What Is Up With The Vampires These Days?

My wife and I enjoy vampire movies and television shows. Pretty much every decade has its share of awesome vampire fare. We love the original Dracula from 1931 (if you have the chance, check out the Spanish version--it's actually better than the Bela Legosi English version). We like the 1979 Frank Langella Dracula as well. The '80s were full of great blood-sucking, with classics like both of the Fright Night films and The Lost Boys standing out as the best. As far as the '90s go, we loved the ultra-gory Vampire$ in 1998 and television's all-too-short-lived Kindred: The Embraced. We really got into last year's Moonlight (again, short-lived) and we've started watching True Blood--which is a pretty cool vampire story under its soft-core porn exterior.

In our effort to keep up with the latest on the vampire front, we recently started watching the Twilight films. Which is what brings me back to my initial question: what is up with the vampires these days?

Edward Cullen and his bunch are just way too whiny to be proper vampires. Granted, there have been whiny vampires before: Louis from Interview with the Vampire would have fit right in with the Cullens, as would 1992's incarnation of Dracula who did nothing but bemoan his fate. But the entire Twilight mythology is built on a foundation of whine. The vampires are so unhappy with being vampires that it even makes the werewolves and humans sad and gloomy!

As I suffered through New Moon (which has an angst to "cool vampire action" ratio of about 99 to 1), I couldn't help but think about how the vampires of previous decades would handle the Twilight clan.

Jerry Dandridge from Fright Night, who enjoyed the idea of toying with humans who found out his secret, would take out the whole town of Forks, Washington, werewolves included, and have a good laugh with his buddy Billy afterward. If Jerry's sister, Regine (Fright Night 2) was pissed at Bella Swan, Bella would never have lasted through multiple movies of being hunted--she would have been gone in the first five minutes of New Moon. And it's for damn sure that David, Paul, Dwayne, and Marko (The Lost Boys) wouldn't let any of those pale, whiny Cullens hang from the railroad bridge with them.

Granted, the whole sparkly instead of bursting-into-flames-in-sunlight would give the Cullens an edge in the daytime. But at night? Forget about it.

I have to say, I am losing my patience with modern movie vampires. I haven't seen Eclipse yet (I'll wait for the video release, thanks), but I can only imagine it's more of the same. Vampires are really powerful, virtually immortal beings. Given their position in the food chain, you'd think they'd embrace their lot in life (death?). Lions don't go around moping because they're forced to kill gazelles, do they? It's pretty much the same thing. At least to me.

As I've said before, I am no fan of remaking films that were good in their original incarnations--but maybe it is high time for a Fright Night remake. Just to show the kids today what real vampires are like. (Actually, with the addition of Dr. Who's David Tennant and Superbad's Christopher Minzt-Plasse to the cast, there's even more of a reason to give this particular remake a thumbs-up.)

Better still, maybe somebody should make Twilight: Showdown: The Cullens versus the vamps of the '80s. That would clear out the pale, wussy, angst-ridden crowd and bring some proper night stalking back to the big screen.

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