Watched Underworld the other night, and it’s a pretty enjoyable and shamelessly Matrix-inspired romp, complete with decadent Louis XIV-style vampires. Can’t have a good vampire scene without some languid decadence.
One annoying thing this movie shares with pretty much all other vampire movies, though, is that the vampires physically change when they feed, becoming uglier and more “monstrous.” It’s hard to understand why so many directors feel the need to add this kind of visual cue that vampires are Evil … shouldn’t the literal sucking of somebody’s blood and tearing of the victim’s cartilage be enough to get that message across?
It’s also really annoying in that this gratuitous transformation short circuits the beauty and grace of the vampire. As Anne Rice did such a fabulous job of showing in her Vampire Chronicles, the vampire is Beautiful Death, seductive in its grace and power, but ultimately nothing more than a predator. The symbolism that gives such strength to the archetype is of course obvious and multi-layered.
When the vampire strikes, revealing its true destructiveness, this is the point where its beauty becomes paradoxical and therefore chilling, so why do all these movie makers feel the need to change the eye color or have their faces morph into something ugly and gnome-like?
While on the subject, one thing I’ve never seen in a vampire movie, and that really stuck with me from Anne Rice’s books is that her vampires have no other body fluids than blood, so when they cry or sweat, blood comes out. Brilliant, and the juxtaposition of the fluid of life with pale marble features is a haunting image.
Music: “Ten Little Girls” by Curve [Opens in iTunes]
After all these years, Nic still can’t understand the American attitude to healthcare.
A sci-fi and fantasy heavy installment that includes The Valedictorian of Being Dead, The Mastermind, Broadsword Calling Danny Boy, Tiamat’s Wrath, The Raven Tower, The Liberation, The Light Brigade and Cryptonomicon.
Includes The Incomplete Book of Running, Aching God, The Murderbot Diaries, Lies Sleeping, The Consuming Fire, and Rendezvous with Rama.
Did you know Las Vegas is kind of nutty?
Includes Hollywood Dead, Tales from the Loop, Things from the Flood, The Court of Broken Knives, and Port of Shadows.
Nic has a retinal tear and has his vision is saved by a laser.
Includes The Storm Before the Storm, White Trash, Calypso, Tell the Machine Goodnight, Prince of Fools, and Provenance.