To quote Dracula, the most famous of the undead, I bid you good evening!
Oh – and regarding today’s title? It’s a song I (sadly) only just came across this week while researching for this post (more on that at the end). And for the record? I understand it’s about nothing more violent than a mosh pit.
But, ah! To quote Chaucer’s character in the otherwise rather forgettable “A Knight’s Tale”, I give the truth scope! And so I will fit it with this week’s theme in Jen Kehl’s ever fabulous Twisted Mix Tape Blog Hop.
The theme? Ah yes! As follows:
Songs that are scary. FOR ANY REASON. Halloween is a few days away. Are they scary because of the words, what the band looks like, because it’s just so darn bad??
Please visit the others on scary song hop here:
I thought I’d use this week’s theme to have a bit of festive fun with one of my favourite genres of fiction.
See, I have a little 15 + year obsession with vampire mythology. I have a whole library of both vampire books and movies. Some good. And others not so much….
So what I’m going to give you tonight? Five – in my opinion – REALLY good – vampire related songs or mixes. Then for a few kicks at the end – two bonuses for fun.
Happy Halloween! Here goes…
First: A Tribute featuring the theme and selections from Francis Ford Coppola’s 1992 Bram Stoker’s Dracula. [2017 update: original video went offline – closest replacement – but no longer a musical tribute]
The soundtrack for this movie was great. The music here is appropriately eerie. The movie was, for me, my first real venture into the genre. And I have this vivid recollection of Oprah talking about how she left the theatre disgusted with the movie – which at 15, just made me all the more a fan [Full disclosure: I now read Oprah Magazine and think it is quite wonderful].
But at 15? I quickly read Bram Stoker’s 1897 book – and started researching the vampire myth. I was hooked.
And I have to say, for those uninitiated to the whole vampire obsession that has gripped modern culture (there must be some of you out there – though I’ve seen librarian jokes to the effect of the YA section being renamed the “Vampire Fiction” section – so I suspect you may be few and far between) this four-minute video gives a pretty good run down of the Dracula myth as viewed in modern-day thanks much to Stoker.
That said, before going further, I need to give an obligatory shout out to John Polidori, Lord Bryon’s personal physician, who was present that infamous June night in 1816 where he, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft Goodwin (his fiancée), Claire Clairmont and Lord Byron decided, after reading aloud from Tales of the Dead, to each compose a horror story. From this night came, in addition to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Polidori’s 1819 The Vampyre, which was the first vampire story to show the vampire as an aristocratic gentleman.
And now that you have the basics: garlic; sunlight; crosses; stake through the heart; and hot sex [I mean, eternal and thus problematic undying love] with the undead… let’s have some fun, shall we?
Anne Rice hit big shortly after I became aware of vampires.
And in 1994 out came Interview With the Vampire: The Movie.
This movie cemented the love. Because A) Great story and B) To (sort of) quote 1994’s Airheads, you get Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, Christian Slater, Antonio Banderas, and Kirsten Dunst together and they could basically fart on snare drums for two hours and I’d watch it. Stellar cast + great story = awesome movie.
So I give you two selections from that movie.
The first is Lestat’s Tarentella because, I have the soundtrack, and, to this day, this is the song I remember. It’s a memorable scene (There is Life in the Old Lady Yet!); and the song adds to it:
Then, of course, there is Guns ‘N Roses Sympathy for the Devil, which closes out the movie. Fabulous for the genre and also fabulous in that it’s a swan song for the end of the original members of that band. I give you here a fan’s memorial and contribution, honouring both:
Choice four goes to a song from 2002’s Queen of the Damned. A “loose” translation of the Anne Rice novels, it combines the second and third from the vampire series: The Vampire Lestat and Queen of the Damned. That said, as far as putting on-screen the image I visualize on the page as far as the rock concert goes? It’s pretty fabulous. For those uninitiated, the back story is that a vampire decides to head a rock band because he’s tired of (un)living life in the shadows and wants to scream what he is from the rooftops. Of course no humans actually believe him. But the undead ain’t thrilled. Here’s the concert:
Just for the record, the song for most of the above clip is Slept So Long by Jay Gordon.
And here we are at my final choice. I give you a Buffy fan video compiled to David Usher‘s 2001 Black, Black Heart. The song fits; and the video certainly fits for my favourite vampire pick: Spike, from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
It is what it is. And here it is:
Honestly? I started watching Buffy as a joke. But it resonated for me at that stage of life on so many levels. And Spike was just, well, the perfect bad guy, then the perfect reformed bad guy. And the whole bad to good transformation was buyable within the plot, so I was invested in wanting him to want to be better. For her. Swoon. And thanks, plot line, for leaving that unresolved.
Right! We’re done. With the list of five, I mean. But I promised bonuses. So here they are. I have two. First is this fabulous Top Ten Vampires compilation I found to my now post namesake by Drowning Pool:
Spoiler alert if you haven’t watched the above video … Her number two choice is the only vampire who has ever made me hungry for the wolf.
Which brings me to my second bonus video: Buffy vs. Edward. This one isn’t to music, but is a mash-up done a few years back that puts clips from Buffy together with Twilight. It’s brilliant and pretty well sums up my thoughts on Bella and the messages of Twilight. Which, in case the video is unclear, or you don’t watch it: Edward is a controlling creep. So in this one instance, choose the wolf.
Thanks for listening! Happy Halloween!