Archive for Angel

Where’s the Teeth?

Posted in droopymcjackass with tags , , , , , , , on 08/28/2009 by droopymcjackass

I do not readily enjoy horror movies*.  It takes a far more naive and open mind than mine to openly accept the usually trite, shoddy, overly schlocky and shock-obsessed story-lines that fuel the average “around late-October” movie release these days.  Especially since these movies seem specifically tailor-made for providing an obvious segue between the awkward realm of early, fumbling attempts at putting one’s arm around a girl and the lubrication of said girl toward second base.

That said, I am usually a fan and major supporter of the idea of The Allegory As High Art, which, let’s face it, most horror movies and stories try to be (once you get past all the holy-shit-what’s-jumping-out-at-me?!-oh-phew-it’s-just-a-cat type scares).  Zombies are the figurative walking (or, in most cases, shambling) deadening and homogenization of modern culture (oddly enough, judging by this google search, that particular view seems prime for a redefinition [or re-animation, as it were]); Frankenstein’s monster represents the innate fear of falsely defining one’s own children; witches in lieu of the rampant skepticism and mistrust of the opposite sex; werewolves unleashing the primal animal urges that can neither be controlled or denied; Cthulhu as man’s egotistical drive to pull himself from the blackest seas of ignorance and stand stark-tall, imbued with an all-encompassing knowledge of the natural world and the ancient secrets from time immemorial so that one could conceivable understand the very power of life itself and, yes, even beyond life itself, to traverse the infinity past such rudimentary notions as good and evil and revel and writhe in ecstasy and freedom (or, paradoxically, go insane.  See also, drug culture); and vampires are, of course, the lusts and hungers of the Id.

Except vampires aren’t that anymore.  Brooding, sulking, chaste (?!), and moony-eyed; a new breed of vampire has formed around the cult of Edward Cullen ( Masen) of Twilight… and they don’t really seem that interested in breeding any more, they just want to lay down in your bed with you, little girl, and hold you for awhile (excepting the vampires of True Blood as they really, really like fucking.  Like, a lot.  So they get a pass).  Sadly, no one has yet made the obvious jump to make a movie about a hated, reviled pedophile who finally finds the acceptance, adoration, and pre-teen poon he craves after becoming a vampire (by the way, Hollywood, I also have an idea for a movie called Flu1ds; see my “About” page for contact info).

There’s a confluence of reasons, really, to explain this incredibly disturbing trend.  The closest antecedent is, of course, Buffy’s beau Angel (given how, in one episode, he gives her a traditional Irish promise ring of all things [though, it should be noted, he bangs her immediately afterward]).  Everything from Edward’s over-reliance on hair-gel to the casually unbuttoned shirts can be traced back to Angel (including the Smoldering Glare Of Absolute Love And Desire so popular with Twilight‘s core fan-base, which looks more like the embarrassment and confusion on a dog’s face when you stare at it pooping).  In fact, the more that I think about it, nearly everything about Edward seems ripped wholesale from Angel, including many variations on the dog-taking-a-shit face.

The rising popularity of superheroes is also having its effect.  The vampires in Twilight aren’t even bothered by daytime (though they need cloudy skies, which, as an explanation, seems solely designed to piss me off), so what makes Edward any different than some other C-lister on NBC’s Heroes?  If you answered, “That people seem to enjoy watching Twilight.” then you can read minds and must be another vampire with a poorly-defined and ill-conceived skill-set.  And back to the other psychic, True Blood‘s vampires seek an X-Men-esque acceptance, albeit while still floating around and messing up fools (and did I mention the fucking?).  And, though its slightly off-topic, I’d be remiss if I didn’t give mad props to the hilariously un-witchy (and unwatchable) he-witches of The Covenant that enjoyed Superman-flying, tossing hadokens around, and generally making each other their personal we-otches.

But the oddest reason seems, to me anyway, to be a rejection of Born-Again Christian tenets, which is where Edward and Angel part ways (then look back and stare passionately at each other).  Most modern vampires used to do some crazy shit in their antebellum youths (sometimes even literal hell-raising), but then eventually settle into the guilt-wracked, seeking-forgiveness mode common among the fathers of girlfriends and recent presidents (and if vampires enjoyed playing Myst in the early 90’s, then they would be exactly like every girlfriend’s dad).  Sometimes they even stare forlornly at crucifixes.  The reasons are pretty obvious; becoming a vampire is technically like being reborn, so why not become re-reborn?  But Edward is more akin to a Puritan (though despite the bazillions of magazines seemingly devoted solely to Twilight, there is no definitive word yet on whether he prefers belt buckles on his hats), what with his running around spying on his girlfriend and telling her exactly what to do all the time (read, being an utter dick).  Add a tempestuous rivalry with a Native American and this thing just starts writing itself.  And since holy items have no sway or power in the Twilight universe, Bible-thumping evangelicals are mostly unnecessary and impotent (a begrudging and rare +1 for Twilight, though I’ll take it away for implying that this guy is powerless).

In fact, what I gleaned most about Twilight is simply how arbitrary the whole vampire thing is.  They could be aliens, long-lost Atlanteans, a subset of humanity whose bodies naturally synthesize PCP, or characters from Tuck Everlasting; it doesn’t really matter.  In Twilight, vampires can have babies, run like the Flash (?), eat garlic and then cough it up later, spend a whole Saturday just climbing trees, go to school (??), gaze deep into the eyes of their own reflection, sparkle (???), snort lines of Communion wafers, and wear entire shirts of wooden stakes pointing inward (casually unbuttoned, natch).  These aren’t vampires.  They do drink blood and can make you immortal, but that could just be because they are gross.

They are also obsessed with marriage, have pretty eyes, and have skin with the look and feel of marble (whatever the fuck that means).

Okay, maybe (just maybe), I have a stick up my ass because I found out Edward Cullen drives a car that is nearly identical to my own.  Nope, never mind; I was right the first time.  If anything, the vampires of Twilight seem to repress the Id, not wallow down-‘n’-dirty style in debauchery.  Which means, they represent feeling the tug of one’s innermost desires, but choosing to curb the more abhorrent tendencies (or, as its known in psychological circles, being a normal fucking human being [but, you know, super-strong!]).  This is not horror.  This crap is bullshit.§

* It should be noted that I do, however way this writing seems to skew, completely respect continual reinvention of the horror genre, and the literal and figurative monsters contained therein (one such example being the zombie’s transformation from Seabrook’s familiar/possession [and the spelling “zombi”] to the group vs. the individual mentality of Romero), except for, you know, the dumb ones (i.e. finish reading above).

Honestly, I’m rather interested to see what will happen when the girls who read the Twilight series and the boys who masturbate to True Blood get a little older and start dating each other.  The exact magnitude of that disconnect cannot even be accurately explained here, but it would be akin to Gymborees across the nation showing snuff films.

Though these are unproven, I’m sure the vampires in Twilight are also the only true friends of unicorns, smell exactly like that shampoo that the commercials say will give you orgasms, taste like Stephanie Meyers’ favorite kind of bon-bon, have interesting and smart things to say about a wide variety of topics, give great hugs, have a real passion for French cooking (but not in that pretentious way; you know the way), and would totally be attracted to Stephanie Meyer and think she was really, really cool and nice and funny and smart and, like, a great person if they were real.

§ Sadly, you’re seeing what is hoped to be a catchphrase of sorts for this author (who feels sorta pathetic pointing it out).  Look for “This crap is bullshit.” everywhere (note: only works on this blog)!