Dear kreepy acquaintances,
Vampires are as old as the ground they are keen to be buried in. They have been lurking in the minds of men n’ women since the dawn of prose. They might have been dubbed other ghastly nicknames, but the thought of the dead sucking the blood of the living has faded in and out of our consciousness forever. They have been romanticized such as in Bram Stoker’s 1897 Gothic shocker Dracula. They have been brutalized as in the first film adaptation based upon that play Nosferatu (which Stoker’s widow sued considerably in her favor) with Max Schreck in the title role. Then romanticized yet again with Hungarian actor Bela Lugosi’s haunting yet alluring interpretation. Dawning black cape and white powder Bela fashioned a Hollywood icon that would cling to him until death, lowered into the earth as vampires are, wearing the very cape that plagued him throughout his sordid addicted life.
Scores of others then crossed the creaky boards t’grace the silver screen dawning fangs and dark eyeliner such as British born thespian Christopher Lee and illustrious American stage great Frank Langella. Kathryn Bigelow’ down n’ dirty Near Dark with the chiseled Lance Henriksen (Aliens) receives an honorable mention here. Then Hollywood super stars Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt bring still another vampire vision to the masses. Brilliantly penned out of the imagination of Anne Rice, vampires were cursed with anxious souls, adolescent celebrity n’ scruples to pad ye ole bloody yarn of yore. Even multiple Academy Award® winner Frances Ford Coppola takes a bloody stab at the original account with Gary Oldman (Batman) as Vlad “The Impaler” Tepes in Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Blending myth, literature, and historical context (with a smidge of Sr. Tony Hopkins in the caldron) Coppola films a Goth extravagance, whereby it is Oldman that makes his victims an offer they can’t refuse.
Then the hordes of ho-hum and hooey had arrived. One right after the other: tic-tock, tic-tock, o’ how we waited with such morbid anticipation, for a sign, a shrill cry of birth, anything t’hint on the restoration of our beloved Gothic chriller, and yet nothing, not a single blackened fingernail scratching at a bedroom window in the moonlight. It had runs it’s course. The blood had simply drained, seeped into the floorboards. Amen then and goodnight, dark prince, forever.
Not until I received my very own copy of the IDW published comic book 30 Days of Night by Steve Niles and Ben Templesmith did I ever believe the vampire would ever walk among us. I was affably staggered. In this masterful and ingenious resurrection of the vampire saga, a small isolated Alaskan town is plunged into harsh darkness for a month, only to be terrorized by a pack of blood-thirsty foes with razor-sharp teeth and black soulless eyes, in a word: magnificent! By flickering candlelight I devoured each page with such childish delight that my nightmares mirrored my enthusiasm tenfold. This was a contemporary spin that held me rightly in its vicious grip. The story was mighty good n’ lean, no fat on dem bones, and the artwork quite novel, eye-candy for the soul. I was, my dear kreepsters, a comic book collector and believer once again.
30 Days of Night – the movie, thankfully penned by the crafty Steve Niles, and masterfully directed by David Slade (Hard Candy), crept into darkened American multiplexes October of 2007. From the very opening shot you know something wholly evil is brewing in the frost. As if they had carefully and meticulously graphed Ben Templesmith’s astounding artwork and Niles scrumptious storyline directly onto the screen, 30 Days of Night crawled out of it’s ancient literary hibernation, resurrected true right before my anxious eyes.
Actors John Hartnett (Sin City) and Melissa George (The Amityville Horror, 2005) take on Mr. & Mrs. Oleson as if their very lives depended upon it. Ben Foster (X-Men: The Last Stand) is our contemporaneous Renfield, delectably deranged as The Stranger hell-bent on unleashing malevolence incarnate. But Italian-born actor Danny Huston (The Kingdom) as the vampire Marlow was the scene-stealer here, and quite a spectacular thief indeed. As if he had eerily walked from the very pages of 30 Days of Night, his interpretation from comic book to screen prodigy was awe-inspiring t’say the least. This is the new vampire: tribal, pure beast, brutally wrapped in bitter genius n’ anguish unyielding. Niles’ vampires do not envy human beings they pity n’ despise them wholeheartedly. Satan’s children have arrived. No crisp tuxedos or period dress, just filthy trench coats to suggest the cape of our dear departed Bela. And so it goes for 30 Days of Night.
And yes, just incase you’re wondering… there’s more blood than I have ever witnessed in all my dastardly nights, for I am, my Kreepy darlings, over 100 years old.
You will hear their screams eternity
As daylight slumbers in the snow
We parched poets of thy belfry
Drink our spirits without woe
No lengthy conversations
Nor hedgy admirations
How we’ll swiftly rip thy heart still steamy,
Pumping crimson as we crow
Heed thy wails o’ frozen banshee
Whilst midnight hides in all the corners
See they pails of rotting specie
Whilst hell abides t’beat all scorners
See our eyes there?
Watch them glow
Feel the chill of ancient loathing
As you’re screaming
Please, God, no!
Still we take you, pierce thy juggler,
Tear n’ slice n’ dice thy soul
There it is on doorstep beating
Life escaping, weeping psycho
Don’t you know us?
Don’t you know?
We must strike you with a vengeance
Take you out t’down below
O’ how we abhor you,
All ye townfolk of ole Barrow
Unsuspecting goofs n’ gobblers
Of chicken guts n’ cherry cobbler
That’s enough then
No more chatter
Let me see thy juggler pulse
With this finger,
Such seasoned switchblade
I do wed thee so
For 30 Days of Night, my love
Death, 40 below
THE KREEP is an R. Production and Hoffhines Production gig. © 2008-2010 R. Productions