Vampire Chronicles

Feature

Friday, December 05, 2008

With the hit movie "Twilight" and HBO's series "True Blood," vampires are back in a big way. Peter Crimmins surveys culture's long obsession with these blood suckers in an attempt to find out why the vampire motif will never die.

    Music Playlist
  1. Excellent, Mr. Renfield!
    Artist: Philip Glass performed by the Kronos Quartet
    Album: Dracula Motion Picture Soundtrack
    Label: Nonesuch Records
    Purchase: Amazon
  2. In the Theater
    Artist: Philip Glass performed by the Kronos Quartet
    Album: Dracula Motion Picture Soundtrack
    Label: Nonesuch Records
    Purchase: Amazon
  3. The End of Dracula
    Artist: Philip Glass performed by the Kronos Quartet
    Album: Dracula Motion Picture Soundtrack
    Label: Nonesuch Records
    Purchase: Amazon
  4. Spiegel im Spiegel
    Artist: Arvo Pärt performed by Martin Roscoe
    Album: The Best of Arvo Pärt
    Label: Angel Records
    Purchase: Amazon

Contributors:

Peter Crimmins

Comments [4]

Daniel from Manhattan

I'm shocked you failed to mention Polanski's amazing The Fearless Vampire Killers!

Dec. 07 2008 07:59 PM
michaelbix from Vermont

I must correct my several errors of detail - having not read Dennis Bathory's commentary on Elizabeth Bathory for several years, and remembering some of it badly. The Countess - by her own account in her diaries - bathed in the blood of her victims - who numbered in the hundreds (over 600) rather than the dozens. And Vlad the Impaler was placed in Romania, not Transylvania.

For more information on whether Stoker himself could have been influenced by references to Countess Bathory, see - http://bathory.org/p-miller02.html

Dec. 06 2008 11:29 PM
michaelbix from Vermont

There is one element of vampirism that clearly rises to the foreground in any review, and that is the setting of Transylvania. That is where Stoker found Vlad the Impaler, but certainly that is also where much-overlooked Elisabet the Blood Countess (Elisabet Bathory) lived.

Countess Bathory was gripped by a delusion that she would prolong her youth by drinking the blood of her teenaged serving girls - who she would kill by the dozens, and initially used her extreme wealth to buy off their families and the authorities. Obviously it became more and more difficult for her to obtain serving girls, and she was eventually put to trial and walled up inside a chamber in her own castle.

The full unvarnished story has been collected by one of her few living descendents, composer Dennis Bathory-Kitsz. See - http://bathory.org/

Dec. 06 2008 02:42 PM
Nick from NYC


OK, you've called me out, with your offhand dis of Bram Stoker's "Dracula"!

Rather then overwrought or over-long, "Dracula" is a much more interesting story than thousands of screen adaptations that may be familiar to people. Not only is it interesting because of the cumulative effect of the telling of the story in multiple points of view, the plot also has elements, especially at the end, which are too often dropped from adaptations.

Fie on any of those vampire society members who have not read the book! And, enthusiasts will do themselves a favor if they read and discover the book!

Dec. 06 2008 10:53 AM

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