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Question of the Week - Monster Mash

Lions and tigers and bears? Those are nothing! Zombies and werewolves and ghosts? Now we're talking about some scary things! The mythical have always been more terrifying to me than mere ferocious animals. Though sometimes the terrifying has a romantic flip side or intriguing survival scenerios or some other aspect that we can't help but find fascinating.

This week's question of the week is:

What mythical creature do you have an affinity for?

For me, it's vampires. It's always been vampires. Before Edward Cullen was a twinkle in Stephanie Meyer's eye, I was hooked on Bram Stoker's Dracula. I read Anne Rice's Vampire Trilogy (it was orinigally a trilogy!) before Brad Pitt even heard of Louis de Pointe du Lac. I loved The Vampire Diaries way before the CW even existed as the WB, let alone thought of making those books into a show*. Before Buffy became a household name, I was one of the few who couldn't get enough of the campy Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie.

The romantic aspect of vampire stories has always had me hooked, along with the darkness and danger. In fact, I got hooked on the TV show Buffy the Vampire Slayer because I started watching Angel re-runs** and wanted to see the story line between him and Buffy. Being a fan of the romance novels, I believe I found my way to them through the romanticism of vampire stories (as well as the Jane Austen and the like). While I haven't yet seen or read the True Blood stories (no clue why, as they are high on my list of stories to get), I do own the DVDs of the only season of Kindred: The Embraced, as well as all the Angel and Buffy seasons.

So, I have an affinity towards vampires and vampire stories because the best ones are are sexy, dangerous and brooding, and often are great redemption stories (and I do love me some redemption stories!). I'm extremely happy that there has been a recent epidemic of vampire stories in books, movies and TV.

Meanwhile, my husband has an affinity towards zombies for entirely different reasons. He is thrilled with the recent outbreak of zombies in books, in movies and on Twitter***. He loves the survivalistic aspect of a zombie apocalypse. Though he has clarified to me that he prefers the zombie stories based on viral outbreaks than on voodoo or magic. He figures that if we he makes contingency plans for a zombie apocalypse, then he we are pretty much set for anything****.

What about you? Which monsters or other mythical creature do you have an affinity for? And why? Got any good recommendations for stories about any of these beings? Tell all!

*Although I think the show is alright, I still can't get over the fact that Elena has brown hair in the show. In the book, she totally had blonde hair, as you can clearly see on the cover of the original book (which I still own). The actress on the show is very pretty and plays the part fine, but I have always thought of her as a blonde. I just can't get over it.

**I have two things to say about those shows:
1. They are two of the best written shows on TV. Seriously well done. Totally worth watching every season. Don't be turned off by the first season of Buffy, because they were young and the show was just starting to find it's feet. Joss Whedon is a GOD!
2. As for Angel (David Boreanaz), va va va vooom! Is it any wonder I started watching the show?

***Oh, how The Blogess cracks me up! Also check out this post about zombie-fighting furniture.

****Although his best friend, who is terrified of zombies, pointed out on Saturday that my short legs which cause me to walk slower than them are going to get us (our family) killed by the zombies. Londo cheerfully pointed out that they will get only me killed. Thanks, sweetie!


Jac. said…
I would say I love both zombies and vampires. I love LOVE LOVE (pour some cold water on me now) True Blood. The show and the books. If you love vampires, you are REALLY missing out. Don't bother trying to get one at time - buy the whole set because once you start reading, you won't be able to stop. Am eagerly awaiting the next installment which comes out this week (woohoo!)

I just finished reading Pride, and Prejudice, and Zombies, and the prequel, PPZ: Dawn of the Dreadfuls. I like zombie books for the same reason as your husband, the survivalistic aspect. I enjoy all apocalypse-type stories, and zombie stories are right up there.
mom2boy said…
Loved Buffy (tv show). Loved.It. So excited for the next True Blood book to come out - haven't seen the tv show yet.
When I was younger, much younger, I read a book about people who lived with flying dragons and the dragons and people were telepathic. I thought that was pretty cool.
Becoming Mommy said…
I love them all: vampires, zombies, demons, jin, gorgons, and so forth.
I am a lover of "radiation theater" and the classical myths and faerie tales where many of these monsters began.
I have always found the "real monsters" though far scarier and so stories like Black Monday or Red Dragon can give me nightmares for days.
Melba said…
I heard on the radio yesterday that May is Zombie Awareness Month. No joke. You're supposed to wear a grey ribbon to show your concern for the impending zombie apocolypse!
hush said…
I heart vamps + zombies about equally. I also enjoy really good tales about ghosts/evil spirits (like the movies "The Ring," "The Others," "The Sixth Sense").

Oh @Caramama!! How can it possibly be that you have not seen "True Blood," nor read any of the Sookie Stackhouse novels!!!! (answer: 2 kids, I get it!) But seriously they are so amazingly right up your alley - I'm with @Jac totally!

Best vampires on film: "Dracula" (1979) starring delicious young Frank Langella, "Love at First Bite" (1979) with George Hamilton (I totally remember this comedy from early childhood - a good bad flick for sure), "Interview With The Vampire" (994) Anne Rice so owed Tom Cruise that newspaper apology for damn sure!, and "Let the Right One In" (2008 from Sweden) - about child vamps, and by far the best one of the bunch.

Best zombies on film: "Night of the Living Dead" (1968), the excellent remake of George A. Romero's "Dawn of the Dead" (2004), and 2 great ones from recent years - "Zombieland" (2009), and "The Crazies" (2010).
MommyEm said…
Vampires, witches, them all. "Lost Boys" is my favorite vampire flick (Cory Haim RIP) and I appreciate the more unique vampire variations, such as "The Hunger," which was my first experience with indie films at college. When it comes to zombies, I find that the storyline is more interesting to me than all the gore and yuck. I usually watch movies while cleaning, so zombie flicks are the perfect "tune in, tune out" movies. I tune in for the plot and tune out the mauling and munching. Just watched "Quarantine" this way and found its take on the virus/rabies plot interesting.

My question for Londo and other zombie flick lovers - what fear/desire/issue does the genre explore? Fear of disease? Fear of losing personal control to higher power (e.g. government, evil genius). My guess is losing control to one's most basest of urges, along with the usual fear of death. Anyone else?
hush said…
@MommyEm - Great question. I read a really interesting bit of film criticism about the zombie genre, and it seems they always work on some level as a critique of the dominant culture. Usually the fear of the other humans, and the mistrust & lack of cooperation is as big a threat to survival as the actual zombies are.

One of the first plague?/virus? zombie movies was "Night of the Living Dead" which features a black male protagonist, and a white female protagonist who were both undone by the other humans. It is a great critique of racism and sexism during the late 60s. "Land of the Dead" starring Dennis Hopper a few years ago, was a critique of Bush's War on Terror. The original & remake of "Dawn of the Dead" which took place in shopping malls were critiques of consumer culture. I absolutely love this way of looking at these films.

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