A few weeks ago, I was scrolling through Netflix and saw Interview With A Vampire was uploaded. It’s been years since I’ve seen this movie and it was just as good as I remember it and a pretty good adaption from Anne Rice’s novel. Despite my admiration for the film and book, I couldn’t help but laugh at the scene where Kirsten Dunst’s character transforms.
It got me thinking about the wide differences with vampires across films, TV and novels, and when we talk about a medium using this subject matter, how we lack the understanding of how different each story makes a well known creature such as how a vampire can be. When someone says a movie or book is ‘oh the plot is about vampires,’ it hardly shows the true excitement within the story because, let’s be honest, a plot isn’t that simple. So for this Episode, I will be exploring in a few parts, Vampire transformations and post-transformation characteristics. Yes, you will see some books/TV/films you know—the good, the bad and the sparkly!
Interview With a Vampire
Everyone knows that Anne Rice can write herself a sexy as hell vampire—luckily for us, the film depicted that with Brad Pitt and my favorite crazy actor, Tom Cruise. But the best transformation in the film was of Claudia (played by Kirsten Dunst). Shown below is a video of her transformation. After being bitten by Louis (Pitt), she remains sick, then is given blood by Lestat (Cruise) to transform her. Dodging the Black Death and almost eaten by Louis, she transforms in seconds—like the others, her beauty is heightened, and funny enough, her hair turns into crazy curls.
Characteristics that make IWAV unique
- You never have to worry about your hair—being a vamp in Rice’s world means you’ll be looking top notch at all times.
- The transformations are quick—Louis is drained and then given Lestat’s blood and within a few minutes he falls and wakes up as a vampire in the film. This is seen again in the book adaption of Queen of the Damned.
- If you’re the main character or the most badass—you stay alive (Oh Lestat…)
What an excellent film directed by Neil Jordan (Writer of the TV show The Borgias) following a young girl named Eleanor and her neurotic prostitute mother as they move from city to city, finding trouble everywhere they go as they flee the grasps of dangerous men. Oh yeah, they are also vampires and so are the dangerous men. What makes this film great, other than its bizarreness, is the transformation process. Its not a ‘bite’ and then boom, vamp town USA. Rather there is a special journey that has to be made to a rocky cave where, well…just watch the clip.
Characteristics that make Byzantium unique
- There’s always the ‘bad guy,’ or rather ‘bad guys,’ and for this story, it’s a small organization of vampires—ALL MEN. The fact that Eleanor and her mother Clara are vampires is to the organization the worst possible thing that could ever happen. Why? Rent the film and find out.
- Long thumbnail that grows in order to drain the victim Eleanor claims and the organization itself is bizarre.
- No red eyes or burns instantly in the sun. Some may assume this is a cop-out, and undermines vampire legends, but the characters and storyline more than satisfiy.
Oh, by far one of my most favorite films—the cheese of it all! But on a serious note, the film takes a more traditional approach to vampire transformations with the whole getting bit, but it doesn’t happen as quickly as IWAV and it can happen anywhere, unlike Byzantium. What is great about the transformation is yes, the person is not better looking, but when angry, the ugliest little goblin face appears in their expression. The clip below is not the actual transformation but more of the post transformation.
Characteristics that make Fright Night unique
- The fruit. Only in FN does a vampire not only eat, but eats healthy. This is due to the origin of vampires (depending on what version you are working with) and fruit bats. Makes sense, though seeing it on the screen is absolutely hilarious and ridiculous.
- They are also shapeshifters! Though this is missing from the remake (actually a lot was missing, like general interest…). Evil Ed transforms into a wolf and the main vampire Jerry is able to turn into a bat. It was a nice touch to the film—not a lot of vampire movies/books/TV shows ad shape-shifting to a vampire. Also, there’s a scene where the vamp turns into mist. Also badass.
- Again, they look normal BUT vampires in FN will (and did) burn in the sun.