Tuesday, 13 December 2011
Sunday, 27 November 2011
I know what you're all saying, "Alan how can you be so doggone generous?" Well let's just say I'm in a giving mood, so take advantage of it before I turn back into a grasping, greedy, bitter old recluse again...oh wait that's Scrooge...still...
Friday, 25 November 2011
Sunday, 13 November 2011
Tuesday, 8 November 2011
Mega-selling Twilight author Stephenie Myers (or someone purporting to be that person) has (it's rumoured) on The Loneliest Vampire in NYC's use of a vampire, werewolf, mortalgirl love tri-angle, reportedly saying, 'that's totally what my book was about but that one's all gross and icky so it's kindof twisted.'
Actually the vampire, werewolf, mortal girl love triangle is a very small part of The Loneliest Vampire in NYC and it's not so much a love triangle as a survivor triangle.
for more see: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005JST3OC
Saturday, 5 November 2011
Tuesday, 1 November 2011
Nov 6, 2011 Naked Girls Reading Fang Fiction - a night of toothy literature, hilarious fan fiction, and blood, oh there WILL BE BLOOD!!!
Doors 7:30 - Show at 8pm
$20 front row, $15 regular ($5 more at the door)
Presale tickets available online at eventbrite.com
Come celebrate NGR Vancouver's One Year Anniversary in our new home, the Backstage Lounge!
1585 Johnston Street
Vancouver, BC V6H 3R9
With readings by Malvina Masvino, Kitty Kitty Bang Bang, Riannaconda and Diamond Minx
Featuring "The Lonelist Vampire in NYC" by Alan G. Forsythe - Vancouver Author!! (who will be in attendance)
What is Naked Girls Reading you ask? It is just that, NAKED GIRLS READING. We read, you enjoy. Its a win, win situation for anyone who likes reading and naked girls. Or for girls who like to read while naked.
What the press is saying about Naked Girls Reading:
"The Most Provocative Literary Series in the World” the Globe and Mail
“The best thing to happen to books since they were put on tape.” – Carson Daly, Last Call with Carson Daly
"a refreshing reminder that the literary and the carnal can live in silly harmony” – The Stranger (Seattle)
“What did you get up to last Friday night? If you answered anything other than “went to Naked Girls Reading,” you lose.” – NBC New York
“Certain to catch on” – Time Out NYC
“Appropriately racy…” – Entertainment Weekly
Friday, 21 October 2011
"It was like I was right there in the Mad Scientist's laboratory," said one pleased B-movie fanatic, "At times I felt like I could just reach out and touch them!" claimed another devout fan.
Just two more performances at the Havana Theatre, 1212 Commercial, doors 8pm.
Thursday, 20 October 2011
Not quite, in a post-show conversation with the two I discovered they related to the play as two closeted nerds, who now inspired by Night of the B Movie vowed to go forth and proclaim their nerdom to the world.
As I'd always suspected there are far more fan boy/girl, geek, nerds out there than were willing to admit it. But we hope we can play a part in letting them see the light so they can breakout the Star Wars designer sheets without shame, and wear their Kirk lives T-shirts with nary the slightest nod to irony.
Tuesday, 18 October 2011
It also does not mean a rehash of the same plot with a few unexpected twists and gratuitous nudity thrown in, ala' Return of The Night of the Living Dead, and for the record Lisa Ovies just says no to nudity, gratuitous or otherwise, however...(see above).
Nor does it mean new adventures featuring the same loveable cast of characters like for instance The Return of the Three Musketeers, featuring Lisa Ovies in a cleavage enhancing bodice just aching to be ripped, of course you can just...well you see where I'm going with that.
No to all of the above. The return in this title you see comes after the subject, signifying 'this is us again,' not 'here's more of something similar we did in the past,' you get the distinction? of course you do, you're nerds.
While we're at it let's answer a few other burning questions that have been making the rounds concerning Night of the B Movie:
Lisa Ovies is a cyborg brought out only for the run of the play? False.
Lisa Ovies is an alien, which explains why an attractive girl wears a Empire Strikes Back T-shirt? False.
Lisa Ovies is not an alien but she does like to debate the merits of Star Trek TOS versus Star Trek Next Generation and holds the rank of ensign in Starfleet Academy? True.
Flash Gordon was a burned out bum doing soft core porn and working as a male stripper before signing on to Night of the B Movie? True.
The zombies in Night of the B Movie underwent an intensive six-week training course on how to be a zombie, which included living on a diet of nothing but raw brains, before the production started? True.
Night of the B Movie - Oct 19-22 at the Havana Theatre 1212 Commercial Drive, doors at 7:30.
Tuesday, 11 October 2011
Friday, 30 September 2011
For those of you following the series we pick up where we left off, Stanley describing his life as one of the immortal undead over drinks at a local Vancouver watering hole.
