:55 PM on June 21, 2009


The first time Angel enters Buffy's house, he is, in fact invited. They are being chased by The Three, and flee into the house. Once they've closed the door, Angel informs Buffy that vampires can't enter unless they are invited. She responds by telling him that she'd heard that but never put it to the test before.
posted by djfiander at 7:09 PM on June 21, 2009


I too wanted to hate this before even clicking on it. My horse isn't so tall that I haven't watched a Buffy tv episode and honestly laughed, and the movie was actually pretty funny. But it's mostly because of the fact it has anything to do with Twilight because what little I've been exposed to so far tastes like grape-flavored Shasta soda concentrate mixed a little ebola and yellow fever and seasoned with maggoty-dead pigeons.

Anyway, this is by far the most amount of frames or data of anything Twilight I've viewed so far.

But ten seconds in I was on the edge of my seat just waiting and hoping beyond hope for the part where she spin-kicks a fucking stake through his chest, and thankfully I wasn't disappointed. I was just vastly worried it was a slashfic romance mashup. That would have been very wrong.

Also, am I the only one that wants to see if velcro will hang off of his eyebrows? Is there some point in the story arc where those things turn into pupae or chrysalis and then some kind of creepy vampire moth? Speaking as someone with a hefty set of forehead caterpillars I can only assume that those 2001 monolith-like protrusions on his head are getting first billing in the movie and a few points of the gross. They're apparently the least wooden thing about that actor.
posted by loquacious at 7:18 PM on June 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


Didn't really dig it at all. Maybe because I've never been able to watch Buffy--Sarah Michelle is just one of those people I find intrinsically annoying. I did love the original Kristy Swanson/Luke Perry movie though. So yeah--overall, I have a hard time buying into the whole Buffy was the best show ever and the bestest female archetype thing.

I have, however, read the whole Twilight series and they were pretty entertaining (the first one more than the rest). Sure they were schlocky and hopelessly stereotyped, but stereotypes get that way for a reason, and I can totally see the appeal to teen girls. First off, there's something powerfully attractive about the notion of this ridiculously hot guy who is totally obsessed with you but will never pressure you for sex because he just can't trust himself to maintain control. Secondly, the books are the ultimate escapism. We put an awful lot of pressure on teen girls these days to be strong, self affirming individuals who can do everything boys can do but better. I can imagine that it must be nice to escape to a fantasy land where everything is romantic and exciting (but never so exciting that you have to worry about how far you're willing to go sexually--until you're married, that is, and then you realize that you're impregnated and you've turned into Sigourney Weaver in Aliens....oh no!).

Don't get me wrong--I agree that Bella really isn't the best role model, and Edward is probably kind of creepy. That doesn't stop the books (and movies) from being sheer escapist bliss for hordes of teenage girls everywhere, and hey, maybe that's OK. You don't always have to read and watch characters that you want to model yourself on, and we can still make sure our teenage girls are fearless, independent, and ready to kick a real-world stalker's ass.
posted by Go Banana at 7:59 PM on June 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


The worst part about Twilight is not just that Edward's a creepy, emotionally abusive Bad Boyfriend, it's that Jacob clearly has that potential, and so does the non-vampire, non-werewolf guy mooning over Bella--Mike? I can't remember his name.

Buffy was an ordinary girl with an ordinary level of self-confidence, combined with extraordinary power. A real girl in an unreal world. I always felt that she was a good role model for young women, for that.

Bella just suuuuuuuucks. I hate the idea that girls read those books and watch those movies and want to be her. It's like wanting to be Melanie from Gone With The Wind, only without the good heart.
posted by padraigin at 8:30 PM on June 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


Why do the young girls even find this man attractive?
posted by Bonzai at 9:13 PM on June 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


I can imagine that it must be nice to escape to a fantasy land where everything is romantic and exciting (but never so exciting that you have to worry about how far you're willing to go sexually--until you're married,

Haven't read 'em actually, but the thing that made sense to me about the recent vampire craze that Twilight's a big part of is that the vampire boyfriend opens up to you again a lot of the old tropes of romance novels that spike up the tension while still letting you have a modern setting. Classically, the story is always about outside forces conspiring to seperate the lovers, while the lovers must resist the temptation to knock boots because of the terrible consequences, etc. These tug-of-war of these forces is what makes every comment fraught, charges up the glances, enflames the appropriate areas. I-want-you-but-I-can't-have-you-because-everything-would-be-terrible-but-I-need-need-need-you-o!-what-shall-I-do.

