Monday, April 20, 2009

I Am Such a Sucker for Vampires

Experiencing a complex mix of shame and delight, I watched "Twilight" this afternoon. I had been waiting for ages to see it, and the time never seemed just right. But today was rainy, and I planned my many chores so that I'd have a window of time to indulge before I had to pick Hedgie up at school.

There I was, a fully-growed up married lady, alone in my living room with this magical travesty of a chicken-hawking vehicle. With the assurance that the real live actor, Robert Pattinson aka smoldering vampire old man-boy, is 21 at least and open for business, I felt reasonably free to swoon, drool, worship, and squeal. Yes, in the privacy of my home I joined the hordes of pre-teen girls--and boys--before me and actually squealed out loud when he first makes his appearance in the high school lunchroom, and then again when he becomes overwrought from Bella's smell, again when he asks if she knows what he is and then commands her to "say it out loud."

I also wondered at the attraction. The movie, although moody and atmospheric, is oddly asexual, as many have commented, the relationship between the girl and the vampire is completely virginal. He's not even my "type," because over the years I've refined my type from skinny beautiful girlish boys to full grown men with character and something to hang onto. My real type is more bear than deer; Robert Pattinson is definitely more deer than bear.

I didn't get a chance to finish it, so had to put Hedgie to bed before I could watch the last illicit 15 minutes. I simply cannot overstate how quickly Sarge fled the scene when he caught sight of Edward putting his teeth to Bella's neck. He had a tight, disgusted expression like he'd just mistakenly opened a public bathroom door on someone. He almost literally ran downstairs as I called sweetly after his vanishing back, "But wouldn't you like to watch with me?"..."No, honey, you just enjoy!" I could hear him calling back, his voice already faint in the distance...

He's very understanding. But I digress...

No doubt about it, I'm a vampire connoisseur--from that dreadful anti-semitic Nosferatu (not without his fearful charm), to the absinthe-swilling Gary Oldman, from the kitschy night-walkers in "Omega Man" and Anne Rice's tacky rock n' roll goths to the stylish Eastern-European monsters of "Thirty Days of Night," to pasty Bill in "True Blood," and of course let us pay fond homage to the best of the lot, Bram Stoker's classic dark lover, well...I've yet to meet a vampire who didn't give me a happy little frisson.

I suppose that, in the end, it all comes back to the biting.

44 comments:

MJ said...

Was he wearing eyeliner?

I'll watch it if he's wearing eyeliner.

Leah said...

MJ--he's wearing eyeliner and a whole shitload of kevorka.

Auntie, aka Dog Girl said...

Hey Girl,
I never really liked the Twilight thing, either print or movie. But I AM a Vampire fan...I've read all of Anne Rice's stuff. I love all those vampire films (both good and awful). I think my attraction to vampire fiction is in its subliminal (and often overt) sexual nuances...all that flesh, all that biting, sucking, and yes, those big heaving bosoms!
But the other thing I really like is the notion of immortality.
Anyways, enough drivel. My eyeballs are dried up from too much computer work. Time to crawl into my coffin. I mean my bed. LOL

Brian Miller said...

lol. grew up on Anne Rice and Lestat. Read Twilight, just to see what all the hub bub was about. pretty good story, could have been written better. have always associated vampires with sexual tension, the intimacy of the way they take life. between that and the immortality, you can tell why it is so alluring for the teens.

The Idle Devil said...

How true.

Suzanne said...

Now see, this is going to make you laugh. I'm not a vampire thing. Never. Never, ever, ever. I'm a simple woman!!!! *Looks around for a sucker...* What? It's true, I'm not, *rolls eyes in head.*

What?

Megan said...

Have you read The Historian? Don't....

Megan said...

But I do highly recommend this one:

http://www.amazon.com/Those-Hunt-Night-Barbara-Hambly/dp/0345361326

Leah said...

Auntie--I agree with your assessment. And surely the bosoms play into the whole thing!

Brian--also agree with you. And I can see why it's alluring for the teens, but also for the 30-something ladies! lol

Idle Devil--I know, right?

Suzy--not a sucker for the suckers? Really? Okay, I guess to each his own.

Megan!--haven't read "The Historian." Checked out the link, and they had me at "Edwardian London." Will read pronto.

Candie Bracci said...

Bite me!lol
No not that guy not my vampire type at all,I'm like you.I've seen the movie too.Ah now if you talk about Gary Oldman when he has his long hair(no not when he's old),but with his long hair and suit(remember that part?),hum,yeah,now you talk vampire,and a sexy one!!Brad Pitt wasn't so bad as a vampire himself and check Thomas Ian Griffith in "Vampire" not bad at all!

BEAST said...

I was forced to watch this film with my neice , and while I love a vampire novel/flick meself , being a huge Anne Rice fan . I have to say I thought this film sucked (and not in a vampric way) big time , but then I am not a teenage girl I guess

MJ said...

Yes, you are, Beast.

Karen ^..^ said...

I watched it too... I felt like a dirty old lady. I wanted to hump him.

It was a badly scripted, badly acted, badly directed and badly produced movie, but made MILLIONS due to all the screaming pre-pubescent girls watching it. And the nearly menopausal ones, too. Heh.

