Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Almost Having It All

The idea that vampires suck the blood from a living host lends itself well to many metaphors ranging from economic to sexual. Vampire's Kiss (1989) was written at a height of yuppie awareness and movie critics sometimes reference it as a commentary on capitalist failure because the protagonist was a Wall Street trader gone mad. Whatever... Perhaps a more believable metaphor is a near-forgotten TV episode I saw about the same time as Vampire's Kiss in which all the partners in a law firm were vampires. Now that's more plausible.

These got me to thinking about those stories in which ladies have entered into vampirism not so much as victims but as willing participants. The resulting creature is so much more fun and participatory than the usual vampire victim.

One favorite of mine is in an episode of the Canadian-American TV show Dracula: The Series (1990) titled "Damsel in Distress". An attractive, high-powered finance executive living in Brussels is also a single mom and approaching "that age". She becomes entwined in a business dealing with Dracula himself and all is normal until, surprise! she's in his castle sipping wine and laughing diabolically while flashing some wonderful fangs. Things happen fast in the 22 minutes alloted to actual story telling in a half-hour TV show, so I'll be happy to fill in the details...

This is what we see and know:

Eileen is back in town from yet another business trip and as usual gives short shift to her 2 sons and good-but-wayward niece (more on her another time.) She meets with a financial representative of Dracula and is drawn to his business office. At first she's all business, dressed in the de rigueur power-suit of the day; a high-shouldered red jacket and black skirt. Then they leave the stuffy confines of the office and proceed to a large room in the castle where they stand, sip wine, discuss art, life, and seem to have developed a small personal relationship.

Her children, alarmed by the tone of their mother's voice when they cautiously called her on her primitive mobile brick-phone (it was the early 90's, after all) rush into the room while Dracula is temporarily in another. Her maternal instincts kick-in and Eileen begins to rush them away and up the stairs when Dracula re-enters the room. The kids whip out the crucifixes and that's when Eileen's maternal instincts are trumped by what evidently was a damn effective bite by Dracula. The kids run away and Eileen laughs and laughs, her luscious and full fangs fully exposed.

So what happened? I'll fill in the missing pieces for you. Eileen is in her mid-40's, single and damned horny. Her high-powered international finance position coupled with the responsibilities of raising children as a single mom leaves little time or opportunity for getting laid. She meets a rich, powerful man and views him as a worthy companion. She's heard the rumors he's a vampire but dismissed them as silly folklore. Then she begins to wonder: "if the rumors are true I can keep my remaining looks forever and live in his fabulous castle and inherit his aristocratic title. My American friends would be so jealous even as they crumbled to dust throughout the years as I remained pretty," and so on. So when it came time for him to sign the contract, so to speak, he bit her in the neck, they had crazy mad demonic vampire sex, and he turned her into a vampire and she got her wishes. And it was an immediate transformation too. No extended drama and pathos, no sappy string music in the background, just immediate fangs for the lady.

So here we have a smart and powerful woman in her own right snogging and canoodling the vampire-way with Dracula himself. She gave it up but got something even better in return, and in exchange Dracula got her expert professional services and eternal fealty. A smart deal all around. Not so unlike many real marriages.

The next we see Eileen she's absolutely fawning and enraptured over Dracula like a love-struck freshman who just lost her virginity to the varsity quarterback, only instead of talking about the Thanksgiving Day football game she's swooning about her wonderful experiences of being a vampire. It would be intolerable to see if she weren't such a sexy vampiress. And none of this implied vampirism crap for Eileen, her fangs are fully extended and the power suit is replaced with what resembles a girly, frilly, come-take-me-now prom dress.

Finally, the children come back to the castle to rescue their mom and Eileen almost does it...she almost obeys Dracula to bite and kill her kids with those lovely fangs he's given her but she collapses instead and is miraculously cured by virtue of her love for them. What crap! Honestly, one of the best set-ups ever is ruined by such a lame-ass cure?!?

Alas, Eileen wakes up at home the next morning all showered and fang-less, not remembering a thing about the good suck-and-fuckfest she obviously had with Dracula. In another time she would have woken up with a piece of wood stuck in her chest and her head removed and shoved with garlic cloves but this is the age of woman-empowerment so she gets off scot free and yet again we're only left with what could have been.

Eileen gets a special bonus from dealing with Dracula.

She's exhilerated at being Dracula's wench.

She almost had it all. What a lame ending.

"I can bring home the bacon and never let you forget you're a man. Enjoli"


Edward said...

That TV show you're talking about is probably the anthology show "Dark Realm", the episode "Murder One".

ChristinaLV said...

Thanks for turning me on to Dracula the series--I'm going to order it from Amazon as the clips from it and "Vampire High" are pretty intriguing! Kudos on all your great work!