Wednesday, March 25, 2009

What Say You? To Fang Or Not To Fang



So this past weekend, I injected myself with a somewhat large dose of vampires. I watched Twilight and Let The Right One In. Overall, it was a nice dosage. Not too overpowering. I was surprised with Twilight and pleased with Let The Right One In. But call me old fashioned, I was missing the fangs. What's a vampire movie without the fangs? Yeah, they've been done to death, and maybe if you've seen one fang you've seen them all, but give me a little somethin', somethin'. Flash me a pointy tooth, you know for the effort.

But maybe I'm too old fashioned. Maybe fangs are played. They're there, we know they're there, so why do we have to see them? Maybe vampire movies have evolved to such a place that we don't need to see them anymore. Or maybe these vampire movies are missing on what makes a vampire movie a vampire movie.

WHAT SAY YOU?

17 comments:

Burbanked said...

Anymore there's such an effort to reinvent and reimagine these kinds of narrative properties in order to make them fresh and exciting for the kiddie audiences. Color me a cranky old man, but I miss some of the conventions of what made this stuff terrific in the first place. It seems as though - faced with the dilemma of making something old feel new again, or doing away with it completely - today's screenwriters are simply dumping it and starting over.

I agree with you that fangs are pretty important when it comes to vampires. Otherwise you're just a pasty-faced emo with anti-social tendencies.

PIPER said...

I don't need no pasty-faced emo with anti-social tendencies.

I agree with you Alan.

Obviously, gone are the days where we see a close-up of the fangs growing. But give me a little something.

It was interesting in Let The Right One In. It's billed as "one of the best vampire movies" yet the girl never admits she's a vampire. She only admits she lives off the blood of others. Where Vampires may be going is to blur the lines a bit more in the actual reality that vampires could or do exist. Of course the flying stuff and climbing stuff and burning with sunlight would also suggest she's a vampire.

Paul Arrand Rodgers said...

Twilight was awful. I'll eventually get around to reviewing it or something, but it wasn't very good.

Branden said...

Are you saying that you liked "Twilight" better than "Let the Right One In"?

You liked glistening skinned vamps better than vamp boy/girl that would rip your thoat out?

PIPER said...

Branden,

No, I'm not saying that. I was surprised that Twilight wasn't the piece of shit I thought it would be. And was pleased that Let The Right One In lived up to all the hype.

Aside from that Branden, where do you stand? Fangs or no Fangs?

PIPER said...

Paul,

I didn't think it was awful. I thought it was more interesting than I thought it would be. A couple of things I will say about it: It's awfully dramatic for a teen movie. I'm not saying teens can't be dramatic, far from it. But I'm saying that there was a lot of angst. A lot of funny looks and no talking. I'm not so far from my teenage years that I remember being like that. It seems kind of like a stereotype to me. But it's my understanding that teens love it. And if it somehow speaks to them, then who am I to say otherwise.

Paul Arrand Rodgers said...

I dunno...I couldn't tell if the audience loved the stuff ironically or if they were really, really digging it.

If it entertains teenagers (I'm only two years removed from the age group, myself), fine, but I can only speak for myself.

I actually found the movie to be better than the portion of the book I struggled through, because the movie wasn't encumbered with Stephanie Meyer's awful prose, but that didn't stop the flick from having its fair share of bad acting, dialog, questionable shots, etc.

Before Watchmen, I didn't think it was possible to have music interfere with a scene as badly as when they muted a conversation so we could hear some Lifetime special music.

But I'm thankful to the movie, if only for its awesome cult following.

Teens are all about angst, and most stereotypes are grounded in truth, no matter how remote it is.

Garrett said...

I want Fangs...

You mentioned that the direction of vampires in some instances has moved towards the idea that vampires could or do exist. It makes me think of HBO's True Blood as vampires have come out of the dark shadows and coexist w/ humans.

However, they still have Fangs...sleep in coffins, party hard etc and they're still able to maintain that kick ass fashion sense. In many ways the same 'ol vamps you know and love.

Marc said...

One summer week where I rented multiple vampire movies a day, multiple days in a row, I remember being desensitized to fangs. Then I was punched in the face with the bizarre choice to move the previously obvious canine fang placement on Kiefer Sutherland to outer incisors in The Lost Boys. WTF?

I eventually liked that phase of vampire movies the best... attempts to challenge the "stereotype" by adjusting fangs/lifestyles. I guess what I miss most is the funny directions those would go when special effects were somewhat limited.

Joseph B. said...

It's a toss up for me. I'm one of the few who seems to REALLY like "30 Days of Night" and that's full of skin-shredding, ice-pick sharp fangs. Then again, "Let the Right One In" works on so many great levels and it's a beautiful allegory without the fangs. Call me divided but hopeful neither type of vampire goes away.

Shannon the Movie Moxie said...

I don't need the fangs - but it depends on the film. I'd rather it fit the film that be

I found with Twilight it was fine as it is. There are certainly scenes where it's not all vampy but you notice the pointy teeth - I think that works very well.

I think it is fine in Let the Right One In, especially as there isn't tons of moments that it would even make sense to have. I thought how they did the make up was awesome. Understanded at times or totally going for it at others.

I'd much rather it be worked into the tone of the film and the rules created of the world then gratuitious "ok we are going to use CGI or prosthetics NOW". CHOMP, chomp, suck suck.

PIPER said...

Paul,

You would know better than me on this subject because you are far less removed.

Garrett,

I have yet to see True Blood, but I'm told it's great.

Marc,

I like the idea of moving the fangs around.

Fright Night did that. And Salem's Lot went back to the original Orlok with their original placement of the fangs on The Master.

Joseph and Shannon,

I could probably go either way as well. It certainly wasn't needed in Let The Right One In and I don't think time should be wasted in cutting to a close-up or spending time revealing them unless it's absolutely necessary.

JOSEPH CAMPANELLA said...

I was so suprised at how much I liked LET THE RIGHT ONE IN.

The end of that movie blew my mind!

brian said...

Johnny Depp will be playing Barnabas Collins in Dark Shadows. I can't wait.

Fletch said...

I was sick to death of vampire stories in general...until I saw Right One (which, admittedly, doesn't have all that much to do with vampires). Now, I'm still sick of them, but will watch any that are made in Sweden.

Branden said...

Is anybody going to see the American remake of "Let the Right One In" next year?

Reel Whore said...

It surprised me how much I enjoyed the fangless Let the Right One In.

That said I generally prefer a good Fang flick, unless they can make a compelling vamp tale without them.

Now you've got me dreaming about Monica Belluci in all her fanged goodness in Dracula! I could be imagining worse.