The Vampire Phenomenon

November 24, 2009 by  

True-Blood-PosterMidnight on Friday marked the release of the latest movie in the “Twilight” series, “New Moon.” With all these movies and shows stemming from the recent obsession with vampires, one might ask what is responsible for this vampire pop culture bloom? Mention the word “blood” 30 years ago, and you would probably make any sane person gag, what with the abundance of AIDS cases and society-driven fears accompanying the word “blood.” Even nowadays, a quick trip to the doc’s office to have blood work done will make any person of machismo-driven personality squeamish. So how does the recent vampire fad, and all of this blood drinking, attract so many fans?

One would say the model-type characters who portray vampires appeal to anyone. The timeless knowledge vampires possess doesn’t hurt their public image either. What about the sexual pretenses in shows like “True Blood” or the film franchise “Twilight?”  Sure, Edward and Bella don’t have a sexual relationship yet, but one would be naive to say there isn’t any sexual tension and that their attraction is pure and innocent.

This most recent infatuation with vampires didn’t just appear from nowhere though. Look through worldly cultures and you’ll see not mirror images of vampires but the ideas that represent everything we have come to love about them. What exactly do we love? Obviously everything they stand for, everything they contain and are able to do. Eternal existence, unlimited knowledge and sexual appeal to boot, vampires are almost any man or woman’s fantasy alter ego incarnate. If movies like “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Undead” and the Korean thriller “Thirst” are any indication, vampires won’t be departing any time soon. This may not be a bad thing for this worldwide fad, either though. Vampires are a symbol and perfect match for an uncertain society in this day and age and they are still as entertaining as they are frightening today as 100 years ago. I personally don’t minde some of the new ideas about vampire culture shows like “True Blood” have introduced. They are a breath of fresh air.  So, to keep it short and sweet, keep ’em coming Mr. Ball and all you other undead fanatics. My thirst will never be quenched!

SOURCE: The Wall Street Journal Online

(Photo credit:  HBO Inc.)