But two ordinary contemporary American teens? What keeping them apart? Oh sure, you can have conservative parents and so forth -- but there's such a thing as free periods and spaces underneath the bleachers and friend's cars. If the lovers choose not to Do It, it's an internal conflict, usually, one of the characters not thinking it's right, which is a bummer to read about. And choosing to Do It leads you into that 70s-style young adult territory, which is all about complicated emotions and adult responsibilities and mutual respect, etc. --- all bildungsroman-y, not romantic.

It's a bit like modern mysteries --- either you have to do some CSI style serial killer bit, or you have to twist and stretch all over the place to make it so DNA can't be used to solve the mystery, in order to tell the kind of old-fashioned whodunit that's all about psychology, secrets, and logical problem-solving skills.
posted by Diablevert at 9:39 PM on June 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


Twilight: the dry hump of vampire lore.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:01 PM on June 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


Can she do Bill from True Blood now?

God-damned shit-suckin' vampires.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 10:11 PM on June 21, 2009


LDS SPARKLEDÄMMERUNG IS HERE! (warning: sparkles, Twilight.)
part 2
part 3
drinking game
posted by dunkadunc at 10:20 PM on June 21, 2009


True Blood

Urge to kill .... rising ....
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 10:25 PM on June 21, 2009


Diablevert: the vampire boyfriend opens up to you again a lot of the old tropes of romance novels that spike up the tension while still letting you have a modern setting. Classically, the story is always about outside forces conspiring to seperate the lovers, while the lovers must resist the temptation to knock boots because of the terrible consequences, etc.

I think you're on to something. Your comment reminded me of this article in Bitch magazine which describes the Twilight series as "abstinence porn."
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 2:30 AM on June 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


graventy Bella is quite possibly the most clumsy (hah!) and obvious Mary Sue ever written.

Hmm. You're right, I had the definition wrong, the term I was looking for was "author self-insert", which Bella is not. Her very lack of strong personality characteristics makes it easy for the reader to self-insert as Bella, which is a major part of the popularity of the series.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 4:21 AM on June 22, 2009


I think you're completely right about the purpose, but I'm bothered by the fact that the heroine of one of the most popular series of young adult books in a long time has such a negative self image. I don't really care if it's true, or accurate, or most girls feel that way; it just seems like the wrong kind of attitude to promote.
posted by graventy at 7:04 AM on June 22, 2009


Haven't read 'em actually, but the thing that made sense to me about the recent vampire craze that Twilight's a big part of is that the vampire boyfriend opens up to you again a lot of the old tropes of romance novels that spike up the tension while still letting you have a modern setting.


That reminds of an article I read that argues that the "vampire craze" i.e. paranormal romance and urban fantasy are the current version of gothic novels. Let me google...
It is Gothic Transformation by Kristine Kathryn Rusch:

"In the 1970s, gothic novels littered the bookstore shelves. The books were thin—maybe 50-60,000 words—and they followed a formula. A beautiful woman would go to/get invited to/move into an old Victorian house in a remote place. The house would be haunted or possessed by the Devil. The man of the house, generally the owner of the house, might or might not be the cause of the haunting. He might or might not be possessed by the Devil. Or he might or might not be the Devil himself.

Despite his rather sinister appearance, the man would be very appealing. Sexy and strong, but morally ambiguous. The beautiful woman would fall in love with him anyway, and in the end, he would turn out to be the hero. He was secretive, dark, and brooding because he had to be to protect her.

