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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

This post sucks

I’ve had a bloodsucking few days, reading Kim Newman’s ace Anno Dracula and watching Kathryn Bigelow’s renowned vampire movie Near Dark.

Here’s the Anno Dracula review, cross-posted from my book blog

This terrifically enjoyable mash-up of vampire tale, the ripper murders and a whole lot more besides sees Count Dracula, having defeated Van Helsing, reigning over the Empire as Prince Consort to Victoria. The undead are increasingly ubiquitous, and turning to the dark side is a route to social success. In a witty touch, we know from the start that, rather than the obvious option of the ripper being a bloodsucker, the murderer is actually a vampire slayer seeking revenge for past wrongs.

Much of the fun stems from the rampant references to both fictional and historical figures who pop up and effect the action. What fun to have Henry Wilcox from Howard’s End rub up alongside Dr Jekyll, Mycroft Holmes, Lenin and Joseph Merrick.

There are sequels. There will be blood.

Near Dark takes the Victorian notion of the vampire and brings it bang up to 1987 – big hair, Tangerine Dream soundtrack, blue lighting and all. It’s a mash-up with the Western genre, essentially, with many a shoot-out, thin-eyed sheriffs and a memorably sick version of a bar-room brawl. 

The trailer gives you a, ahem, taste:


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