Ever since people dreamt up Vampires, there have been vampire stories and in 1922, when Nosferatu first set the Vampire craze in motion on the silver screen, we’ve been absolutely bombarded by Vampire films and I think we’ve pretty much reached the point now where enough is enough.
I mean what more could possibly happen?
Where It Started…
I’m not sure where the legend of the Vampire originated exactly, but in film – It all started back in 1922 (94 years ago!). It started with director F. W. Murnau and Bram Stoker in the classic film – Nosferatu.
This film was so well received and widely liked that despite not being too appropriate for its time, being more visually disturbing and scary than other typical films of this era – it spawned an entire subgenre solely dedicated to Vampires and their ilk in the years that followed.
Now, some 94 years down the line we find ourselves in the wake of the wave that turned out to be the Vampire Film Legacy…and what an overcomplicated mess it is.
How It Went On…
In the years following Nosferatu we got notable classics such as The Lost Boys, Bram Stoker’s Dracula (based on the book), Interview With The Vampire, From Dusk Till Dawn, Blade, Underworld, Daybreakers, 30 Days Of Night and Dracula Dead And Loving It, to name the most notable highlights and some of my personal favourites.
On the downside, as with anything you’d expect in film – we also got a whole pile of crap churned out too that didn’t do such a good job with Vampires at all. In fact, the failures were so phenomenally idiotic and silly that it almost put an entire generation off Vampire films.
Some of more widely hated films were namely – Twilight, My Best Friend Is A Vampire, Son Of Dracula, Dracula’s Daughter, Blacula, a slew of dreary Blade Sequels, a From Dusk Till Dawn Sequel, a 30 Days Of Night Sequel, Fright Night and let’s not forget Dracula 2000.
Losing The Plot…
We’ve had so many different versions of the Vampire legend that there isn’t even a solidly accepted ‘base’ version of a Vampire anymore. Name it and it’s been done. Everyone who had 2 cents worth of opinion or some stupid idea of what a vampire should or should not be have managed to add to the web of the Vampire mythos so that it is now an entangled mess that nobody really understands.
A Vampire was a simple creature that wandered the night for eternity in search of victims from which to drain blood and life, a fundamentally flawed creature that cannot walk in daylight with clear weaknesses. Yes, I will concede that even Bram Stoker’s Vampire has certain powers and abilities but Vampires have moved far beyond that basic form. Vampires quickly moved on over the years to develop an endless list of abilities and powers, even at some point being crossed with other creatures such as Werewolves or being genetically engineered super beings.
Vampires are now more like Superman than a curse or something of distant nightmares like they started out to be.
The very origins of the Vampire have been shrouded in 20 000 different theories by 20 000 different people, ranging from being descendant from Cain to having originated from Dracula himself, as the first Vampire. Other legends link Vampires to unknown origins or exiled creatures from Hell and even evolved descendants of Vampire Bats and don’t even get me started on The World Of Darkness or Vampire: The Masquerade.
Somewhere along the line Vampires became so over saturated and tired that I’m sure if you had to meet a real Vampire today, he’d probably want to call Ellen Degeneres so he can go on her show and kill her and a few hundred people on camera and set the record straight once and for all.
That all being said – I don’t believe we’re in any danger of seeing the last of Vampire films any time soon. As long as they make any form of revenue, Hollywood will keep on cranking them out. Just recently there was a new Underworld film and in the somewhat distant future we might even be fortunate enough to see a show such as Hellsing being made into a film series to set the record straight on Vampires once and for all.
So…we are quite tired, aren’t we?
Note: Hellsing – according to me, is the best modern portrayal of Vampires to date. It has ties to the original Bram Stoker legend, explains quite a lot and has quite a story to boot. You can check it out by clicking here.