I did a critique the other day on a Vampire Story.
My first thought was, “oh… Another one of those.” How… commonplace. I’m not going to lie; these days I wonder often which undead will win the great war between vampire revolution or zombie apocalypse. Don’t mummies or ghouls get love any more?
I’m not a vampire-phile. I used to joke that I was a vampire (in the traditional sense… not the sparkly sense). I burn in sunlight, I do a lot late at night, I can’t enter your house uninvited, I sleep in a coffin… errr, wait.
But I have only the most outsider’s view of the vampire culture. I guess that was why when I read this, it got me to thinking… Does the market still have love for vampires, or is it saturated?
Vampires have been around a long time (hundreds or even thousands of years if you ask them). They were probably popularized by Bram Stoker’s famous novel, “Dracula” which went to print in 1897.
In this, we see Dracula in all his glory, and really get that boogie-man effect. Dracula pretty much owns the vampire scene for nearly a century when a few more begin creeping onto the scene. The 1970’s especially bring a few more great strokes for Vampire stories, with Stephen King’s “Salem’s Lot” and Anne Rice’s “Interview with the Vampire.” The 80’s wouldn’t have been complete without Kiefer Sutherland and “The Lost Boys.”
Then with 1994’s silver screen adaptation of “Interview with the Vampire” landing some pretty big names, the industry had broken wide open.
From here, things continue to spiral.
Late 90’s and early 2000’s were big. 1998 brings us the film adaptation of Blade, and our hero isn’t a stuffy Victorian aristocrat… He’s a really cool powerhouse superhero. In 2003, we get Underworld, a vampire vs werewolf war that many will tell you was ripped off from the Vampire role-playing game. But that doesn’t matter. Our vampires are now walking modern streets, carrying modern weapons, and being extremely relate-able.
Finally, I would be remiss to not mention Stephenie Meyer bringing us Twilight in 2005. At this point, all bets are off. She has reimagined the vampire as something truly acceptable in a teenager fantasies.
Regardless of whether you think they were painful to read high-school claptrap or the most amazing thing ever written, you can’t argue with the results they produced. Her books definitely spoke to people (a lot of people) on some fundamental level.
Now we have TV shows, a plethora of literature spanning all genres, and movies. So I ask you, my readers:
Is there still room for more fresh vampire stories out there, or have we reached the point it’s like the early Sci-Fi crazy (I think 1960’s, but pardon me if I’m off on dates)… Drivel that gets spammed out because it’s the current winning formula. Add a vampire and it will sell.
Are we done with Vampires?
Also, did I leave out any landmark vampire stories?
I’d love to hear your thoughts!