Author Topic: The Death of the Vampire Trope  (Read 14841 times)

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The Death of the Vampire Trope
« on: July 26, 2014, 08:43:46 pm »
The Death of Vampires (as a pre-cursor to the Age of the NWO Zombie Apocalypse, and the eventual refinement of the Human genome)

The cultural transition from Vampires to Zombies is an interesting paradigm shift. Considering the Vampire trope has been pretty much present ever since Bram Stoker wrote Dracula is testament to it's durability as a myth, and it's ability to successfully transform itself according to popular culture's fickle tastes, has given the Vampire a rich and varied canon for writers to draw upon.

From "Nosferatu", to "Buffy",  from "Interview with a Vampire" to "Blade" Vampires have shared an ancient, pre Stoker commonality of rules, but not one so rigid that they couldn't adapt to a more modern World.
In Buffy, Angelus set a groundbreaking precedent, when his Soul was restored to him. Suddenly we had a "good" Vampire, one who was capable of giving and receiving human love, of (more or less) successfully adopting a kind of Methadone recovery program, where The Thirst is managed with regular doses of Pig's blood.  His atonement pretty much follows the AA 12 Step Program, with "The Powers that Be" being his "Higher Power",  The Thirst, being perfectly analogous with Alcoholism.

Buffy is his sponsor, her crew, are his meetings or support group, and his capacity to seek redemption for his past savagery, was returned by default with his soul. Angel is a true Apostate, he turns against his own kind and allies himself with the Slayer, the traditional Nemesis of his kind.

While this added an interesting dynamic to the theme, it also marked the beginning of the Vampire's descent from it's Zenith of undead cultural supremacy. All it took was for one major player (Angel) to turn traitor to his Vampire bredrin to effect this shift.

As a direct result of the Buffy / Angel dynamic, we became introduced to the Dynastic elitism that represented the Old School "Blade" type of Vampires . Despite the Quasi- Imperialistic conservatism  of their Ancient Clans and Houses, the rot set in. Complacent in their supercilious elitism, they're already doomed.

Angel's Vampirism, and his alliance with the Slayer's cause, was a symptom of his Soul's restoration. He was most certainly still a Vampire, (albeit one with a Soul) with all the same Vampire powers, strengths and heightened senses that he'd always had, and his inner conflict of Good Angel / Evil Angelus was explored thoroughly with the spin-off series. And Charisma Carpenter as Angel's Jiminy Cricket style conscience added a fap-worthy sexual frission, that Buffy's shallow, blonde, "psycho killer with a heart" could never quite manage.  This point is iterated over and over by just about every other female in the whole Buffy franchise being way hotter than Michelle Geller. Willow, Hope, Cordelia, Faith, Drusilla, Tara, Kendra . . . .sorry Buffers, but you're the ugly duckling. 

Getting back on topic, we saw Angel's spiritual healing, via his service to "The Powers That Be" and his Soul's growth away from the self centred psychopathy of his Vampire past and his subsequent rediscovery of altruism and conscience. But the nut cruncher was that he was still a Vampire. His polarity shift was a spiritual one, and driven by his Soul's restoration.  Angel betrayed every Vampire precedent for an inexplicable, touching, and occasionally hilarious Buffy-love.

Next nail in the trope's coffin was Blade. With him, we got a very different kind of Beast. Blade gave us a new Vampire type, the Daywalker. A mutated  Vampire "AntiChrist" who fulfilled some old Vampire eschaton prophecy, and who had evolved away from the Ancient Vampire traditional Nightbreed, and mutated into a hybridised Human / Vampire genotype, andf he could pass this genetic shift along to other Vampires, via a serum that allowed The Thirst to be managable.  More importantly, he had immunity to something that had been anathema to every Vampire in history, also something that every other Vampire secretly coveted. He could go out in Sunlight without getting burnt to a painful and permanent Death.

