So, you may not know this about me but I have deep seated love of the supernatural and macabre. I come by this naturally, thanks to my mom. I was raised on horror movies, no lie. My sister’s name is Ligeia. She is named after an old Vincent Price movie, “The Tomb Of Ligeia”. Why I was named after the Mona Lisa, I’ll never know.
So, it would be accurate to say that I cut my teeth on Vincent Price, Bella Lugosi and Christopher Walken, to name a few. I love old, scary movies. I adore Dracula and by that I mean the charming, mischievous, elegant, subtly sexual, handsome, lovers of beauty who are the vampires of days gone by. Evilness, was kind of secondary, if you catch my drift.
All those ghostly ruins, bared breasts and sumptuous glamor was bound to have an effect on me lol. In fact, my fascination ran so deep that I wanted to be a Parapsychologist. We can blame that on old films like The Entity, Firestarter and Amityville Horror.
So, its not surprising that Anne Rice and Stephen King are two of my favorite authors. I have been a “Constant Reader”, as Stephen likes to call his fan base, for over 20 years. They beguile me for completely different reasons. Anne is a fascinating evolution of those old horror films. Her characters encompass Vampires, Witches, Ghosts, Mummies and soon to be released, Werewolves. She infuses her characters with human characteristics and wonderful complexity. They have moral dilemmas, confrontations with God and the devil (Memnoch The Devil), a social hierarchy and a geneology. AMAZING, I know. If thats not enough to woo you, then the backdrop of architectural richness, exotic places steeped in history, music and art should suffice. Her books take me places laden with beauty. I am in total awe of the richness of her imagination and passion and own every book she’s ever written, even the ones on Christ, and she has never disappointed me. How many things can you say that about? One of my most cherished posessions is an email that she sent me after I wrote her via her website. Still agog lol.
Stephen was born to write, in my opinion. He has always reminded me of an old timer, hat pulled down over his eyes, pipe clenched in his teeth, who leans back in his rocking chair to say, “Let me tell you about the time…” And before you know it, you are lost in a world he seamlessly weaves, a good old fashioned yarn. That’s a God given talent. I love the way he takes the most ordinary things and turns them into the ghouls of our imagination. You almost never see it coming. He also blends in what he knows very well, as his protagonists are always everyday folks, often butting heads with authority or patriarchy. They are rule breakers, champions for good, or the voiceless who break out in the most psychotic ways. How can you not love a man who has given us some of the coolest kid heroines? Movies: Stand By Me, It and Firestarter. I loved Drew Barrymore way back when lol.
Which leads me to the modern version of horror, crap, crap, crap! Gross, bloody, violent. Ok, not all but at least 95%. Such a sad devolution of a genre. I cant hazard a guess as to why this is but it probably goes back to money and small attention spans.
I understand they have been comparing Anne Rice and Stephanie Meyer which I think is a joke. There is NO comparison. Twilight is cool for mild entertainment and it woes its intended audience, the average teenager, which explains its simplicity, repetition and vacuousness. The most interesting book was the last one, as a vampire-human offspring who mates with a werewolf is quite imaginative. Its pop vampire lore and will not stand the test of time, say I.
I will sum it up by saying all that all which is horrifyingly seductive to me is illustrated by Mary Shelley’s Frakenstein and Bram Stoker’s Dracula. I used to steal my mom’s full length, black velvet cape as a child and wear it to school. Yes, I’ve got it bad and I do believe that there are things walking this world that are unseen and defy the boundaries of our imagination. However, I only want to see them on screen or in print. 🙂
Wishing you a warm cognac to scare away the monsters 🙂