Us: On a different note - what prompted you to tell your story to the world in the first place?
Stanley: Well like I said, I'm immortal so there's a lot of hours to fill, and I figured what the hell might as well set the record straight.
Us: Your record?
Stanley: Mine sure, but also the world of the undead that gets so misrepresented in the media today. I mean it's just like that book series you mentioned earlier where the vampires 'sparkle' in the sunlight. So kids read that and think - hey what the hell I could be a vampire, it's no big deal, so you 'sparkle from tie to time I can live with that. But you don't 'sparkle' you die painfully. Plus there's so many other things to watch out for; Christian fanatics trying to put a stake in your heart, witches (hey there's a reason it rhymes with bitches) and then there's other vampires...
Us: And that seems to be your biggest pet peeve - other vampires?
Stanley: You call it pet peeve, I call it protecting citizens from an unholy alliance of evil vampires bent on the destruction of the mortal world.
Us: Well yes, there is that, but you were already ostracized by the other vampires before you began battling them isn't that correct?
Stanley: Yes, but...
Us: And weren't you somewhat of an unwilling combatant as well?
Stanley: What is this you have an axe to grind or something?
Us: Not at all just trying to get at the truth of the matter.
Stanley: Alright, 'the truth of the matter' is that yeah I have always been something of an outcast amongst the vampires, but I take that as a source of pride considering what a bunch of freaks they are. As for being unwilling, any sane person is going to have second thoughts about jumping into some of the situations I have, but despite that I think I've always given a pretty good account of myself when push came to shove.
To be cont.
We caught up with Stanley (last name withheld) and spent some time talking with him at the Pourhouse Bar on Water Street.
Us: So thanks for meeting with us and welcome to Vancouver
Stanley: No problem, I like it here, dark and gloomy a lot of the time, which is good for my complexion (he laughs).
Us: Speaking of the damp Northwest there's a popular fiction series about vampires set in nearby Washington State, in which the vampires, while they prefer the grey skies, have no real reaction to sunlight other than they sparkle - what do you think of that?
Stanley: (laughs) Sure why not, and why stop there? Maybe they could all go hang out at the beach and work on their tans.
Us: So you're saying it's not very realistic, vampires cannot go into direct sunlight?
Stanley: Well they can, but they won't 'sparkle' they'll start to smoke then they'll burst into flame and dissolve to ash.
Us: Right. But we notice you drink, contrary to popular belief - and made famous by the Bela Lugosi line in Dracula, "I don't drink...wine."
Stanley: Yeah a lot of people always ask about that but listen I don't make the rules, all I know is thank God I can drink...booze, because it's gotten me through a lot of lonely years.
Us: Is that what immortal life is like - just a years of long lonely nights?
Stanley: Wow, you're brutal, now I do need a drink (he orders an Absinthe). To answer your question, no it's not all just solitary nights wandering the streets. But when you're around as long as I am there's bound to be more times when you find yourself on your own - there's just a lot of time to fill up is what I'm trying to say.
Us: Yes but the book is called The Loneliest Vampire in NYC and it's about you, so why have you been single out as especially lonely.
Stanley: Well if you'd read the book, which clearly you haven't, you would know that I do have friends and I do get out and socialize. I'm just not as shallow as some vampires, I don't do the whole club scene, I'm not that into fashion, so I guess it's all relative really. I mean I'm off fighting zombies - thank you very much - so because I do that instead of preening for the paparazzi and trying to get myself on page six I'm called lonely, which some people read as 'sad loser,' instead of thoughtful introspection.
To be cont.
Thursday, 15 September 2011
"Lisa Ovies is so hot as Jennifer sometimes I just want to follow her home and get to know her better and maybe hang out and stuff."
- Future stalker of Lisa Ovies
"The zombies are cute and like brains that's funny."
- The little girl someone keeps letting in who who has a truly strange sense of what's 'cute'.
"Matt Loop is so funny I want to take over the world with him and rule by his side!"
- Future Matt Loop stalker.
"I thought it was a Flat earth Society meeting, but I'm glad it wasn't because this was so much more fun...come to think of it I was never really that into the whole flat earth concept."
- Some weird guy named Crumley or something like that.
"I plan to do my wedding in a Night of the B Movie theme, my fiance will be Flash Gordon and I'll be Kimberly - not Jennifer, cause Jennifer's actually kind of a bitch."
- Girl who probably picked on girls like Jennifer in school.
"Normally I don't see anything that doesn't have dancing cats, but this was the exception, still they should think about putting a cat or two in it."
- Old guy who really liked Cats the musical
Monday, 12 September 2011
Sunday, 11 September 2011
We caught up with the man in silver underwear in his dressing room post show and found him in a uncharacteristically reflective mood.
