I blogged a few days ago about how, sometimes, the mere premise of a book or movie or game can strike me as so irresistible that I care less about the actual quality of the product. I think this sentiment applies doubly to anything with vampires in it.
As I see it there are essentially two pools of knowledge to draw from when it comes to vampires. On one hand you have the traditional legend and folklore, having evolved over hundreds of years in all parts of the world, half-believed, taking on aspects of superstition and religion from every culture with a concept of evil. On the other you have the fictitious pop-culture vampire, concocted by Bram Stoker and touched on in a thousand little different ways since.
The main division between the two, of course, is that the former are scary whereas the latter are cool.
There’s been kind of a resurgence in the Hollywood-style cool, sexy vampire these past few years… which I imagine we owe to Twilight. I’m pretty okay with Twilight; I haven’t watched it, or its sequel, but I can at least make my peace with the fact that I’m not in the target audience.
I much prefer the monstrous vampire, though. Born directly from Hell, twisted facial features, using humans as cattle, etc. etc. That’s the kind of vampire that pushes my buttons.
Even so, vampires are entrenched enough in our giant stew of ideas that it’s more fun to see the idea played with than actually used, if that makes any sense. Most Americans have this vague idea that it stays dark in Alaska six months out of the year. Vampires like darkness, right? Combine those two concepts and you have a pretty cool idea for a vampire movie. Someone made that movie last year. I didn’t watch it, but I saw the trailer and appreciated the effort.
What I’m building up to here is that I recently came into possession of a book entitled Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. I was completely sold on this idea when I stumbled across the YouTube trailer one day. Historical fiction falls very squarely into the “that’s a cool premise!” pile I love so much, and they’ve got my hellspawned monster-style vampires as well. Plus, Abe Lincoln. You just can’t go wrong with Abe.
So far the book has been highly entertaining, and has (if nothing else) reminded me that there have been a few neat-o vampire movies I’ve managed to pass up. I’ll have to cast my net into the used box over at Moviestop and see what I can snare.