• events

    Slayers and their Vampires

    As part of the Bram Stoker Festival in Dublin (27-30 Oct), I’ll be taking part in the Slayers and their Vampires panel from 1 pm – 2.30 pm on 28 October, in the Albert Lecture Theatre, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, 123 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2. I’ll be joining Bruce McClelland, (Slayers and Their Vampires: A Cultural History of Killing the Dead) and David Skal (Something In the Blood: a Biography of Bram Stoker) in discussing the modern cultural significance of vampire legends. As some know, my first M.A. thesis investigated themes in 19th century supernatural Irish fiction, which included a detailed look at Bram Stoker’s Dracula. I’ve…

  • Film,  Reviews

    sharp, pointy teeth

    As someone with an abiding interest in vampire fiction and movies I generally get around to seeing every film that is added to the canon. The other evening 30 Days of Night was on TV, so I finally caught up with it. Most people are aware that this is an adaptation of the comic book of the same name, which was written by Steve Niles and illustrated by Ben Templesmith. The comic disappointed me, which did not incline me towards the film. As I said before, Templesmith’s artwork was wonderful, but there was a shallowness to the story that left me cold. Niles writes well, but the action happened rather…

  • Film

    FrightFest 2008 Roundup

    Another year, another FrightFest. Here are a number of horror movie clichés I could do without in the future: A blood-covered girl being chased in the woods as a hook to start a film A woman being captured, locked up, and tortured Stating at the beginning “Based on actual events” Yuppies being menaced by psycho assailants Creepy mirror scenes that aren’t scary enough Comedy horror flicks that have more gore and rubbery intestines than story or funny lines Oh gosh, the bad guys are kids! The countryside is occupied only by crazies – even if you escape, you can be guaranteed you’ll fall back into their clutches just as you…

  • Fiction,  Reviews

    less blood more fear please

    With the advent of 30 Days of Night on the big screen I thought it would be a good idea to read the original graphic novel, which was written by Steve Niles and drawn by Ben Templesmith. The problem when approaching the vampire myth is how to do something new with it. The focus needs to come down to an original execution of a story about the blood-sucking monsters. As someone who has read and watched a great deal of vampire canon there are few permutations that I consider genuinely fresh. It can be done, but in many ways the story cannot just be about vampires. There must be an…