27 July 2010, JellyBean @ 6:26 am

Vampires are everywhere nowadays on television, in novels and last week in our courts following a vampire-style attack but they aren’t the evil demons of old. How did the tribe of Dracula go from villain to hero, and why have so many of us been sucked in?

MODERN VAMPIRES are semi-soft and caring. Today’s blood-sucker is likely to be vegetarian – he drinks animal blood, not human – and wants to be chaste. Edward Cullen, the 17-year-old vampire hero of the ragey Twilight films and books, stares at his muddled lover Bella and croaks: “I’ve never wanted human blood so much in my life.” Bella goes cross-eyed and leans against his chest. “I trust you,” she murmurs.

Or take True Blood’s Bill Compton, lover of Sookie Stackhouse, a telepathic Louisiana waitress played by Anna Paquin. Bill kills a fellow “fang-banger” who tries to murder her and then spends a lot of time fending off avenging vampires who want his blood. Compton is a well-meaning member of the oppressed minority of vampires. In a town hall meeting he wows the humans with a sob story about being turned into a vampire while sheltering in a woman’s home as a confederate soldier in the Civil War. Vampires have rights too. All they’re seeking is their place out of the sun.

Then there’s Damon and Stefan Salvatore, the teenage vampire brothers circling around another young thing, the plucky orphan Elena Gilbert. One is good and one seems bad, but there’s no neck-tearing and ravishment here. There are, however, lots of dark urges and smouldering by the school lockers. The Vampire Diaries are certainly about vampires, but they are also diaries of teenage woe. And they are a soap about the dirty underbelly of Mystic Falls, Virginia.

Read the whole article here: Sunday Star Times

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