Sunday, October 25, 2009

Are Vampires Villains or Heroes?

Vampires of today have evolved into romantic figures in books and on the screen, but they didn’t always have this appeal. In 1922 movie, Nosfertau: Eine Symphonie des Grauens (Nosferatu: A symphony of horrors.) This German movie starred Max Schreck as the vampire with hairy palms, large bat-like ears and beastly appearance. Definitely a memorable character for very different reason than the heartthrobs we read about in our vampire books today. This vamp would cause your heart to beat faster, but not because of his romantic appeal. the US we had our own vampire. Bela Lugosi had fangs and an air of seduction going for him. In 1927, he starred in a Broadway production of Dracula based on the Bram Stoker novel and adapted for the stage by Hamilton Deane and John L. Balderston. The production ran 261 performances before touring. In 1930, Universal bought the rights and started filming Dracula. This Dracula portrayed in the movies wore two pieces of jewelry, a silver medallion and large signet ring. In the Legosi’s betrayal of Dracula it seemed the ring had a significant roll. Dracula would walk with his arms bent and slightly in front of him as if the ring led the way. The 1930’s vampire was still a villain but with a sensual charm to lure his

Christopher Lee was England’s image of Dracula. His hair was black, his cape was a long opera cloak and his eye glowed blood red. His film credits states he was the Dracula who had very little to do, but look menacing. Movie titles: Dracula Has Risen From the Grave (1968), Taste the Blood of Dracula (1969), and Scars of Dracula (1970)--All classics. Lee stared in other Dracula films in the 1970’s, where Hammer tried to bring the character into the modern era. These films didn’t do well. It seemed audiences liked the dark villain that didn’t say much. Christopher Lee stood 6’ 5” definitely a foreboding Dracula.

In 1987, The Lost Boys hit the screens. Now these vamps had fangs! Their eyes were greenish-red and they didn’t like the sun. The vampires are still the vicious villains but the cape has been put away and the vamps sported a leather jacket and rode motorcycles. David played by Keifer Sutherland.

Francis Ford Copolla remade Dracula in 1992. Gary Oldman played the leading role. Dracula was seductive, strong, very bad and scary but also with a romantic flare. It’s pegged as an Erotic Vampirism in stunning Gothic style.

In 1994, Interview with the Vampire was filmed and was based on the Anne Rice’s novels. It soon became a favorite for the genre. Her vampires had a human tragic side to them as well as still being savage with their blood lust. Lestat is played by Tom Cruise and Louis de Pointe du Lac is played by Brad Pitt.
In 2002, the Vampire Lestat made another appearance in Queen of the Damned. The brooding vampire was played by Stuart Townsend. The vampire Lestat becomes a rock star whose music wakes up the queen of all vampires. He's still lethal and tragic, but he falls for a human.

The Kindred: The Embrace was loosely based on the role-playing game Vampire: The Masquerade. The series aired on TV on April 2, 1996. The vampires survive among the humans through the ‘masquerade’—disguising themselves as humans. Julian Luna played by Mark Frankel, is the prince of the city and ruler of five clans of vampires, which they call the Kindred. Most of the clans can pass as human, dark and mysterious, but some look more like the Nosferatu vampire though they have human attributes. They stay clear of human interaction. Mark Frankel’s character is charming, lethal (when need be) and all rolled into a beautiful package. The vampires can also turn into animals. With a last name like Luna, it was only appropriate Julian's animal was the wolf. Julian is a vampire women would want to date. Sadly the series was cancelled after eight episodes due to the tragic motorcycle accident that claimed Mark Frankel’s life.

Angel aired in 1999-2004. The vampire, Angel is cursed with a soul. So he has fangs, can’t be in the sun or he’d burn into flames, but he has human traits because he possesses a soul. Dark, brooding and sexy was played by David Boreanaz. His poster still hangs in our garage behind the dryer. lol

And then there was Spike played by James Marsters. Spike was a vampire out of charater. He was the villain, the comic-relief and the anti-hero. He also was romantic. His love for Drusilla stayed true--well at least until she left him.

Moonlight aired in 2007 with Mick St. John staring the gorgeous Alex O’Loughlin was turned into a vampire on his wedding night. This strong but vulnerable vampire also has a thing for a human. Here the vampire who still has fangs, still has to drink blood to survive, the sun makes him ill but it doesn’t make him immediately burst into flames. This vampire has all the traits of the earlier vampires that were betrayed on film, but now he’s the romantic hero that makes the heart beat a little faster.

