Vampires have always made entertaining movie fodder. Whether they’re good, bad or love struck, those with a penchant for drinking blood have become staple fixtures of the movie world over the last few decades, but is the genre dying? When Tod Browning’s Dracula first hit movie theatres back in 1931, it started a trend that would eventually lead us to modern day vampire flicks such as Blade and Twilight. During their times, both Blade’s and Twilight’s series of movies were box office hits. Prior to his 2010 arrest, Wesley Snipes donned a pair of shades and sliced his way through vampires for millions of movie fans around the world. In fact, when the numbers were in, the 1998 original version of Blade grossed $131,183,530 worldwide.
Movie Stars Still Love Vampires
Unfortunately, when Snipes’ tax issues bit and Blade: Trinity flopped, the series started to wilt. Even the Spike TV series based on the movies performed below expectations and was canned after a single season back in 2006. However, despite the rise and fall of the brand, when Snipes was released from prison on April 2, 2013, and kept under “home confinement” for a few months, it seems as though he just couldn’t let Blade go. Indeed, according to a 2014 piece by the New York Daily, a “source” close to Snipes suggested Blade was set for a comeback, but why?
It’s a similar story when you look at Twilight. At its peak, the Twilight movies not only made vampires sexy, but grossed $3,317,470,739 around the world. However, since the final installment of the series (Breaking Dawn Part 2) was released in 2012, the world has seemingly gone cold on Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson. But, like Snipes, those involved still believe it’s worth their time reprising the role. Stewart told the UK’s Guardian newspaper in February 2017 that she would “snap up” a new Twilight novel if Stephanie Meyer was to write one. This comment came just a few months after Patrick Wachsberger, co-chairman of Lionsgate Motion Picture Group, said that another Twilight movie was a “possibility”. Based on this, it’s clear people in the movie business aren’t bored of vampires just yet and, more importantly, it seems as though they think the general public isn’t.
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Pop Culture Doesn’t Seem to be Bored of Vampires
So, are we really bored of vampires? Well, there are plenty of industries that take inspiration from vampires. Gaming is hugely influenced by the vampire genre and you can now find tons of games with a blood sucking twist. Take, for example, Dontnod Entertainment’s Vampyr. Announced in 2016, this role-playing game will see Xbox One, PlayStation and Microsoft gamers take control of a doctor-turned vampire when it’s released in November 2017. Played from a third-person perspective, Vampyr is all about finding clues, talking to characters and deciphering information in a bid to help the protagonist come to terms with his life as a vampire. This idea survival can also be seen in the MMORPG, Reign of Blood. Although it lacks the visual appeal of Vampyr (because it’s a text-based game), the ominous vibe given off by the vampire theme allows players to engage in a world of mystery and uncertainty.
Indeed, this underlying feeling of trepidation is something you’ll also find on the other side of the gaming industry when you play video slots. Movies and TV shows have long been used as inspiration for these games and Immortal Romance is one popular example. Part of the slots set-up at Betway Casino’s, Immortal Romance draws from HBO series True Blood and, despite being released in 2011, it’s still popular today. Like its RPG counterparts, the dark and moody theme seems to create an air of uncertainty that players love and it’s this that appears to be keeping the vampire motif alive. Vampires have always had a reputation for striking when you least expect it and that’s something that keeps us on our toes and, therefore, interested. In fact, it’s part of the reason HBO’s True Blood ran for seven seasons. Beyond these examples, Bloodrunners starting Ice T was something of a hit when it was released in March 2017 which suggests it’s not all superheroes and sci-fi movies coming out of Hollywood.
Vampires Still Alive Despite Current Movie Trends
Indeed, in recent years we’ve stars of all shapes and sizes join the recent wave of superhero and sci-fi movies. Disney’s Zendaya joined the 2016 Spiderman reboot, while Rihanna scored a part in Luc Besson’s out of this world epic, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. However, despite the zeitgeist clearly being about those with special power or intergalactic adventures, Vampires have still managed to grace our screens in at least some form or another.
Finally, the media can’t get enough of vampire stories. In 2007, National Geographic aired a documentary on real life vampires (clip above) and it seems this trend hasn’t gone away. A Vice article from 2015 profiled Galatea who claimed to be a sanguinary (i.e. she feeds off of blood) vampire. Despite being slightly disturbing, the article detailed how Galatea believed she drew energy from blood just as normal people get energy from food. Whether it’s just a case of life imitating art isn’t fully clear, but what is obvious is that some people really do love vampires. Of course, these people might be on the extreme end of the spectrum, but it’s a passion nonetheless and it’s a passion we’re clearly still fascinated by. So, when actors such as Snipes and Stewart hanker for another chance to be involved in a vampire movie, it seems as though they may be on to something.
There’s no doubt the vampire genre isn’t the bell of the ball at the moment, but it doesn’t seem as though we’re bored of the genre either. Indeed, with pointy teeth and pale complexions still present in the gaming world, in movies, on TV and, worryingly, in real life, it seems as though vampires are going to popular for many years to come.