Twilight News and Vampire Open Thread(ish)!

I was a very bad Raked last night, and I only watched 20 minutes of TV. That means The Unusuals and Scrubs are both living in my TiVo, so you’ll have to wait on those.

Found out today that there’s a new director for Twilight‘s third movie, Eclipse. It’s official this time. I know you all were hoping for Drew Barrymore, but no. I believe I identified that as a publicity stunt (and I still think it was), but it looks like now it will be…

[drumroll please]

David Slade! Who is David Slade? Well, he directed 30 Days of Night and Hard Candy. Nope, I didn’t see either of those. But apparently horror and monsters are not exactly new to him, so there you go. Read all about it.

Why do all these Twilight directors keep hopping around? I mean, we know why the first director left: money or timing or probably money. But now we have New Moon‘s Chris Weitz leaving after that movie’s said and done. Maybe it’s so that you’re not only known to be in the vampire genre.

And what about the vampire genre? Seems to be huge now, eh? First there was Buffy, then Angel. Moonlight had a short life right after Angel, and now TV has True Blood. Add in the CW’s plan to make a series from L.J. Smith’s Vampire Diaries, and you’re all set (personally, I’d much prefer a movie or series based on her Secret Circle, but that’s just me).

And of course Twilight. But those aren’t the only books. I’m not going to spend time running down the entire list (there are too many), but even the guy who wrote Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is going to be coming out with Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (not kidding).

So what about vampires? Here’s where the “open thread” comes in, even though I kinda sorta chose a topic for discussion. I want to hear your thoughts.

  • Are you a Twilight fan? Books? Movie?
  • Best vampire series out there–TV or otherwise. (I’m personally curious about True Blood, as I don’t have HBO and have never seen it.)
  • Who’s your vampy hottie? Spike, Angel, Edward?
  • Are you even a vampire fan? What monster gets your mojo going?
  • Do you hate me now that I just said “vampy” and “mojo”?
  • And who’s your vote to kill them all! (I immediately think Buffy, but there’s Faith, werewolves, Mr. Sunlight, jealous ex…)

Anyway, have at it. Just click on that pretty red box below (scroll, it’s down there), and let me know. Like I said, I’m curious about True Blood, and I never saw Moonlight, so both of those would be good to hear about.

And anyone who remembers Sliders‘ episode “Stoker” gets a gold star. Though, really, I hope none of you out there do. It was a pretty bad episode.


25 thoughts on “Twilight News and Vampire Open Thread(ish)!

  1. Heard some good stuff about True Blood. Because it’s on HBO, it’s supposedly very graphic and sexual.

    There certainly has been a vampire renaissance lately. While I didn’t read Twilight, I feel like the immense popularity of that series has (sorry for the pun) sucked out some of the intriguing darkness around the vampire mythology. They’re supposed to be evil, undead monsters who vaporize in the sunlight, not popular, principled vegetarian high school students! If you’re trying to make a good vampire, they HAVE to be tortured by their desire for blood, or the fact that they can never easily move through human society again. Vampirism is supposed to be a cursed boon; that’s what makes it interesting. Twilight got it all wrong; making vampires “cool” makes them uninteresting. There aren’t enough drawbacks to being a vampire in that universe; they can apparently easily avoid their hunger for blood, they don’t burst into flames at the sight of sunlight, apparently they still have their immortal souls. A human longing for those kind of benefits, without drawbacks, isn’t that interesting. A more flawed vision of a vampire is way more interesting; they got the eternal life that we all wish for, but generally at the cost of human relationships, which makes life worth living in the first place.

  2. I haven’t watched this video, but it looks like Del Toro agrees with you. I saw this link this morning:

    However, I find it a little annoying to be bringing out a vampire book series now like he’s doing, no matter how much long he’s been interested in it. Sounds like he’s just jumping on the bandwagon to me.

    Anyway, how would your assessment compare to the ones in Buffy? Sure, Angel seems to be the exception (then Spike), but ultimately, vampires are evil. But we still have one snuggling a hot high school honey.

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  4. I’m not saying all vampires have to be totally evil, but rather that evil should be the core of their nature. Most of them are going to be horrible monsters, who are probably somewhat jealous of humanity for what they themselves have given up. Being “good,” if they try it at all, should be a monumental struggle and they should have to fight against every instinct they have. I think Angel seems to do this in Buffy, though I don’t know about Spike because I haven’t gotten that far. But once Angel achieved a really intimate human connection with someone, he plunged right back into darkness and lost the comfort that a human relationship can bring. Like I said before, they’ve lost their ability to connect.