2008 Twilight hits the theater. The characters are based of Stephenie Meyer’s popular Twilight Series(2005.) Her vampires are gorgeous and lethal though the members of the Cullen Clan try to keep the beast leashed inside. Stephenie Meyer’s vampire’s eyes turn dark brown/black when they’re hungry, light brown when they’ve fed on an animal. The villain's eyes turn blood red when they feed on human blood. Their skin also sparkles in the sun. Edward Cullen is played by Robert Pattinson, and the vampire James was played by Cam Gigandet.

True Blood series aired on HBO in 2008. The characters are based off of Charlaine Harris’ characters in The Southern Vampire Mysteries series. The vampires are the lethal kind in every sense of the word. You never forget they aren’t human though they do live among the human race. Not all the vampires are god-like men and woman. They come in every shape and size and with different cravings. Some want to find their more human side while others can care less. Eric Northman played by Alexander Skarsgard is tall, blond, handsome, but don’t let the good-looking Nordic vampire fool you, he’s lethal as well.

In my vampire tale, I put a new spin on the Chinese vampire, the chiang-shih. Jairec was bitten by the chiang-shih and has three days to find the cure. Jairec fights the urge to give into the monster lurking inside of him. He also finds he's fallen for Autumn Moon and will do all he can to keep her safe. Tall, dark, lethal and romantic. :) 

As you can see vampires have evolved from a villain with no control over their blood lust to romantic leads that try to keep their lethal attributes leashed. Which vampire appeals to you?

If you'd like to be entered to win a pdf copy of Autumn Moon, all you have to do is participate in the poll or follow my blog. Leave a comment and your email info so I know how to contact you.


Dorlana said... Best Blogger Tips

It is difficult for me to pick which i like more hero or villian - because i think that is what is appealing about vampires - they are kind of both. I’m an old school vampire fan. Angel is my all time fav TV show, The Vampire Chronicles still line my shelves, and I loved the book and the movie (by Francis Ford Copolla’s) Dracula.

Karen Michelle Nutt said... Best Blogger Tips

I know what you mean it's difficult for me to pick, too. If I absolutely had to choose, I think I'd go more for the Julian Luna. I like that he can control the vampire and the fact he can turn into a wolf, too. I find that kind of cool. :) Thanks for stopping by, Dorlana.

ladystorm said... Best Blogger Tips

Everyone likes Eric off of True Blood, but why doesn't anyone like Bill. I love Bill!! :)

One of my favorites that came befor Mick St. John is Nick off of Forever Knights he was a police detective.

Though I go with my original favorite which is Bela Legosi's Dracula :)

ladystorm said... Best Blogger Tips

forgot to leave my email addy


Karen Michelle Nutt said... Best Blogger Tips

There are so many vampires I've left out. lol I like Bill from True Blood, but I like Eric better.

Forever Knight was good, too. Did you happen to see Rick Springfield play the TV Movie version before it became a TV series?

Jacki C. said... Best Blogger Tips

I don't necessarily see Vampires as Villans or Heroes. Most of them were "created" - some to curse them and some to save them. I see a lot of them as victims.

I admit that I still have "Angel" on my desktop - no matter what happens, that gorgeous face always makes me smile

Jacki C. said... Best Blogger Tips

oops - forgot to leave my email addy.

Karen Michelle Nutt said... Best Blogger Tips

Victims-- I suppose you're right. Most weren't born a vampire. Someone changed them. Good point!

Angel-- yep, know what you mean. His mug is still posted on the wall in the garage. You gotta have something wonderful to look at while doing laundry. lol

sheree said... Best Blogger Tips

I'm gonna be difficult!! I loved Angel (David is rather lush) but my vote would have been for Spike!! A vampire in love with one woman (vampiress) for over 100 years - I mean how's that for romantic hero?!! And he saved the world!!

In the end I voted for Robert Pattinson - what can I say, the man sparkles!!

Email: sheree.asmith

Karen Michelle Nutt said... Best Blogger Tips


Re: Choosing your favorite vamp--I know tough decisions.

Can you believe I forgot Spike until someone emailed me about him. I decided to add him to the blog. Sorry Spike, but better late than never.

The sparkling vamp is all yours. :)

Thanks for stopping by!

annalisa said... Best Blogger Tips

Are Vampires villains or heroes? I'd have to say both and I love both sides to them. I can't just pick one favorite because there are so many different vampires that appeal to me. Top of my list is Eric from True Blood and Lestat from Queen of the Damned. I also enjoyed the vampire Henry Fitzroy in the t.v. show "Blood Ties". I was really disappointed when they cancelled Blood Ties and Moonlight.

