16 May 2008

Mythology Workshop and Bad Vampire Movies

I usually blog about different mythologies, but right now I'm utterly absorbed by a free workshop that's happening.

Go over to the Romance Divas website. Join up, if you haven’t already (it’s free) and head over to the Class In Session section for the USING MYTHOLOGY IN ROMANCE workshop that’s going on right now. As in, Right Now.

Lori Handeland is talking about how she combines Navajo mythology with Biblical eschatology (study of the end times), vampires, werewolves, and coyote shifters. Robin Owens is discussing some of her world-building tips. Gena Showalter explains how she tweaks myths to get what she needs. And Nancy Madore is talking fairy tale archetypes.

Our other guest authors will be joining us as they can, so stay tuned. If you can’t join in the discussion today, it’ll stay in the archives for later research.

I was going to write a post all about the Worst Vampire Movies Ever, but realized that I haven’t made a habit of watching terrible vampire movies. Two, however, recently crossed my radar.

One day in a fit of housewifely industriousness, I was ironing and decided to watch a little TV to take my mind off the excruciating boredom. SHADOW OF THE VAMPIRE had just started, so I flipped there. Hey, it said Cary Elwes was in it, which is usually good enough for me.

Sweet. Baby. Nosferatu. First, John Malkovich does accents even worse than Kevin Costner, who can’t do them at all. Second, just wow. And not in a good way.

It’s about the making of the silent film, Nosferatu, back in 1922. Apparently, the original film was plagued with misfortune – people disappearing and dying. So the whole cast is doing these really dreadful German accents, except for Udo Kier, who actually IS German, so he at least sounds normal. Willem Dafoe is totally unrecognizable as Max Schreck, who played Nosferatu.

I honestly thought the movie was supposed to be a spoof. Eddie Izzard is in it, for crying out loud. But no. People took it seriously. It won dozens of awards! I just don’t get it. Maybe I’m not clever enough to watch American films about European films. I’d seriously give this one a pass unless you’re in the mood to watch otherwise excellent actors chew up the scenery.

The other movie was a late night “Gee, I’m awake, so I’ll see what’s on.” BLOOD FOR DRACULA is at least supposed to be funny. And it succeeds simply because it’s so over the top.

Udo Kier (what is it with him and cheesy vampire flicks?) portrays a dying Dracula in this 1971 film. He doesn’t just drink any blood. No, he’s gotta be picky. It must be a virgin’s blood. (Pronounced “wirgin.”) So he sets off to Italy and finds a poor, upper-class family with four daughters. Surely, one of them must be a virgin. He starts with the middle two, who are pretty, but slutty. They’ve been banging the help, played by Joe Dallesandro. Pretty face, great abs, but if only he wouldn’t talk so much. I’ve never heard the word “whore” pronounced “hoo-ah” before. And then there’s the fun little twincest thing they’ve got going on. Drac tries to drink from them, but gets sick because they’re not “wirgins.” At this point, the movie is pretty much a sex farce with Udo regurgitating buckets of blood everywhere. The ending is one of the funniest bloodbaths ever. Remember the movie, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” when Paul Rubens dies? Yeah. Like that. Only more.

I suppose it’s worth mentioning that Andy Warhol was one of the producers. And that Roman Polanski played a bit part in the film. You know, that really explains a lot.

So, what are the worst vampire movies you’ve ever seen?
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