Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Friday, November 18, 2011

What really bugs the boys about the Twilight series

Tonight,I'm going out with the girls to see the next to last Twilight movie,Breaking Dawn,Part 1(which I'll be reviewing on Monday)and while it's no secret that many horror fans are not into this very popular series,I have a bit of a theory about why guys in general vehemently dislike it.

Many women find Twilight objectionable also,citing Bella as a bad role model. While that debate can go back and forth for as long as a vampire's actual unlife span,what I think bothers the fellas so much is that Twilight is proof positive that men are no longer at the forefront of the genre.

From the beginning of mainstream vampire lore,men had charge of the narrative. From Lugosi's Dracula to Christopher Lee in the Hammer films and Frank Langella in the late seventies,vampires were the monster that good guys got to slay in order to keep their women safe. Even mid-eighties fear flicks like Fright Night and The Lost Boys held that bloody banner high:

That all started to change within the 1990s as the ascension of Buffy the Vampire Slayer as a influential cult TV series began.

While the show attracted both male and female fans who appreciated seeing a physically strong yet emotionally vulnerable female battling bloodsuckers and personal demons,that set off a whole host of vampire related books and films that made the women the focal point and took the spotlight off of the men who wanted to lead the charge as Van Helsing type heroes.

Another aspect of the Buffy influence was the increased appeal of the vampire as leading man and viable love interest. Vampires did and still do hold a forbidden romantic lure but with Buffy falling in love with Angel(and later Spike),that opened the door for undead Romeos such as True Blood's Bill and Twilight's Edward to walk through and prove themselves worthy of being with the girl.

Making the monster a life mate is something that can irk both guys and gals,but with the gents,I suspect that the real monster that haunts them is the one with green eyes that are filled to the brim with jealousy:

Perhaps,I'm being too simplistic about this yet the old chestnut of "Why do the good girls always fall for the bad boys" still applies here,I think. There has been some resurgence of vampires as out and out monsters,with the likes of 30 Days of Night,the Will Smith remake of I Am Legend and even both the original and the Hollywood versions of Let Me In.

However,the latter film has had more sway with audiences due to the elements of the sympathetic vampire theme as the driving force for the main characters. While not all male horror fans feel this way,there are a good number of them who long for the time when being a vampire hunter was the sole province of male geeks:

I wouldn't want to deny the men their place as monster fighters but I refuse to do so at the expense of women. Women in vampire fiction and films have found real empowerment here,to the point where one of the supporting players on The Vampire Diaries has gone from perpetual victim to a force to be reckoned with.

Caroline Forbes has been granted real depth of character by becoming a vampire and even tries to help out others,including her werewolf boyfriend Tyler who is too quick to follow someone else's lead. That's quite a step forward and no way should we accept any moves to the back of the pack:

So,if I'm right about this,my advice to you guys is to accept that the new sheriff in town may be both a vampire and a woman at times. That doesn't mean you can't saddle up against a true vampiric enemy but don't be too fast on the draw to keep unlikely allies out of the game. Even if the lady in question isn't a warrior maiden,her strengths are just as valuable as yours. Even when it comes to vampires,all is fair in love and war:

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