Yes. In addition to the monthly author interview I’m hoping to feature a guest blogger here. Lucky them, eh? Today – yes too! – I’m thrilled Catherine Cavendish has come along to blog. She was meant to come on Halloween, as you’ll see from the subject, but there was an email hiccup and then Catherine was away. Her own blog may say Israel, it being Halloween and Catherine being a paranormal writer ….I have my suspicions. (I also had the witchy boots and the Clachaig handtowels….)
Anyway, Catherine lives in Wales and all her titles are available from most online booksellers. She has a new book coming out soon with Etopia Press. It looks pretty scary to me.
So a big welcome to Catherine. Being a huge film fan, especially of these old crankers, House Of Frankenstein etc, I must say, she couldn’t have picked a better subject. Plus I get a skeck at Johnny Depp.
Every Generation Gets the Vampire They Deserve……or do they? By Catherine Cavendish
As most (if not all) of you know, the first picture, of Vlad the (notorious) Impaler is generally credited as being the template for Bram Stoker’s classic Dracula and, given the well documented carnage wrought by the bloodthirsty Romanian ruler, the Victorian author could hardly have chosen a more worthy model.
217 (or thereabouts) films have been made about Dracula, the father of all vampires. Countless others have drawn on vampiric traits and characteristics to create a multitude of evil, sadistic, sexy, funny, sparkly, cuddly and/or scary night dwelling bloodsuckers. There’s a vampire for every mood and every generation leaves its own mark.
A creature that sucks the lifeblood out of its victims with a kiss was bound to lead to romantic and erotic interpretations and there have been no shortage of those. Just click onto Amazon and do a universal search for ‘vampires’ and see what you get. Bet you the early pages all contain varying degrees of naughtiness! If every generation does indeed get the vampire they deserve, then this generation’s vampires have a lot of sexy fun with their daily dose of blood!
But, let’s take a quick look at how vampires have morphed during the Hollywood years.
In 1915, The Vampire, a short (38 minute) film directed by Robert G. Vignola, wasn’t even about Dracula or any of his spawn. The story concerned the antics of a fast-living (female) vamp who entices a man away from his fiancé and then proceeds to spend all his money before dumping him. Hmmm!
Mainstream Hollywood vampires really began in around 1931, when Bela Lugosi first sank his fangs into his unwary victims in the classic Dracula and set the standard for years to come. However, in Germany, Nosferatu, with Max Schreck as the frighteningly evil Count Orlok, had terrified audiences as early as 1922 and the mere sight of that creature, or his shadow, can still send chills skewering up my spine today.
Humorous vampires really began in the 1940s with films like Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein in 1948, where the two comedians meet just about every creature, from Dracula to the Wolfman. The comedy trend continues to this day, through Love At First Bite (1979) with the debonair George Hamilton to the film version of Buffy The Vampire Slayer (1992) and, of course, Johnny Depp’s portrayal of Barnabas Collins in the camp reworking of 1960s cult TV series, Dark Shadows.
In addition, since the 1960s, there have been all-Lesbian vampire movies, interracial vampire movies, sci-fi vampire movies, the wonderful not to be taken too seriously Hammer Horror vampire movies and, of course, the Twilight series. Oh, and I mustn’t forget the recent Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. Enough said about that one, I think!
For me though, and I suspect many of my generation, I prefer my vampires scary. Tarantino’s From Dusk Till Dawn (1996), while undeniably bloodsoaked, is a great film to watch late at night (with a large cushion ready), as is the film of Stephen King’s classic, Salem’s Lot. As part of the Baby Boomer generation, I feel most at home with a good scarefest. Much as I love Johnny Depp, I still prefer Jonathan Frid’s TV original Barnabas Collins – but as for how many agree with me, I suspect that’s for a later generation to decide.
Catherine Cavendish’s new horror novella, Miss Abigail’s Room, will be published by Etopia Press on December 7th.
You can find details of her currently published titles here: http://www.amazon.com/Catherine-Cavendish/e/B0059GDROQ/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0
Most recently, her short story In My Lady’s Chamber featured in the anthology Touched by Darkness, available here:
You can find out more about Cat – and interact with her- here:
www.goodreads.com as Catherine Cavendish
- Bram Stoker books: How ‘Dracula’ created the modern vampire (csmonitor.com)
- Vampires: there will always be blood (telegraph.co.uk)