Karen Michelle Nutt said... Best Blogger Tips


I like Blood Ties, too. I was actually shocked when I heard Moonlight wasn't going to have a second season. There were so many people who liked the show.

Thanks for coming by and reminding us of the vampire Henry Fitzroy. Definitely worth mentioning.

sheree said... Best Blogger Tips

I like Bill - such a gentleman - but I adored Henry Fitzroy. I was gutted when Blood Ties didn't continue, although the books were brilliant!

Karen Michelle Nutt said... Best Blogger Tips

I've never read the books. Did the series stay true to the characters?

sheree said... Best Blogger Tips

It kinda stayed true to the books. Unfortunately they didn't have time to develop things properly which is a shame because it got more intense as it went along :(

Karen Michelle Nutt said... Best Blogger Tips

Thanks for the info. I'll have to check out the books.

sheree said... Best Blogger Tips

Oh please let me know what you think of them. Any author recommendations?

Karen Michelle Nutt said... Best Blogger Tips

Books here's a few:

Vampires- Jenna Black has the Guardian of the Night series (four books.) I loved them all, but Shadows on the Soul was my favorite. Loved the bad boy Gabriel.

If you like shifters--
I've enjoyed Kendra Leigh Castle's books. She has highland werewolves, demigoddess, The Dyadd(vampire-like race) and dragons in her tales--of course romances, too. Wild Highland Magic,The third in the series was my favorite. They stand alone, but they do make reference to the earlier characters. The first two are about MacInnes brothers. The third is about the the demigoddess' brother and his love interest. Also there's a romance going on with a dragon shifter who you meet in the second book.

I also enjoyed Terry Spear's werewolf series, too. Her books you can read out of sequence. They all stand alone. Romance, danger and mystery.

sheree said... Best Blogger Tips

You star!!! Will add them to my reading list! :D

s7anna said... Best Blogger Tips

oooh...that's a toughie! they're both...
fave vampire in movies : Lestat from Queen of the Damned
fave tv vampire : Angel from Buffy the Vampire Slayer
fave literary vampire : Paen from Even Vampires get the Blues by Katie MacAlister

Happy Halloween!!!
Anna Shah Hoque

ddurance said... Best Blogger Tips

I like characters such as Julian Luna, from The Embraced. He has massive responsibility and takes it seriously. He's still fair and respectful not only of his own people, but humans as well. It doesn't hurt that he's also gorgeous. lol

I'm following your blog now.

deidre_durance at hotmail dot com

Karen Michelle Nutt said... Best Blogger Tips

A Katie MacAlister
MacAllister vamp-- cool.

Deidre-- Julian is my favorite, too. lol Thanks for following my blog.:)

Thank you both for stopping by, too.

SiNn said... Best Blogger Tips

Spike and mick st John r my favs ever sorry i missed the poll tho but i am following you ! awesome blog

SiNn said... Best Blogger Tips

i voted for Mick lastat steward townsand, keifer of course cant forget the lost boys

Karen Michelle Nutt said... Best Blogger Tips


I'm glad you enjoyed the blog.
Mick, Lastat-Stewart Townsend, Keifer Sutherland-- all great choices.

My daughter and I pull out Queen of the Damned on occasion just to watch Stewart Townsend. It's probably not the best movie ever made, but he's mighty fine as a vampire. :)

Thanks for following my blog, too.

lollipop4598 said... Best Blogger Tips

Its not vampires who have changed, its humans. If a creature that can live forever, drink blood, and more showed up in the 1900's, we would have called in a monster and killed it. Now, what would we do? Learn what we can from it, and let it live, I imagine. We no longer feel compelled to kill everything that might be dangerous to us. Its not so much weather they are heros or villains as they are human, which means they are both. So now, that we no longer feel compelled to grab the wooden stake, we are naturally curious. Its a sign that humanity is developing some sort of compassion.
As for Eric Northman, NO ONE I know likes him. I have never read the books, and he is a sleazoid as far as the show is concerned. Bill is just fine. But Eric? He was perfectly happy to see Sookie die in front of his eyes. She would have to be pretty masochistic to develop an interest in him.

Karen Michelle Nutt said... Best Blogger Tips

Humanity has developed some sort of compassion=... Well put.

As for Eric-- I haven't read the books, but I do like the character on True Blood. It's not to say I don't like Bill, too.

My favorite vampire has to lean toward his human-side. :)

Thanks for posting.