So a few weeks ago, someone over at USGamer wrote an article (that I'm not linking here - should be easy enough to Google, but I don't want to give them any more traffic than they've already gotten on it) about how they'd been invited, along with some other journos, to take a look at Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2. The article this person wrote is prime fodder for a tirade against social justice, throwing around terms like 'rape allusions' and 'problematic' but that's not what I'm here for today.
"the scene in question being one in which a withered Dracula stumbled toward a family with his arms outstretched, the camera abruptly switching to a first-person perspective. He kills the father outright, then grabs the mother and sinks his fangs into her neck, draining her life energy to restore his."
The fact that this act is the shocking act to the author of that article is telling. That they draw parallels to rape and sexual assault simply because Drac discards of the father, apparently not even rating a snack, and feeds off of the mother. The fact that the mother in the family is used for feeding while the father murdered and tossed aside is what shocks them, and apparently not because of the loss of human life.
Twilight. Vegetarian Vampires. Interview With The Vampire and its romantic ruffled sleeves and angsty pretty-boys. Even to a lesser extent the folksy suckheads of True Blood or the sympathetic badasses of Underworld. At some point the boogeymen quit being scary monsters, and started becoming the harmless-but-edgy bad-boys that read like a Young Adult novel 'gone wild.' I do not, and have never, understood this, and I'd like to try and work through this.
Vampires are corpses. Let's not fool ourselves. Vampires are well-preserved zombies with a few extra biological tricks that let them keep fresher and more sapient than your average rotting ankle-biter. As far as I'm concerned, the only differences between zombies and vampires is dress sense and where they bite you. They're not romantic. They're not Beautiful Avatars of The Dark or Mysterious Scions of Eternity. They're cadavers that have forgotten to fall over and rot.
In addition to this, they are predators. And in deference to the article that brought this whole tirade on, they are not SEXUAL predators, any more than a shark or a peregrine falcon is. In order for vampires to continue 'living,' a human has to die. In order for a vampire to live, *you* might have to die. The very existence of a vampire species is detrimental to the well-being of the human race. Werewolves don't have to hunt humans specifically for survival. Nobody romanticizes zombies (ok, there was that one recent movie, but come the fuck on).
So really. A vampire attacks a family, kills some of them and eats another. Were you expecting them to stand idly in the shadows with a brooding look on their clammy face, quote poetry to woo them over? If Castlevania intends to depict a vampire as a brutal killer, more power to them. You aren't supposed to romanticize them. You're supposed to be afraid of them. You're supposed to want to kill them on site. They're inimical to your survival.
I'll side with Buffy, Blade, Van Helsing, Anita Blake, or any of the Belmonts. I'll stand by the werewolves in Underworld and Watcher's Council, Nightstalkers and Whistler family. The only good vampire is a dead one, or at least one that's had its soul restored so that it knows what a monster it is and will spend the rest of its existence snuffing out other suckheads. They're monsters, they should be put down, and I'm not sure what the author of that article is expecting of them, if not to kill and feast on a grouping of humans that wasn't in enough control of their faculties to either run or fight back. I don't know about you guys, but I'm going to go sharpen a chair leg in celebration of the return of the monstrous vampire.
The Fine Print
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution- Noncommercial- No Derivative Works 3.0 License.
Erin Palette is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.