Fangs, But No Fangs

Pic by Enokson

IS IT only me, or is anyone else fed up with vampires? These days, it seems, you can hardly search for something to read or turn on the TV without stumbling across a gazillion vampire or werewolf-themed stories. And any day now – well, around November – there will be yet another Twilight movie.

I’m a scaredy-cat, so I never did get the attraction, although I suppose psychologists would say that blood, long locks and gorgeous guys combined have some kind of erotic appeal.

If vampires really existed, though, surely they wouldn’t look like Robert Pattinson or Brad Pitt. They’d more likely be sweaty, smelly and with hair in all the wrong places, I reckon.

Author Anne Rice probably started the trend with her Interview with the Vampire, although in 1994, at the time the movie of her novel was cast she was apparently shocked by its pretty-boy cast – Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, Antonio Banderas. Weren’t vampires supposed to be ugly as slugs, dripping blood and saliva from their fearsome fangs?

“I was particularly stunned by the casting of Cruise, who is no more my Vampire Lestat than Edward G Robinson (a fat, ugly character actor) is Rhett Butler (the heart-throb hero of Gone With the Wind),” she told The Los Angeles Times.

To be fair, after she’d seen Cruise’s performance she was won over. “The charm, the humour and the invincible innocence which I cherish in my beloved hero Lestat are all alive in Tom Cruise’s courageous performance,” she said.

The success of the film and of Rice’s other vampire books led to television latching onto the appeal of the “undead” and series like Charmed had teenage girls all a-swoon – although it scared the wits out of me.

Then in 2003, a Mormon mom in Phoenix, Arizona, had a dream.

She couldn’t get the dream’s characters – or their strange story – out of her head, so she wrote it all down and that’s how Stephenie Meyer’s first novel, Twilight, was born.

I still can’t bring myself to read it, even though it apparently turns the fanged beasts into romantic heroes, but the book, her sequels and the subsequent movies they spawned have sparked the whole undead trend off again with a vengeance.

That’s great for her and her bank balance but now, it seems, every other wannabe author is writing about vampires, werewolves and the like, hoping to cash in. And now, to my supreme irritation, searching for e-books to download onto my Kindle before I go on holiday I find myself having to wade through an ocean of titles like The Werewolf Upstairs, Double Dating with the Dead, Midnight Breed and — by someone called Kerrelyn Sparks — How to Marry a Millionaire Vampire. With the last one, there was even a limited free offer of “a sneak peek at Sparks’ next novel, Vampire Mine”.

All I can say is fangs but no fangs! – Stevie Godson

(A version of this column was first published in the Daily Dispatch)


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This entry was posted by stevieg on Monday, May 23rd, 2011 at 10:11 am and is filed under General . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


  1. Anna says:

    Well, at least I’m not writing vampire or werwolf stories. haha

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