"The world is coming down around our ears and you're sticking at a few vampires."
October 2, 2010 10:02 AM   Subscribe

Stephen King's Intro to 'American Vampire': ''Salem's Lot'' author lets loose with some pretty strong opinions about how you do bloodsuckers right in short essay for the first volume of the upcoming DC Comics title -- read it here first! "Here's what vampires shouldn't be: pallid detectives who drink Bloody Marys and work only at night; lovelorn southern gentlemen; anorexic teenage girls; boy-toys with big dewy eyes," writes Stephen King in the introduction to his move into original comic book writing, American Vampire. "What should they be? Killers, honey. Stone killers who never get enough of that tasty Type-A. Bad boys and girls. Hunters. In other words, Midnight America. Red, white and blue, accent on the red. Those vamps got hijacked by a lot of soft-focus romance."
posted by Fizz (79 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
 
More info here as well as a promo video.
posted by Fizz at 10:12 AM on October 2, 2010


Heh.

Of course, this is an intro to a specific price he's selling, and seems to be a little bit in salesman character, so perhaps wecsgouldnt translate it into "Rargh! Stephen King hates Twilight!".

Though, you know, he probably doesn't like it.
posted by Artw at 10:13 AM on October 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


Embedded PDFs? Fuck that. Not that I'm missing much based on the pullquote. I hate Twilight too, but "real vampires act like this, anything else is 'soft-focus romance'" is idiotic.
posted by kmz at 10:16 AM on October 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


I really dislike SK's writing but he so completely explained the appeal of twilight that it doesn't even make me want to kill people who like it any more.
posted by shinybaum at 10:16 AM on October 2, 2010


I was very underwhelmed by Salem's Lot, so I don't know that he has a high ground to stand on when writing about vampires, writing about the apocalypse or small town Maine, maybe, but Salem's Lot was a snooze fest.
posted by ExitPursuedByBear at 10:17 AM on October 2, 2010


previously - and I'm going to say that we have indeed passed Peak Vampire, as this years Barnes and Noble Halloween display is all Zombies on one side and all Ghosts and Werewolves on the other.
posted by Artw at 10:19 AM on October 2, 2010 [3 favorites]


I can also appreciate Neil Gaiman's sentiment. Vampires could easily dissappear for the next 100+ years and I'd be happy, there is more than enough on the subject.
posted by Fizz at 10:20 AM on October 2, 2010


The most interesting thing to me is what shows were linked in the OP. There's at least three major vampire detective shows (Forever Knight, Angel, Moonlight). Vampire Diaries also features southern gentlemen vampires (and is a way better show than it should be, though I probably still wouldn't watch it if my wife didn't). I'm not sure what anorexic teenage girl vampires there are out there. Vampires' love interests, sure, but not many that are vampires themselves, as far as I know.
posted by kmz at 10:25 AM on October 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


The problem with this sort of sentiment is that it is fundamentally William Buckley's mission statement: Stephen King, if I may paraphrase, is standing athwart the nature of mythology yelling "Stop!"

The very nature of mythology is that it mutates and shifts and changes. The classical conception of vampires simply isn't really relevant anymore. This all started with Varney the Vampire, and then was exacerbated by Dracula: vampires shifting from mindless revenants to romantic antiheroes. People dump on Ann Rice, but Ann Rice only took Dracula and took a tiny step forward, as several writers have since her. Vampires have been made more relevant to modern culture as time has gone on. The idea that we should stop this, and embrace an interpretation of the myth of vampirism which is more appropriate to some other culture... well, one has to stop and seriously question the expertise of a person who would make that suggestion, because they very clearly do not understand the nature of mythology.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:27 AM on October 2, 2010 [25 favorites]


I've encountered enough blood-sucking leech-like humans in my life that the metaphor of "vampire" is the only way I can describe their energy. And I have a real hard time with any of the "vampires are really just nice people who are misunderstood" forms of presentation, because that's exactly how those users and abusers presented themselves to me, and then proceeded to try to squeeze every last drop out of me. Anyone who feeds on someone else, whether it's money or time or energy, is someone to be avoided in my opinion. And trying to soften the metaphor, as has been the rage lately with the new vampires... well, anyway, I'm not interested.