"I hadn't worked in a long time, well I guess that's no secret, so when Alan tapped me to join the cast of Night of the B Movie, I said to myself - Flashy this is your last chance, pull it together or go into the abyss."
Gordon of course didn't go into the 'abyss' he's been a big part of making Night of the B Movie the huge hit it's become, however what drove the once popular performer of radio, TV and the silver screen to such a dark place?
"It's the same-old story we've all heard before, the fame, the parties, women throwing themselves at me, the drugs, perhaps my rise and fall was more spectacular than most but just the same it's all the same trajectory in the end."
But why? Why does this familiar story play out again and again with mega stars like Gordon? We asked him if now looking back if he has gained any insight as to why this happens?
"It's the bubble, you're inside it and you think it's going to go on forever - the money, the fame, the babes, there's no sense of reality."
One of the things fame does give you however is access to other great performers and to see them in their personal moments. Gordon, famously spent a lost weekend partying it up at Graceland with Elvis in the mid-seventies. So what does he recollect from that encounter?
"Well a lot of it is kind of a haze (he goes into one of his trademark long baritone laughs) but ooooh ya that was one for the history books. The King, man I tell you that man could party (more laughter)."
But was it all just booze and babes?
"Not at all, in fact there were moments, when all the groupies had passed out and we were still up wired on speed that Elvis would get downright philosophical. We talked about everything, we were both big martial arts enthusiasts so we got into a lot of the Eastern philosophy that goes with that. That was a magical time, my little predawn talks with the King."
So knowing what he knows now, would he do it all again?
"Definitely. I mean sure towards the end I was living on Jack Daniels diet and bouncing from one seedy motel to the next. But let me tell you it was one wild ride. At some point you gotta stop or it stops you, but if you're saying was it all worth it? Oh ya."
His long time nemesis Ming the Merciless passed away last year, did that play a part in his new found sobriety?
"That was part of it. Everyone thought Ming would live forever so when he kicked it, and I don't mean to be glib I miss the old guy, but when he died you get a sense of your own mortality. Then Night of the B Movie came along when no one else was offering me parts and you just think - hey I guess the universe is trying to tell me something."
You can catch Flash Gordon and the rest of the cast of Night of the B Movie at the Cultch from now until Sept 17th.
Saturday, 3 September 2011
Friday, 26 August 2011
Thursday, 25 August 2011
Thursday, 11 August 2011
Saturday, 6 August 2011
Wednesday, 3 August 2011
The amazing Chung Lee Soo as he was described by audiences who flocked to see his show that toured the world from the early 1900s to the late 1920s, was in his first years in the U.S more simply known as 'the quiet Chinese fellow' who runs the magic shop.
Chung Lee Soo arrived in New York City sometime in the early 1890s, although there is no record of him having come through Ellis Island or any other immigration control point on the continental U.S. However there is no doubt based on substantial anecdotal evidence that Chung Lee Soo had established an Occult bookstore and curio emporium in Manhattan's Chinatown by 1895. Although the store had a small but devoted clientele, including escape artist and magician Harry Houdini, it struggled for years to remain financially viable and finally shut down in 1905 before being reopened in a different location by another operator in 1941.
Chung Lee Soo though did not remain within the shadows of his closed store for long. That same year he performed his first demonstration of his magical mystery device at Bial's Music Hall. Audiences that had paid only a penny to see that first performance were soon paying $5 or more as Chung Lee Soo with his amazing machine was the talk of New York, London and Paris.
Reportedly some observers in the audience that first evening at Bial's Music Hall suspected Chung Lee Soo's machine was hardly magical and that it was nothing but a cheap trick he performed by secretly working with his friend and collaborator Chester Elliot.
As Chung Lee Soo began his first tour across the eastern and southern U.S newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst hired reporters to try and uncover the 'trick' behind Chung Lee Soo's magical machine. Not to be outdone by his competitor Joseph Pulitzer sent a reporter from the New York World that would be, he advertised in the World "disappeared and then returned to our earthly plane so that he may write on his experiences for our readers." The event went off without a hitch much to Hearst's chagrin and the New York World's glowing reviews added to Chung Lee's fame as he set off on his European tour.
By the 1930s Chung Lee Soo had retreated into private life and was rarely heard from again until his death in 1981. There are rumours he assisted the U.S and its allies in the fight against Hitler in World War II but those rumours have never been substantiated.
Tuesday, 2 August 2011
American inventor, amateur scientist, investigator of occult phenomenon, author of several non-fiction books including 'New York's Underworld and its Supernatural Inhabitants' (1907, Urban Publishing), founder of the Lower Manhattan School of Parapsychology and rumoured leader of the vampire resistance movement.
