Do It Yourself Hammer Horror

Be honest–don’t you wish there were more Hammer vampire films? Well, at least in your mind’s eye, you can create your own from the elements we already know.

The rules are simple. Get yourself a single six-sided die (the singular of dice). Now roll your die to make each decision along the way. Ready? Let us begin with a cool but somewhat generic title that hints at equal parts blood, violence, gothic iconography and heaving cleavage in diaphanous gowns. How about THE VAMPIRE AND THE VIRGINS?

Behold a small village in Transylvania. We meet our heroes. First is the male lead, a (1) Somewhat roguish university student, scoffing at ignorant superstition (2) Very young and idealistic lawyer or doctor (3) Son of a local farmer, better educated than his parents (4) Married local professional or businessman of some kind, probably in his forties (5) Army officer on leave following some terrible experience, or (6) Teacher of history and/or literature. Roll your die and choose which!

Now for our female lead. Is she the (1) Young relative of a local official, chaffing under her guardians’ rules (2) Fiancee of a young man her own age and background (3) Governess/teacher of some local girls (4) Waif-like orphan lonely for company (5) Fun-loving but still virginal barmaid, or (6) Virtuous gypsy girl who has gives her heart to a handsome young man who’ll feel compelling to protect her.

Given this is Transylvania, there is of course a local castle that (1) Stands deserted and almost forgotten save by a few older locals who have terrible stories not to tell so much as whisper (2) Has been converted to a private school for girls (3) Is home to the local nobility who seem human if a little bit creepy (4) Looms intact and menacing over the town, a place no one dares venture (5) Has been recently purchased on inherited by a foreign family or gentleman (6) Was recently burned and looted by villagers following a ghastly crime.

Our vampire (male or female, personal choice) is (1) The local noble attended by a loyal minion or three (2) A seemingly innocent visitor to the area (3) One member of the local noble family, unbeknownst to most if not all of them (4) A wealthy scientist performing research (5) A figure from legend accidentally/on purpose reincarnated to slake their thirst for blood and maybe vengeance (6) The victim of a destroyed vampire, one whose nature has so far escaped detection.

In the midst of all this some gratuitous nudity occurs via (1) Some young lovely taking a bath (2) Trying on new clothes (3) A sex scene (4) The vampire disrobing his or her victim (5) An attempted seduction by some young woman (6) A dark ritual in which the sacrificial virgin must be more-or-less naked. You may roll as many times as you like on this one.

The whole story kicks into a high gear when someone becomes the vampire’s victim. : (1) A farmer’s daughter (2) A school girl (3) A barmaid (4) A still-attractive wife of a local teacher, doctor, businessman, etc. (5) An unfortunate traveler through the village (6) A teacher at the local school. She will be female and if she survives becomes the vampire’s minion, addicted to the bite and jealous whenever the vampire’s attentions stray.

In event of a second or even third victim, simply roll again from the above choices.

At this point two characters present their own explanations of events. One is a rationalist, a (1) Rather pompous local doctor (2) Government official or businessman used to having their own way (3) Some older woman terrified of accepting the truth about the supernatural (4) The equivalent of a sheriff or police officer (5) A bright young man with a lot of book learning. Opposing them will be the true believer who is (1) The local clergyman or monk or nun (2) A drunk full of vivid, horrible memories about The Last Time This Happened (3) A professional vampire hunter come to town (4) The parent or sibling of a previous victim (5) A religious fanatic who just happens to be right (6) A dour local farmer or ranger who knows the Old Ways.

As our female lead falls into danger, the leading man and true believer join forces to confront the vampire’s minion, the (1) Strangely silent butler or manservant (2) Worshipper of darkness (3) Deformed and probably masochistic peasant (4) Previous victim or victims (5) Terrified attendant whose will is broken (6) Hypnotized innocent bystander.

Then, in the end, the vampire is dispatched in some suitably interesting and dramatic manner: (1) Trapped by some symbol or substance deadly to its kind (2) Burned inside a building and unable to escape (3) Decapitated, and you get extra points if managing to do it with something other than a sword or axe (4) Wooden stake through the heart, preferably in the form of a cross the vampire falls upon (5) Some kind of magical intervention be it a ritual or a prayer or something else (6) A holy weapon uniquely suited to destroy vampires.

Music swells. Our two romantic leads embrace and then leave this place of horror. The End.

By david

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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