    It seems like the view in contemporary pop culture is more like vampirism is a cool thing that maybe has a few drawbacks but essentially makes you a super hero with super powers. I like the more complicated idea; that it’s a nothing more than a deal with the devil that looks good at the outset, but actually leaves you more tortured than the humans you victimized.

  5. That will make things easier. Zombies can’t be morally conflicted; they just want to eat brains.

  6. Zombies bore me. Not sure why. Though they did appear in Buffy and that was intriguing. I think vampires have vaguity in what they’ll be like, solely because they’re so deceptive. Human-looking, you know?

  7. I don’t find zombies terribly interesting, either — perhaps because they can’t be morally conflicted. This tends to be my issue with killer robots, too, but that’s a subject for another post. I guess the point is that zombies can only be a threat, a dramatic-looking set piece, whereas vampires can be fully developed characters.

    Like J, however, I prefer my vampires with a side of menace, or at least remorse. They’re monsters because they kill people, after all.

    The urge to re-invent the vampire myth is not what I find objectionable, though. In a sense, it’s only natural — being folklore in the first place, there is no definitive definition of what makes someone a vampire. So why not let writers pick and choose the characteristics that help in their storytelling?

    As Raked remembers, I did watch the first few episodes of Moonlight when it was on, and they made a big deal of defining how vamps act in the world of their story — in fact, I think the pilot opened with that explanation. Some of them were clearly ease-of-storytelling changes — I think allowing vamps to walk around in daylight was one, which is certainly a limitation Buffy and Angel had to work around all the time. And I think there was also a certain amount of trying to set their new vamp detective apart from all those who have gone before him, from Barnabas Collins to Angel himself.

    Twilight, of course, goes even farther, and practically de-fangs their vampires — at which point, I agree, they as well be X-Men style mutants or something. I think the problem with redefining the vampire too much (and I didn’t really watch Moonlight long enough to decide whether or not they skirted this) is that part and parcel of the classic vampire story is the atmosphere he brings with him. You don’t always see it in Buffy because she is the anti-vamp and she sets the tone of the series — but you get it in spades in Angel. It’s all over the Anita Blake books, and Stoker’s Dracula pretty much lives there. But Twilight (at least the first book) makes a brief trip to dark, shadowy, scary vampire-land (the scene in the dance studio), but it hasn’t got a thing to do with Edward Cullen. In fact, galloping through lovely meadows with your perfectly perfect sparkly boyfriend is about as far from the vampire atmosphere as you can possibly get. So… the Cullens as vampires. Why bother? All they’ve been left is super-strength, immortality, and some odd hunting trips. Hell, they could be Greek gods with that list.

  8. I haven’t read your entire post yet, KT, but killer robot discussion is welcome here. Maybe that’s a monster that gets someone’s mojo going. 🙂

  9. Oh, well, it’s not so much discussion as my being a bad Star Trek fan who not only thinks the Borg are not scary, but finds them downright dull. (This is perhaps due to my seeing The Next Generation in reruns and all out of order. Maybe.) Having “I was programmed to kill you” as a character’s sole motivation doesn’t really do it for me. Ditto for your standard-issue Terminators.

    On the other hand, I just saw this and thought that the sixth one down seemed appropriate to this discussion. 😀

  10. In Twilight‘s defense, the second book does introduce the Volturi, which are rather frightening. They eat tourists and even have a beautiful model to lure them in as a harmless tour. Plus, the mindgames are rather intense. So not all are glitter and smiles.

    But one thing Twilight has that others don’t is the violent death. It’s much like The Judge in Buffy where you have to rip them apart and destroy them. Well, then burn them (so not entirely the Judge). But that’s something a little different.

    But you’re right. While they attempt to show the conflict, I think ultimately, it’s weak. But some of the vamps in Buffy were rather bumbling and dumb, you know? Angeles and Spike were standouts.

    I’ve lost my point. I just felt that some Twilight defense had to be mentioned, just so that it was a little more accurate, no matter how much I disliked the books.

    Now, counter away.

  11. * Are you a Twilight fan? Books? Movie?
    Never did Twilight although we have some very serious anti-Twilighters on Buffyfest.

