Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween.

"Vampires Do Exist."  -Abraham Von Helsing
Vampires are mythological or folkloric beings who subsist by feeding on the life essence (generally in the form of blood) of living creatures, regardless of whether they are undead or a living person/being. Although vampiric entities have been recorded in many cultures, and may go back to "prehistoric times", the term vampire was not popularized until the early 18th century, after an influx of vampire superstition into Western Europe from areas where vampire legends were frequent, such as the Balkans and Eastern Europe, although local variants were also known by different names, such as vrykolakas in Greece and strigoi in Romania. This increased level of vampire superstition in Europe led to mass hysteria and in some cases resulted in corpses actually being staked and people being accused of vampirism.
While even folkloric vampires of the Balkans and Eastern Europe had a wide range of appearance ranging from nearly human to bloated rotting corpses, it was interpretation of the vampire by the Christian Church and the success of vampire literature, namely John Polidori's 1819 novella The Vampyre that established the archetype of charismatic and sophisticated vampire; it is arguably the most influential vampire work of the early 19th century, inspiring such works as Varney the Vampire and eventually Dracula. The Vampyre was itself based on Lord Byron's unfinished story "Fragment of a Novel", also known as "The Burial: A Fragment", published in 1819.
However, it is Bram Stoker's 1897 novel Dracula that is remembered as the quintessential vampire novel and which provided the basis of modern vampire fiction. Dracula drew on earlier mythologies of werewolves and similar legendary demons and "was to voice the anxieties of an age", and the "fears of late Victorian patriarchy". The success of this book spawned a distinctive vampire genre, still popular in the 21st century, with books, films, video games, and television shows. The vampire is such a dominant figure in the horror and supernatural genres that literary historian Susan Sellers places the current vampire myth in the "comparative safety of nightmare fantasy". (taken from www.wikipedia.org)
I hope that everyone had a lovely Halloween. Aside from being a very busy little bee, I went trick-or-treating with my sister, nephew and brother in-law; ironically, my nephew was the Wolfman, which I watched last night. He got a ton of candy, and everyone loved his costume, even I have to admit that it was pretty rad. I was thinking of watching Saw but then decided that a more fitting film for Halloween would be Bram Stoker's Dracula directed by Francis Ford Coppola and stars Gary Oldman (Dracula), Keanu Reeves (Mr. Harker), Anthony Hopkins (Van Helsing), and Winnona Ryder (Mina Harker). It is unfortunately a very dated film but still classic. I have not seen another film where Gothic style Dracula is done better on screen, but there are times when the film and story don't make a whole lot of sense, but visually it was done very, very well. The acting wasn't too bad, but Gary Oldman as Dracula was superb; I think it may be one of the best performances of the fictional character I've ever seen represented on film. It's definitely a classic, but nothing will ever be able to replace Bela Lugosi. The music by Wojciech Kilar was fantastic and memorable; creepy, powerful, emotional, and possessing an ancient feel to, definitely a score to listen to. The last day of October is almost gone and November will soon be here. Don't forget about daylight savings time this weekend. Goodnight everyone, and God be with all of us.

Bram Stoker's Dracula trailer

Documentary on Vampires

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