Horror Fans, Let’s Take Back the Vampire!

The vampires I grew up on would murder these poor women and leave their disemboweled corpses for their loved ones to trip over. These philistines would be on Team Van Helsing and I'd be on Team Dracula.

I made a post a couple weeks ago about the 5 types of vampire I thought we needed to do away with, and it was pretty popular with a lot of vampire fans, so I think it’s time to follow it up.

With the release of Breaking Dawn over the weekend there has been a lot of talk about twinkling dreamboat Goth kids who drink the blood of gophers and whether or not they make better boyfriends than a perpetually shirtless eighteen year old who abuses anabolic steroids and occasionally turns into a shitty computer-generated wolf.

The answer to this question is best communicated with an obscene hand-gesture. I’ll let you guess which one.

I don’t want to come down too hard on Stephanie Meyer because who the hell am I to talk smack about an author who has sold 100,000,000 books to teenage girls of both genders and all ages? I also know how difficult it is to write a novel and I don’t like to insult the work of somebody who at least has the determination to finish a project she starts—but honestly, when a bus driver crashes into a gas station and kills forty people in a fiery explosion it’s hard to say, “Hey, at least he knew how to drive a bus.”

So thanks a lot, Stephanie Meyer, for corrupting the vampire in the minds of the whole fucking world. Thank you, Alan Ball, for bringing vampires to the menopausal community with that softcore soap opera you call True Blood. Thank you Satan, for creating The Vampire Diaries.

I’m a fan of vamps from way back. I grew up loving The Lost Boys and Near Dark (check it out; it’s ridiculously underrated).  I adored Dracula and Salem’s Lot, and I have fond memories of the few episodes of Dark Shadows that I saw. I can recall watching an episode of The X-Files as a kid and the excitement that I felt when I realized the episode dealt with bloodsuckers.

The point is, vampires used to be cool. They were fun. They were bad.

They were for the boys.

Stephanie Meyer and Alan Ball and Satan took away my toys by manufacturing them in pink and selling them to the girls, and they’re just not as cool as they used to be anymore. Not since the pink ones started outselling the blue ones.

When I talk about this, often the people I am arguing with say things like, “Well that’s what’s nice about vampires. They can work in so many different worlds and so many different genres.” I’m willing to acknowledge this, but placing a vampire into a teen romance should be something experimental and different (yes, I know it was when Meyer did it) and not the norm.

When I tell people I have written a vampire novel, I shouldn’t have to tell them, “Oh, and the vampires have to kill people. And sunlight isn’t good for them.” It’s like talking about your zombie movie and having to specify, “These zombies don’t sing and dance, by the way.”

If I’m being truthful, I don’t blame Meyer and Ball and The Dark Lord for writing god-awful books and scripts in order to cash an enormous check. And I don’t begrudge people for being die-hard fans of stupid shit that sucks (okay, maybe a little bit).

I blame my fellow horror writers and horror fans.

What the hell is wrong with us? Let The Right One In is the only great vampire horror story to be created in the last few years. No wonder we’re losing the vampire to teenage girls and forty-five year old teenage women. Have we forgotten the potential in a good vampire story?

We need to take back our fucking genre before we lose it to the tweenage twitard twats forever. And writers like me, who bitch very loudly about the vagification of the vamp in pop culture, we need to step up and do something about it.

Let’s band together and bring the species back into the bedrooms of soon-to-be-dead young people. If you don’t want to see the vampire forever converted to a stuffed animal little girls cuddle up with at night, put pen to paper and show us how goddamn dangerous these things are. If you’ve got a vampire novel or screenplay in you, a real one, write it now. Please. The genre needs you.

All of you writers and horror fans, I’m asking you to help me. Because if fifteen years from now I have an eight year old daughter and she’s reading vampire comic books published in pink jackets, I’m gonna put a goddamn stake through my heart.

Please don’t orphan my daughter in the future. Save the vampire.

Check out my vampire novel Thicker Than Water here, and follow me on Facebook and Twitter.

