As we’ve often mention here on TG, without trying to overstate the obvious, vampires, along with zombies, are hot monsters right about now.
Some feel the whole zombie thing is just about peaking, but vampires should continue to go strong for a while, especially if Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is a hit. (We obviously know the whole Twilight phenomenon will continue to be a hit for some time as well, although I’ve never really considered it a proper vampire story).
Vampires and zombies are certainly nothing new, in fact, back in 1979 vampires were the hot monster with Salem’s Lot, Nightwing, Love at First Bite, the Frank Langella remake of Dracula that was originally a hit on Broadway, even vampire porno with Dracula Sucks, and more.
As to why vampires are still popular, well, I usually try not to sit down and figure out why this monster’s more popular than the other, or what kind of reasoning goes behind it, but it’s often fun to read when others do that, so here’s what the New York Times thinks…
The Times wrote their piece in anticipation of Abe Lincoln Vampire Hunter, and Jill Lepore asks, “What explains the ongoing literary blood bath? Ever since Dracula was published in 1897, when it was difficult to find much to read about sex, reading about vampire was a way to read about sex,” which of course isn’t difficult to read about anymore at all. And funny enough, the hot literary sensation, Fifty Shades of Grey, which is all about sex and has reportedly sold more than 10 million copies world-wide, was initially, you guessed it, a vampire novel.
The Times also felt Anne Rice’s wonderful vampires triumphed in the eighties over a different kind of bloodsucking, the money hungry greed of Wall Street, and that Buffy the Vampire Slayer “celebrated third-wave feminism.”
And of course, we’ve now got Twilight, the recent attempt to bring Dark Shadows back, and more. You may also recall way back in 1987, the tag-line for The Lost Boys summed why why a young person would be attracted to becoming a vamp: “Sleep all day. Party all night. Never grow old. Never die. It’s fun to be a vampire.”
There’s definitely been a lot of sex, and sexiness in vampire stories because of the gothic romantic nature of vampires, and that will always be a big appeal to the vampire story, more than other monster stories where you don’t consider sex. There’s no intense sexuality in zombie films, (who wants to have sex with a corpse?!), or in werewolf movies either.
Ultimately, in many horror stories, it gives us a chance to safely come to terms with our fears or mortality in a healthy way. As the Times feels it’s the “dread of death, not love of sex,” which “is why the dead keep rising.”