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Vampire Music Videos!

The whole idea of a musical based on Dracula or Interview With the Vampire or something like it feels “off” somehow. Probably because when we think of musicals the titles that come to mind include Oklahoma! or Guys and Dolls or some such lite fare. Images of Maria coming to Baron Von Trapp’s home to drink the blood of his children may amuse, but they seem like a joke. Nothing more. Vampires lose their edge much of the time if made funny.

And yet…

Fans of this website can all probably recall very clearly a “fake” musical in the film Forgetting Sarah Marshall, the glimpses of which we saw whetted more than one person’s appetite. Who can forget “Dracula’s Lament” that somehow combines cheese and genuine drama?

Likewise, the perfectly real Dracula: The Musical didn’t do well in the USA but was a success elsewhere. In Japan, they followed the tradition there of casting a woman in the male role (the Victorian Music Hall had the same idea sometimes) and cast an actress in the title character. They also gave a very Japanese spin on the climax (the refrain in the main tune here is “I/You was/were born to love you/me.”

Exactly why non-English speaking theatre seems to treat vampires a little more seriously makes for a valid question. Look at Tanz der Vampire, based on the Roman Polanski film of the 1960s.  Using the music of Jim Steinman the show became a huge hit in Europe and elsewhere. But when it came to Broadway, producers changed it so much (partially at star Michael Crawford’s insistence) that it crashed and burned. A more faithful translation might be running still!

Keep in mind music has used the vampire as a very successful trope before now, often not for laughs at all! Case in point–“Love Song for a Vampire” by Annie Lennox!

For that matter look at “If You Let Me” by JP, Chrissie and the Fairground Boys, pretty clearly inspired by Let The Right One In!

And let us not forget “Once More With Feeling” the musical episode of Buffy The Vampire Slayer!

Finally, consider how many folks on YouTube create vampire-based music videos!  I myself made this one, using Tom McRea’s “My Vampire Heart” and using that as a backdrop for Le Fanu’s Carmilla.

Or this more humorous offering, a femslash bit of music video using (mostly) footage from Mark of the Vampire.

 

David MacDowell Blue blogs at Night Tinted Glasses.  He graduated from the National Shakespeare Conservatory and is the author of The Annotated Carmilla. and Your Vampire Story (And How to Write It) as well as a theatrical adaptation of Carmilla.
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david • March 18, 2013


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