Click Here to Comment on Hunter Black Page 830 – What Do You REALLY WANT? – Part Two

Yeah, by this point it should be obvious, this week’s pages are themed. This is another test given to our team of thieves by the gods and the vault.

So, I’m working on a vampire project, and I’ve been reading Dracula as a means of preparation. I’ve started reading Dracula on numerous occasions in the past, but I’ve never finished it for one reason or another. I’m about two-thirds of the way through the novel, and #Squirrel and I decided to watch the 1992 movie starring Gary Oldman tonight.

Holy [REDACTED], that’s a corny movie. A big part of it is the hiring of “it” actors of the time, Keanu Reeves and Winona Ryder, neither of whom was at the peak of their powers yet. (I love Keanu now, and Winona was a pretty big and pretty good part of Stranger Things.) It’s also Gary Oldman and Anthony Hopkins giving in to their natural impulses to chew the scenery. There are some interesting moments and elements. (I know #Squirrel thought it was corny, but I loved the crazy stuff that Francis Ford Coppola did with shadows in this film. Sadie Frost is a revelation as Lucy Westernra, and I can appreciate any movie that gives me any version of Monica Bellucci, especially a nekkid one.)

On the other hand, we saw this week’s episode of Game of Thrones, and…WOW. I’m not gonna spoil, but I will say that it set a new high water mark for a particular trope in fantasy filmmaking.

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  • Chris Ames

    Might I also suggest seeing if you can track down Vampire: The Masquerade? It’s a roleplaying game produced by White Wolf Publishing, but sadly it’s out of print now, but you might be able to find someone who has a copy by asking at a local game shop. Alternatively you may be able to find it online in digital download format. The best part is that it reads more like a novel than most RPG’s.

    • http://www.hunterblackcomics.com/ Justin Peniston

      Oh, I still have my old copies of Vampire: The Masquerade. I never really loved the game, mostly because I don’t think vampires are good protagonists, but I did enjoy the lore and the setting a great deal.

      • Bruce Grubb

        I read both the White Wolf and GURPS (Steve Jackson Games licensed it for a while) Vampire: The Masquerade and found it to be not as inspiring as GURPS Blood Types. In fact, GURPS Blood Types captures the essence of the 1974 Hammer film _Captain Kronos – Vampire Hunter_ where it is said there are “as many species of vampire as there are beasts of prey”.

        As for vampires being good protagonists I have seen some anime series that pull it off well: Master of Mosquiton OVA and Hellsing series and OVA. Then there was DC’s 1980s I, Vampire comic series. It can be done but it is hard as all get out to do it right.

      • Chris Ames

        I figure that it might help with diversifying vampires. There’s also https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vampire_folklore_by_region#Celtic_.28Gaelic.29_Nations for additional lore to play with.

        I personally prefer Werewolf: The Apocalypse myself.

  • Bruce Grubb

    I would recommend GURPS Blood Types. It lists names of 78 different types (species) of vampires from actual mythology and describes 23 vampires (or vampire like) beings from both mythology and fiction.

    IMHO it puts Vampire: The Masquerade to shame in that the vampires species have a far wider range in terms of power and how to deal with them. It also gives you the tools to “build” other vampires (such as the youth draining vampire in Hammer’s 1974 “Captain Kronos – Vampire Hunter” that is immune to stakes) that aren’t listed.

    A pdf is available through Steve Jackson Game’s Warehouse 23 web site ( http://www.warehouse23.com/products/SJG30-6073 ).

    It also has a bibliography at the end which includes scholarly works on vampires:

    Barber, Paul (1988) Vampires, Burial and Death (Yale University Press)
    Bunson, Matthew (1993) The Vampire Encyclopedia (Crown Publications)
    Frayling, Christopher (1991) Vampyres: Lord Byron to Count Dracula (Faber and Faber, Ltd)
    Haining, Peter (1977) The Dracula Scrapbook (Bramhall House)
    McNally, Raymond T. and Florescu, Radu (1972) In Search of Dracula (N.Y. Graphic Society)
    Melton, J. Gordon (1994) The Vampire Book (Visible Ink Press)
    Summers, Montague (1928) The Vampire, His Kith and Kin (Routledge and Keegan Paul)
    Summers, Montague (1929) The Vampire in Europe (Routledge and Keegan Paul)
    Twitchell, James B, (1975) The Living Dead: The Vampire in Romantic Literature (Duke University Press)
    Wolf, Leonard (ed.) (1995) The Essential Dracula (Plume)

    • http://www.hunterblackcomics.com/ Justin Peniston

      This is good stuff! Very helpful! Thank you!

      • Bruce Grubb

        If you want a thumbnail of the vampires in GURPS Blood Types there is http://gurps.wikia.com/wiki/GURPS_Blood_Types

        The Penanggalen is likely one of the most frightening “mortal” vampires (in essence it is NOT an undead). This nightmare from the Malay Peninsula is described thusly in Blood Types:

        “During the day, the Penanggalen lives her life as a normal mortal woman, with no ill effects from daylight. At night, however she transforms into a monstrous predator. Her head detaches from her body and flies upward, carrying her digestive system with it. In this form she flies through the night in search of prey; a woman’s head with long, dark hair streaming behind and her dripping entrails dangling below.”

        If R.P. Smith 1979 “Varieties of Vampires” Dragon Magazine #25 gots its information correct, the Vlkodlak (Volkodlak) out of Serbia, Slovenia, and Croatia has what has to be the most insane destruction criteria of any folklore vampire: cut off its toes and thumbs, drive a spike into its neck, pierce its navel (not its heart) with a stake, then burn it with a fire lit by holy candles (mess it up and you have one pissed off Vlkodlak coming after you…once it regenerates) Oh and the term originally referred to werewolves. The werewolf idea showed up in the Wild Wild West episode “Night of the Wolf” while the vampire version (pronounced “Wurdalak”) showed up in the 1963 film Black Sabbath.