Good for King for sticking up for keeping vampires dark and evil.
posted by hippybear at 10:28 AM on October 2, 2010 [8 favorites]


I liked the bit where he admitted that he had to be told that no one uses thought balloons anymore.
posted by EatTheWeak at 10:28 AM on October 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


I actually bought American Vampire #2, and after seeing this post, actually read the King story in it. I'm a huge Stephen King fan, but it was...okay. I wouldn't have guessed it was Stephen King.

I really just popped into this thread so I can say I bought the original pencil sketch concept art for Bernie Wrightson's variant cover this issue. I got it from Bernie at the Heroes Con in Charlotte earlier this summer.

Thanks for posting this, at least it made me pull the comic out of the damn bag and read it. After all, that's what comic books are for.
posted by marxchivist at 10:30 AM on October 2, 2010


Vampire Diaries...is a way better show than it should be

Good god, I'd hate to see what you think it should be!
posted by adamdschneider at 10:30 AM on October 2, 2010


There's at least three major vampire detective shows (Forever Knight, Angel, Moonlight). Vampire Diaries also features southern gentlemen vampires (and is a way better show than it should be, though I probably still wouldn't watch it if my wife didn't).

I'm familiar with Forever Knight, not so much Moonlight and I linked to Angel because it seemed to be the one that people would be most familiar with.
posted by Fizz at 10:31 AM on October 2, 2010


Ugh. Directed at Entertainment Weekly, and their WTF decision to post the piece this way -- the introduction itself I'll have to reserve judgment on till I get the actual book, it would seem.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 10:37 AM on October 2, 2010


Amen, I've had enough of pussy vampires.
posted by zzazazz at 10:37 AM on October 2, 2010


I liked the bit where he admitted that he had to be told that no one uses thought balloons anymore.

Cranky Old Man is cranky.
posted by Joe Beese at 10:42 AM on October 2, 2010


Me, I like the odd thought balloon.

Probably like every other bigshot from another medium he'll probably overwrite the he'll out of it and choke up the whole page with captions.
posted by Artw at 10:49 AM on October 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


Vampire Diaries...is a way better show than it should be

Good god, I'd hate to see what you think it should be!


It should be crappy teeny-bopper pablum. But it's actually a pretty good show, though it still has lots of problems. It's no Buffy (even latter season Buffy), but it's light years better than Twilight and its ilk.

Amen, I've had enough of pussy vampires.

This is my shocked face that somebody's using gendered derogatory language. At least it's more direct than "soft-focus romance", I suppose.
posted by kmz at 10:49 AM on October 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


"King is no Gabriel Garcia Marquez so I don't understand why he gets to say who is a good writer and who is not,"
posted by ovvl at 10:50 AM on October 2, 2010 [3 favorites]


> Cranky Old Man is cranky.

When I write the comic book adaptation of my life story, I'm going to steal this and use it as the title for the Age 24 - Present chapter.
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:52 AM on October 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


"Well first of all, they're not romantic. It's not like they're a bunch of fuckin' fags hoppin' around in rented formal wear and seducing everybody in sight with cheesy Euro-trash accents, all right? Forget whatever you've seen in the movies: they don't turn into bats, crosses don't work. Garlic? You wanna try garlic? You could stand there with garlic around your neck and one of these buggers will bend you fucking over and take a walk up your strada-chocolata WHILE he's suckin' the blood outta your neck, all right? And they don't sleep in coffins lined in taffata. You wanna kill one, you drive a wooden stake right through his fuckin' heart. Sunlight turns 'em into crispy critters."