    * Best vampire series out there–TV or otherwise.
    Buffy, that may seem obvious (although there are times I think Angel is a better series.) True Blood is fine TV but tries a bit too hard.

    * Who’s your vampy hottie? Spike, Angel, Edward?
    Angel and Spike are my vamp guys. I didn’t mind the dude from Moonlight although I mainly watched to count the bites of Angel (pun slightly intended 😉 I don’t get the vamps on that show…are they evil? demons? from hell? soulless? or are they just blood affected, I never got it. Same goes for True Blood, I think the verdict is still out on whether they are hell creatures or what.

    * Are you even a vampire fan? What monster gets your mojo going?
    Vampires always have the cool. Zombies are definitely funnier. Orcs are scary, but that’s a whole other conversation.

    * Do you hate me now that I just said “vampy” and “mojo”?
    Vampy Mojo should be your new screen name.

    * And who’s your vote to kill them all! (I immediately think Buffy, but there’s Faith, werewolves, Mr. Sunlight, jealous ex…)
    I suppose the Slayer with support from Faith and Giles.

  12. Is it sad that I didn’t know what Orcs are? I love that random monsters–or killer robots–are being entered into this thread.

  13. Raked! How did I live with you for two years and never sit you down and make you watch Lord of the Rings with me?

    Basically, orcs tend to be nasty, brutal creatures that are sort of a cross between goblins and trolls, (as those tend to appear in the popular imagination). I honestly don’t know whether Tolkien invented them — being Tolkien, they probably originate in some northern/central European mythology of other. But they certainly appear in lots of post-Tolkien fantasy.

    Also… “Vampy Mojo” is hilarious, and totally needs to be your handle on the next Whedon forum you join. 😀

  14. Are you a Twilight fan? Books? Movie? No, haven’t read or seen it, but if I do I’ll give you my review.

    Best vampire series out there–TV or otherwise. (I’m personally curious about True Blood, as I don’t have HBO and have never seen it.) Buffy The Vampire Slayer for me for obvious reasons. It’s what got me into vampires.

    Who’s your vampy hottie? Spike, Angel, Edward? Mmmmmmm Angel 😉

    Are you even a vampire fan? What monster gets your mojo going?

    Do you hate me now that I just said “vampy” and “mojo”? No, but I agree with Buffyfest that it should be your new screen name. 🙂

    And who’s your vote to kill them all! (I immediately think Buffy, but there’s Faith, werewolves, Mr. Sunlight, jealous ex…) Buffy for me again. It’s the vampire show of all shows.

  15. Whoops missed one question.

    Are you even a vampire fan? What monster gets your mojo going? Vampires can be sexy (Angel, Spike) but the creativity of Whedon with monsters for Buffy (and Angel on Angel) to fight was awesome.

  16. See, that’s especially interesting to me. Whedon could make a sexy vampire–in fact, they kinda have to be if you consider the whole Dracula/siren seduction thing (KT can correct me if I’m wrong, since I only got halfway through the book). But then there’s Twilight where the characters…sparkle? Really? They sparkle?

    Hence why I’m on Team Jacob, but that’s a conversation for another time.

    Well, it probably didn’t hurt Whedon to have David Boreanaz on his side. It’s not like he’s unattractive.

  17. I could be jaded. I think I judge and compare all other vampire tv shows/movies/books compared to Buffy. The show is my first love of vampirism. (umm not sure if that’s a word hehe) There was a book I read last year and the author escapes me now. It was a three book series about vampires taking over the current day world and a group of people thrown together, from current and past times, to fight and stop them. One being a vampire and because of Buffy he was my favorite character. Now I’m going to go nuts trying to remember the books and author..

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  19. Whedon could make a sexy vampire–in fact, they kinda have to be if you consider the whole Dracula/siren seduction thing (KT can correct me if I’m wrong, since I only got halfway through the book).

    No, you’re exactly right. Stoker does give his vampires a strong mind control power, which definitely becomes part what makes them so creepy. And then if you think back to “Buffy vs. Dracula,” that’s one of the “traditional” (I know, I said above that there’s no such thing, but you know what I mean…) vampire powers Dracula has that the average Whedon vamps don’t — and Whedon proceeds to use that to make points about Xander taking control of his life and Buffy’s need for direction and self-discipline.

  20. Haha, I love the Xander/Dracula relationship. Speaking of, I really need to keep reading the Buffy season 8 comics.

  21. Pingback: Thursday Open Thread: What to keep? What to drop? « Raked

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