31 Days of Halloween: Vampires, Monsters and Ghosts…Oh My (Vampires)
REASON NUMBER FIFTEEN: VAMPIRES So what is it about vampires that just trips my trigger? Vampires back in my childhood were either of the tall dark and alluring (Bela Lugosi) or the oh crap please don’t eat me (Nosferatu). Then I started reading about them whether it was legends from around the world, thank you Time Life: The Enchanted World and thank you Mom, or Anne Rice. As I grew older of course the sensuality began to creep in, the ideas of living forever, of becoming a predator instead of prey or maybe just being the prey for one night. Then we had the biting and the fangs, something I still love to this day, what can I say. As much as I like the uber sexy aspects of vampires, I also dig the scary ones too. But in all, I just dig them.
Kindred: The Embraced
" No, because every time I mention this vampire stuff you act like I am crazy. Now there is two possibilities for that... number one...you don't believe that they're real...and number two...you know they are."-Frank Kohanek
Kindred: The Embraced aired for a short time centering on the lives and loves of the vampire society of San Francisco. With a fantastic ensemble cast Kindred really deserved to last longer than its 8 episode run or at least that is my opinion. Loosely based off of White Wolf’s vampire: The masquerade RPG the show was a little gothy and little soapy, but what would you expect Aaron Spelling. The story itself centered around five clans of vampires that were fighting to control modern day San Francisco: The Ventrue (the aristocrats and businessmen), The Brujah (thuggish mobsters), The Gangrel (nomadic loners), The Nosferatu (shadowy, disfigured and well just like you are imagining) and The Torreador (the artists and musicians). They live among humans and interact as if they were human. In fact as Julian Luna once said, "We are all around you."
The Ventrue clan, ruled by Julian Luna (the late Mark Frankel), held the most power among the five clans mostly due to the fact that Julian was the Prince of the city and reigned over all of the clans in the city. The other clans leaders formed the Conclave, a ruling council and there were constantly usurpers to Julian’s reign like Eddie Fiori (Brian Thompson) from the Brujah Clan. The Conclave's main rule was to govern the rest of the clans and to maintain the Masquerade. The Masquerade itself was a set of rules, the most important being that their true nature was to be kept hidden from humans. To break such a code was to mean a Blood Hunt and your Final Death. Problem is human police officer Frank Kohanek (C. Thomas Howell) figures out the Masquerade and tries as hard as he can to both understand and bring down Julian whom he believed was to blame for his girlfriend Alexandra’s death who was also Kindred. Insert plot lines that involved a Juliet and Romeo sort of theme, a romance between Julian and a human reporter, and exploring what it really means to be immortal, I thought it was a great show. Though it differed quite a bit from the roleplaying game, as I said I was a happy camper and would let Julian Luna or Cash bite me whenever they damn well pleased. It looked like it was doing okay, but sadly Mark Frankel, was killed in a motorcycle accident and ultimately halted any chances to continue.
Anyone else remember the show?
Countess Bathory : I own a lot of action figures…remember I be a girly geek. But one of my favorites is this Countess Bathory figure. Some say she was a vampire. I saw she was one twisted bitch who was afraid of getting old. Her story is this: Elizabeth Bathory (1560-1614) lived near where modern day Brtslava is. As a child she was known to fits of rage which apparently continued as she grew older. Married young she was often left for long periods of time as mistress of Castle Sarvar and it was during this time she began to let the evil flag fly. It began by disciplining the young female staff. For example she would stick pins underneath fingernails or execute those who disobeyed or angered her by stripping them and throwing them outside in the middle of winter where they were then doused with water until they froze. Of course when it was summertime she would choose honey and then have them bitten by insects. As stories say she is also famously known for bathing in the blood of her victims which was said to keep her young and beautiful. Sadly the Countess decided to start preying on some of the local nobility which eventually led to her arrest. At her second trial a ledger was introduced, written by her own hand, that noted over 600 victims. Of course on film Countess Bathhory may be best well known when she was played by Ingrid Pitt in the Hammer Film Countess Dracula (1970). You gotta love her.
The Tales of Alisa Perne : So yeah I am still a fan of Christopher Pike even after all of these years and would gladly be part of the Christopher Pike Book Club. He had a series of books in the 90’s called the Last Vampire which had a young woman named Alisa Perne who believed that she was the last living vampire. Appearing to be 18 and living a life of young wealthy teenager, Alisa was not affected by the sun, holy objects or garlic. She was strong, fast, with acute senses, regenerates quickly from wounds and needs to feed weekly. Over the course of six books, Alisa not only explored her own history as young woman named Sita in ancient India, but encountered old enemies, made new vampires, became human, had a daughter and more. I totally dug those books.