Okay so I got the idea for tonight’s blog when I was swimming in pool 10 minutes ago. It is almost a full moon tonight. This of course got me thinking about lycanthropes. Werewolves. Why is it that nowadays every vampire show or movie also has werewolves. It used to be that they were two separate supernatural creatures. Now it seems you can’t have one without the other. True Blood, Twilight, Buffy, Anita Blake, Underworld, Van Helsing. Other than Dracula movies most of the vampire movies and shows of the past ten years have also had werewolves.
Vampires are cool. Werewolves not so much. Traditionally vamps were European and mysterious. Wolves were primal and out of control. Now wolves can change any time they want and are not bound to the full moon. What was the impetus for the change?
The myths of the vampires and werewolves have traditionally reflected the anxieties of the times. Lord Ruthven and Dracula reflected the Victorian sexual mores. Dracula was also written by an Irishman whose Dracula represented the English oppression.
What does it say about our society that you can’t have one without the other and that the nature of the myths have changed. Of course the myths have been ever changing. In the book Dracula could go out in the sun. But now all supernatural creatures live together. On True Blood they even included Greek mythology with vampires and now there are werewolves and soon to be werepanthers.
I go back to my point that the werewolves of my youth were not cool. The story always ended up with the wolf tying himself (always a him, female vamps were much quicker in arriving than female wolves. Probably because of Lucy Westenra) up so that he wouldn’t be a threat when he changed on the full moon. When they changed they would rage out of control. It was almost like the Incredible Hulk. Vampires were smooth lotharios. Then they were lesbians or Lauren Hutton. They were always chased by an old guy with a medical bag.
Today vampires are sensitive. This probably started with the show Forever Night. Maybe in interview with the vampire. Vampires are immortal. They should act with the accumulated wisdom of their years. Werewolves are animals.
I believe the crossover phenomenon can be attributed to the changing role of the vamp. Sensitive vamps aren’t scary. You need the wolves for scares. Most vampire flicks anymore aren’t scary. They are camp. Plus with the changing rules about werewolves they can be cool and intelligent. They are not primal beasts preying on the helpless peasants (or americans)in the villages of England. They can change at will. There are other ways to kill them other than a silver bullet. They think. They wear cool leather jackets.(you would think wolves would lay off the leather). Now it’s the wolf in the twilight films that is the next Tom Cruise.
Part of the change is invariably a reflection of the city environment that most of us live in. Without hearing wolves bay at night it is hard to understand the fear against the dark and the creatures that lurk there. Part of it is the nature of Hollywood. Everything has to be bigger better. “Let’s have vampires AND werewolves”
All I know is that I want some shows and movies with just cool vampires please. And maybe Frankenstein.