This is part 1 of my 3 part blog on Movie Monsters. I wanted to write about how mainstream movie monsters have become lately, and how various ones are popular at different times. Of course, I am speaking of the classic movie monsters. And I felt it needed to be a 3 parter to give justice to them.
And what better way to start things off then with Vampires. Dracula is a classic, and the vampire in general, going back to Nosferatu and beyond. Something about the allure of immortality. Vampires always come off as charming, and sensual, and there is an attraction there to them. This is shown in the movies and literature by young women falling under the spell of the older charming vampire, only to have their lives taken, and end up dinner or turned themselves. Of course them have been women vampires as well, who lure men into their clutches, but the majority seem to be male. It probably has to do with some classic stereotypes.
Vampires have been a part of popular culture for a long time, more so than any other monster really. And again I think this is because of the charming factor. But also, vampires usually appear human, or almost, save for their fangs. All other monsters appear scary or grotesque, but vampires are usually beautiful. That is probably why they end up in so many movies. And their makeup is an easy task, just jam a couple fangs on and dust some light powder on the skin and you’re good to go.
Werewolves in the other hand, human size wolves howling at the moon, are much more monster like. They too are a classic, with the wolfman being around in classic literature and movies, and come in a close second behind vampires as a main movie monster. Though they are still part human, and can revert to their human form, werewolves are scary monsters who will tear you a part. They are not driven but the need to feed on blood to survive, only to attack and defend their territory, like an actual animal. They are not charming, luring young people to their deaths with a flirtatious smile. They are just animals with animal instincts. And there certainly isn’t anything sexy about a werewolf, though I’m quite certain millions of teenage girls would disagree with me (Twilight sorta changed how werewolves are portrayed).
And that point brings me to the Twilight franchise and how they portray both vampires and werewolves. Sparkly teenage boys dating emotionless highschool girls. Werewolf boys running thru the woods with their pack, refusing to wear a shirt. It makes me sad that my generation (man that makes me feel old) had Interview with a Vampire with Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise as our vampires teen idols, and today they have glitter covered Robert Pattinson and shirtless Taylor Lautner.
The teenagers of today need to be educated on REAL vampires and werewolves. Heck, even Teen Wolf from the 80’s would do.
But vampires, and werewolves to a lesser extent, have really come a long way and become family friendly monsters who are a part of our everyday lives. Possibly becoming even too mainstream. Though I still do like vampires.
Part 2 of my Monsters series will be posted soon. No spoilers though.