He also wasn't affected by crucifixes, Holy Water or any of the old bugbears that previously afflicted Vampires. Stronger than either Humans or Vampires, feared and rejected by both, his anti-Vampiric activity wasn't spiritually driven ilke Angel's was. Blade was fuelled by his own self-loathing, which manifested as a hatred of Vampires. He still had the pathological Vampire mindset. He still revelled in killing and death, but he had the biological needs of a new, mutated mix. Vampire and Human. A new species, with a clear, unambiguous inner conflict playing it's diametrically oppositional genetic imperatives off against each other

Angel didn't kill other Vampires because he hated them, he did it because of his growing morality, and idealism. He still empathised with his Vampire victims, but he traded off the bloodlust for the Panacea of being able to play "Hide the sausage" with Buffy. Then the idiot fell in love with the meat.  Things got . . . messy. A moonstruck, loved up Vampire, infected with ethical conflict is no good for anyone. His heart, broken by Buffy's fickle need for badboy sex with Spike, (Angel's 13th step Vampire project)  he took his hurty tender Vampire feelz, and left the Hellmouth of Sunnydale, and took his Bwaaah to (where else?) LA.

The "Wolfram and Hart" Law Firm explored in the spin-off series, "Angel" wasn't really much of a deviation from previous canon, but the Clans and Houses of Blade were.

They were modeled on Corporate Structure, and this factor, along with the War of attrition waged by Blade, brought more of the old ways crashing down. The Blade Vampires had unwittingly become infected by the human socio/ psychopathic mindset of Corporate entity.
Corporate Vampires are driven by an exponentially increasing need for money. So economics becomes their primary dynamic, The Thirst expands to include the need for an economic Power structure. This suggests the rot had already set in before Blade began decimating their Clans with his pseudo-shaolin kung-fu training, his Bladed weapon fetish, and his James Bond / Luthercorp spiritual and tech guru support team. 

The fact that Blade was also Black supports another aspect of humanity has crept in and infected the Clans. Racism. After all, you can say what you like about the traditional Vampire roles as shapeshifting Batwinged creatures of the night, Satanic blood drinkers. At best, amoral. At worst, Castle Wolfenstein style Nazi Stormtroopers of Death. Pathologically self centered, yes. Thirst driven evil frenzied gore addicts, totally.
But until Blade, there was no precedent for distinguishing between human ethnicities. But when the Blade Vampire Clan Chiefs say "Daywalker", they might as well be saying "Nigger", because Blade as "Daywalker" represents a new, divergent ethnicity of Vampire, and their hatred of Blade and his Cabal, is fueled by their fear of  "his kind" coming over and taking all their jobs, and walking around in daylight without burning up, mixing the pure ancient Vampire elitism with the unter-menschen  livestock.

Then it all descends into the corrupted, sanitised and impotent "Sparkle in the Sunlight" titwank of Twilight. And I'm not even going to examine that any further, save to say that it's proof that the much loved Vampire trope is dead. All that's left is the twitching undead corpse of Edward Cullen, trying to pass his cold, lifeless seed into Bella's (Humanity's) genetically unviable uterus, and everyone is focused on the CGI False Flag enemy of the Lycans. Pffft!

Too late, Vampire Bitches! You took your eye off the ball, and now you have to pay the inevitable price of failure. Prepare yourselves for the New World Order. The Plague of the Zomby Apocalypse will ensure that none but the strongest and most adaptable of the Homo genome survives.

Homo Sanguinus and Homo Lupus will become obsolete, and die out like Neanderthal Man. Blade in this aspect,  becomes the Luciferic Messiah, the Herald of the New Dawn taking the Light to the Dark places of the Old Ones. Blade ensures the Homo Sapien type aligns itself with the hybrid vigour of his own "Sapio-Sanguinus" genome.

Only an alliance of this type can prevail against the genetically engineered "Crossed"  super-infection of sadistically priapic rape-zombies. Devoid of morality, conscience, and impulse control, these Plus-faced fucks will rape, ravage and decimate humanity's weakest, until their built in lack of self preservation, and propensity towards bi-polar boredom sees them die of exposure, starvation,   
or disease. And out of this ruined World's rubble and bones, from their refuges, bunkers, and fortified hiding places, steps the New Flesh.

                                   When you hear them calling out in the Streets,
"Hide yo Dolphins, hide yo chillun, hide yo clean-faced humans, dey's comin' an they's a rapin'!"
                                          You'd better start running for the hills.
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NOT JUST A "FAIR WEATHER FIGHTER"!