Jack Crow; ~ Vampire$ simultaneously the best and worst vampire movie ever
posted by bwg at 10:53 AM on October 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


So the person who sucked all the sexuality out of the vampire myth is scolding someone else for sucking out all the violence. My irony meter is suddenly suffering from acute anemia.
posted by localroger at 10:53 AM on October 2, 2010 [11 favorites]


I wonder if Stephen King believes vampires should not be iconographers or founders of Temperance Leagues.
posted by kmz at 10:55 AM on October 2, 2010


His opinion on what vampires "should be" strikes me as purely aesthetic and personal. He seems to completely miss the fact that vampires have long served a role in social critique. Bram Stoker's Dracula is so clearly about social class (the, some might say perennially-, waning European aristocracy being fought by a new cosmopolitan [decidedly romantic idealist] petit-bourgeoisie, along with the backing of an American capitalist who may himself be a vampire) that it would be hard to interpret it any other way. King seems to just want vampires to be scary, which is not really the point. It's like making a zombie film about oedipal issues (not that Ed and His Dead Mother isn't entertaining): if your vampires are purely scary, there's no point (unless the point is to say that, where once, the ruling classes were evil and seductive, now they're simply evil with no seduction).

Also, let's not forget the sexual aspect. Vampires have long been sexually-charged figures: seducers of good bourgeois morality. We're supposed to see the evil lurking behind a life of luxury and ease. Most good vampire tales are going to wrestle with that aspect, and it seems that the contemporary vampire shows and books, whatever their aesthetic and philosophical merit, do wrestle with the sexual question. Twilight is about integrating sexual freedom into a capitalist world. That seems like an incredibly interesting and new take on the subject of vampires, even if I wouldn't want to take the same route, and even if I think it's a bit of the same old ideology of, "We don't have to do anything about capitalism; we just have to work ourselves into capitalism."
posted by outlandishmarxist at 10:58 AM on October 2, 2010 [9 favorites]


Oh. Look. Another MetaFilter vampire thread. I am required to link this.
posted by maudlin at 10:59 AM on October 2, 2010 [6 favorites]


I really dislike SK's writing but he so completely explained the appeal of twilight that it doesn't even make me want to kill people who like it any more.

What he said has some merit for the teens, but it doesn't explain all the adult fans.
posted by cmgonzalez at 10:59 AM on October 2, 2010


What he said has some merit for the teens, but it doesn't explain all the adult fans.

You'd be surprised how many people's sexualities basically stop developing at about age 15.
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:05 AM on October 2, 2010 [3 favorites]


I'm interested in seeing this take on vampires, because I'd like to see some new ideas (or at least a stab in a new direction). If you think about it, vampires boil down to only a few concepts...

* They're walking metaphors for sex (and in a more modern sense, HIV)
* They represent Old World decadence (Dracula) and/or decay (Nosferatu).
* Humans are prey and/or cattle.
* There's a dichotomy between mortality and immortality (humans grow old and die, vampires are immortal but remain frozen in their appearance, which is either good -- Edward Cullen -- or horrific in its implications -- Eli from Let the Right One In).

When you list it out like that, you get the idea that we're at the end of this particular rope, and are now just grinding on fin de si├Ęcle mashups (vampires vs. werewolves; vampires vs. monsters; vampires take over the world, etc, etc). Mashups can be fun, but you want to see something new.

Either we need new, original ideas ... or we need new monsters.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 11:11 AM on October 2, 2010 [3 favorites]


So, anyway, Kim Newman's Anno Dracula is finally getting a reprint next year. Given the luck he's had, being out of print for the biggest vampires-and-victoriana craze in history, I fully expect everyone to completely lose interest in vampires shortly before that time.
posted by Artw at 11:11 AM on October 2, 2010 [4 favorites]


I have to agree with the idea that vampires are terrifically overplayed these days. (Seriously, it's almost as bad as zombies at this point.) At the same time, I really don't enjoy King's style in explaining what they "should" be like. Dark fantasy (except for Lovecraft's stuff) should maybe be given a rest for a bit.

My problem with it is that we have lots of real, scary problems in the world as it is that we don't really have to make anything up. The dangers to the environment threatening to sterilize the Gulf Coast, incompetent government resulting in the deaths of tens of thousands of people in New Orleans, incredibly divisive politics foisted on us by Machiavellian masterminds playing the American public like stringed marionettes, huge companies left almost unfettered to run roughshod over the world in general and people's rights in specific while the media that should be holding them in check distracted by idiot singers, and how the only sizable public outcry against all this has been a cadre of buffoons ranting to cameras about gun rights, Obama's birthplace and the like...

