With the runaway success at both the box office and bookshelves of the "Twilight" series and the critical buzz surrounding HBO's TV series "True Blood," vampires are enjoying a new heyday in Hollywood not seen since a run of vampire films in the 1970s that included "Count Dracula" and "The Night Stalker." But while audiences all over the country can't seem to get enough of the bloodsucking monsters, there's one group that isn't at all happy about this latest trend: vampires themselves.
The Vampires & Friends of Vampires Union (VFVU), the nation's largest vampire advocacy and awareness group, has issued a formal statement to the press protesting what they consider "limp-wristed, unlikable" portrayals of their kind in books, magazines, television, and movies over the past 18 months. The statement, issued from the organization's headquarters in Transylvania, Louisiana, concludes that the entertainment industry's most recent depiction of vampires is "colored by a clear douche bias."
The strongest and most often cited example in the statement of the alleged "douche slant" is the "Twilight" series of novels and movie franchise, in which teenaged characters and ageless vampires passing as teenagers engage in a variety of romantic entanglements and personality clashes. "This paper-thin facsimile of "Dawson's Creek," only with vampires playing the main roles, only furthers the stereotype of vampires as laconic, brooding shoe-gazers who spend all day writing shitty poetry in between tortured feedings. Twilight, with its Gap-ad vampires and overwrought teenage melodrama, completely misrepresents the vampire kind. If one of those kids let a real vampire get within five feet, their torso would look like a ham hock that someone pulled out of an alligator pen."
Alistair Predilleaux, VFVU spokesman, elaborated on the statement for reporters last night after sundown. "'True Blood', while a slight improvement, continues the recent Hollywood fascination with portraying vampires as almost-normal people who carry on regular daily lives except for the fact that they have to drink blood to survive. 'True Blood's' vampires are at least meaner than the Hollister vampires in 'Twilight', but they nevertheless have the generic look of actors you might see on a soft-porn Showtime movie. Let me just tell you: we are a brutal, bloodthirsty, vicious, f*cked-up bunch of creatures, and we live only to drink human blood. We don't own bars and restaurants, we don't secretly pine for the love of a human, and we don't want to 'fit in.' In fact we have no recognizable human emotions whatsoever, only an animalistic urge to kill and feed. Unfortunately, it looks like that reality is about to absorb yet another kick to the balls now that the WB is getting ready to roll out 'The Vampire Diaries'."
Pop culture watchers have noted the same trend. "The late '90s were really the salad days of the vicious vampire archetype that the VFVU is talking about," explains Dana Ridenhauer, columnist for internet magazine Horror House. "'Blade' came out in 1998, and while there was a pretty lame underground vampire club theme in that movie, there was a ton of blood and the vampires were nevertheless pretty evil. And the high water mark had to be 'John Carpenter's Vampires'. The vampires in that movie slaughtered an entire mission full of Franciscan priests! Carpenter swung for the fences on the gore in that one. There definitely weren't any of these Dashboard Confessional vampires like we're seeing now."
Predilleaux sees an emerging double standard. "You'll recall that zombies were all the rage about 6 or 7 years ago. Zombies were always shambling, slow-witted monsters that just grunted and groaned the whole movie. Then Danny Boyle makes '28 Days Later', and all of a sudden zombies are a bunch of goddamn track stars. Seriously, the zombies in the original 'Dawn of the Dead' were limping dullards. And in the remake, they're setting world records in the hundred meter dash. So now it's our turn to get a second look, and we're no scarier than some dude lugging his MacBook Air into Starbucks. We formally protest."
Local vampire Derrick Lyondell agreed. "I saw a story about 'Vampire Diaries' in a magazine a couple days ago. It made me want to kill myself, if I could kill myself."