Fact, Fangs, and Fiction

Image credit: Nosferatu (1922) Image description: a bald, pointy-eared vampire staring straight into the camera. End description.

You may know vampires from TV shows and movies and that's all fine and good but you need to remember:

Vampires are REAL. Full stop. Vampires are real and they WILL get you. Just kidding. But seriously.

So, what can vampires actually do if they do get you? That depends.

There are lots of different types of vampires. See that guy in the picture? No, that handsome devil isn't me. His name is Nosferatu. He's a good guy.

Nosferatu is a good old fashioned blood sucker. He's what you think of when you think "vampire." You may also think of Dracula. Dracula's alright. A little full of himself. You can sign up for his newsletter here if you like.

But Drac and Nosferatu are just one breed of vampire. They're classic, cinematic, abject horrors. They drink blood. They turn into bats and fly around. There are other types though. You've probably met a vampire or two in this lifetime and just didn't know it. We don't all look dead. We don't all burn in sunlight. We don't all even drink blood.

Image Credit: What We Do In The Shadows (2019) Image description: An old photo of a mundane-looking vampire man in a gold frame. End description.

This gentleman is named Colin Robinson.

Colin is an energy vampire. He doesn't feed off blood, but human energy. He feeds by standing next to you and rambling at you until you're bored out of your skull.

Now I know you've met someone like that.

Don't get your panties in a Transylvania Twist. I'm not saying every annoying Tom, Dick, and Harry you know is a vampire.

Just most of them.

And speaking of annoying:

Image credit: Twilight (2008) Image description: Bella and Edward from Twilight standing side by side. End description.

Alright alright alright. Look, I'm not here to bully you for liking Twilight but I have to straighten a few things up.

The first, and possibly the most pressing, is that NOT ALL NATIVE AMERICANS ARE WEREWOLVES! Are there native werewolves? Sure. There are also black werewolves, asian werewolves, latine werewolves, white werewolves, werewolf is not a race.

Second of all, not all vampires are governed by a group of Italian randos in a basement. There are vampiric counsels that pop up all over. They govern small groups of vampires. They're more like clubs than actual goverments. They offer perks, like protection from vampire hunters, but at the end of the day they don't have power over most vampires much less all of us.

Finally, and I can't believe I've gotta say this, most of us don't sparkle. Edward Cullen here goes a little heavy on the body glitter. No judgement, but that isn't most of us.

I can't fault Twilight too much. Vampires have been romantic figures since Dracula at least, and the only reason Twilight gets flack is because its audience is comprised of women.

But if you're going to pick one mythology to follow when it comes to vampires, a terrible idea to begin with, don't pick Twilight.

I also wouldn't go with Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Don't get me wrong, this show rocks. But they get a lot wrong about vampires.

Hunters are not "Chosen Ones," they're gritty humans who decide they want to fight vampires forever. Some of them feel compelled to do it by a higher power but those guys are usually just super Christian. A lot of Buffy's vampire inacuracies came from the fact that it was a drama show.

Being inacurate does not make the show bad! This is probably one of the best television programs on this list and you should watch it. You just shouldn't take all your vampire knowledge from it.

Don't pick Supernatural either.

Image credit: Supernatural (2005) Image description: Benny from Supernatural, fangs out. End description.

It's not that they got more right or wrong than Twilight, but they got different things right and wrong. For example, some vampires are in fact unaffected by religious symbols. I happen to know a few vampires who are very religous.

But most of us don't have a thousand tiny knife teeth. The two-fang stereotype exists for a reason.

There is also no "cure" for vampirism. It doesn't matter what you've drank, once you're in you're in.

The thing about beheading- wait, you thought I was gonna tell you how to kill vampires? Hah! What are you? A Van Helsing?

We'll talk about hunters later. For now, I need to get through the good, the bad, and the ugly of vampire represenation.

Image credit: Morbius (2022) Image description: Morbius with sharp teeth and red eyes standing in a room surrounded by blood bags. End description.

Oh boy, that's ugly.

Dr. Michael Morbius. If I had a nickel for every time a scientist tried to cure himself with animal DNA and it went crazy wrong and turned him into a monster I could buy Dracula's castle. The housing market is shit right now too. That's a lot of money. It would probably be more money than this movie made during its two stints in theatres.

I don't have a ton to say about this one. Bombed in the box office twice in a row. Morbin time is over.

Image credit: Monster High (2010) Image description: Spectra, Cleo, Ghoulia, Lagoona, Draculaura, Clawdeen, Abby, Frankie, and Operetta from Monster High standing side by side. End description.

I mentioned earlier that Twilight has many flaws but the real reason people dismiss the series is because its audience is made up mostly of women and teenage girls. This is a real problem, as a lot of film and television with a mainly female audience is absolutely wonderful, not to mention the fact that disregarding "girly" things is just a shitty thing to do.

Monster High is largely regarded as a children's show but some of their vampire portrayals are actually pretty groundbreaking. I'm not saying Monster High got everything, or even most things, right, but I am saying that seeing Draculaura burst into tears because she couldn't see her reflection and was just having one of those days is a MOOD. Seeing her struggle with her powers as a juvenile vampire is also quite accurate. You don't just wake up one day knowing how to turn into a bat. It takes practice.

This is not the only animation geared at children that portrays vampires in interesting ways. Adventure Time's Marceline is intriguing to say the least. I've never seen vampires who drink the colour red before but I'm not ruling it out as a posibility.

And speaking of animation:

Image Credit: Castlevania (2017) Image Description: An anime vampire with dark hair and red eyes. End description.

If you're looking for a good vampire anime, there is no shortage. "Vampire in the Garden," "Castlevania," "Seraph of the End," "Shiki," "Vampire Princess Miyu," and many others will not disappoint.

They're not always or even usually the most accurate representations of vampires but they are fun as hell.

Honestly, the best vampire representation I've seen in modern media lately has to have been What We Do in the Shadows.

Image credit: What We Do In The Shadows (2019) Image description: The main cast of What We Do In The Shadows showing off their teeth and wearing sunglasses that reflect the full moon. End description.

Remember Colin Robinson? If you don't, he's the energy vampire on the far left. He's one of the stars of Taika Waititi's hit show, What We Do in the Shadows.

I think what makes this show so good is that it combines almost every type of vampire lore. Different types of vampires exist alongside each other with little problems. Just like real life. Again there's the whole "vampiric counsel rules all" thing but that's a minor oversight.

I don't hold it against Mr. Waititi though. It's not as if he's a vampire. He did very good for a human. And I'm a big fan of his work anyway, so I'll cut him some slack as long as he doesn't kill off my favourite gay pirates.

Now, back to the main site.