...with all that going on, why in hell do we need to make up a arbitrary bag of undead "powers" and "weaknesses", dress it up in elegant eveningwear, and post that as a villain? Karl Rove beats Dracula a hundred times over, just out of sheer effectiveness. Dick Cheney is almost as sinister. It's like, why do we need the devil when mere human beings have outclassed him in every area?
posted by JHarris at 11:12 AM on October 2, 2010


Your're not going to like my oil-drilling-releases-shoggoths-onto-the-gulf-coast idea, are you?
posted by Artw at 11:15 AM on October 2, 2010 [7 favorites]


Karl Rove beats Dracula a hundred times over, just out of sheer effectiveness. Dick Cheney is almost as sinister. It's like, why do we need the devil when mere human beings have outclassed him in every area?

You know that answer to this. Banality of true evil.
posted by anniecat at 11:18 AM on October 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


Though, come to think of it, King has already written the best carnivorous oil blob story ever ("The Raft").
posted by Artw at 11:19 AM on October 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


Also, can you say John Wayne Gacy and Jeffrey Dahmer aren't more terrifying than Karl Rove?
posted by anniecat at 11:20 AM on October 2, 2010


So, anyway, Kim Newman's Anno Dracula is finally getting a reprint next year. Given the luck he's had, being out of print for the biggest vampires-and-victoriana craze in history, I fully expect everyone to completely lose interest in vampires shortly before that time.

I picked up a copy of Poppy Brite's Lost Souls about a month ago and was frustrated that in the age of True Blood, I had to look all over town for Lost Souls.


...with all that going on, why in hell do we need to make up a arbitrary bag of undead "powers" and "weaknesses", dress it up in elegant eveningwear, and post that as a villain? Karl Rove beats Dracula a hundred times over, just out of sheer effectiveness. Dick Cheney is almost as sinister. It's like, why do we need the devil when mere human beings have outclassed him in every area?

Because publishing a book about cutting off George Bush's head, stuffing his mouth full of garlic, and putting a stake through his heart would get you a visit from the Secret Service.
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:21 AM on October 2, 2010 [3 favorites]


Here, Mr. King, are several more column/intro ideas for you to pontificate upon:
1. Zombies aren't fast.
2. Pirates are not nice people.
3. Werewolves (see vampires)
posted by graventy at 11:21 AM on October 2, 2010 [3 favorites]


'Pussy Vampires' sounds like a lost Kathy Acker novel.
posted by box at 11:22 AM on October 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Obligatory.
posted by clarknova at 11:25 AM on October 2, 2010


Wait, what vampires are anorexic teenage girls?
posted by anniecat at 11:26 AM on October 2, 2010


Poor old Poppy Z. Brite. So much better than, and yet constantly overshadowed by Anne Rice.

Possible the one has rather fey "homoerotic" stuff while the the other is stuffed with pretty much pornographic gay sex sequences is part of that.
posted by Artw at 11:26 AM on October 2, 2010 [3 favorites]


Anyone who feeds on someone else, whether it's money or time or energy, is someone to be avoided in my opinion. And trying to soften the metaphor, as has been the rage lately with the new vampires... well, anyway, I'm not interested

Fair enough, at least in terms of your own interest, but for my part, I think it's sometimes worthwhile to have conflicted vampires, just like it's interesting to have even the most noble of protagonists in Tolkein's LOTR be corruptible. It is in my opinion a more truthful view of evil that the monsters aren't merely blackened-hearted ravenous Others beyond redemption. The monster is inside of people who have various merits, and it's inside of you, and if you don't take some care to bridle your passions and temper your hunger, you may well become the monster.

This isn't an endorsement of Twilight, BTW, which I think is terrible. Not because of (at least some of) the premises, which are plausibly interesting, IMHO, but because of really shallow and shoddy execution.
posted by namespan at 11:37 AM on October 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


Wait, what vampires are anorexic teenage girls?

Maybe this? Although she struck me as on the younger side of "teenage."

I think we've pretty much done all we can with vampires. At this point they've become the horror equivalent of fantasy's pointy-eared elves, in my opinion. Time to look for more interesting supernatural monstrosities.
posted by AdamCSnider at 11:37 AM on October 2, 2010


simultaneously the best and worst vampire movie ever

Amen. Vaya con Dios, slayer.

