Sunday 29 June 2014
Ever since I can remember I’ve really enjoyed vampire movies, and after I saw my first werewolf flick, I’ve really enjoyed them as well. Most movies revolving around either vampires or werewolves are appealing to me . . . well, aside from that one vampire-werewolf franchise that shall remain nameless. The only time I will give those movies in this post is to say that vampires should not be sparkly. Ever.
I can’t say exactly what it is about vampire movies and shows that appeal to me. Maybe it’s the immortality. Maybe it’s the fact that in every vampire show and movie that I’ve ever seen, the vampires have awesome clothing – especially the Underworld franchise. Maybe it’s the idea that being immortal, they would be able to experience many, many generations of humankind and history. Maybe it’s the whole mythology that surrounds vampires. I don’t know.
As for werewolves, the lycanthropy mythology is also fascinating. It was once believed throughout parts of Europe, that drinking from the foot imprint of a wolf on the night of a full moon would turn you. Another myth that the modern era of lycanthropy has embraced is that a bite or scratch from a werewolf will turn a person.
I’ve never much cared for the visual representation of the change from the human form to that of the lycanthrope because I don’t think that the technology and special effects that were used were ever particularly good. I also don’t think that even a movie franchise such as Underworld did the transformation particularly well. Those films showed a rather stilted change, and other movies and shows have presented the transformation in what I think is akin to an amateur creating special effects. However, I think that’s because it is such a difficult change of appearance to pull off – elongation of the body and particularly the face, jaw, hands and feet, inversion of knees, change of skin tone, increase in body hair and size of teeth. Pretty much the only thing that special effects can do easily is contact lenses to alter the appearance of the eyes.
Generally, the appearance of vampires is far superior. From the first time an audience sees the vampire, the appearance can be presented exactly the way the director chooses. Their on-screen transformation can be better presented with both prostheses and digital special effects, and those changes do appear in a smoother way than the poor ol’ lycanthropes. But enough about how vampires and lycanthropes look, after all, we should do our best not to judge their appearance. It’s terribly superficial. 😉
One of the things that I do really like about the Underworld movies is the combined vampire-lycan mythology. These movies present an age old war between the lycans and the vampires – we are allowed a point of origin for how both species came into being, and a reason for the renewed war between the lycans under the leadership of Lucian (the first human-lycan hybrid) and Kraven (the current leader of the vampires, although, he is quickly displaced by elder Viktor). It’s a far better mythology than the one that’s ‘explained’ in the sparkly vampire franchise.
The Blade franchise is another great vampire series. The vampires are manipulative, vicious, strong, and there’s a level of sarcasm that they employ as well. It’s a pretty great combination for one of my favourite fictional species. Who doesn’t love a sarcastic vampire? Okay, that probably wasn’t an especially sensible question. Just forget that I asked it. It was more rhetorical than literal anyway.
Of course, thinking about vampire and werewolf movies gets me thinking: which would I rather be – a vampire or a werewolf? Both have their pros and cons.
- Vampires can’t go out into daylight – now, this works very well for me during summer. I’m not into the warmer weather, so absence of sunlight is okay. Plus, I don’t tan so well these days. I guess I’ve the right skin tone and pallor to be a vampire.
- Vampires are repelled by garlic and hawthorn – now, I don’t know about hawthorn as far as plants go, but I damn well like garlic.
- Werewolves have a lot of hair – that’s not going to work for me. I’m well known for my short hairstyles.
- Werewolves have backward facing knees – I have enough knee issues as I am, so I doubt that I could deal with inverted knees as well.
- Both vampires and werewolves are immortal – that’s a positive. I can definitely see the benefits associated with living forever, and in the case of vampires in particular, never aging.
- Not really keen on the consumption of blood and/or raw meat – I happen to like meat well done.
- Werewolves seem to have a hell of a lot of saliva – really. Next time you watch a movie or show that has a werewolf in it, check out the level of spit that they operate with. Not good at all.
- The werewolf transformation looks bloody painful – all that elongation and growing into a wolf . . . I have a high tolerance for pain, but that looks ridiculous.
I think that in the grand scheme of these two fictional species, if I were given a choice, I’d much prefer to be a vampire than a werewolf. It’s a no-brainer decision, isn’t it?
Good. I’m so glad we had this serious and philosophical discussion. 😉