My second novel One-Night Stan’s will be released this Christmas. It’s not about vampires, but I promise the next one will be.

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16 Responses to Horror Fans, Let’s Take Back the Vampire!

  1. I feel your pain. I too have to tell people my vampires do not sparkle in the sun. They die.

    • Greg Sisco says:

      I hope we can fix it. I want to bring us back to the days where when a writer says, “They’re vampires, but they don’t kill people,” the audience goes, “What? Hm… I don’t know about this idea…”

  2. “teenage girls of both genders and all ages”!!! I had to read this like two or three times because I thought it was a typo. When I realized it wasn’t and got the joke I about choked on my own saliva, I was laughing so hard. Great post!

  3. *stands on the desk and cheers*
    Lmao! Greg. That was hilarious! *salutes* Thanks for saying what some of us were too scared to.

    -Jimmy

  4. Craig Williams says:

    I think I know where it all went off the tracks… historically. The 1970’s comic character Vampirella. She was a alien from the planet Drakulon who refused to drink human blood like her earthbound brethren. (Apparently there’s a new rehash comic based on the Warren Publishing comix of old). What pushed it right off the line was the TV series Forever Knight in which Nickolaus Knight, a vampire “brought across 1200 AD” decided to atone for his sins and serve humanity as a Toronto Detective and drink cows blood for sustenance. Good Vampires for public consumption!

    • Greg Sisco says:

      I’m not familiar with Forever Knight, but you may be right about Vampirella. The thing is, I’m not completely against the occasional vegetarian vamp or daywalker.

      I feel like the movie Blade really drove home the idea that vampires don’t have to drink blood anymore, and maybe they can even walk around during the day if you really want them too. It was so damn popular, and it had been so long since we’d had a good vampire movie that was done properly, that not everybody sort of decided we were done with vampires who come out at night to drink the blood of humans.

      I think ever since Blade, the horror fans lost the vampire.

  5. Rebecca says:

    @Craig – historically, or at least in alternate media – Vampires getting off track would probably be Barnabas Collins of Dark Shadows. Evolving from a “bad guy” to one “rehabilitated” as it were. It’s been going on a long time – this pink-washing. Not unless you count the parodies or comedies with Bella Lugosi or Christopher Lee in the 40s-50s cheesy horror-comedies.

  6. J. R. Nova says:

    “teenage girls of both genders and all ages” is a masterpiece!

  7. Aden says:

    Between reading this post and finishing Thicker Than Water, I have to admit that I have an urge to write some vampire fiction. Yeah, inspired and all that.

    I promise, no day walking, sparkling, overly compassionate lover boys.

    • Greg Sisco says:

      I’m glad to hear it. Vampires need all the horror writers they can get if we’re going to fix the genre. I’ve got three more Blood Brothers books to write before the series is done, so I’ll be at work on this cause for the next couple years.

      Thanks for reading Thicker Than Water, by the way. I’m always glad to hear that people are liking it.

  8. Susan Stec says:

    Love your humor. If you carry it into your novels, I’m in.

    • Greg Sisco says:

      Thank you very much. Thicker Than Water has its sadistically funny moments, but I don’t think I’d call it a comedy. You’ll laugh, but not necessarily every thirty seconds. If you like my writing, you will probably like it, especially if you’re also a vampire fan.

      However, if you’re just interested in some very cynical, angry humor and you don’t care whether vampires are involved, you’ll be more interested in my second book, One-Night Stan’s. It’s a brutally dark crime comedy that I’ll be releasing in about two weeks (there isn’t an exact date yet).

  9. Abbie says:

    suddenly i just realized why i don’t vampire works,cuz i didn’t read/watch the real vampire works!

  10. Pingback:Blogger Reviews for 'Thicker Than Water'

  11. Jovana says:

    I see what you’re trying to say, but this type of horror is not “pink” at all because the female characters are degraded. Bella Swan is very passive and dead already. Why teenage girls like this – because it’s not scary. Feminists hate it, trust me.

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