my beautiful children, and those soon to be my beautiful children. The
infamous Michel Lecureaux, at your service. Some of you have not met me? Why ever not? We should rectify this post haste. You may read about me in novels!
But now to my original purpose.
I was asked if I might like to share my views on vampires in cinema, to which I replied I might indeed. Thus, here I am.
I pondered many ways in which I might begin such an article; with a bit of history, perhaps? With comparisons to the real and the imagined? Should I attempt a time line of some sort?
As often there is little resemblance betwixt the real and the imagined—what’s that you say? You believe that with all of the literature and movies in existence, that surely there must be some truth swimming about in the soup of legends?
Very well, I’ll leave off pretense. Mais oui, there are some truths in your literature. One reason for this, is that even vampires take pen names. We are everywhere, darlings. You may now find yourself asking Michel, my dear Michel; which, then, are pure fantasy, and which, then, are accurate?
This is no simple matter, darlings. Not all vampires are created equal; this is your first lesson. In fact, even I find some of them so repulsive that I destroy them on sight, afterward desperately wishing to bleach my eyes and nostrils. Unfortunately, I can’t stand the scent of bleach, not that it would matter. By the gods, you humans are obsessed with germs, aren’t you? Do you not realize that for a healthy immune system, one must build the immunity, which means, one needs a certain bit of exposure to germs?
Ah, I do beg pardon. I am digressing quite a bit. As I tend to do things my own way, I should inform you now, that this will be a common occurrence, as I am in a rather capricious mood. What this means when I am writing, is that I shall begin with a thought, and allow it to run at will. If you are game, do please continue reading.
Vampires in cinema, this was the subject, oui?
(Tut. Did you really believe that I would share the secrets of vampiredom with the free world? My, how sorely mistaken you find yourself now. Very well, as I’m feeling generous at the moment, I will share this. There are truths, there are lies, and there are grey areas in your fictions. Discuss this amongst yourselves as you will.)
Fright Night! Yes, I shall begin here. How deliciously campy this movie is. I shall also give Chris Sarandon full marks for being rather sexy—even with that deformed mouth as he shifts. However, if there are vampires who turn into bats, I daresay they do it with much more style, and are far more convincing, though it was an improvement over rubber bats on fishing poles, ala Lugosi’s era. Yes, darlings, I know. They worked with what was available to them at the time. This does not make it any less ridiculous, do we agree?
Now then, where was I? Fright Night. On the viscera scale, one must appreciate, I think, a minion who expires in a gush of green slime whilst his flesh melts from his bones. Rather inventive, though personally I prefer my minions to be filled with far tastier fluids, and prefer them far less zombie-like.
What’s this? You’re surprised that I opt to begin my musings with a nineteen eighties B flick? Why, it has achieved cult status! It pays homage to many other films!
What’s this? What of Dracula, you say?
I say, what of him. But Michel, I hear you thinking. He is the grandfather of all vampires!
I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news, children, but this is a load of tripe. Blood thirsty he was. Immortal he was not. Furthermore, he was not the first fictional Immortal. Pity, however. I should like to have met him.
I hear you yet again. I hear very well, you must realize. Michel, if you discuss movies, they’re all fictional, are they not? Therefore, why not discuss Dracula?
I grant you this. But this is my essay, and quite frankly, I tire of Dracula this, Dracula that, the mighty Dracula. Pssh. I would have snapped him like a cigarette between my fingers. Furthermore, I am aware that some of you expected me to begin with Vlad. This may be an opportune time to inform you that I do not like to be what’s expected.
This is not to say I haven’t enjoyed Dracula in film. Some more than others, certainly. If I am feeling generous the next time we meet, I may discuss one of my favorites.
Ah, but I must now take my leave, as I am in the mood for a bloodletting. Mine, that is. Ponder this as you will. Certain of you will undoubtedly guess the source of this particular shift in mood.
I shall return with more thoughts another time.
Ciao for now.