It's interesting that IMDB lists it as Vampire$, when it clearly is just John Carpenter's Vampires, while Vampire$ is the title of the novel it's based on (by the guy who wrote Armor, of all things).
posted by adamdschneider at 11:45 AM on October 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


This seems like a good place to mention that a World of Darkness MMO is in the works from the guys behind EVE Online.
posted by paradoxflow at 11:46 AM on October 2, 2010


I think we've pretty much done all we can with vampires. At this point they've become the horror equivalent of fantasy's pointy-eared elves, in my opinion. Time to look for more interesting supernatural monstrosities.

Vampire stories are never really going to go away. The best you can hope for is what happened with vampires their last time out: Everyone gets thoroughly sick of them (which, by the end of the 1980s/beginning of the 1990s, everyone was, thanks largely due to Anne Rice), and they kind of fade away until they start to seem interesting again -- until there's so much vampire stuff everyone gets thoroughly sick of them and then wash/rinse/repeat. The classic monsters are recycled not just because of a poverty of imagination, and not just because movie execs like the tried and true, but because our world changes so quickly that it isn't long before someone wonders where those archetypes fit now, and what they have to say about today. And the answer never changes that much, but it isn't the same answer as in 1976, or 1897. Or 1990. Maybe even, say, in 2005.

That said, I think zombie stories are really going to go away, or at least never reach their popularity level of the past few years ever again. Romero-style zombies can only be used to tell one kind of story, with minor variations, and it's a story that is unlikely to change at all no matter what year it's being told in.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 12:02 PM on October 2, 2010 [3 favorites]


" ... and she just flushes all hot and cold. And for girls, that's a shorthand for all the feelings that they're not ready to deal with yet."

I went on three or four dates with an adult Twilight fan and this summarizes the messing around portions exactly correctly. Then again, that's the closest I'd gotten to more-than-messing-around in the past year throughout dozens of OK Cupid dates so who am I to judge? ... Maybe I should be posting this to AskMe instead...
posted by Skwirl at 12:26 PM on October 2, 2010


Coincidentally, I just happened to be re-reading 'Salem's Lot, and was surprised at how well it's held up, both in terms of its completely unsentimental view of human nature (I just got to the part, near the end, where the town constable responds to one of the Fearless Vampire Hunters who's berating him for leaving while the town is dying by telling him that the town was dead already) and for the way that the duel between the hunters and the vampires is laid out.

And I completely agree with him about how vampires have been progressively diluted by pop culture. I tend to blame Anne Rice for this, or at least for starting the progression that runs from her to Laurell K. Hamilton to Meyer, and vampires have gone from being gruesome, terrifying creatures with unspeakable cunning derived from centuries of hunting humans, with a thin veil of glamor barely concealing the sentient predator, to your bog-standard SFF wish-fulfillment species, pretty much like humans only better in almost every conceivable way (see also: elves, Vulcans, Slans, etc.). J.K. Rowling dodged that bullet by making wizards completely like humans except for their powers, even to making it clear that those wizards who did think that they were better than Muggles in every way were just racists who ignored the evidence. In the Twilight books, the Death Eaters are supposed to be the heroes.
posted by Halloween Jack at 12:27 PM on October 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


The issue isn't vampire stories, it's crappy writers, agents, and publishers encouraging people to pile on to the latest trendy topic in fiction no matter how bad a fit the writer is for the topic. Does it really matter what the supernatural badgood guy of the week is if the publishing world decides to turn out a wave of crap around it? But for every ten authors like Stephanie Meyer and L.A. Banks, there is someone like Robin McKinley. For every ten shows like Vampire Diaries, or Moonlight, there'll be something like True Blood. For every twenty movies like Ultraviolet or Blade there'll be a Near Dark. It's not like the signal to noise ratio varies much by genre or subgenre.

Derail: I'm kind of disappointed that Steakley didn't write more.
posted by BrotherCaine at 12:30 PM on October 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


That said, I'm hoping that the next vampire out the gates like Edward Cullen lasts two pages before his tampon sucking ass is fried with a flamethrower.
posted by BrotherCaine at 12:37 PM on October 2, 2010


My girlfriend is really into this series (she made me put it on my pull list). I've read a bit of it, though I don't quite share her enthusiasm for vampires, and it's pretty solid stuff.

