Last year, I saw Ozzy Osbourne in concert, and, like everything about the Ozzman, the show started out strangely. As the lights went down, movie scenes were shown on a giant screen with one caveat, Ozzy was superimposed into the scenes. One had him as a blue person from Avatar. As Ozzy checked out his new body, his arms and legs were not the only giant blue appendages showing. He was also placed in a scene with the Twilight girl. As she gazed into the distance, Ozzy slipped up behind her and said, “Vampires are (a slang term for female genitalia), I am the Prince of Darkness!” And with that, Ozzy hit the stage.
Now, Ozzy Osbourne is not a great philosopher by any means, but he is correct when he states at vampires are (a slang term for female genitalia). Things such as True Twilight Blood have taken one of the great characters of folklore/literature/movies and turned him into a dream boat for teenage girls in one incarnation and one member of a creature ensemble dropped into a southern gothic tale in another. How can vampires be reduced to such a status? Well, I am here to fix this and remind people of what a vampire is really meant to be.
The following is a list of real vampires who would not be caught “living dead” in a series of books with a girl named Sookie or in a series of movies that attracts squealing girls.
Eleonore von Schwarzenberg – Everyone should have the Smithsonian Channel because it has cool documentaries like The Vampire Princess.
An Austrian princess, Eleonore gained the suspicions of her people as she battled cancer. Her physical appearance and her attempts to gain better health seemed strange to the people of the early 18th Century. Rumors fed into local folklore, and soon people began whispering that she was a vampire. Upon her death, steps were taken to make sure she would not awake. Some scholars believe her story was the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s writings and use the deleted opening of Dracula as the proof. It seems that the original beginning had a vampire attack at the tomb of an Austrian princess.
Nosferatu- What would happen if this guy showed up at Sookie’s house?
Ok, I have to admit that I have never seen this classic silent movie, but it is high on my list of things to do. After all, it introduces the concept that vampires can be killed by sunlight. And, the director thought Max Schreck, who played Nosferatu, was so ugly that all he needed was some pointy ears and false teeth. That’s a little more realistic that what is put out there today.
Bela Lugosi- The quintessential vampire for many people, Lugosi actually played Dracula on Broadway before he ever played the role on film.
On playing Dracula, Bela Lugosi once said, “It’s a living, but it’s also a curse. Dracula’s curse.” Perhaps no actor has been associated with a character like Lugosi was associated with Dracula. He played the character with style and a hypnotic personality. He didn’t have fangs because he didn’t need them. Lugosi had aspects that were more deadly. Dracula, one of Lugosi’s first films, was released in 1931, and he seemed stuck playing in horror movies from that point on. In fact, he returned to the role in an attempt to make fun of it when he appeared in 1948s Bud Abbott and Lou Costello Meet Frankenstein.
Blacula- Two genres come together as Blaxploitation meets horror. William Marshall plays an ancient African prince who is turned into a vampire by Dracula.
With a soundtrack featuring the Hues Corporation, the movie finds the vampire awakened in Los Angeles where he finds his reincarnated wife. In effect, he is played as a sympathetic figure who was a victim of the more famous Dracula. As a fan of Blaxploitation films, I have several songs from the soundtrack on my iPod and know that Blacula better be happy that he did not run into Pam Grier.
Lily Munster- Vampires are supposed to have a sex appeal that attracts their victims. That’s why we have the pop culture vampire problem of today. For my money, the sexiest vampire of all time appears in a sit-com.
Yvonne De Carlo played Lily as a housewife trying to get through the zaniness of her husband and father. However, she also had a bit of spice because De Carlo simply couldn’t help it. Those who know her only for The Munsters have missed out on one of the sexiest and most beautiful actresses of all time. I must admit that the show never made sense to me because I never understood why she was married to Herman. Lily could have sunk her teeth into any man. (Sidenote, the Munster house sits on Wisteria Lane and is not far from the Bates Motel.)
Gary Oldman – Apparently, this is coming full circle. The list started with the princess that inspired Bram Stoker and ends with an iconic portrayal of Bram Stoker’s creation. Obviously, producers wanted everyone to know that Bram Stoker’s Dracula was based on the original work. Why else would they put Stoker’s name in the title? But, I am not honoring Stoker here. I am honoring Gary Oldman.
I mean, how cool is that? Blue-tinted sunglasses. Top hat. Stick pin. He could be a ZZ Top song. But, the best part about Oldman’s version is his choice of damsels to quench his thirst. Winona Ryder is my favorite actress of all time. I’ve had a crush on her since Beetlejuice, and I am serious when I say that she can steal from me anytime. On top of having Winona hanging around, Dracula gets to have sex on a park bench with the hot redhead.
Look, I don’t know anything about Team Blonde Vampire or any of these other reincarnations, but I know one thing for sure. If I ever head to that little Louisiana town in search of Sookie, then this is the team I am taking with me.