Few people on Earth have watched as many vampire films over the past few weeks as the hard-working staff of the 2009 Vampire Film Festival. While they prepare to descend onto New Orleans October 23rd for a four day celebration of vampire-centric film, music and celebration they were nice enough to send Weird Things their 10 biggest pet peeves with the vamp genre.
The search for a long-dead lover. It always ends in finding some poor girl who is the dead amours dead ringer, literally. That plot device had been overused to the point of being clichéd.
One bite transforms you into a vampire. Sorry, this would mean we’d be up to our eyebrows in the pesky things world-wide in about six months.
Vampires must kill regularly to feed. Anne Rice does this, but consider — three vampires in New Orleans killing at least once a night for sixty years. That is over sixty thousand corpses! In a city with a population of less than a quarter of a million! The Civil War was less devastating to the city!
Killer sun exposure. This device is not in vampire lore or Dracula but from the film Nosferatu. Vampires are depicted as an all-powerful, eternal beings but their Achilles’ heel is the sun. How can you be all-powerful if you can be bumped off by a suntan?
Sloppy eaters. I love cioppino, for example. Love it. But when I eat it, only a few drops might end up on my lips and shirt. Why would vampires be any different? Or if you use the analogy of addiction — do addicts spill cocaine? Not deliberately they don’t! In fact they’ll go to great lengths not to!
Flight. No offense but I’m a bit bored by vampires who can fly a la Superman. Or are associated with bats for some reason. Neither has any basis in folklore (well, some Asian vampires can fly…)
Secret vampire societies. Another overworked device that is a bit lame but takes care of one issue with vampires…how the hell do they make a living?
Vampire males who mope about being vampires. Okay we get it, you don’t like biting people for your next meal but please don’t push undead angst to the limit
Ancient juvenile delinquents. You have centuries to grow, to learn, to experience things. And in all that time all you end up becoming is a bully? Frankly, that is hard to believe. Some might atrophy, might go subtly mad as they coped less and less well with change, or become focused on individual obsessions, but wouldn’t others–given the time and the opportunities huge amounts of time provides–evolve into more interesting persons?
Bug-eating servants. Renfield was innovative in his day. Devouring live insects is no longer edgy, but cliche.
Other pet peeves include:
Weird Vampire Sounds. What’s Up with the hissing sounds the vampires make in films.
Letting it All Hang Out. The stupid face they make when they bare their fangs, is that really necessary?
Over stating the Myth. Garlic, stakes, crosses sunlight-one of these usually doesn’t work on vampires. Which ones varies. Usually it is accompanied by ” X doesn’t work!”
All Vampires Are Evil. How would that work, precisely? Even on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, where a person’s soul is replaced by a demon’s when turned undead, vampires ended up with a wide variety of behaviors, including Spike (starting before the chip) and Harmony. I’m less displeased if some kind of justification is given, but usually there isn’t even a hint.
Oversexed vampire tarts. They are always played by played by big-breasted, no-talented actresses and the whole thing is tired…at least to the women in the audience.
If you are in the New Orleans area or just really love the idea of those dapper undead scamps please take the time to check out the Vampire Film Festival website. The fest begins October 23rd and runs for four days. We thank them for helping us out and would like to editorially note that we are quite fond of the oversexed vampire tart concept.