In terms of depictions of vampires, I tend to gravitate towards the "vampire as monster" idea (loved Dracula, loved 30 Days of Night) than the "vampire as angsty, beautiful creature" model but I think I've come to the point where I just don't care if one version of a mythological creature is more "true" than another.

Now if you want to get me talking about the horrible, one-dimensional way most of Marvel's creative staff wrote Iron Man during Civil War, well...I'm not THAT grown-up.
posted by HostBryan at 12:43 PM on October 2, 2010 [1 favorite]




Is there no longer a place for Evangeline A.K. McDowell in the universe of discourse?
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 1:34 PM on October 2, 2010


Wait, what vampires are anorexic teenage girls?

I think he means Buffy.
posted by naoko at 1:43 PM on October 2, 2010


Who is of course a vampire-slayer, not a vampire, so actually, no, that makes no sense. Carry on.
posted by naoko at 1:43 PM on October 2, 2010


Look at your reflection in the mirror. You're a creature of the night Michael, just like out of a comic book! You're a vampire Michael! My own brother, a goddamn, shit-sucking vampire. You wait 'till mom finds out, buddy!
posted by Jimbob at 1:56 PM on October 2, 2010 [7 favorites]


I think it's sometimes worthwhile to have conflicted vampires

As my name suggests, I agree.
posted by williampratt at 2:48 PM on October 2, 2010


IMO the best, and what I would imagine to be the most realistic, depiction of what being a vampire would be like is Near Dark.
posted by photoslob at 3:12 PM on October 2, 2010


The twist is that aliens wrote this.
posted by Dreamcast at 4:06 PM on October 2, 2010


For me, 30 Days of Night is what Vampires should be. Violent, terrifying, yet also aware they can't just say "Hey, world, here we are!" without getting wiped out. After all, bursting into flames in sunlight is a hell of a weakness.

Best part: the first time I saw it, the version I was watching had no subtitles for the vampires, and I thought that's how the movie was. In a way, it was actually better, reiforcing the alien/non-human aspect, and when one vampire finally speaks in English, it was that much more striking.
posted by Ghidorah at 5:55 PM on October 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


(That said, it's kind of like Tremors, but in Alaska, with vampires)
posted by Ghidorah at 5:55 PM on October 2, 2010


My computer refuses to deal with whatever form of webpage EW has in the main link, so I can't read it, but did anyone else catch King's cameo on Sons of Anarchy a few weeks back? Very nicely creepy, and the character was named Bachman to boot.
posted by Bookhouse at 6:06 PM on October 2, 2010




Gah ... guy who got rich & famous mucking up old horror myths with pop culture now doesn't want people mucking up old horror myths with pop culture?

Vampires survive because they're fantastic archetypes. They can survive anything -- even the prose of Anne Rice or the Twilight writer.
posted by kenlayne at 8:27 PM on October 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


I love Stephen King, but I want to point out that he made a priest a vampire that redeems himself in an alternate universe. (The same one from Salem's Lot winds up in the Dark Tower series. Sorry if this is some sort of spoiler.) He has played with the genre himself, and has fucked with his own rules just as badly, if not worse, than other people.

I agree with Pope Guilty about the function of vampires as a mythological figure that changes according to social utility, even if it means a vampire in the 19th century, or a vampire dealing with teenage angst. King doesn't realize it, but he agrees as well.

Neil Gaiman's non-murderous vampire in The Graveyard Book is one of the best portrayals of a vampire I've read in quite some time.
posted by jabberjaw at 9:02 PM on October 2, 2010


I have a fondness for SK due to the many books of his I read before I knew the difference between good writing and bad. Even after I knew the difference, I appreciated his voice.

Catch, if you can, the episode of Sons of Anarchy Bookhouse mentioned upthread, where King plays a Cleaner (disposing of bodies, not Lysol wipes). Terrific!

