Dracula's Daughters: The Female Vampire on Film by Douglas Brode, Leah Deyneka

By Douglas Brode, Leah Deyneka

Virtually so long as cinema has existed, vampires have seemed on reveal. Symbolizing an unholy union among intercourse and demise, the vampire—male or female—has represented the libido, a “repressed force” that ate up its sufferers. Early iconic representations of male vampires have been visible in Nosferatu (1922) and Dracula (1931), yet now not till Dracula’s Daughter in 1936 did a feminine “sex vampire” suppose the lead. different girl vampires undefined, maybe such a lot provocatively within the Hammer movies of the Nineteen Fifties, ’60s, and ’70s. Later incarnations, in such movies as close to darkish (1987) and From nightfall until eventually sunrise (1996), provided glossy takes in this now iconic figure.

In Dracula’s Daughters: the feminine Vampire on movie, Douglas Brode and Leah Deyneka have assembled a diversified choice of essays that discover this cinematic sort that at the same time frightens and seduces audience. those essays tackle a few concerns raised by way of the feminine vampire movie, resembling violence perpetrated on and via ladies; reactions to the style from feminists, antifeminists, and postfeminists; the consequences of woman vampire movies for audiences either homosexual and directly; and the way movies mirrored the interval in which they have been created. different issues comprise woman vampire movies in dating to vampire fiction, quite by means of ladies corresponding to Anne Rice; the connection of the vampire delusion to sexually transmitted ailments like AIDS; problems with race and misogyny; and the original phenomenon of stripling vampires in younger grownup books and flicks equivalent to Twilight.

Featuring greater than thirty images spanning a number of many years, this assortment bargains a compelling review of an archetypal figure—an enduring illustration of darkish desires—that keeps to captivate audiences. This booklet will attraction not just to students and scholars but additionally to any lover of transgressive cinema.

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It was, in fact, the huge financial success of The Vampire Lovers that motivated Hammer Studios to continue with their lesbian theme. The relationship which Zimmerman seeks to establish between the early 1970s feminist movement and the appearance of so many lesbian vampire films rests not on the security but on the insecurity that the feminist movement generated in male spectators at the time. Feminists were angrily demanding sexual autonomy from men and control over their own bodies. Strengthened by participation in consciousness-raising groups, many women across the United States and in Europe demanded sexual pleasure and sexual equality with their husbands and boyfriends, and many more left these men and proclaimed their lesbianism.

Some lesbians have made it into the male bastions of power—one thinks of Rachel Maddow or Tammy Baldwin—but those bastions have not collapsed from within. Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on your point of view, the social order was not turned upside down. Today there are lesbian images on television, in advertising, on magazine covers and to a lesser degree, but still more than ever before, in the movies. Lesbian images turned out to be a clever marketing strategy: advertisers can sell a product all at once to lesbians, to straight women with private lesbian fantasies, to gay men who see the product as “gay friendly,” and of course to straight men who get turned on by lesbian sexuality while congratulating themselves on their open-mindedness.

The lesbian vampire is incongruous socially; she is not what she seems to be, and her difference is not detected by those around her despite some obvious signs. This incongruity can be especially appreciated by lesbians who often find themselves in a similar social situation. ’”20 The dominant cinema demands that men do the looking and women are looked at. The lesbian vampire breaks through this cinematic relationship and actively looks. She remains the object of male desire but also becomes the agent for female desire—dangerous, excessive, lesbian desire.

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