Ahem.

I loved it.

Auntie, aka Dog Girl said...

OMG to Karen's comment.
I was eating brown rice and it splattered all over the computer screen from laughter!!!
LOL
ugh
LOL

Karen ^..^ said...

Auntie::
That's what you get for eating such foul stuff. Always glad to help...

:D

faycat said...

I just watched in Sunday! J-Cat managed to fall asleep about 5 minutes in, I think he willed it to happen. But I'm thinking I might get the book for a nice easy vacation read.

BTW, I was a bit more taken with the wolf boy Jacob.

Emerson Marks said...

I'm not a teenage girl, but...but....must fight urge to make inappropriate joke about teenage girls. Teenage girls older than 18, obviously.

You don't see vampire sucking the blood out of the neck's of frumpy older women do you. It's always the ones with pert norks.

Leah said...

Candie--yes, the younger Gary Oldman with the suit and long hair--swoon--I think it actually helped his case that he's not so typically gorgeous, but he sure as heck was sexy!!!!

Beast--I cannot argue that it sucked, not in the vampiric way--reference Karen's nice summation of its terrible flaws--

hence the mild humiliation of enjoying it as much as I did--did your niece swoon? Were there actually people shrieking with delight in the theaters, like Beatlemania? I wonder.

Leah said...

MJ--all is revealed! Maybe he was protesting just a little too much there...

Karen--I have nothing to add to your brilliant summary there. You made me laugh out loud too, though.

Auntie--she did, right? Me too but it was coffee.

Faycat--I agree that Jacob was in some ways the much better choice, plus charming and adorable.

EM--good thing you contained yourself! lolol. Actually, re: pert norks, we just watched "Nosferatu" last night, and I must say the vampire's choice of, er, lady friends was dubious. But maybe it was a product of the 1920s film quality and the awful costuming, who knows, perhaps there was some perk under all that...

Lisa said...

SF and I saw that on one of our dates. I loved it and would have almost offered my neck too....

Ronda Laveen said...

I have not seen it yet but see all of the young women wearing "Twilight" T-shirts. I love vamp stories. Am currently awaiting the return of Suki and Bill in True Blood. Did you ever read any of the Vampirella comics in the 90s? They were pretty good. There is something intriguing about power and immortallity.

Jimmy Bastard said...

Christ alive! I'm late on the auld comments for once.

Vampires.. cannae say that I've ever taken a swatch at any particular Vampire filum, but Gary Oldman always was a blood sucking bastart in real life.

I still cannae get over the fact that his sister is Big Mo in that awfy Eastenders soap.

Leah said...

Lisa!--I really wish I'd seen it in the theater.

Ronda--I'm waiting for True Blood too! Not until August, I hear. I haven't read Vampirella--will check it out!

Jimmy--I've only seen Eastenders once or twice, and couldn't make head or tail of it. I guess you can't just arrive in the middle of a soap. I just looked up Big Mo--yoicks! I guess there is a definite family resemblance, though...

mago said...

The bloodsuckers. Undeads coming out of the grave sucking life force from humans or animals, if need be. Sometimes the sucking grandpa has to be fixed in the grave *whack!*. What by the way in some Eastern areas happened until the time after WWII, heared some strange stories from Romania in the 90s too. There's archeological evidence for medieval corpse-fixation by *whack" in northern Europe.
The modern vampyre is all about sex, Lugosi Bela and others really made The Bite a knee-shacking thing, what an appropriation, really unicorny ... "unicorn resting in the virgins lap" is btw a liked medieval theme or motif.

mago said...

"Sinkful" is right I guess ...

savannah said...

i've managed to avoid the twilight hysteria...i think i'm over vampire literature...





more's the pity.xoxoxoox

(sucker for vampires?...oy!) ;)

Leah said...

mago--Sometimes the sucking grandpa has to be fixed in the grave *whack!*--how funny-scary, I love it!

I was just remembering that Bram Stoker's dracula was less sexy and more, just, well, kinda unappealing. I have to go reread it to make sure.

savannah--I avoided the hysteria in that I avoided the crowded theater, but now look at me!

Yup, it's the worst pun (if you can call it that) I've ever come up with. I challenge you to think of worse!!! ; )

Maria said...

I did the same thing over Pattinson when I took my teenaged nieces to see it in November. I mean, I was...just...stupid over this...boy.

Even now, I am stuttering. How uncool of me.

mago said...

Stoker's work at the end of the 19th century is of it's own fascination. A late example of the "Schauer-Romantik" I would say, but others see it different.

I always have in mind a story about english writers in a villa in the south, with drugs, sex and adultery - is this Broker and friends in Napoli? I forgot.

With the sex i was referring to the pictures, films: Lugosi biting, Kinski biting, have no idea how sexy Stoker's story is, never read the original, but I assume he's more on the "life-force" thing, what would be the grand theme in the fin de siecle, pre-WWI times.
I think the erotic "Aufladung" "charging" took really off with the 30s and 50s films. Murnau's expressionistic Nosferatu is a lot - but definitely not erotic.

