Twilight: The Art of making vampires lame
So, Twilight came out on DVD this past Saturday. I’ve had people ask me to read the book or see the movie because they want to know what I think. I’m told I would love the books and/or movie because I love fantasy/sci-fi books. Well, as a litmus test, I decided to watch Twilight the movie to decide whether I will continue on with reading the books (I got the first book for Xmas). I admit, I do love vampires (they are, appropriately, AWESOME) and I do enjoy teen fiction, so this should be a good fit.
So I be-bopped on over to Blockbuster on Saturday afternoon and was able to pick up a copy (one of many left on the shelf) of Twilight on Blu-Ray. Interesting, because I would think that more copies would be gone from the shelves based on the popularity of this movie. Conversely, the movies Role Models and Sex Drive were gone completely from the Blu-Ray stacks. I had to pick up these last two in Standard Def (disappointment already). Anyway, the wife and I ordered pizza and popped Twilight into the DVD player.
Here’s what I thought: Awful. Terrible. Horrible. I realize I’m about to piss off the collective throngs of Team Edward, but it’s got to be said. This movie is terrible.
Even my wife didn’t enjoy it. She didn’t hate it like I did, but she said she preferred the movie Watchmen to Twilight, and to me, that speaks VOLUMES about the enjoyment level of this movie. Acting, script, the portrayal of the vampires in general. Just plain God-awful. Stephanie Meyer takes what’s awesome about vampires, rolls it up into a tiny ball and wipes her ass with it. Then she sets it on fire and pisses all over the ashes. Everything I love about vampires is stripped away and made into the Harlequin Romance version of vampires. And Edward Cullen, is the Fabio of this fable. They may as well have cast Fabio as Edward.
That probably would’ve been more interesting…but the writing was bad enough that maybe it wasn’t Robert Pattinson’s fault Edward was so dull, lifeless and a bit of a douche. Vampires are bad ass killers. They are not a bunch of pale, EMO kids who sparkle in the sun as if they have diamonds in their skin. That makes no sense. Why do they do that? And there is not one fang in the entire movie. Not one. You barely get glimpses of some vampire killing, but it’s all done in shadow. And that’s all done by the “evil” vampires you meet later. The Cullen vampires? They call themselves “vegetarians” because they don’t drink human blood. “Vegetarian” vampires? Seriously? I mean, SERIOUSLY?
Nonsense. Just like the relationship between Edward and Bella. For the first half of the movie Edward acts like a douchebag, and Bella still winds up sloppy in love with him. Never mind the fact that Edward is a 90 year old man and Bella is 17. That’s just weird. He even starts breaking into her room and watching her sleep. WTF, stalk much? I mentioned to a Twilight fan about Edward being 90 years old and Bella 17, and they said that it doesn’t matter, it’s romantic. That’s what this story is teaching girls. It doesn’t matter how a boy treats you or what his age is, or if he breaks into your room at night like a f’n psycho, as long as he’s ridiculously handsome, then everything is okay. Also, forget all your friends and your parents and your life before you met you new ridiculously handsome beau, all that matters is being with him. Nice.
Those are just a few qualms I have with this movie. But, I can’t lay the blame entirely on Stephanie Meyer. This de-fanging of vampires happened way back in 1991 with the publication of Anne Rice’s Interview With The Vampire. Anne Rice didn’t eliminate the violence or danger of a vampire, she just turned them all into Eurotrash Liberaces. They all have long Fabio-like hair, wear Victorian style clothing with ruffles and speak very eloquently. Things have somewhat deteriorated from there. I read the first Rice Vampire book and about half the second one. Rice is a great writer (unlike Twilight’s Meyer) but she is overly descriptive. Rice would take 5 pages to describe every person in a conversation with a detailed breakdown of how they arrived there. It’s exhausting reading so much detail. Rice’s Vampire Chronicles are just ground zero for the new goth/romance books where vampires start becoming a tad lame, with slight subtle hints of gay-ness.
The last few years have seen the growing popularity of horror genre offshoots called Goth romance, or horror-romance. I myself got pulled into the Hollows series by Kim Harrison. But there are an ass-ton of these series out there; Anita Blake, Southern Vampire, Kitty the werewolf, Dresden files, etc. And they all romanticize the vampire into a handsome, Eurotrash Adonis that women swoon over. I’m still reading the Hollows series because I’m invested, but I’ve stopped reading all of the other books because they are all starting to sound the same. All have a strong female lead (unlike Twilight) that is either a vampire herself or falls in love with a vampire, or has dealings with vampires. And all of the troubles that happen because of this. I’m tired of the weak, handsome vampire that are becoming all too prevalent. It seems like the slow, steady march to the death of the awesome, bad ass vampire has become inevitable. I for one, hope to arrest this decline.
