200th Anniversary of John Polidori’s The Vampyre
Before Dracula, there was The Vampyre. John Polidori penned this story in 1819 – 78 years before Bram Stoker gave us his iconic vampire.
The Vampyre is a must-read for any fan of gothic literature, and of course fans of the blood-sucking monsters themselves. I read the book when I was 11 years old. At that age it felt as if I was reading something I shouldn’t – although my parents were never the type to forbid any books on my reading list – it was still a book that I hid the front cover of when I was in public (there were no Kindles back then that successfully camouflaged your reading tastes)
The character of Lord Ruthven bore many similarities to Dracula. A high-class gentleman – it appears that vampires could only get away with their bloody deeds when lurking in the halls of the aristocracy. With their class came riches that afforded both travel and time to indulge their scarlet tastes. They both seemed to have a preference for seducing and killing maidens, and they seem psychotically inclined to play with their chosen enemies, Aubery and Harker respectively.
So, as this book is celebrating its 200th birthday, why not celebrate with it and curl up in front of a fire, with a glass of red (be that wine or Vimto) and experience first-hand the sinister nature of true vampires.
40th Anniversary of Ridley Scott’s Alien
One of the first horror films I ever watched. The 1979 film Alien is a masterpiece body-shocker, claustrophobic, sci-fi scare-fest. Set in deep space, the story line has a depth that surprises me every time I watch it. Treachery, greed, and politics underpin a rather hard-to-kill violent Xenomorph.
Let’s not forget that this film also pioneered the concept of a kick-ass woman, Ripley. One of the unsung survivors in the pantheon of horror’s final girls. She shows little girls everywhere that, in the face of nightmarish disaster, you can survive – even when the odds are stacked against you, and exits are nowhere to be found.
Alien lead to my all-time favourite film, Aliens. Both films still stand the test of time and should be a right of passage for any young horror/ sci-fi follower.
My older brother is a huge Alien fan too and, a few years ago, he took me to London to experience Alien Wars – a live action version of the Aliens film complete with marines, facehuggers and of course long-limbed oil-black Xenomorph aliens. Now, I don’t scare easy, and I was all set to venture into the dark with him, along with the marines guarding us on our journey into the infested colony, however, I took one look at how fast those grabby little facehuggers were and how fluidly the aliens could scramble up to me and decided to sit it out. Not my best day. However, even as I sit here writing this blog post, I still wouldn’t choose to take on such other-worldly horrors; no doubt, I would have probably been slapped with alien snot to the wall and impregnated within the first 3 minutes! I’m certainly no Ripley!