Gave several lectures on parallel universes and alternate realities at Columbia University but never published his hypothesis. Although he did carry on a long correspondence with German physicist Max Planck, which ended when Elliot discovered his letters to Planck were being intercepted and read by the Vampire Secret Service.
Disappeared without a trace after visiting a close friend on the evening of January 1909, missing ever since and presumed dead, possibly the victim of foul play. His sudden disappearance remains a great mystery to this day and has spawned a great many conspiracy theories about who was behind his disappearance and likely his death.
Elliot was survived by his wife Anna Elliot who passed away from heart failure in 1953.
Wednesday, 20 July 2011
Tuesday, 19 July 2011
Wednesday, 6 July 2011
But the latest supernatural soap opera movies and TV shows are obviously aspiring to be something more. But are they?
Twilight is the classic love triangle between young girl and bad boy (who's really not so bad, he's just, you know, misunderstood) and a good boy (who's not really that good, he just seems that way because he acts sensitive.)
True Blood, produced by the brilliant Alan Ball, started off as a fairly original show and definitely a few cuts above most of the other vampire drams being offered, but the show, now in its fourth season, seems to be running out of story lines and is in danger of Jumping the Shark.
Vampire Diaries is the watered down version of True Blood for the under 18 set, so there's not a whole lot to say about that.
So where does that leave Dark Shadows the movie?
Considering its being directed by Tim Burton and will star Johnny Depp, the team that brought us the now cult classic Ed Wood, I'd say there is a chance Burton & Depp can make Dark Shadows seem new and original and not just another warmed over soap opera with vampires.
I'm hoping Burton lays on the camp with Dark Shadows and I'd love it if they shot it in B&W but I won't hold my breath on that one.
I suppose I'm a little biased in that I applaud any artist who brings more humour to the vampire genre which is suffering from wayyyy too much melodrama these days.
Tuesday, 28 June 2011
I've been getting a few messages from interested would be readers and while I certainly appreciate your enthusiasm for my new novel, I am indeed sorry to report that publication of Loneliest Vampire in NYC has been delayed.
It will be out soon, but I have been a little sidetracked by my other project the musical/comedy Night of the B Movie with rewrites and rehearsals for that play which launches in Sept (the ads are booked so there's no changing that date.)
It won't be a long wait however I am back working with my editor to get Loneliest Vampire in NYC out as soon as possible and again I thank everyone for their interest.
Wednesday, 22 June 2011
Drive-ins were already dying out pretty quickly when I was a kid. We went a few times as a family summer outing to one of the few remaining drive-ins, which was a fair drive from our home. And they were long gone by the time I was a teenager so I never got to experience the fun of going with a group of friends or taking a date (did people really go on dates to the drive-in? It just seems so impossibly cliche).
I had always wanted to experience going to the drive-in as an adult, I felt cheated, and I had built up nostalgic images of what it would be like based on the few times I had gone as a child. As a movie buff you don't want to just experience the film you, ideally, want to experience it in the right environment. It's bad enough the old movie palaces are almost all gone as well, replaced with the soulless multiplexes of suburbia (but that's a whole other rant).
There are still old movie houses to be found and some are enjoying a revival as people realize just how much better the movie going experience is when you're not surrounded by drunk teenagers.
But the drive-in is far more elusive, you have to drive far and wide to hunt one down. It was on just such a long drive, a cross-country car trip a few years ago that I stumbled across one of the few remaining drive-ins in North America. In a field just outside of Winnipeg me and my then girlfriend saw the giant screen looming on the horizon like some ancient artifact. It was early evening and it would be a few hours before dusk but she knew there was no way I was passing up the opportunity to go to a drive-in movie, and she was in enthusiastic agreement.
A warm summer night at a double feature bill at a drive-in somewhere on a wide open plain in Manitoba, if you've been lucky enough to experience that then you know you will never forget it. All the more so because you know the chance to do so is fast coming to a close.
As I later learned that that drive-in too had fallen to the onslaught of development. It was hard to believe really since it was out in the middle of no where. But then there are those people who think drive-ins are wasted space no matter where they are. Yes it's sad such people exist, they don't get the joy of being huddled in the front seat of your car eating stale popcorn and watered down pop, surrounded by other people huddled down in their cars, while in front of you plays a hollywood blockbuster in all its towering cinematic glory. Sure you could rent it for $3.99 and watch it at home, but that's hardly the point.
Anyway one of my goals this summer (I like to set the bar high) is to try and experience the-science-fiction-double-feature-picture-show at the drive-in one last time, although it may already be too late.
Tuesday, 21 June 2011
Sunday, 19 June 2011
Most do this with famous people for the simple reason that guessing whether or not the bus driver could be or would make for a good vampire seems slightly lamer. Just the same it's completely lame to pick people who have already played vampires. And if you pick Robert Pattinson, well sorry but you're an idiot, since he was never a good vampire on screen and would very likely be even worse in real life.
Same goes for Kate Beckinsale, although she does get points for looking exceptionally hot in PVC. Plus she has made movies that were actually good.
But speaking of Underworld, I'm going to go ahead and break my own rule (feel free to call me lame) and say Bill Nighy would very likely make a very good vampire in real life. Tall lanky, of a broad moral compass (at least most of the characters he plays are) and looks good in black.
Okay getting back to the original thesis, who would make a good vampire? Lady Gaga, pale skin, freaky looking, only seen at night, hell she probably does drink human blood for all we know.
Arnold Schwarzenegger, yes I'm serious, think about, wild staring eyes, weird accent, power hungry, he's a perfect vampire. Demi Moore, doesn't age, when's the last time anyone saw her out during the day. Tom Cruise, see Demi Moore. Actually when I think of those last two it does sort of freak me out, I mean what are they living on that allows them to look the way they do anyway.
Jerry Seinfeld, sure Jerry Seinfeld, why? I tell you why, file it under the guy you would have least expected that's why. Plus he's kind of pale looking.
Henry Kissinger, powerful, can't be killed, has hypnotic like powers over world leaders, he could definitely be a vampire, if he's not already one.
Sunday, 12 June 2011
Saturday, 11 June 2011
The quick answer is no, there's a werewolf in there as well.
But the long answer is...actually it's still just pretty much a no.
I guess the Edward Cullen character displays some typical vampiric qualities, immortal, can't tan, drinks blood, is really sensitive and caring, wait, what?
Yeah that last part is a problem for many fans of the vampire genre - Edward isn't a vampire, he's just another self-absorbed bad boy with 'issues' and a pale complexion.
He's the type girls like Bella tend to get all dreamy about and girls who read books with girls like Bella in them get all dreamy about. That however, as much as the author Stephenie Meyer may claim otherwise, does not make him a vampire. There's no real threat to him, and not much conflict either, other than deciding which shade of black to wear.
After centuries of literature that defined the vampire as a souless, dark, lurking, albeit in many cases, highly charismatic ghoul, who preyed on young women in a pseudo-sexual ritual that satisfied a deep, deep hunger, we're now introduced to someone who looks as if he belongs in a Gucci ad.
It just doesn't work, unless of course you happen to be a 17-year old girl who likes bad boys, but not if they're too icky.
Friday, 10 June 2011
#1 Dracula - Bram Stoker's epistolary novel still stands at the top of the heap. Despite being written 115 years ago it is a breezy and entertaining read even by today's standards. Actually it's chief criticism over the years has been that it is a loosely crafted poorly developed novel. We wonder what those critics would say after reading Twilight?
#2 Interview with a Vampire - Ann Rice's first book in her vampire chronicles was actually not bad, not bad at all. A vampire novel written in the first person was somewhat groundbreaking for its time (1976). It creates a great sense of mystery about the characters and the settings: New Orleans and Paris were extremely well crafted.
#3 Anno Dracula - the first in a series of books by Kim Newman, a what if scenario as in what if the characters in Bram Stoker's Dracula had failed in defeating the vampire count. In this alternate universe Dracula rules great Britain and vampires integrate into everyday society. Well researched book that combines historical figures with the fictional.
#4 Carmilla - Think lesbian vampires were born in 1970s soft core, guess again Sheridan Le Fanu created the genre in 1872.
#5 I am Legend - Richard Matheson's sci-fi vampire/zombie novel, which has been made into several films. As usual the book is far better.
Yeah that's it but if you like vampire literature any one of those five if not all should be on your Kindle.
Wednesday, 8 June 2011
Some people have commented that while they do like vampire novels they wish there was more on offer than warmed over Harlequin Romance plots with supernatural elements sprinkled in.
In a recent (and completely unscientific test) several readers were given printed out pages copied from either a trashy romance novel or Twilight with the names blacked out.
None of the readers involved could distinguish which was which. All the more alarming since the trashy romance novel in question was about a young bullfighter from Seville who meets and falls in love with a beautician from Sherman Oaks while on vacation at Disneyland.
The central conflict of that story is whether the bullfighter should give up his profession and move to California and become a convenience store clerk. There is also a side plot about whether the beautician should stick with manis and pedis or branch out into facials.
Whereas Twilight is about Bella trying to decide like which guy is totally the hottest, that plus there's some stuff about werewolves and vampires.
Monday, 6 June 2011
They debate undead strength versus lycan strength, hearing ability, visual acuity and fang and jaw strength.
The debates get heated and a lot of names get thrown around, which at the end of the day is sill, just plain silly. Why? I tell you why, there's really no contest, you can debate the strengths and weaknesses of either supernatural being until the cows come in, but it still comes down to one thing.
Vampires don't fetch. That's right, all any reasonably knowledgable vampire needs to protect him or herself from sudden werewolf attack is a small stick. Werewolves, like any other canine, cannot resist the urge to fetch. And while said werewolf is running after the stick the vampire attacks him from the back and there you have it game over.
Sunday, 5 June 2011
The independent filmmaker known for movies like Down by Law and Ghost Dog among others seems a strange fit for the Twilight crowd.
The film is to star Tilda Swinton, who was sublime in Orlando and who has starred in Jarmusch's last two films, also appearing along with Swinton is Michael Fassbender and John Hurt.
It's being billed as a 'vampire love story,' how original, what vampire tale these days isn't a love story slash soap opera?
Although we suspect that Jarmusch's take may be the anti-Twilight version of the genre. In which case The Loneliest Vampire in NYC is ahead of the curve (out June 28th).
Jarmusch's film doesn't begin filming until early 2012 so we're at least a year away from seeing his version of the vampire genre will look like.
Thursday, 2 June 2011
by Dale Raven North
#1 Robert Pattison as Edward Cullen, ummm, does this really need an explanation?
#2 Gary Oldman as Dracula, acting next to Keanu Reeves will make anyone look good, but this is the worst version of Dracula ever performed, despite Francis Ford Coppola's direction and those cool shades.
#3 John C. Reilly as Larten Crepsley in The Vampire's Assistant. John, John, John we have always been such big fans of your work, until this sad excuse for a film came along.
#4 Angie Everhart as Lilith in Bordello of Blood. The good thing about this film is Dennis Miller was still funny back in the mid-90s. Everything else, especially Everhart as the Lilith really, really sucked and not in the good vampire way.
#5 George Hamilton as Dracula in Love at First Bite.A vampire with a suntan, they didn't really think that one through did they? As bad as Hamilton is in this 1979 comedy, Oldman still gets our vote for worst Dracula portrayal.
#6 Langley Kirkwood as Count Orlock in Dracula 3000. It's called Dracula 3000 so really what would you expect? But just the same as low as most people would set the bar on this one Kirkwood could still get under it.
#7 Chris Sarandon as Jerry Dandrige in the original Fright Night. This 1985 B movie wasn't actually that bad (which we presume is why they're releasing a remake) but Sarandon's disco lovin', gold medallioned , greasy looking, womanizing vampire held this movie back. Even if he could hypnotize women we still don't believe they'd go for him.
#8 Shane Brolly as Kraven in Underworld. As much as we like kate Beckinsale in PVC, we couldn't stand Brolly's performance, which consisted of him snarling ever bit of his dialogue. We imagine he thought that made him look menacing, we thought it just made him look pre-menstrual.
#9 Aaliyah as Queen Akasha in Queen of the Damned. Yeah this movie just pretty much sucked, also not in the good vampire way (we know same bad pun twice, but we don't care).
#10 Stuart Townsend as Lestat De Lioncourt in Queen of the Damned (see above).
#1: Bela Lugosi as Dracula, needs no explanation he's simply the best.
#2: Frank Langella as Dracula, hard to top Lugosi but still a very good performance as everyone's favourite vampire.
#3: The Count, yes he's on a children's show, but The Count was probably our first exposure to vampires. Witness his enduring popularity by how many people want to see Jason Segal produce his vampire puppet show, The Count definitely touched a lot of deep down inside in our formative years.
#4: Max Schreck, as Count Orlock. Rumoured to actually have been a real vampire, such was Schreck's performance in Nosferatu, it's about as creepy a vampire ever to be shown on the silver screen.
#5: Kiefer Sutherland, yes his character's name in The Lost Boys was the less than menacing David but that film remains one of the most popular vampire films ever, And the dyed blond mullet, the earrings and the leather jacket for some reason made Sutherland into a pretty convincing vampire.
#6: Maila Nurmi, as Vampira in the short lived mid-fifties TV show Nurmi created an image that inspired millions of vampire fetished obsessed boys and girls around the world. Even though her locally produced Los Angeles show lasted less than a year, Vampira has become an iconic character and much imitated, most notably the 1980s Elvira mistress of the dark.
#7 James Marsters as Spike in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. A great anti-hero and a refreshing change from the usual brand of brooding vampire. The character of Spike was immensely popular during the series run and beyond and a good example of how dry wit and vampirism can easily go hand in hand. We even forgive him the bleached blond hairstyle.
#8 Tom Cruise as Lestat in Interview with a Vampire. Normally I can't stand the 'Cruiser' and his toothy smile and Scientology self-rightousness, but hey give credit where it's due, as a self-aborbed, decadent vampire plantation owner he was pretty good.
