Sunday, May 03, 2015

Vampires Everywhere; the Rise of the Movie Undead – review

Author: Charles E Butler

First published: 2012

Contains spoilers

The Blurb: Vampires Everywhere is a review book that concentrates on the vampire movies that inspire fear. From The Cabinet of Dr Caligari to 30 Days of Night, with inroads to the discussions of TV classics, The Night Stalker and Salem's Lot.

The Review: I have previously looked at Charles E Butler’s volume the Romance of Dracula and found the overwhelming impression I took away was Butler’s love of the genre. That love continues here (and in two more volumes) and the same frustration of it not actually being a conversation holds true but, of course, does not take away from the book.

The volume follows the same format of each section being about a specific film and illustrated by an original piece of artwork. There was a reader's comment, on the review of the previous volume, about lack of page numbering; this volume is page numbered – though there still isn’t referencing. It contains some none vampire input. I was intrigued to discover why the Cabinet of Doctor Caligari was included. Butler sees a model for future vampires in Cesare and vampire movies in the (admittedly wonderful) expressionist film. I’m not too sure. Though I can see his argument Cesare was very much a slave whereas the model for the vampire that would follow was, of course, the master. I appreciate the argument however.

Later Butler looks at films inspired by I am Legend and covers Omega Man. In honesty I had watched it again, some time ago, wondering whether I would feature it here – I decided against it but Butler’s logic works as it is a bridge between the Last Man on Earth and I am Legend.

I did pick up on a few factual errors but have contacted the author directly and so won’t reproduce here and they are few and far between, and this is an independently published volume so some things will slip through the gap. If I had a real problem then it is towards the end of the volume. Casting an eye back to I am Legend, Butler covered the three films I mentioned above as separate entities. Later sequels started getting lodged into fleeting comments within the first film’s review. It just felt a little rushed to me – and in the “epilogue” the author admits he had set himself a tight deadline and also had an unfortunate data loss during the writing process. This is a shame but also is what it is. 7 out of 10.

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