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"And when the clouds obscure the moon, and normal service is resumed. It wont. Mean. A. Thing"
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Q. G. Pennyworth

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Re: The Death of the Vampire Trope
« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2014, 09:07:04 pm »
The fuck did I just read?

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Re: The Death of the Vampire Trope
« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2014, 01:00:29 am »
You had me through the Blade stuff and then it just seemed to go into nonsense  :?
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Re: The Death of the Vampire Trope
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2014, 01:09:02 am »
I loved this.

Just the right amount of truth, satire, pinealism, and mindfuck, to truly stand out as a very excellent, entertaining, well written piece about... well, nothing really.

Bravo!
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Re: The Death of the Vampire Trope
« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2014, 03:49:50 pm »

                                   When you hear them calling out in the Streets,
"Hide yo Dolphins, hide yo chillun, hide yo clean-faced humans, dey's comin' an they's a rapin'!"
                                          You'd better start running for the hills.

 :mittens:

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Re: The Death of the Vampire Trope
« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2014, 01:41:57 pm »
I predict vampires are making a comeback.

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Re: The Death of the Vampire Trope
« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2014, 03:04:32 pm »
I predict vampires are making a comeback.

The first episode was certainly good.
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Re: The Death of the Vampire Trope
« Reply #7 on: July 28, 2014, 03:16:35 pm »
I've read the first two parts of the trilogy.  It's fairly decent.  Definitely works better as a TV series though, I found myself thinking that as I read it (no surprise - it was pitched as a TV series first).  The scientific approach to vampirism is interesting, and sorta harks back to Bram Stoker, which is a nice touch.  And the old man's story is, once you know it, brilliantly terrifying, and totally in keeping with Del Toro's approach to horror.

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Re: The Death of the Vampire Trope
« Reply #8 on: July 28, 2014, 03:29:13 pm »
OP was awesome.   :lulz:
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Re: The Death of the Vampire Trope
« Reply #9 on: July 28, 2014, 03:49:50 pm »
I predict vampires are making a comeback.

You know what I want to see make a comeback? Old fashioned cures for vampires.

Related, because I'm still laughing at these:
http://thedollop.libsyn.com/the-dollop-xii-american-vampire-panic

TB. Eating hearts. Corpses not decomposing in winter and much, much more. 
« Last Edit: July 28, 2014, 04:42:22 pm by Junkenstein »
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Re: The Death of the Vampire Trope
« Reply #10 on: July 29, 2014, 10:19:01 am »
I predict vampires are making a comeback.

It's not just the strain now that I think of it, Penny Dreadful had an understated vampire plot that was overshadowing the season but played a very small role in the individual episodes.

It was like vampires were taboo for the entire time the twilight films were running but now it's ok for them to have a resurgence.
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Re: The Death of the Vampire Trope
« Reply #11 on: July 30, 2014, 07:55:51 am »
The Strain is just so effortlessly sexy :lulz:

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Re: The Death of the Vampire Trope
« Reply #12 on: July 31, 2014, 05:14:58 am »
I really got to thinking about this vampire -> zombie shift in thinking about "who is more an enemy to society", and it makes a lot of sense.

The vampire has the appearance, to me, as being a sort of ostracised, "unique weirdo". In the times of stoker or the film nosferatu, culture was aligned as such that the "unique weirdo" -- the societal deviant -- was an unpredictable threat that, by not "playing by the rules", appeared to have a sort of magic power (seen in vampires with their abilities to hypnotise or sneak about transformed into a heavy mist) to confound "natural" (cultural) law.

In the time since stoker and nosferatu, weve had cultural revolution after the next -- between civil rights, womens rights, the sexual revolution, the studies by kinsey, et al, and even the subtle glorification of the deviant in media such as marvel comics, weve entered into an age where EVERYONE thinks of themself as some variety of deviant weirdo...
from furries to juggalos to discordians...from faggots to feminists to people who enjoy autoerotic asphyxiation...

Weve turned into a society where everyone sees themselves as the deviant...which brings us to the "new enemy" seen in the zombie.