As always in culture, it's about pictures, images and perception.

And eyeliner.

Leah said...

mago, ha! you're so right. Images. Eyeliner. You also just reminded me of, how could I forget, my favorite David Bowie in "The Hunger." Very intriguing, your mention of the larger themes of "Dracula" and I am literally going to go get it out of the shelf right now and begin a re-read. Lucky I have it handy.

Maria--you have made me feel loads better now. Between you, Karen, and Lisa (above) admitting to this basest of sillinesses along with me, I am bolstered!

kylie said...

i'm just lost on this

vampires???

kylie said...

oh and about your previous post.
i wish i could say that all my childhood crying was related to some very matuer existential awareness. alas, i cannot. i dont know why i cried so much then or now

xo

Madame DeFarge said...

Nobody did vampires better than Christopher Lee. Why shouldn't a vampire be a suave older man (always my weak spot) rather than pretty boys? And anyway, I prefer zombies.

Skeeter said...

Hi Leah,

Didn't get into the Twilight thing much, but I've been a big fan of those old Hammer pictures with Christopher Lee as the blood sucker. Loved those stories.

Best wishes,

Skeeter

Leah said...

Kylie--Yes, vampires. No? That's okay, more for me...

For the existential angst, that's definitely why I'm still crying a little too much...

Mme. DeF.--Never saw him as a vampire, but oh that Saruman...I do so love an older gent, though. That's my usual preference...

CyberPete said...

They don't do it for me. Although Angel from Buffy is HAWT! I don't watch a lot of vampire stuff though.

I guess it comes down to if I see blood or not. The whole blood drinking freaks me out.

A.Decker said...

Vampires...heh,heh, forever!
Yeah, Twilight. I'm like you, in that I've never 'met' a vampire I didn't like. Although I don't like at all the modern trend to "de-mystify" the whole thing, reduce it to aberrant nature instead of supernatural. Stoker's version should be the bible on it, imo.
Oh yeah, Twilight. Didn't want to see it. Too teeny-bopper looking for me. The wife actually got me to rent it the other day, and what I enjoyed the most was it's accomplishment as cinematic art; the effectiveness with which they darkly sparked up the teen stuff. I guess my favorite scene is when the rival clans square off at the baseball field.
Oh, I've rambled a bit. See, I like vampires--even when I don't like 'em.
You know stuff I don't. For example, what is "a whole shitload of kevorka"?
Also, you said Nosferatu(Werner Herzog's version=my fave all time!)is anti-semetic. ??? I never notice anything racial 'til someone else brings it up anyway, but I'm reviewing it in my mind--seeing, of course, everything I love about it--and I am at a loss to comprehend it as "dreadful anti-semetic." What did I miss? Or are you referring to the original silent version with Max Shreck? I've never seen that one.

Leah said...

A. Decker--what an interesting comment, thanks!

Bram Stoker, definitely the bible.

I agree with you--my fave scene was also the baseball scene. I loved when the "evil" vampires strode onto the field. Fabulous!

As for Nosferatu, I'm referring to the original, which you must must see. Maybe you won't agree with the anti-semitic assessment; I'm hypersensitive to that stuff. Also, I'm going by the appearance of Schreck's vampire, and the received wisdom on it. But all that said, it is SUCH a great, unbelievably scary movie. Schreck is without doubt the freakiest, most horrible of all the movie vampires. Definitely check it out when you have a chance!

Leah said...

Cyberpete--me neither on the actual blood-drinking question. The biting and gnawing, however, that's all good.

crazyrivergirl said...

Don't tell my kids but I always really fancied Buffy's Spike!
(Sorry for the late comment.)

Mrsupole said...

Okay, promise to keep this short, but you forgot to mention the best looking vampire ever and that was Nick on the show Moonlight. The writers strike ended that show, but it was the best vampire show ever. True Blood is okay, but not as good as Moonlight. My mom who never watches vampire movies has discovered this shows reruns on the Sci-fi channel. Oh I just wish they would bring it back. My youngest grandson and I would watch it every Friday night. Oh how I miss Nick. He is so gorgeous. I could eat him up and dang it, I also have to say he could park his shoes under my bed anytime, as long as he climbed into it. Sigh.

lettuce said...

hey - just scrolled down and saw this

"Let the right one in" is one of the best vampire films I've seen for a long long time - really recommend it.

A.Decker said...

Leah & Lettuce,
I just did some research on "Let the Right One In," made a discovery so significant I posted on it. You might want to CHECK THIS OUT.

muralimanohar said...

I read the books. And then watched the movie. Just for the pop culture knowledge. Cause by the end of the books, I was cringing in embarrassment for the author, and in the movie, RP just doesn't quite do it for me, eyeliner notwithstanding. And Wolf Boy..no. Nononono. He still looks exactly the same as he did as Sharkboy, and as the kid in Cheaper By the Dozen. I already have to accept I am a Dirty Old Lady, with my preference for pretty boys. I refuse to lower myself to pretty BABY boys.

And what is this about Suki in True Blood?? I haven't started on them yet..but how the heck am I supposed to be submerged in the fantasy about someone named after my freaking daughter????? This is NOT a good sign.