Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Vampires Are Mostly Dead. And They Eat Blood.
You know what? I'm tired of 'sexy vampires'. Really. The whole goddam meme stems from Bram Stoker's Victorian-era morals; his obsession with sex, and his vision of vampirism as a metaphor for syphilis and similar STDs. And of course, as the 20th century faded into a miasma of recursive, self-cannibalising pop culture, death itself got sexualised and vampires became the symbol of sexy death.
And it is boring me shitless. Really.
'Twilight' is dreadful pap. And the Sookie Stackhouse stuff that's now become 'True Blood' on TV? Eh: I read one of the books, and I seriously wish I had that two hours of my life back. Abysmal. Cardboard. Crap.
This stuff was shite when Buffy was swooning about over unobtainable tall-dark-and-fangsome sorts, but at least it came with half-interesting dialogue. It was turgid, over-written tripe when Anne Rice first interviewed some tosser in an old suit down in New Orleans - and folks? That was published in nineteen fucking seventy-six. Get. Over. It.
It's a dumbing down, a simplification -- a stripping away of depth and dimensions leaving only surface. What started out as a literary metaphor with at least a half-measure of subtlety has become a flat, day-glow icon with all the interest and all the intrigue of a 'no smoking' sign. It's friggin' boring... and it's wayyyyy over-ripe for satire and parody.
So where's my "Not Another Sexy Vampire Movie?" How come nobody's done the Joke Vampire Film yet? I mean a real one, not the half-assed version with perpetual fake tan tragic George Hamilton zipped into Count Dracula's inevitable tuxedo. 'Love At First Bite' had moments of fun, but not enough of 'em. There's much more to be had.
Here's my concept:
Jack Black stars in "Fangs", a movie about a fat, angry, anti-social, sexually deprived smart-mouthed loser who courts attention from an uber-smoothie vampire so he can get 'turned' and finally, finally become the babe magnet he's always secretly known himself to be.
Naturally, since this is a Hollywood comedy, Count Jack will meet and woo the babe of his dreams, but not with his newfound vampiric abilities - no, she will (of course) be charmed by his wit and courage, and by the sensitive, caring man hidden beneath his unlovable exterior (which he gains the confidence to show because he knows he's now that most irresistable of sex machines, a vampire.) And of course, she's not aware he's become a vampire. In fact, she's probably a deadly vampire hunter, so he not only has to conceal his identity from her, but he has to figure out how to regain his humanity before she twigs and he becomes stake-fodder.
In the meantime, of course, we get all the right moments of fun: newly transformed Jack Black putting on his tux and cloak for the first time, trying to check himself out in the mirror... damn! Messing with his new vampire powers: using that hyper-lunatic Jack Black stare to 'hypnotise' the doorman at the trendy nightclub that always used to turn him away. Then plying his smoothie routine on the babes, except that he's only half-shaved, his hair is sticking out weirdly, and his bow tie is completely fucked up 'cause he couldn't see his own reflection.
Of course when he finally does pull his first vamp-whore, he discovers she's all "no sex until the biting happens", and he's not really sure about that biting thing. Montage: multiple attempts to chomp her neck, with different versions of Fail every time... until he finally manages to bite down, and she screams in pain and tells him angrily that he's got to extrude his goddam fangs first, jackass...
So he drinks her blood, which upsets his stomach, but at last, when he gets back from the bathroom, there she is: all dazed from blood-loss, in fetching deshabille, bleeding gently on the satin sheets of his carefully prepared vamp love-nest... and of course, Count Jack discovers that vampires can't actually get a goddam erection because they're mostly fucking dead, and they don't have a heartbeat with which to pump blood into their dicks.
And it's all downhill from there. You can see where it goes: Black realises that if he can kill his mentor-vamp before the legendary three days post-bite have expired, he can go back to being human. So he contacts the vampire killers, and meets the uber-babe, and has to go the Big Lie, explaining that he really wants this vampire dead because it killed his whole family. Including his dog.
Meanwhile, to keep up appearances he uses fake tan (turns violent orange) and wears lots of sunscreen. He takes all kinds of increasingly complicated measures to try and shave -- think multiple webcams and computer screens... he discover's he's too damned fat to sleep in the coffin he bought... the blood craving gets to be too much and he finally snacks on a derelict, and winds up hilariously drunk as a result... more hilarity when he goes to the toilet and pisses blood for the first time... taking the advice of another vampire and updating his wardrobe...
...actually, that last one is worth a few scenes in its own right. The tux simply isn't his 'vampire look', so he tries to go shopping for clothes, but can't cross doorways until he's invited. Eventually he gets turned onto a specialist vamp boutique, but since he's not a 'smoothie', the staff take the piss out of him and he winds up dressed like some kind of vampire pimp...
... a moment in which he gets exposed to the sun, burns and smokes, and screams "Jesus, shit, when does the sparkling thing happen?"
... a moment when an entire cluster of smoothie vamps are revealed to be the gayest of gay, stereotypical fag-types who talk about hair product and clothes and interior design, and do each other's shaving... maybe one of them shaves Count Jack in an incredibly, uncomfortably home-erotic bondage routine?
And of course, through the whole film we get Jack Black doing his finest 'Bela Lugosi As Ladykiller' impression. Complete with bad Transylvanian accent every time he exerts his vampiric powers. (He can't help it. He's seen the movie too many times.)
The end? In the inevitable showdown with his mentor, Count Jack is forced into a decision when the mentor-vamp takes the love interest hostage. Count Jack can save her, but it means he'll miss the deadline and he'll lose his humanity permanently. Of course he chooses to save the girl, and of course she recovers at the vital instant, and between the two of them they manage to kill the Big Bad Vampire, restore Count Jack to mere Jack... and then all we have is the coda in which newly-rehumanized Jack thinks he doesn't stand a chance with the uber-babe now that he no longer has his supervampire sexiness - but of course she shows him what the audience already knows: that it's his inner man she's in love with, blah blah blah...
Ugh. Why do I do this to myself?
Because it's so horribly obvious. And because somebody ought to do it. And I suppose that now, if somebody actually does, I can point to this blog post and jump up and down until they cut me in on the profits. Or something.
But mostly because all of you, now -- each and every one of you -- is permanently stuck with a vision of Jack Black, half-shaved, in a tuxedo and cloak, trying to put the vampire moves on a series of uninterested babes. And if I have to have that kind of image in my head, so do you!
Anyway. It's better than still more goddam sparkly Twilight bullshit.