The Vampire Formula: What Women See In Them
Let’s shed a little educated light on the resurgence of this whole “Vampire Romance” genre. Now, before you justifiably click away, assuming I’m going to start talking about Twilight, let me assure you: This is not about Twilight. This is about vampires. Twilight is not a vampire book, it’s Hello Kitty caliber softcore pornography for First Level Goths. It is entirely unconnected to the true resurgence of the vampire, present in anything from True Blood to The Vampire Diaries to Anne Rice to Being Human and on and on. No matter how effeminate, emotional, romantic or just unabashedly gay the shows, movies, and novels featuring the modern vampire might be, they do undoubtedly contain actual vampires. Not pallid fairies that glitter when you tickle their anus: Vampires. They’re back. But why?
"No, I don't feel like I'm re-enforcing gender stereotypes by playing up my weakness, he's a vampire and batman!"Vampires have experienced this resurgence among women because they most represent this dynamic without further interpretation. If you tell a basic vampire story, the domination/submission elements will always be present, even if you don’t actively try to include them. But most supernatural fiction possesses these same elements as well; they need only be presented with slight tweaks to fit the “Romantic Monster” genre. Like so:
WerewolvesWerewolves are already starting their resurgence, but unfortunately it’s usually as the antithesis of the vampire: They are, if anything, just too in touch with their emotional side and baser animal natures. They just live too much; don’t try to tame them, baby. And so sadly, their place is usually to lose to the vampire in a woman’s heart, because the vampire needs them more. The solution? More aloof, emotionally distant werewolves. A sample:
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. HydeDoctor Jekyll and Mister Hyde is very nearly the ideal combination for the monster-humping modern woman already: He contains both a needy frightened nerd (a doctor at that! For those of you with Jewish mothers to impress,) that needs a good woman to nurse him back into confidence, as well as a hulking, murderous psychopath to swoon for. He’s like a fuckable Incredible Hulk. He doesn’t need much reimagining. Simply update him for the modern world, and all the desired elements are present:
Frankenstein's MonsterFrankenstein very nearly works on its own as well: For emotional disconnect, he’s so dead inside he’s literally a corpse. He was only recently brought to life, so he doesn’t understand what it is to be alive, much less what it is…to love. Also, he thinks fire is bad. That’s right: Hot, sexy fire is…taboo. The only thing wrong with him is that he’s traditionally portrayed as ugly as fuck. That’s easy enough to fix:
CthulhuCthulhu presents some interesting barriers to the formula, but there are elements that can appeal to the emotional savior/physical victim dynamic. Just think: How does an unspeakable horror from beyond the stars know what it is to be human, if not for the gentle touch of a woman with heaving breasts to teach him? Plus, you know, tentacles. There’s got to be something there, right? Japan didn’t just pull that shit out of the air. The main hindrance keeping Cthulhu out of the Romantic Monster genre is simply the lack of women. Or rather, the lack of the right kind of women. You know the ones: Adventurous, a little dim, not all that picky when they drink. If Lovecraftian horror wasn’t such a creeping insanity sausage-fest, it might appeal to more female readers:
GodzillaGodzilla presents a lot of the same problems as Cthulhu, in that he’s a completely inhuman monster, impossible to love for many, many reasons - not the least among them being his giant stature, complete lack of language skills, and inhuman lizard-like visage. But shit, Rush Limbaugh’s got a wife; these things can be overcome. Besides, Godzilla is your classic bad boy: Sometimes the hero, sometimes the villain - the only real thing you can count on Godzilla to do is play by his own rules. But he’s so busy stomping on tiny men, has he ever stopped to look inside discover he has a tiny…heart?
You can buy Robert's book, Everything is Going to Kill Everybody: The Terrifyingly Real Ways the World Wants You Dead, or find him on Twitter, Facebook and his own site, I Fight Robots or you can stay tuned for the extra special twist or you can just wait for his recently greenlit movie project: Godzilla Vs. Jennifer