The Twilightization of the vampire

“Twilight” was a bad movie. Everyone knows it. Even people who like the movie acknowledge that it’s a bad movie. In my experience, the defense of its merits fits into one of two categories. The first is that “Twilight,” like many a guilty pleasure before it, pours on the sap so thick that you can’t help but sit back and enjoy as your heart melts. The second is that Robert Pattinson is sexy.

It’s hard to refute the latter; the best I can do at the present moment is to say that Pattinson’s forehead is bigger than Kevin Nealon’s and that his acting is bad enough to rival 50 Cent’s Neanderthalic performance in “Get Rich or Die Tryin’.”

It’s the former part to which I take offense. Don’t get me wrong; I like contrived and poorly acted emotional pablum as much as the next guy. I loved “Air Bud,” and I can even appreciate the merits of something as farcically overblown as “The Notebook.” I will not deprive you of your Kleenex moments, but can we leave the vampires out of it?

The figure of the vampire in cinema is no stranger to permutation. The savage, bloodthirsty beasts in Robert Rodriguez’s “From Dusk Till Dawn” are definitely a far cry from Bela Lugosi’s classic rendition of Dracula. At the very least, however, they maintained a core set of values that defined the vampire by a set of recognizable characteristics. Vampires are seductive, passionate, bloodthirsty, vicious psychopaths. Contrary to Catherine Hardwicke’s vision of Edward Cullen in “Twilight,” they are not pusillanimous, whiny high school nudniks (The CW take note). That, Ms. Hardwicke, is a dealbreaker. Furthermore, you have to stop.

I would have let it slide had “Twilight” popped and fizzled, but of course it had to become a cultural (and I use the word “culture” loosely here) sensation as millions of teeny boppers flocked to the theaters because MTV told them to. And then, of course, came the tabloids. Are Kristen Stewart and Pattinson together in real life? It would be just like it was IN THE MOVIE! Personally, I couldn’t care less, and I find it nothing less than reprehensible to expose the vampire to this kind of soul-sucking, blockbuster-minded publicity.

And of course “New Moon” is forthcoming and “Eclipse” is in production; the trilogy was probably masterminded by the same team of market geniuses that brought us the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise. I’m not naïve enough to consider any aspect of our culture free from the clutches of corporate exploitation, but at least pirates were passé to begin with. When it comes to vampires, it’s disheartening at the very least to think that even they are not safe from such violence.

The obvious question amidst all this is where “True Blood” fits in, and the answer is simple. “True Blood” is still cool, and you should watch it.

Comments

  • Sue

    I don’t think you should put ‘EVERYONE’ in your category of who disliked the movie unless you want bomb threats, dead rodents delivered to you, and an overall riot! You forget who the Twilight fans are!

  • Dana

    Get over yourself. Please. You’re obviously suffering from a serious case of constipation (i.e. full of ****)

  • $#!+

    You should just shut the hell up. It’s because people like you, That’s why the world is the way it is today. Haven’t your parents ever taught you, If you can’t say anything nice daon’t say nothing at all!!!

  • Wow

    You cannot seriously go to Yale. Your article would have slightly more credibility if you weren’t completely ignorant of what you are talking about. Catherine Hardwicke doesn’t really have a whole lot to do with the depiction and characterization of the vampires in Twilight, as Stephenie Meyer, the AUTHOR of the BOOK SERIES, created it, and Hardwicke only translated it to film. So it probably wasn’t the “Pirates of the Caribbean people” either who had something to do with the “trilogy,” as you deemed it (it’s a 4-part series FYI), since Stephenie Meyer WROTE the BOOKS. If you want to complain and bash people, at least direct your criticism toward the proper sources.

  • Tenille

    As a writer myself, I personally believe that you should ensure that your information is correct before you have something published

  • Sissyla

    You are an ignorant!!! You must do research before writing such crappy articles. True Blood is sift porn with ugly actors, contrary to you recommendation, I WON’T WATCH THAT STUPID PORNOGRAPHIC show! I love Rob’s portray of Edward, You just go to Hll who cares about your stupid uneducated opinion anyway, New Moon will do GREAT on November. Jealous much???

  • Marlena

    First off…if you don’t like the movie, fine,just give your opinion. Don’t bunch everybody else in your little bubble. Twilight was a great movie for the budget it was given. No, I’m not some teenager who loves Twilight. But a woman of 45 who loves Twilight! You got to be kidding me when you say Robert Pattinson can’t act. It’s not just because he’s sexy that people are flocking to this movie. It’s because Robert brought Edward to life for all of us who read the books. He is Edward. And as for True Blood..it’s ok…but talk about bad acting…and there is no cheminstry between Sookie and Bill. I could care less about these characters. The only thing going for that show is Eric.
    And the next time you decide to do a article on something, get your facts straight.

  • Woody88

    Brilliance is to see the beauty of what you are looking at. I trust that you will learn this and become a great writer some day.

  • vampireluver

    True Blood Rocks- Check your facts, haters!

  • iloverobpattinson

    really, if your a hater why do you even bother to write articles like this? your only bound to get hated by the vampire/twilight-lovers.

  • alfdy

    you’re an idiot and the most jealous person in whole world, let me tell you something if you don’t liked, go to hell with your stupid speech. Because some people in the world, (the most of all) liked… so if you don’t have nothing good to say, respect the opinion of others

  • amused

    congratulations, austin. i believe 90% of the response to this article may have just proved your point :).

    great job. keep on keeping on, man.

  • It’sCalledAnOPINIONPIECE

    This is an opinion piece, you fools. How dare you spew off this nonsense about an article that is his OPINION. Geez, look up the definition of an opinion piece before you trash someone for saying his opinion.
    GET. A. LIFE. READERS.

  • Crazies

    SHUDDUP, HATAS.

  • Someone Who Appreciates Art

    I’ve seen more emotional range in inanimate objects than in the combined performances of Kirsten Stewart and Robert Pattinson. Bravo, author.

  • anonymous

    Ahaha, these are such fantastic comments.

  • Couchsleeper

    WHATTAYA TALKING ABOUT ROB PATINSON IS BY FAR THE MOST HOTTEST AND TALENTED ACTOR OF OUR GENERATIONZZZZ?!!!!1111!!!11 HE’S LIKE JAMES DEAN, OR LIZ TAYLOR, OR PAUL BUNYAN. ExCePt HOTTTAAAAAAAA. And without the blue ox. As for the rest of your piece, it is a finely written, acute criticism of the weakening of a violent and sexual mythology. Bravo author.

  • uhya

    I love that I found the comments more interesting to read than the actual article. Nice, Austin. Nice.

  • UmichGeo

    Great job Austin. I thoroughly enjoyed this. I also enjoyed the ferocious comments that followed. Only goes to show how far the “clutch of corporate exploitation” can really reach. Apparently, it can hijack teenybopper’s brains and tell them that a horrible movie is incredible. Kind of like Ellsworth Toohey in The Fountainhead.

  • Gottasayit

    /So i need to tell you that before i read this I could have favorites twilight, then yo ucum along writing it like you have probly never even seen a movie of hers. i will just name yu oscenes that proves you wrong. do u know the sceenn on the mountain when he tells he r he wants her can yousee in his eys what he says. thats real…but now u say and i probably not favorites anymore, which is totallly unfair. i totally agree and think you chould think a bit before you can favorites or unfavorites.