Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Twilight Saga by Stephanie Meyer

Well the time has come to discuss the vampires in Twilight. I figured I should discuss them before going any further in order to come back to them in future discussions. I am finding it difficult to continue without being able to relate other vampires to those in Twilight.

I started reading the Twilight saga after the third book came out, and I will admit I became addicted. But I mean come on, sparkling vampires. You don’t need to be a fan of the vampire to realize that is extremely cheesy. Not only do they glitter, but there is never any mention of fangs, and how can you have a vampire with no fangs. Overall I felt that these vampires lack any real substance, and they are far too safe.

Granted there are no rules for vampire portrayal and I do believe this creative freedom is what has helped to keep the vampire immortal in popular culture. I guess even the vampire needs to keep up with the times and appeal to different audiences.

And it is important to note that this series has helped to bring the vampire back into mainstream popular culture for a younger generation, but please no more sparkling.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Underworld (Films 1 and 2)

This isn’t the first vampire action film, but I do think it brings something new into the genre. In the Underworld universe the vampires are a gun totting aristocratic clan who stay out of the human world. These vampires still have the usual traits that are found in popular culture but with a modern twist.

I think the most important thing that sets this series apart from any other vampire action films has to be the strong female vampire lead. Humans are pretty much non-existent in these films, but the audience must still pick someone to relate to or to cheer for, and in this case it is Kate Beckinsale’s character Selene.

The female vampire is usually portrayed as a victim or as an over sexualized, manipulative creature. Selene is a strong, independent vampire who is the one saving and protecting a man. Sure sure, she is wearing a skin tight leather outfit throughout the films, but I don’t think that vampires need to follow the same gender roles as human characters do.

I think that is why storytellers like the vampire so much. Not only are they mysterious, dark and live outside the normal roles of society, but they are able to see humanity in an entirely different way since they have lived for hundreds of years.Vampires can be used to break the conventions within society and say things about humanity from an outside perspective.

However I would like to note how ridiculous all the guns are in these films. They are very trigger happy vampires.