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[Error: unknown template qotd]Ooh, look. Someone used the word "crepuscular!"

To all those people who are batty for vampires I wanna know one thing: have you ever been bitten? I don't mean being used as a chew toy by your lover, I mean bitten. Skin broken blood drawn reach for the antiseptic bitten.

I have. Dog, horses, little sister in a fight, even a ferret.

It HURTS. It's not cool. It's not sexy. It may teach you to develop lightning reflexes and good aim with the butt end of a lead rope or a 6' lunge whip*, but there's nothing nice about it.

I've experienced enough pain over the course of my lifetime. It's my body warning me that something is wrong. I've bled enough from real injuries. I've Not Liked It.

I'm also an independent sort of cuss, in case anyone hadn't noticed. Artful seduction is one thing, mind control is entirely another.

This is probably why I don't automatically fall all over myself to read or watch vampire stuff. When people insisted I must read "Interview With The Vampire," I couldn't finish it. When Rich got into Laurel K. Hamilton's series, I read a couple and got bored after two because it was the same thing over and over again.

That said, there are some books, films, series that managed to engage me:

Shadow of the Vampire. Clever and funny. Rent the 1922 Nosferatu and watch 'em as a double bill.

The Hunger. Elegant and elegaic, the twist in the premise being that the vampire's "children" don't become fully immortal as she is.

Blood Sucking Fiends and You Suck, both by Christopher Moore. While not as truly inspired as Lamb or A Dirty Job, they're both entertaining.

True Blood, on HBO. Suthun stereotypes abound, every cast principal except for the local sheriff, detective and Sookie's grandmother is requisite cable-series hot, the sex scenes are many and gratuitous (though they mostly feature the feckless, bed hopping Jason (Ryan Kwanten) whose girlfriends keep ending up dead), and I had Sam's "secret" pegged many episodes before it was revealed. It also does not shrink from the fact that bloodshed is messy and horrific, whether it's perpetrated by a vampire or a human. There is ome good writing and acting as well, particularly the tortured relationship between Tara (Rutina Wesley) and her mother (Adina Porter). Most of the vampires are simply nasty 'cause it says so on the label. Frankly, the most frightening one in the cast was the aptly named Longshadow (Raul Trujillo). Bill (Stephen Moyer) retains the courtly manners of a man born in the 19th century and can certainly turn on the old fashioned charm, but, being vampire, has his creepy moments.

*I had express permission from the owner/trainer to administer corrective/defensive action with the hooved menace in question. He ultimately had to be humanely destroyed because he was so dangerous.


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