I was in a major halloween retail store today and I can report that vampires are still popular, tho' more the dark, sexy vampires. And there are still more zombies.....even ffs, zombie babies...
posted by Jezebella at 9:48 PM on October 2, 2010


I feel he's totally wrong. In terms of parasitic memey mememeness, Edward Cullen (et al) is a fantastically successful vampire and quite scary. He sucks money and mindshare rather than blood though. We can only speculate about the long term effects of his predation.
posted by wobh at 11:19 PM on October 2, 2010


Coincidentally, I just happened to be re-reading 'Salem's Lot, and was surprised at how well it's held up, both in terms of its completely unsentimental view of human nature (I just got to the part, near the end, where the town constable responds to one of the Fearless Vampire Hunters who's berating him for leaving while the town is dying by telling him that the town was dead already)

Some of the humans are worse than the vampires - the mother who's beatin gthe shit out of her baby, the guy who brutalises his cheating girlfriend and then rapes her until she gets pregnant. Ick. The worst of it is, Barlow doesn't exist outside of a book. They do.
posted by rodgerd at 12:38 AM on October 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Season 3 of True Blood has a character- Franklin Mott- who is a very effective parody of Edward Cullen. The major difference is that we're not being expected to sympathize with the violent, abusive vampire.
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:33 AM on October 3, 2010


"King seems to just want vampires to be scary, which is not really the point."

It's mostly the point.
posted by Diablevert at 3:23 AM on October 3, 2010 [4 favorites]


Speaking of vampire lit, have you guys ever heard of Jane Gaskell's The Shiny Narrow Grin? It's quite possibly the first YA vampire novel ever written, and it's really great. It's also an incisive and colorful depiction of mid '60s Mod culture. And... like in "Salem's Lot," the humans are more horrifying than the vampires.

Unfortunately, it's super rare, but you really should read it, if you happen to find a copy (luckily, I found one here).
posted by suburbanbeatnik at 4:44 PM on October 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Real vampires hop and are defeated using magic string and sticky rice.
posted by Artw at 5:16 PM on October 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


I love Stephen King, but I want to point out that he made a priest a vampire that redeems himself in an alternate universe.

Donald Callahan doesn't become a vampire when Barlow forces him to drink his blood; he becomes cursed so that 1) he can't enter a church and 2) he can see an aura around vampires. He's still a living human being who doesn't drink blood. Also, if by "fucked with his own rules" you're talking about the Type 3 vampires that are described in Wolves of the Calla--the ones that can walk around in daylight, but are also more vulnerable than Type 1 (Barlow) or Type 2 (the ones that Barlow creates) vampires, well, I suppose, but they're still not your idealized glitter-pire types--they're undead parasites, and Callahan has no compunctions about slaying them.
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:14 PM on October 3, 2010


Get off my moonlit lawn!
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 5:35 AM on October 4, 2010


(That said, it's kind of like Tremors, but in Alaska, with vampires)
posted by Ghidorah at 5:55 PM on October 2 [+] [!]


Grabboids!! No, no, suckoids!
posted by Pantengliopoli at 9:50 AM on October 4, 2010


Donald Callahan doesn't become a vampire when Barlow forces him to drink his blood; he becomes cursed so that 1) he can't enter a church and 2) he can see an aura around vampires. He's still a living human being who doesn't drink blood. Also, if by "fucked with his own rules" you're talking about the Type 3 vampires that are described in Wolves of the Calla--the ones that can walk around in daylight, but are also more vulnerable than Type 1 (Barlow) or Type 2 (the ones that Barlow creates) vampires, well, I suppose, but they're still not your idealized glitter-pire types--they're undead parasites, and Callahan has no compunctions about slaying them.

I have no idea what anything after the "2)" means in this paragraph, but it makes me glad I quit reading the Dark Tower books. Because that reads like Stephen King became the Brian Herbert to his own Frank Herbert.
posted by Bookhouse at 11:04 AM on October 4, 2010


that reads like Stephen King became the Brian Herbert to his own Frank Herbert.

*shrug* I didn't read the Dune books after the third one, so back atcha. King's work has certainly changed, I think, since his near-fatal accident, and in fact a big chunk of the latter half of the Dark Tower series deals directly with that.
posted by Halloween Jack at 3:57 PM on October 4, 2010






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