#9 Al Lewis as Grandpa Munster on the Munsters. An old vampire? Why not and the sad thing is why did they make Adam's Family but not the Munsters, which is clearly the superior show (any vampires on Adam's Family? No, need we say more.)
#10 Stephen Moyer as 'Vampire' Bill Compton on True Blood. Sigh, we hate to include someone so new to the vampire game in a top ten of all time list but we have to admit, Moyer's portrayal of a civil war era southern gentleman turned vampire, trying to figure out the 21st century, well it's pretty damn good actually.
A couple of years ago I saw Forgetting Sarah Marshall with my friend singer/composer Dana-Marie Battaglia; when it came to the part where Jason Segal sings Vampire's Lament we both turned to each other and said, 'I want to see a vampire puppet musical.'
It hasn't happend yet but I would say it was one of my inspirations for writing The Loneliest Vampire in NYC, hopefully my book will click with all of the people out there still clamouring to see a complete production of Segal's fictional play.
Tuesday, 31 May 2011
This is an abbreviated version of the play that eventually became The Loneliest Vampire in NYC the novel. I wrote it for the Here Be Monsters Festival last fall and thought I might expand it as I did Night of the B Movie, but there was just way too much I wanted to do with the character of Stanley and the other characters I wanted to add. Stanley in the play is a lot more bloodthirsty than in the novel and the Girl (Anika Andrews in the book) would never ask Stanley or anyone to kill her ex-boyfriend. Although Chet does make an appearance in the novel.
This is a one act play I wrote over the winter. It doesn't have vampires either, but if I expand it to full length (as I did with Night of the B Movie) There's a good chance I would add a vampire character. Probably as a Jack the Ripper/vampire.
Monday, 30 May 2011
In answer to several questions I've had since posting an excerpt of my play Night of the B Movie, yes it is a full length play and yes it is being produced. It will run this summer from Sept 9th - Sept 17th at the Cultch theatre here in Vancouver.
No it doesn't have vampires, just a mad scientist, zombies, party girls and Flash Gordon.
Yes, The Loneliest Vampire in NYC did start as a play before I started writing it as a novel. A short version of the play will be performed this June at the Brackendale Art Gallery and Theatre. It will be the only time I'll allow the play to be performed so see it while you can if you happen to be in the neighbourhood.
Sunday, 29 May 2011
The mid-sixties soap opera Dark Shadows after years of failed attempts is finally coming to the big screen in 2012. Starring Johnny Depp, who apparently is a huge fan of the original series, will play the lead character.
The upshot of all this is we will have yet another soap opera with vampire themes. Dark Shadows was actually the original Twilight and in its day largely appealed to a teen audience, just the same it was a daytime drama and competed for audience share against shows like Days of Our Lives.
Who knows, maybe it was even the inspiration for a young Stephenie Meyer. Perhaps one day while catching the show in syndication, she thought to herself, 'if I ever write a book I'll make it a lot like this, except without the confusing parts and all the ickiness. Plus these people are old, I'll just make them all teenagers.'
That's one theory and it's as good as any other I suppose.
As for Dark Shadows? Well it will be directed by Tim Burton so that's encouraging at least. Hopefully he will have less cheese and dial up the camp - way up. And let's not forget Johnny Depp, he did star in Burton's Ed Wood which means when these two team up there's always a chance it could be good.
Still another vampire soap opera....
Saturday, 28 May 2011
The two biggest fears in our post-millenial age, based on popular culture, apparently are the zombie apocalypse and vampires (I guess we have nothing else to worry about in today's society).
So who wins in a battle between zombies and vampires? And don't kid yourself vampires would be fighting zombies right along with us, they would be our greatest ally (in the event of the aforementioned zombie apocalypse).
Why? Well surely it's obvious, if the world is taken over by zombies what the hell do the vampires do, not much fun for them. And if they fed on zombies would their be zombie vampires, damn straight there would be (you would have to stake them and cut of their head).
So who wins between zombies and vampires, well let's just hope it doesn't come to that, just the same zombie versus vampire, mmmmm......
When people tell me I need to better explain the concept of parallel universes my reply is, as soon as Stephen Hawking gets around to it I'll be right there with an update. In the meantime you're stuck with what we have in terms of physics.
Although really, it's a parallel plane of existence, so sort of the same sometimes, other times radically different, is that concept so hard to grasp? Does Sesame Street need to do a quantum physics show?
Speaking of Sesame Street if the Count is a vampire wouldn't it freak the kiddies out when he tore someone's jugular out. Or was that a lesson as well? You know like, 'how long till she bleeds out, one, two...'
Friday, 27 May 2011
I may have been too quick to judge True Blood, friends have urged me to watch a few more episodes and i confess it does have it's merits. Still I wonder why in the universe of the fictional vampire these days they are prohibited from drinking anything but blood. Bela Lugosi as Dracula famously had wine, red wine with dinner, well that was his dinner, or appetizer really.
