Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 26:59 — 61.8MB)
Vampires have never felt themselves restricted to one mere genre, let alone a single form of media. Aside from the thousands of novels in more than a dozen genres (and even more combinations of genres), vampire tales are told through film, television, animation, comics and graphic novels, music, and even theatre. (Although if you listened to our first episode you’re already well aware of how well that last form of media does.)
The undead are even part of the ever-growing multi-billion dollar industry that is gaming. They’ve been featured in platformers like Castlevania, point-and-click adventures like Dracula: Origins, and modern action role-playing games such as Vampyr. There’s even Dracula Unleashed, a 1993 full motion video game where you play as a Texan businessman who has come to London in 1899 to find the truth surrounding the mystery of his brother Quincy’s death.
But those aren’t the games I’m talking about in this episode. Instead I’m talking about the cult classic RPG that really should have died not long after it was released, but with the aid of a group of devoted followers refused to meet its final death.
Character Dialogue Featured
- Bertram Tung (Dee Bradley Baker)
- Gary Golden (Neil Ross)
- Jeanette Voerman (Grey Griffen)
- Prince Sebastian LaCroix (Andy Milder)
- Smiling Jack (John Dimaggio)
- Cabbie (André Sogliuzzo)
- David Hatter (Fred Tatasciore)
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 26:02 — 59.6MB)
Vampires on the big screen come and go, the trend never fully dying out. After the glut of post-Twilight paranormal fiction tired out the general public in the late 2000s to early 2010s, Hollywood seemed to embrace zombies over their undead brethren for a while. Now, it feels like they’re coming back in style. Vampire YA is in the headlines thanks to books like Renée Ahdieh’s The Beautiful series, Caleb Roehrig’s The Fell of Dark, and, of course, Stephenie Meyer’s return with Midnight Sun. Netflix has the French horror series Vampires, and the BBC adapted Dracula once more, albeit not very well. Indeed, there are more Draculas on the horizon, with female filmmakers like Karyn Kusama and Chloe Zhao at the helm, as well as planned films about the Demeter crossing from the novel and a spin-off focused on Renfield. But this isn’t the first time this century that Hollywood has tried to revive the fortunes of its classic horror creatures. The studio that made its name from iconic monsters hoped to bring them back for a new era of blockbuster filmmaking. The result, however, was one of the decade’s biggest cinematic missteps. This is the story of the rise and fall, but mostly fall, of the Dark Universe.
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 31:12 — 71.4MB)
Few films have defined cinematic horror as fully as Nosferatu, the 1922 silent film by German director F.W. Murnau. Widely believed to be the first ever vampire movie — or at least the earliest surviving example of one — its influence can be found looming overhead in the genre in the century that followed its release. Its imagery remains iconic and the impact it had on vampire mythos as a whole is indelible. And yet it’s a miracle that Nosferatu is even with us today, not only because the vast majority of silent cinema is missing or presumed destroyed, but because efforts were made to actively erase it from history. A major legal battle bankrupted the company that distributed Nosferatu and ordered that all existing prints of the film be burned due to copyright infringement. By all rights, Nosferatu should not exist in 2021, but now, you can find multiple free-to-view versions on YouTube in less than five seconds. The story of Nosferatu is one of legal strife and perhaps the only widely agreed upon case of plagiarism as a beloved work of art.
Content warning: Mentions of animal abuse and grave-robbing.
Media Mentioned / Audio Sources
- Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens
- Nosferatu: Phantom der Nacht
- Shadow of the Vampire
- Vampire: The Masquerade / Vampire: The Masquerade: Bloodlines
- What We Do In The Shadows / Wellington Paranormal