Looking at the Vampire through Twilight, True Blood and Pop Culture
Vampire, about 50 degrees colder, 300 years older and 20x stronger than your average person, unless your from Houston, Texas.
19 year-old self proclaimed vampire, Lyle Monroe Bensley was arrested after breaking into a woman’s house and attempting to sink his teeth into her neck; quite unsuccessfully. Authorities arrested the ‘Vampilizer’ hissing, growling Bensley in a parking lot, and wearing only his boxer shorts. MSNBC.com reported that Bensley told Galveston Police Capt. Jeff Heyse that he was a 500 year-old vampire who needed to “feed”.
Well if Bensley really is a vampire than he will enjoy the cool dark jail cell as he awaits a psychiatric evaluation on charges of burglary after Thursday’s incident.
There is no chance that Bensley is a vampire though because he would have needed permission to come into the woman’s home and cross the threshold right? While I am merely playing around the sad truth is that the recent vampire craze is real and Bensley may in fact be representing a percentage of the population.
Looking at a picture of the recent vampire burglar, Bensley is covered in tattoos and body piercings, not exactly an Edward Cullen wanna-be but hey its cool. Edward Cullen is the hot throb vampire star of the recent Twilight Saga, based on the novel series by Stephanie Meyer. Twilight and its rendition of the vampire broke on the scene in 2005, debuting at #5 on the New York Times bestseller list. Meyer gives credit to a dream she had back on June 2, 2003, upon which she was absorbed into its reality and obsessed with bringing it’s characters to life.
Enter the twisted romance of vampire, Edward Cullen and awkward teenager, Bella Swan.
Although Meyer and the slew of directors softened the image of vampires, author Ann Rice told Reuters there is a vampire inside all of us.
“I think the vampire is a metaphor for the outsider and the predator in all of us. We’re all conscious at times of being alone, of being alienated, of being a secret self that fears exposure to the judgments of others. So we feel like vampires.” (Vampires and Culture Reuters.com)
Ann Rice is known for her work The Vampire Chronicles , completed in 2002 by her 11th novel, Blood Canticle. Rice refers to her experience as a journey with the main vampire Lestat and his friends, claiming she had to move on, as there was nothing left to tell.
True, how many times can we twist the image of the vampire? The werewolf? The swamp thing? Or even Frankenstein? To refer to them as monsters does not seem right because they all seem to have a story before the transformation.
Upon my literary travels I stumbled across an excellent but undervalued novel entitled Lord of the Dead. Personally as a little girl I was always wrapped up in stories pertaining to mythical creatures like the vampire and remember watching the Monster Squad countless times, wishing I could be apart of it.
Next in my teenage years I became wrapped up in Buffy The Vampire Slayer staring Sarah Michelle Gellar, to this day it is the only television show I watched religiously. When it was on my phone was off and I was in vampire slayer mode, nothing could disturb me, including my boyfriend at the time. Interesting though, the movie about Buffy the Vampire Slayer never really caught my attention the way the show did, in fact I was disappointed in it. Sarah Michelle Gellar is still a personal favorite on the actress list for me, along with her vampire boyfriend Angel, played by David Boreanz.
Why was I so bewitched by the television vampire magic? Well for one I loved the strength that Buffy gave to girls, feeling out of place but being important behind the scenes, I could really relate. Another was the forbidden love; despite being a tomboy all girls are suckers for romance stories, no matter how old you are.
Perhaps that is the magic behind the vampire myth, the unknown arouses curiosity, curiosity than directs attention. Also my whole thing is where do these stories come from.
In 1897 an Irish novelist known as Bram Stoker released the legendary vampire novel, Dracula. Stoker was a sickly child who spent most of his time entertained in the comfort of his bed by his mother’s horror stories. Later in life his best friend and love interest happened to be actors, a lifestyle that is said to suck the life out of a person and require a double identity, just like a vampire.
Whatever the reason for the recent media onslaught regarding the image of the vampire, movies like Interview with the Vampire, Underworld, and the most recent Fright Night are certainly fueling the fire. Hollywood employs only the best-looking stars such as Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, Kate Beckinsdale and Colin Ferrell to depict the films leading vampires.
As with any myth the term vampire lies within the unknown, and the unknown sparks the human curiosity. They say curiosity killed the cat, well if people are curious about the legend of the vampire than they certainly will pay attention to it. True Blood, Twilight and the media to come will continue to capitalize on the myths and rumors surrounding the vampire despite the influence it has on people like Bensley.