I think vampires being somewhat debauched individuals would be happy to imbibe intoxicating beverages from time to time. After all blood is what sustains them, booze just makes their lives a little easier. Well, that's how I write vampires anyway.
#1 Dracula 1931, based on the popular stage, Bela Lugosi reprises the role of Dracula for the big screen, in glorious B&W, as the trailers says: Preying on young women and condemning them to a fate, truly, worse than death! When's the last time you saw a movie advertised like that?
#2 Dracula 1979 starring Frank Langella in the title role and the late great Lawrence Olivier as Van Helsing. Get this tag line: "Dracula the greatest lover who ever lived, died and lived again." Despite that and the fact it's from the 70s it's actually not that cheesy and does have some truly scary scenes.
#3 Dracula A.D 1972, yes that's really the title. Stars Christopher Plummer in his sixth incarnation as Dracula for Hammer films, the little British studio that specialized in Horror films from the 1950s through to the early 70s. This version of Dracula features hippies, hippies turned into vampires, come on what's not to like there? Also performances by the rock band Stoneground (yeah I've never heard of them either).
#4 Blacula, also from 1972 and part of the blaxploitation movement in film in the early 70s. "Dracula's soul brother." Too cheesy not to like. Quentin Tarantino will likely do a remake in a few years, but catch the original now.
#5 Nosferatu 1922, starring the seriously creepy Max Schreck as Count Orlock, Schreck was so convincing as a vampire the rumour was he really was a vampire, hey who knows for sure. At any rate a great film not just a great vampire film. So this is what people do when their economy crumbles, make scary films, could be worse.
#6 Lesbian Vampire Killers 2009, I know how it sounds but this movie starts out with tongue firmly in cheek and stays there. Obviously trying to capitalize on the Sean of the Dead crowd, this well made British film, doesn't quite have the same sly sense of humour, but it is fun.
#7 The Lost Boys 1986, oh right you don't like the Lost Boys starring the two Coreys as wannabe vampire hunters. "The thing I always hated about San Dimos is all the damn vampires," classic line, lots of eighties music and Kiefer Sutherland with a mullet no list of vampire films is complete without Lost Boys on it.
#8 Vamp also 1986 starring Grace Jones as the queen vampire of a strip club where everyone is a vampire, yes Tarantino's Dusk till Dawn is basically a rip-off (surprised anyone?) But Vamp is better, two frat boys and their nerdy tag along go in, who comes back out?
#9 Near Dark 1987, starring Lance Erickson. Roving pack of vampires (although the word vampire is never used) terrorize small towns in the American south west. Told mainly from the perspective of the vampires, actually surprisingly good movie, one of Kathryn Bigelow's early efforts. Would make for a good vampire series today, at least it would be a nice change from all of the soap opery dreck we get now.
#10 Vampire's Kiss 1989, starring Nicolas Cage. Is Nick Cage being turned into a vampire after being bitten by Jennifer Beals, or is he just insane? More likely the latter but this is one bizarre flick, both somewhat terrifying and very funny.
Honourable mention: Buffy the Vampire Slayer 1992, the movie that spawned the TV series, a series that had no mopey angst ridden vampires, yay!
Although to be fair Interview, the first book in her vampire chronicles was actually not bad, not bad at all. It had a lot of mystery, it was very original (at the time) and it had the character of Lestat to balance out all of Louis's numbing introspection.
Unfortunately due to the huge success of that novel too many vampires since have been modeled on the Louis character and not Lestat.
Yes Lestat was unspeakably cruel and evil in the first book (don't even ask about the later books, shudder) but he went about his dastardly acts in such a pedestrian, almost frat boy like way that it was sort of endearing.
But still it's Louis, mopey Louis who's a vampire but kind of sort of wishes' he wasn't and worse yet can't shut up about it, that has become the vampire mold. He's the undead as the undead would be on Dr.Phil, he's the undead on Prozac, he's the undead that's spawned a generation of sappy romance novels that have turned vampires into latter day James Deans instead of blood sucking, cruel, ravenous, womanizers.
Thursday, 26 May 2011
But then Blade had Blade as the solitary pseudo vampire who preyed on an established vampire society.
It's part of the mystique of vampires, the loners who live on the fringes. But not the crazy loners holed up in a shack in Montana. The loners who bring something to the table, except for their fatal flaw of preying on humans (no matter how dark and mysterious someone is that's always going to be a drawback, for any sane person anyway).
So if vampires are inherently loners, then what's up with the loneliest vampire, his existence must be especially melancholy yes? Well yes and no, he's actually more of the everyman vampire, who struggles with being one of the undead and dating.
To find out more, read the book, out (and again I don't know why there's still questions about this) June 28th.