If Bram Stoker could look at what’s been done to the monster he made popular, he’d roll over violently and start vomiting in his grave. In order to let Bram rest in piece, let’s all review what makes a good, nay, AWESOME, vampire.
Vampires are bad ass killers. Watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel or any of the Blade movies. You get lots of killing and lots of blood. Vampires enjoy killing, it’s what they are supposed to do because they are possessed by an evil demon. You know this because their eyes are colored yellow or red (it’s one of the signs of demon possession, you know). In order to facilitate their blood lust and killing, vampires have long ass killer fangs and super strength/speed to help them hunt. These tools are used by the vampire with great joy and aplomb when dismembering victims. If your vampire prefers to not drink human blood and he has not been cursed by a witch or gypsies (because curses are bad ass), then your vampire is LAME. Twilight falls into this trap by eschewing the entire “violent, demon possessed, killing machine” aspect of vampires and makes their vamps choose to be “vegetarian”. Meyer might as well have her vampires wearing Birkenstocks, a baja pullover and playing hackey-sack on the college quad. LAME-a-dame-a-ding-dong. LAME.
Another cool aspect of awesome vampires is that they have bad ass background music. Many times, when vampires are killing, or just walking down the street, you’ll hear hard rock or heavy metal tunes playing in the background. This is how you know the vampire is a bad ass; shredding rock guitar riffs. If your vampire looks like he’d be more comfortable with The Cure or REM playing in the background (ie Edward Cullen), something has gone horribly wrong and you need to fix it. Immediately go out and rent From Dusk till Dawn with George Clooney. It will set you back on the correct path towards mind-blowingly awesome vampires. And vampires are seriously allergic to sunlight. It’s one of the three ways to kill them; stake in heart, sunlight and cut off head. Vampires don’t, as I said before, “sparkle in the sunlight as if they had diamonds in their skin”. That’s just lame, gay, stupid and weird. They should be headlining a Vegas act at the Bellagio, not passing themselves off as vampires.
The look of your vampire is important, too. Your vampire should look like a castoff of some bad ass hard rock band. Like at any point, the vampire could come across a Fender Stratocaster, pick it up and start wailing on it like Randy Rhodes or Eddie Van Halen. If, instead, your vampire looks more comfortable strumming an acoustic guitar and singing Jack Johnson or Jason Mraz like that douche who lived on your hall freshman year in college, then you have a serious vampire image problem. FIX. IT (see renting From Dusk till Dawn above). Also, vampires should have a general knowledge of the martial arts, even if there would be no reason for them to have learned it in the first place. Vampires are kick-ass, so they need to be able to KICK ASS, if you see what I’m saying. Random knowledge of the martial arts helps portray this bad-assitude. Especially if they can bust it out in a fight from out of nowhere.
These are just some of the traits of awesomely bad ass vampires. Many of these things have seriously become forgotten in the wake of these new romance/goth/horror novels that have become all the rage. I, for one, lament the long lost bad ass vampire and I am boycotting these romanc-y, lovey Eurotrash Liberace vampires for the time being. Give me blood, guts, asses and limbs when you are dealing with vampires, not ascots and afternoon tea.
Now, after over 1000 words about how much I hate this movie, I will say one positive thing to try to be fair. I really enjoyed the vampire baseball scene. That was clever. I really liked the idea of vampires playing baseball using their super strength and speed. I all of a sudden became riveted to the movie, only to lose it as soon as the scene ended (which was like 5 minutes). However, I hear that scene is much longer and more involved in the book, but again, I don’t think I could read the whole book just for that. It’s not much, but you take it where you can get it.
Now, for all the Twilight-ites that love the book/movie. I’m sorry, but I just needed to get that off my chest. I know you like the book/movie and you have every right to. I don’t begrudge you your love of this book. I wish I could love it too, but I can’t, because I’m awesome, and Twilight…not so much. Twilight and it’s vampires are like my Kryptonite. I die inside when they are near me. I must stay away from them.
Call me a hater, or whatever. But sorry, I really did want to like it.