Vampire Run Down
A couple of years ago I read Bram Strocker’s novel DRACULA. I had a week to read it for a class I was taking, that class taught me to read entire novels in a week; before that what I knew on Dracula was based on those boring films that were produced by Hollywood. I guess the best period for Dracula portrayal was when Bela Lugosi played the part. Anyway until recently I thought that Stroker’s DRACULA written in 1897 was the first vampire novel but evidently I was wrong; found out that it was just the most popular one. The 1797 poem THE BRIDE OF CORINTH by Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe is credited to be the first vampire literature; and three others that predated Dracula. John Polidori’s “The Vampyre” 1819; James Malcolm Ryner’s penny dreadful series “Varney the Vampire” written between 1845-1847 and Sheridan Le Fanu’s 1871 “Carmilla,” this one about a lesbian Vampire; it was probably pioneering to publish lesbian stuff back then making it a horror tale made it acceptable to the god fearing conservatives. Before those publications Vampire tales were rooted in Eastern European folklore.
Nowadays the idea of Vampires being soulless and the walking dead is out the window, hell you don’t even see them turn into bats anymore, and the silver cross doesn’t burn them and they can see their reflection in mirrors. Vampires are now made out to be a superior beings then humans. Their blood can heal or be used as a hallucination drug causing subjective experiences. But the one thing that I disagree with is the concept of the Vampire being spiritual. How today’s writers came up with that concept is beyond me? A Vampire is the living dead and it’s supposed to be a curse, not a romantic notion.
Now apart from the Southern Vampire Series aka True Blood…. my rundown of the vampire series that I came across and enjoyed reading or watching on the big screen:
The scariest looking Vampire I’ve seen to date was from the blaxploitation horror flick “Blacula.” The name itself is a funny variation of the name Dracula since this vampire is a black man that was cursed with vampirism by Count Dracula himself. Incidentally Dracula decided to call him Blacula. The flick was scary to me when I first saw it when I was at a young age. The image was stuck in my mind for a couple of days. But nowadays when I look at it through adult eyes it is comical. The synapse is an African Prince and his wife traveled to Transylvania to visit Count Dracula to enlist his help to end the slave trade. Dracula was not receptive to the idea, and to make matters worse Dracula starts to flirt with the Prince’s wife. A fight ensued and the Prince and his wife were taken and imprisoned. As a punishment Dracula turned the Prince into a Vampire gave him the name “Blacula;” sealed him in a coffin and let the Prince’s wife live out her days in the dungeon cell next to the sealed coffin. 192 years later two interior designers purchased some antiques which included Blacula’s coffin from Dracula’s now abandoned castle and had them shipped to Los Angles where the coffin was unsealed raising Blacula to prey on the living….
Let’s talk about Zora la Vampira (Zora the Vampire); this is an Italian based comic book series. I thought it was Latin American based since the comic was written in Spanish. I started reading it in part to learn to read written Spanish and usage of everyday Spanish words. Does this mean that written Italian and Spanish are the same? Perhaps I need to check that out. I found the series in various Dominican owned corner bodegas, reprint of the original books that came out in the 1970’s. The back story is that Zora and her Professor father went to Transylvania searching for the legendary Count Dracula. When they found him, he turned Zora into a Vampire; she met a old female Vampire named Frau Murder entering into a lesbian relationship and together they have various adventures….
Sukia Dragomic who was a noble woman living in Eastern Europe during the early 1700’s. She was a narcissist who wanted to be beautiful forever so she started to recruit servant girls from the country’s peasant population. Once she got the young women in her castle she killed them and drained their blood and bathed in the dead women’s blood. Since the missing women were peasants the authorities didn’t bother looking for them. However, Sukia slipped up and made a mistake inadvertently killing a daughter from an aristocrat family. When the authorities started to search for the missing daughter Sukia’s misdeeds were discovered and her punishment was to be walled up in a room in her castle and under Eastern European folklore she became a Vampire. In modern times after escaping from the walled up room she moved to good old, New York City married a millionaire killed him and inherited his fortune. She is living under the cover of a rich widow while preying on victims…..
Just the other day I just finished watching a vampire series this one called the Vampire Dairies; a show that put a spin on some concepts especially the concept of morality and mortality. The morality is fornicating with Vampires and inviting death into one’s life. Characters are constantly being killed and brought back from the dead. Most of it is about how impressionable teenagers can be and some of them with the inability to control their urges. The fact that teenage characters think they know more than their parents and that everyone over thirty-five is stupid. The teenage geniuses always pick the path of death and mayhem over peace and tranquility. They undid everything their parents done to keep Vampires down and keep their community safe. The impressionable teenagers unleashed imprisoned Vampires, and caused the death of those close to them. Yet, they picked to fornicate with a Vampire every time.
The one thing that separate this series from the others is that Vampirism was the doing of black magic. A family of originals spread Vampirism throughout the world. This series also allowed Vampires to walk in the sun, protected by the magic of witches. Also, another witche spell would protect a human from being killed if they met their death by Supernatural means. Other concepts introduce was the hybrid werewolf-vampire and that the bite from a werewolf can kill a Vampire. At the same token, it seems that witches magic is powerful enough to bring the dead back to life and incapacitate a Vampire.
The Dawn to Dusk series takes the cake. Love the story line and the concept of a Vampire’s nest sitting the middle of the Mexican desert.
The first one was about two brothers who are criminals killed cops in a bank robbery now they are high tailing to Mexico. They commandeered a family’s RV using the family as a cover to cross the border. Along the way to the border they end up in shootouts and kill people. Once in Mexico they stop at the rest stop which is really a Vampire’s nest. The Vampires deception is revealed and the brothers and the family attempt to fight their way out of the nest.
The next Dawn to Dusk movie is called The Hangman’s Daughter. The setting is the early 1900’s during Poncho Villa’s rebellion in Mexico. A writer is on his way to join Poncho Villa’s rebels when the stage coach he is riding in gets robbed by bandits. The occupants of the stage coach are left to fend for themselves in the Mexican desert. Meanwhile the bandits are being pursued by a posse; in part because the bandits kidnapped the town’s hangman’s daughter. When night fell the stage coach occupants, the bandits and the posse all end up for the night at a whorehouse. Unknown to them the whore house is really a Vampire’s nest, once it was revealed to them it was also revealed that the Hangman’s daughter is also a Vampire…the action begins when the travelers began to fight their way out of the nest.