Why do I have an obsession with Vampires?
A Guest Post by Rashaad Bell
Why do I have an obsession with Vampires? I ask myself this because I’ve been fascinated with them for well over a decade now. I’ve seen them go from being horror material, to urban gothic, to loathed and loved at the same time by pop culture due to the ever growing popularity/hate of the Twilight series.
For me, it all began back in the nineties when I was deployed overseas in Japan. A fellow Marine (Ooh Rah) came up to me while I was pulling all night duty as the NCO on Deck for my barracks and gave me a copy of Memnoch the Devil to pass the time with. I had never heard of Anne Rice and at first I turned it down, yet my friend insisted that I read it anyway. So I took the novel and ever since then, Anne Rice has officially become my favorite author.
I’ve owned all of her books in paperback at one time or another, yet by being in the military, I moved around a lot and books were just taking up space, so I rarely brought them along. All accept one. My paperback copy of Interview with the Vampire managed to make every move I ever made in the past fifteen years. I still have that old, beat up novel to this day and I doubt I will ever part with it. Due to the advent of technology, I now own almost every book she has ever written, thanks to my nifty iPad.
Then came Buffy the Vampire Slayer. My girlfriend at the time was in love with that show, which means I was in love with that show. I would watch it and never truly pay attention and would moan just at the mention that it was coming on. It wasn’t until I saw The Shroud of Rahmon, an episode of Angel, that I finally started paying attention to this person called Buffy and her little Scooby Doo network of friends. Now, years later, Buffy and Angel are my favorite shows of all time and I personally own all the episodes on DVD.
Now the world is caught up in this whole Twilight phase. Are you Team Edward or Team Jacob? (Jacob FTW!) Say what you will, that series is either love it or hate it. I own all the books, yet I don’t really call myself a fan of the book series. Nothing really happens and there isn’t hardly enough action and the whole sparkle in the sunlight? Really? That’s not a Vampire, that’s an X-Man with a secondary mutation.
I will give credit when credit is due however, because like I said, I’m not a fan of the novels and yet own all the books. The movies are a different story, because those, I do love. I own them all on Blu-Ray and I think the second one is by far one of my favorite Vampire movies, after Interview with the Vampire and the Underworld series.
My favorite TV show at the moment seems to be The Vampires Dairies. Now one would think that it would be True Blood, since I’m an adult, but the writing on that show has gone downhill since the end of season two. Vampire Diaries however, only seems to get better and better and since it’s a network show, they have to depend on good writing instead of the cheap shock of sex and profanity that True Blood relies so heavily on. Don’t even get me started on my man crush for Damon Salvatore. He is by far the best Vampire since the creation of Lestat himself. Oddly enough, I’ve never read either True Blood or The Vampire Dairies in book form, nor do I plan to, since the shows vary so different from the books.
So what is the next big thing for my bloodsucking brothers and sisters? What will be the next break out novel that reinvents the franchise? When will we get another Vampire movie as good as Let the right one in? I wish I knew. Hopefully it will be as good as its Vampire predecessors.
RASHAAD BELL is the author of three novels and is best known for the bestselling Vampire Manifesto and Forgotten Future series.