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vampire_a-z_2016L is for The Lost Boys, Joel Schumacher‘s 1987 film.

Sleep all day.

Party all night.

Never grow old.

Never die.

It’s fun to be a vampire.

Links to source

Starring both Corey’s and Keifer Sutherland, it pretty much IS teen-80s. I was always left disappointed Molly Ringwald couldn’t make an appearance.

The film is about two brothers who move to a small California town that’s infested with … vampires.

The title is a reference to Peter Pan’s Lost Boys and stars a gang of teen vampires who – being vampires – never grow up.

The movie was followed by two direct to video sequels. But the CW is apparently working on a TV series as they prepare to bid farewell to The Vampire Diaries, which is now in its last season. I kind of love that lack of a vampire show is now an obvious television viewing gap that needs addressing!

Written by Rob Thomas, the series promises to re-imagine the film and is envisioned for a seven-season, anthology-style run. It will tell a story spanning 70 years and explore what it really means to be immortal. Season 1 will be set in San Francisco in the Summer of Love, 1967.

But let’s get back to the original. Here’s a clip:

Links to source: Goodreads

Links to source: Goodreads

Next up, M is for The Morganville Vampires, Rachel Caine’s younger teen fiction series.

Glass Houses, the first in the rather large series, was published in 2006. The story centres on super young prodigy and college freshman Claire Danvers, who is away from home for the first time attending university. Bullied in her dorms, she finds housing off campus in a home owned by Michael Glass.

Michael’s got a secret and – let me know if this is starting to sound familiar – the whole town is run by vampires. The humans who live there – including her school bullies – are in league with the vampires and if you don’t get “protection”, you’re basically food.

The series is aimed at 12-13 year-olds. I didn’t love it, but I’m tempted to give one to the girl across the street to see if it’s just that I’m too old.

A number of things annoyed me in the book.

Example? Quotes like this:

What normal girl loved physics? Abnormal ones. Ones who were not ever going to be hot. And face it, being hot? That was what life was all about. (pg 15)

Then there’s the fact that even though the mean girls in her dorm steal her clothes, beat her up, throw her down stairs, beat her up again, toss her in the back of a creepy van, and BURN HER ALIVE WITH ACID ….

… she keeps going back to school and no one in any position of authority – even the campus doctor who treats her – thinks to do anything about it or even, well, notices that maybe something might be going on.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m good at suspending disbelief. I mean, I read vampire fiction. But this pushed even my limits.

Because any rational person might wonder why Claire wouldn’t just cut her losses and go home to her loving parents if she was in such obvious imminent danger?

But she doesn’t. Because staying is framed as showing she can stand up to the bullies and use her wits to save both herself and the day.

Okay…

Also, she’s such a good student, so the thought of flunking out?

Well, that’s a fate worse than undead.

I guess I can see how such a plot might resonate with 12-year-olds. And, don’t get me wrong, I was rooting for her by the end.

I just don’t see myself getting through the other 14 books in this series.

A promotional film poster for Nosferatu Source: PD-US. Picture links to source.

N is for Nosferatu, the 1922 film directed by F.W. Murnau, starring Max Schreck as the vampire Count Orlok. The film has come to be known as an influential masterpiece of early cinema.

It has received overwhelmingly positive reviews. It ranked twenty-first in Empire magazine’s “The 100 Best Films of World Cinema” in 2010. In 1997, critic Roger Ebert added Nosferatu to his list of The Great Movies, writing:

Here is the story of Dracula before it was buried alive in clichés, jokes, TV skits, cartoons and more than 30 other films.

The film is in awe of its material. It seems to really believe in vampires.

… Is Murnau’s “Nosferatu” scary in the modern sense? Not for me. I admire it more for its artistry and ideas, its atmosphere and images, than for its ability to manipulate my emotions like a skillful modern horror film.

It knows none of the later tricks of the trade, like sudden threats that pop in from the side of the screen. But “Nosferatu” remains effective: It doesn’t scare us, but it haunts us.

Here’s a short sample:

The film was an unauthorized adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, with names and other details changed because the studio couldn’t obtain the rights to the novel. So you have Thomas and Ellen rather than Jonathan and Mina.

Indeed, Stoker’s heirs sued over it, and the courts ruled all copies of the film be destroyed. However, (thank goodness) a few survived.

This is also not the first film adaptation of the novel. The first, Drakula was made two years previously by an unnamed Soviet film director. However, no copies are known to exist and it is believed to have been irrevocably lost.

So this is the earliest film vampire we seem to have. Which I think is about as close to immortality as us mere humans can hope for. Example? Getting back to Ebert’s point, he’s been spoofed pretty much everywhere.

Indeed, one comment on a number of the Nosferatu videos online to the effect of “Oh! Now I understand that SpongeBob episode!” made me go search down this clip:

That would be from “Graveyard Shift” in Season 2 (2000). The ability to confuse an entire new generation of children? Way to go Dracula! Now that’s power!

And that brings today’s post to a close. Join us again on Thursday for O through R.

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