Sound familiar? Half the vampire novels on the shelf these days follow this formula. Twilight is a modified version for young adults. But no one would dare call the modern novels gothics.
--
What the gothic novel, the paranormal romance, and the urban fantasy have in common is the female protagonist, the strong brooding male hero as possible villain, and a sense of discomfort about the world itself."
posted by nooneyouknow at 7:04 AM on June 22, 2009 [3 favorites]


I'd never heard of this series until I had to do some stuff on the film for work, then suddenly six people in my office were reading it (one has framed pictures on her desk) and every other person I see on the tube has a copy in their hands. Part of me wonders if it would be the kind of thing I'd swallow up at twelve and slag off at fifteen. Part of me wants to read it to see how bad it might be.
posted by mippy at 7:11 AM on June 22, 2009


Don't do it, mippy. DON'T DO IT. I read them to see what all the fuss was about and.... [*sobs quietly, turns away*]
posted by bitter-girl.com at 7:22 AM on June 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


I enjoyed the first two Twilight books and I'm struggling to finish the third. I also enjoyed this clip a lot and now I want to find out what the Buffy craze was all about.
posted by like_neon at 7:41 AM on June 22, 2009


(one has framed pictures on her desk)

Of Edward?
posted by graventy at 9:24 AM on June 22, 2009


I must admit, I've never really understood Buffy's appeal. There's just something about a Blonde defeating Evil through the power of Christianity and Murder that seems like it should probably be somewhat off-putting to a large segment of society.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:40 AM on June 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


Sys Rq: Yeah, I hated Buffy as well — until I actually watched a couple episodes.

Buffy has the worst name ("Buffy the Vampire Slayer"? Really?) and cheesy premise of all of television, yet is one of the best television shows.

To address your understanding of the show, it's not about Christianity, cartoonish Good/Evil, or murder. While the show ostensibly is about "girl attacks vampires", it's real premise is "adolescence anthromorphisized" (with a dash of feminism). Many episodes deal with real human problems where their corresponding problems become flesh in the form of vampires. Additionally, the show isn't plot-driven, it's more about the characters. Many Buffy fans rarely talk about plot when recalling the series, but rather the human dynamic and personalities of the characters (all the way to the ending of the series). The downside of this is that you really can't understand Joss Whedon's TV shows unless you watch it for a while and get to know the characters' motivations, flaws, etc. For instance, every episode builds up the notion that Buffy doesn't see herself as superior for her powers, more of a responsibility, or even a burden/sacrifice. Compare with Twilight's "OMG SO LUCKY SUPERPOWERS!"
posted by amuseDetachment at 11:37 AM on June 22, 2009 [2 favorites]


the term I was looking for was "author self-insert", which Bella is not.

Didn't the actor playing the sparkly vampire make some comment in an interview about how he felt like he was reading the author's sexual fantasies?
posted by rodgerd at 12:21 PM on June 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


Didn't the actor playing the sparkly vampire make some comment in an interview about how he felt like he was reading the author's sexual fantasies?

He did, during an E! Channel interview:
When I read it, it seemed like [grimaces] I was convinced that ... Stephenie was ... convinced that she was Bella, and uh, and you, it wasn't, it was like it was a book that wasn't supposed to be published, like reading her ... her sort of sexual fantasy about some — especially when she says that it was based on a dream, and it's like, "Oh, then I had a dream about this really sexy guy" and she just writes this book about it, and there's some things about Edward that are just so specific that it's like, I was just convinced that, that this woman is mad, she's completely mad, and she's in love with her own fictional creation and I -- sometimes you, like, feel uncomfortable reading this thing, and I think a lot of people feel the same way, that it's kind of voyeuristic, ah, and it creates this sick pleasure in a lot of ways.
posted by Johnny Assay at 2:14 PM on June 22, 2009 [5 favorites]


There's just something about a Blonde defeating Evil through the power of Christianity and Murder

I'd call that a radical interpretation of the text.
posted by EarBucket at 3:13 PM on June 22, 2009 [5 favorites]


Wow. Up until the smarmy "Buy why can't I sneak into your house and watch you sleep??" clip, I was feeling really sympathetic for Edward. Good facial expressions, my man!
posted by niles at 4:31 PM on June 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


Didn't the actor playing the sparkly vampire make some comment in an interview about how he felt like he was reading the author's sexual fantasies?

