real vampires, vampire games and tv shows, movies, and vampire books

Did Stoker Suck?

Nobody get pissed. I’m as big a Stoker mark as the next guy. Bigger than most. But even as a hardcore fan, I have to admit that Bram Stoker’s work is of varying quality. At the top of the heap sits DRACULA, a true classic in every sense of the word. But what about Stoker’s…

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Bram’s Library Books

The story has been making the rounds. Doubtless you’ve seen the headlines. The London Library in Mayfair has discovered the books that were used by Bram Stoker when he was doing research, working on DRACULA. What blows my mind about this is that those books are still on the shelves, over a hundred years later….

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Jack-O-Lanterns for Thanksgiving

Before we proceed into the days of everything Christmasy, please allow me one more Halloween-related post for the season. Let us talk about Jack-O-Lanterns. You probably know that the tradition comes from the Irish and was imported into America by immigrants. You probably also know that the Irish didn’t use pumpkins to create their Jack-O-Lanterns,…

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I’m Conflicted.

Here’s the problem: a new Ed Wood film, which isn’t new at all but is a new release of a film previously believed to have been lost, will soon be available on Blu-ray. It has the feel of lost treasure to it, as the film darn near *was* lost to posterity. A few reels of…

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FANTASMAGORIANA

All literate Horror marks know that Mary Wollstonecraft (soon to be Mary Shelley), Percy Shelley, Lord Byron, John Poildori, and Claire Clairmont were vacationing at Villa Diodati at Lake Geneva in Switzerland during the “haunted summer” of 1816 when, stuck inside by the lousy weather caused by a recent volcanic eruption and after reading a…

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Feet of Clay

The silent film classics lay the foundation for the modern Horror genre. As a cinephile, a history buff, and a Horror mark, I have a great appreciation for those “silent screamers.” THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI. NOSFERATU. THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA and THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME. And Paul Wegener’s GOLEM trilogy. Wegener co-wrote,…

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Book Review: WASTELAND: THE GREAT WAR AND THE ORIGINS OF MODERN HORROR by W. Scott Poole

I’m guilty of it, and I’m gonna go out on a limb, here, and suggest that you are also. We’ve had so many wars. World War Two gets all the attention, doesn’t it? And then there’s Korea, Vietnam, and more recently Iraq and Afghanistan. Even, if you’re an American, the Civil War. So much atrocity…

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Mummy Beetles

It’s ironic, if that’s the right word for it, that the noble scarab beetle celebrated by the ancient Egyptians, which appears in their artwork and sacred symbols, their hieroglyphics and jewelry, is in actuality a dung beetle. It’s true. The ancient Egyptians thought that the scarab rolling a ball of dung along the ground was…

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The True Story That Inspired THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI

Hans Janowitz, who was one of the writers of the silent classic film THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI, had been present at the site of a murder in 1913, where he believed he possibly witnessed a ghost or some other paranormal entity and extrapolated that the dark entity he saw committed the crime. Janowitz had…

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The Zombie Speaketh

First, THE WALKING DEAD pulled a fast one, a bait-and-switch, with the whole “Rick Grimes is leaving/no he isn’t really” deal, and now this: a talking zombie that isn’t really a zombie at all. The idea that zombies might somehow be “evolving,” regaining intelligence, a theme examined in George Romero’s masterful LAND OF THE DEAD,…

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On MYTHICAL BEASTS and HISTORY OF HORROR

Have you been watching the new series MYTHICAL BEASTS on the Science Channel and Eli Roth’s HISTORY OF HORROR on AMC? Both shows have recently featured vampires as their subject matter. With the former, I found it an entertaining diversion, informative (even a self-respectin’ expert on all things Nosferatu like me learned a couple’a new…

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Ruminations on the season finale of AMERICAN HORROR STORY: APOCALYPSE

I actually did it. I managed to avoid all spoilers for the season finale of APOCALYPSE, including the most insidious kind, the kind with which I typically have to contend where AMERICAN HORROR STORY is concerned, specifically being told what happens by acquaintances who saw the episode before I got the chance to watch it….

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