The zombie is a mass horde -- a mass monoculture -- that to the individual who sees himself as some sort of special snowflake, is an aberration that tries to forcibly convert the "unique weirdo" into one of their own.
With a bit of social critism, though, the zombie also shows off the egocentricism of humanity...not in himself, but in the survivor trope. Everyones group or tribe or whatever plans on what to do when "the great other" of everyone else gets infected, but out of sheer ego, no one considers what happens when they themselves become zombies -- its too humbling to think that ones own unique deviancy would succumb to "the other's" monoculture -- that ones own identity could be co-opted, defanged, "infected" and put to use for the "zombie horde", just as easily as anyone elses.

I dunno? Sound reasonable?

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Re: The Death of the Vampire Trope
« Reply #13 on: July 31, 2014, 06:54:56 am »
I loved this.

Just the right amount of truth, satire, pinealism, and mindfuck, to truly stand out as a very excellent, entertaining, well written piece about... well, nothing really.

Bravo!
Thanks, yeah, sometimes the mix is a bit muddy, other times, it's too clearly up itself, and sometimes it's just about right. Those are times the subject seems to be the least important part of the whole thing. I so nearly carried on with a bit about Werewolves, but who the hell has the time to take Werewolves seriously?

                                   When you hear them calling out in the Streets,
"Hide yo Dolphins, hide yo chillun, hide yo clean-faced humans, dey's comin' an they's a rapin'!"
                                          You'd better start running for the hills.

 :mittens:
Another "Crossed" fan?
OP was awesome.   :lulz:
Thanks Roger, glad you liked it.
I predict vampires are making a comeback.
Well, I really hope so, Vampires have always had a pathos factor that's missing in all other "undead" genres (except perhaps Frankenstien) and I think this definitely makes for better entertainment, especially when it's done well. The Zombie thing has been missing an important element, since  (the otherwise wholly watchable) Resident Evil, and that's the tongue in cheek humour that made Romero's Dawn of the Dead such a cult watch. 

There were rules back then. The shuffling, aimless gait, with arms outstretched, "The Zombies are coming, walk a bit faster" kinda thing. The choice of weapon, either something that lops off the head in one stroke, or if firearms are available, a sawn off shot gun. And someone always has to make the mistake of setting one of them on fire, so they can stumble around and set everything on fire.

Saying that, I enjoyed The Walking Dead immensely, but it did get a bit predictable. (I still haven't seen the last season) and some of the "Crossed" story arcs really hit the spot. Especially the one about the writers weekend course, with that Gideon bloke, mostly because the main character was so obviously based on a coked up, out of control Grant Morrison.  :lulz:

Even though, strictly speaking, The Crossed aren't Zombies, the best bits of the stories are when the remnants of humanity act in just as shocking and ruthless ways as the Crossed. Only The Crossed do it without the whiny self recrimination that the surviving humans do.

Terry Pratchett has also been quietly adding depth and humour to the Vampire, Zombie, and (to a lesser extent) Werewolf tropes. And he never loses sight of the (I think) most important fact, that however evil or ruthlessly driven by bloodlust these undead bastards are, it's always humans who are the biggest fucking monsters of all, something that we should always remember, no matter how immersed in a fictional genre we get.
 
"We need a plane for Bombing, Strafing, Assault and Battery, Interception, Ground Support, and Reconaissance,
NOT JUST A "FAIR WEATHER FIGHTER"!

"I kinda like him. It's like he sees inside my soul" ~ Nigel


Whoever puts their hand on me to govern me, is a usurper, and a tyrant, and I declare them my enemy!

"And when the clouds obscure the moon, and normal service is resumed. It wont. Mean. A. Thing"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zpkCJDYxH-4

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Re: The Death of the Vampire Trope
« Reply #14 on: July 31, 2014, 09:00:16 am »
With regards to The Walking Dead, you indeed have not missed much.

Once the zombie threat becomes understood, there is nothing much where a story can go from there...except to rebuild civilization.  And that's just a bunch of messy "just-so" stories based around the prejudices and politics of the author.  Which is frequently boring.

Faust is right, there did seem to be an embargo on the fanged fiends while Twilight was popular...no doubt due to commitment to sparkle-motion.  I've not seen The Vampire Diaries, but it is apparently quite popular, as well as True Blood, both of which did overlap the Twilight era, but mostly distanced themselves from it in both obvious and subtle ways.