Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
especially welcome to extensive readers

Thursday, September 03, 2015

Going Gaga for vampires on American Horror Story: Hotel

A new season of American Horror Story will begin next month, this time set in a hotel with some very unusual guests. One of those residents will be played by Lady Gaga and the speculation about her character was running wild indeed.

Most of that mystery has been revealed in the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly, where we learned that her AHS persona is named The Countess and yes, she is an immortal drinker of blood. According to producer Ryan Murphy, there will be "no capes, no fangs" as her blood lust is meant to tie into the show's central theme of addiction.

First off, I'm not completely surprised since based on Gaga's EW cover alone, she has the look of a chic vampiress that Catherine Deneuve possessed in abundance when she starred in The Hunger, a 1983 adaptation of Whitley Strieber's novel.

In that story, Deneuve played Miriam Blaylock, a natural born vampire whose formerly human lovers never lasted long. She and her on his way out mate John(David Bowie) used ankh amulets with blade bottoms to drain their victims, much like Gaga's Countess has her razor tipped gloves for the same purpose.

Not sure if AHS:Hotel will have the same vampire rules as The Hunger but there's clearly an inspiration connection there, no doubt about it:

 Having a vampire as a metaphor for addiction is nothing new, as one of the film trends of the 1990s was to make vampirism stand either for that or the fear of certain blood born diseases.

A notable movie in the "vampire addict" subgenre was actually called The Addiction, a very arthouse look at those creatures of the night, courtesy of director Abel Ferrara. Lili Taylor starred as Kathleen, a college student bitten at a party and struggles to figure out the meaning of her new existence.

She does find a mentor of sorts in Peina(Christopher Walken) but even that bit of guidance is not enough to quench Kathleen's endless thirst or deal with the guilt of giving into her dark desires:

That addiction theme has been recently revived in vampire films with 2013's Only Lovers Left Alive as Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton are Adam and Eve, a separated immortal couple so afraid of blood poisoning that they avoid  feeding directly from humans.

They buy "the good stuff" from dealers but when even those sources are tapped out and their stash is depleted by a greedy relation, the need for a fix brings them together for better or worse.

OLLA wasn't a mainstream hit but it did do well with critics and on the film festival circuit. Like The Addiction, a well known indie director,Jim Jarmusch, was the driving force for this film and the type of artist that Gaga would see as an influence, so I'm sure that she might take a few cues from here for her AHS performance:

Gaga's story line won't be the only one in focus on AHS:Hotel, as we also have Hypodermic Sally(Sarah Paulson) on board, along with the ghost of the hotel's former owner(Evan Peters) and a search for a serial killer known as The Ten Commandments Killer.

However, a good number of folks will be checking in to check out Gaga and having her play a vampire is another sure fire way to draw in horror fans.

While Jessica Lange will be sorely missed, as her roles in the series were truly riveting high points for each one, Lady Gaga taking her turn on this scary stage should be a gruesomely good time had by all.

Speaking for myself as a vampire fan who also adores Gaga's style and substance, I am looking forward to AHS:Hotel as the perfect Halloween treat and I know I'm not alone in that. Until then, my fellow monsters!:

No comments: