Saturday, 16 January 2010

A few of my favourite vampire things....

I was talking about vampires with some online buddies the other day (as you do!) and it got me thinking about some of my favourite vampire short stories, books and films. Now let's get this right out there at the start - I have not read any of the Twilight books nor seen the films and I wont be (I base this, some might say rash, statement on the author's other book, The Host. There are times as an expat that you are so desperate to read something in english that you can be easily led into what you know is a bad library-borrowing decision, but NEVER again!)

I've always loved a good horror story and still have my first book of Edgar Allen Poe stories, that I nicked from my brother and my book of the Best Ghost Stories - included in which is Le Fanu's Carmilla, a fantastic vampire novella. I loved Bram Stroker's Dracula and recently found an excellent BD adaptation at the library. In the last year or so I read the Historian by Elizabeth Kostova, a terrific historic vampire read.

Some of the best vampire movies I've seen are Bram Stoker's Dracula (of course), Nadja (although all that pixelling got in the way of an excellent vampire story) and From Dusk till Dawn (more for the Clooney factor and the excellent first half than the second half where it goes off into vampire territory). Oh and not forgetting the Lost Boys, which appealed to my teenage self and which summed up teenage vampires, well before Buffy (loved it!) and Angel (meh) and those T people came along. Interview with a Vampire was pretty cool too (the book was so much better) but was completely let down by the miscast blonded Tom Cruise.

But what I had forgotten, until this discussion started, was seeing an adaptation of Bram Stoker's Dracula in 1999 at the Princess Theatre by the Fractal Theatre Company. And the internet being what it is, I found their FB page with a whole lot of video and still photos. What I loved about this production (and their production of the Fall of the House of Usher that we saw in 1994) was their amazing use of the theatre space and that the audience followed the players around. I remember the audience followed someone downstairs to the "crypt" and we were all there in the dark watching a scene around a coffin, with Van Helsing, I think, when Dracula came up silently behind me and scared the crap out of me! And he was a pretty impressive Dracula too...


So anyone got any favourite vampire reads or movies to share (and please don't mention the T word!)

8 comments:

screamish said...

The Lost Boys! I'd forgotten that.

No, I haven't seen the T word either, and don't intend to!

I read Bram Stoker's Dracula a few years ago and it blew me away...amazing.

You know I just wasn't with it enough to make it to The Princess Theatre when I was still in Brissie, a shame.

deuxoutroischoses said...

Have you seen the silent film (I guess it must be the first vampire film) Nosferatu? That's well worth watching, especially the tinted version with the creepy soundtrack.

I found the entire tinted version uploaded on youtube but unfortunately it's with a crappy soundtrack. The version I saw at the cinema had an amazing string orchestral soundtrack that was REALLY creepy and cool.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UDZURPwzkRg

Another version of Dracula I loved as a child is with Frank Langella in the lead. The movie scared the hell out of me when I was young but re-watching it all I can think is, damn Dracula's hot! LOL
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=glTBzcwB7-Q

Recently I got for my husband 'Dracula in Pakistan' for 2 euros. Very funny.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=STTCCT-_M9I

Leesa said...

I've ALWAYS loved vamp films-- ever since I was a kid...of all the horror films, vamps were my fav!!!

Anyhow, you named all the good ones... LOVEEEE Lost Boys-- cult film.. And BS is my fav. vamp film...
Did you ever read Anne Rice? I did years ago when she wrote them... then lost interest after a few...I think by the third one..

New FAVS-- True Blood and Vampire Diaries, tv. series.. Don't know if you watch them...
but they are totally different from one another...

Anyhow.. glad you brought up the topic!

Have a great weekend, Penn!!

Take care,
Leesa

Penny said...

Screamish - I'm just hoping its still there and they havent knocked it down or turned it into apartments (umm, says she who owns an apartment in McWhirters!). I will have to go by in July and check...

Rochelle, you know, I think I have seen Nosferatu, but I'm not sure which version...

Leesa - I have been thinking about checking out some of the new vampire Tv series! I have read quite a few of the Anne Rice books. And I loved her Mayfair Witches series (with Lasher) - they were very cool.

Anonymous said...

Nausferatu is the best.
Mimi

Anonymous said...

Penny, thank you so much for the Fractal Theatre link. Wow what a cool theatre company. I too have great memories of there productions.
Mimi

Anonymous said...

Sorry...Their productions. Anyway looks like the chinatown mall might be finished by the time you visit. Since they started when you left it is none too soon.
Mimi

Anonymous said...

Oh let us not forget Blackula or Hertzogs remake of Nausferatu with the crazy Claus Kinski
Wireless is so cool. I actually get time on the internet.
Mimi