He did, during an E! Channel interview


You know what makes that even more creepy? (But WAIT! There's more!) From the LDS SPARKLEDÄMMERUNG link above:
"Every time SMeyers would write about Edward, I would just boggle. She was drawing from everything we Mormons were taught about Good Ol' Joe - he was handsome, shockingly so, he could draw you in with just his presence, let alone when he spoke, down to his freaking nose and hair color. HI THERE CREEPY AUTHOR WANTING TO BONE YOUR PROPHET. (I have no problem with bible slash, etc. Just... I don't think she knows she's doing it.)"
Um...yeah. In the words of Buffy, "A world of EW."
posted by elfgirl at 5:05 PM on June 22, 2009 [4 favorites]


"A beautiful woman would go to/get invited to/move into an old Victorian house in a remote place. The house would be haunted or possessed by the Devil. The man of the house, generally the owner of the house, might or might not be the cause of the haunting. He might or might not be possessed by the Devil. Or he might or might not be the Devil himself.

Despite his rather sinister appearance, the man would be very appealing. Sexy and strong, but morally ambiguous. The beautiful woman would fall in love with him anyway, and in the end, he would turn out to be the hero. He was secretive, dark, and brooding because he had to be to protect her."


Heathcliff all over again, of course. (Speaking of which, did anyone else see the recent PBS adaptation? I'm not much for Brontes, usually. Tom Hardy is another matter.)

That's exactly what I mean, though --- in the Heights, Heathcliff is a "wild gypsy" several rungs below Catherine's class; her brother has absolute control over her as an unmarried woman and Heathcliff as a servant; sex between them always carries the risk of her bearing a child out of wedlock, which would be a disgrace to both her and her family that would prevent her from ever marrying. Hell, merely losing her virginity carries much of the same disgrace even if she doesn't get knocked up. In a modern setting, these taboos are lessened to such a degree some of them are pretty much obliterated, and so it's hard to set up that external force to seperate the lovers. Internal forces separating the lovers are a whole different ball of wax, one that de facto lessens the romance because it admits doubt on one of the character's parts about wanting to be together. And in the classic mode it's all the more climactic when the lovers do come together --- the greater the taboos they're overcoming, the greater their passion must be.

That said, I do think the titillation and tantalization of abstinence are a part of it too...I think a lot of 13 and 14 year old quite enjoy experiencing desire, but recoil from the responsibilities attached to fulfilling that desire....
posted by Diablevert at 7:51 PM on June 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


That said, I do think the titillation and tantalization of abstinence are a part of it too...I think a lot of 13 and 14 year old quite enjoy experiencing desire, but recoil from the responsibilities attached to fulfilling that desire....

It just seems to be fact, whether we like it or not, that sex is more fun if it has a transgressive character, or at least, some element of difficulty to achieving it. Apparently uninhibited free love is just plain boring to most people. Maybe that has to do with the usual practical difficulties of getting sex during the earliest times of one's life in which one has an interest in sex (ie, 13-14). It seems anecdotally, to me, that people raised in a basically free-loving environment without the usual array of "hangups" (Northern Europeans) aren't anywhere near as sexually driven as those raised in a relatively oppressive environment; it's just not that important to them.

It'd be interesting to see the results of a proper study correlating "kinkiness", theoretical sex education, parental dis/en-couragement of early practical sexual activity, and enjoyment of sex. I wonder if on the average, clandestine relationships, whatever the reason for the clandestine character (eg, parental disapproval, extramarital affair, same-sex relationship in a society or subculture or family environment hostile to such), are simply more enjoyable than the same relationship with the same person would be if conducted in an open manner without possibility of censure. For example, a gay friend of mine some years ago told me that while obviously realizing it was much better for all concerned that he be honestly "out", when he came out to his family he felt a bit regretful about it, because he actually missed the thrill of sneaking around, the transgressive element, having something to himself that no-one else knew. This is true for non-sexual things too; I think a lot of people keep secret a lot of things that are actually quite banal and no-one would really care about if they knew, but the keeping of it secret gives the activity a certain extra enjoyment.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 10:02 PM on June 22, 2009


Decimask: the writing is exactly what you'd find in erotica & porn novels, only because the author's a devout Mormon you never actually get to the naughty stuff.

I've seen that line of thought in a review before, with someone who filled in a missing sex scene. It's amazing.
posted by Pronoiac at 2:21 AM on June 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


Vampires, and the Sluts and Virgins Who Love Them
posted by homunculus at 4:45 PM on July 10, 2009


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