Vampire movies had been out of vogue since the '90s, taking a "dirt nap" until 2008's Twilight regurgitated them back into popular culture in a big way. Now there's a whole host of vampire-themed movies and TV shows to choose from, supplanting this decade's zombie fixation with their pale-skinned supernatural brethren.
Fantasy author and movie producer Neil Gaiman (Coraline, Stardust) was recently asked about the importance of vampires in cinema, and he ultimately said that vampire movies should go back to the grave from whence they came. Gaiman gave credence to a few vampire movies, however, which he said helped to broaden the genre. One movie Gaiman cited was Roman Polanski's Dance of the Vampires (1967), which called into question the long-established belief that vampires are afraid of crosses.
Dance of the Vampires has that wonderful moment where Alfie Bass as the Jewish innkeeper has been bitten and transformed by the vampires. He comes back, he creeps into the bedroom, and she holds up the cross, and he says, ''Lady, have you got the wrong vampire." It was one of those occasions where something either crept out of the film and became a joke, or crept out of joke world and crept into the film.
Gaiman said that Lost Boys (1987) depicted vampirism as a state that's not necessarily undesirable, which is similar to the way vampirism is depicted today.
And then in a sort of continuous transmutation, you had Lost Boys, which is essentially vampirism as wish fulfillment — it was really the first time you can absolutely take a pin and point to these great vampire moments on celluloid or on video, or in print, whatever, where people really seemed to have looked around and gone, "What is the downside of this thing again? Hang on, you get to live forever, you get to be absolutely sexually attractive and you don't have zits."
Gaiman explained that vampire movies can never be about gaining power on a grand scale, using 30 Days of Night (2007) as an example.
Even when you get to things like 30 Days of Night, you're looking at people going and invading a little town that's on the edge of nowhere and that nobody's going to notice. It never seems to be about power. It never seems to be about taking over the world. Because the moment it does, it's not vampire fiction anymore.
When it comes to the new wave of vampire fanaticism resulting from the Twilight phenomena, Gaiman couldn't be bothered to comment. Instead, he predicted the imminent demise of the genre.
Vampires go in waves, and it kind of feels like now we're finishing a vampire wave; at the point where they're everywhere. It's probably time to go back underground for another 20 or 25 years. Posted 08.30.09 by BrentJS
With Coraline opening on Friday, reviews called the movie aimed at families "dark." Will audiences find Coraline to be too dark, especially for children? When ReelzChannel spoke to the cast, we heard a variety of opinions. Director Henry Selick, as mentioned in our Coraline review, said: "I'm more concerned about the parents being scared...the eight-year-olds can hold their mom's hand."
When author Neil Gaiman was asked if Coraline was "too scary," he replied:
I hope so. I think a little bit of fear is a wonderful thing. And in 'Coraline' what you're telling them is that here's something big and it's something scary and it's something that's worth being a story. Look, she's a smart kid, and she doesn't have magical powers, and she's not the 'chosen one,' there's nothing cool or magical going on. She's just like you and she's going to win. And for most kids, and not for most parents, they read 'Coraline' as an adventure. I think for adults it tends to be much scarier. For adults you've got a number of things going on. For an adult, a story about a child in danger, that's big. That's scary. That's dangerous. And also of course, for adults, they get to watch it, and all sorts of long-forgotten, long-buried, repressed, and abandoned childhood memories start coming to the fore and worrying them. And children don't have repressed memories because that's where they live.
Coraline star Teri Hatcher also felt that there's more to Coraline than "darkness:"
I think it's really an individual family's choice. I think you hear about three-year-olds going to see 'The Dark Knight' and I didn't take my 11-year-old to see that movie. I think whenever you have an opportunity to communicate with your kids in an open and imaginative humorous way, which this movie provides, I think even if there are scary feelings that come up I think the communication behind that and the message in this movie makes it worth seeing as opposed to some of this scary kind of trash that's out there that I think is influencing some of our children on the Internet or in video games.
Whether audiences find Coraline scary or not, it hasn't stopped the movie from receiving extremely positive reviews. Posted 02.08.09 by Ryan
In Coraline, a young girl discovers a secret door in her new home and finds an alternate world -- and life -- that appears better than the one she has. But as the movie's promotional alphabet cards warn, Be careful what you wish for.
With director Henry Selick's inventive stop-motion animation, the latest 3-D technology, and a script based on Neil Gaiman's terrific novel, is it too much to wish for a movie that will dazzle kids and parents alike? A movie worth the price of admission and the overpriced tub of popcorn? Find out in our Coraline review. Posted 02.04.09 by reelz
While doing press for Coraline, author Neil Gaiman heaped praise on the director chosen to adapt Gaiman's novel The Graveyard Book into a movie, Neil Jordan. The story, about an orphan who is raised by ghosts in a graveyard, may seem a somewhat unusual choice for Jordan, but Gaiman told ReelzChannel the choice was a natural one.
At the first lunch that I had with the guys from [production company] Framestore -- I was in London -- we settled down for a lunch, and it was really just to talk. Really, we were just trying to have the kind of conversation that establishes that we do all have the same kind of film in our heads. And what's interesting is the three of us at the table kept going back to 'Company of Wolves,' [Jordan's 1984 movie] in terms of what we were talking about.
Gaiman was far from finished:
[Jordan's] a writer and director, he's a really good writer, he's a novelist as well. He is one of those people who just makes movies, and sometimes they're hits and sometimes they're aren't, but they are a tremendous body of work when you look at it. He's comfortable with special effects, he's really good with actors, and all of his films have wonderful sort of textured look to them, and if you want somebody to direct a film that is all set in a little graveyard on a hill, and it covers sixteen years...so we sent the book to Neil.
Sounds like The Graveyard Book is in good hands, but what about Gaiman's other works, such as the Sandman graphic novel? Is anything else in a stage of adaptation?
"Yes," he said, then paused. "'The Graveyard Book.'" Posted 02.04.09 by Ryan
Still more than a week to go before Coraline debuts and already Neil Gaiman is getting another one of his books adapted for film. In an appearance on the Today Show, Gaiman announced that The Graveyard Book would be made into a movie to be directed by Oscar-winning writer/director Neil Jordan. The book, which just last week received the the prestigious Newberry Award for children's fiction, opens with a triple knifing and follows the story of a toddler who is orphaned by the murders only to be raised in the graveyard by ghoulish but benevolent ghosts. Unlike Coraline though, it appears to be a live-action venture, rather than stop-motion animation, that the filmmaker has in mind here. Posted 01.28.09 by reelz
How many intriguing and imaginative angles can you find to promote a new movie? Even amid the avalanche of trailers, magical boxes, gothically illuminated letters, and mysterious keys, this latest promo video really stands out. In it, Coraline author Neil Gaiman explores koumpounophobia, the fear of buttons. It's a real phobia apparently and one that Coraline makes the most of. Now Gaiman does his best to make it even more contagious with an amazing deadpan Rod Serling-like monologue that has already drawn comparisons to Hitchcock giving us a tour of the Bates Motel. Posted 01.26.09 by reelz
Three new trailers replete with dancing mice, flowers with childlike voices, and button eyes open more still more windows into the parallel universe of Coraline. The first of the three was singled out by Coraline author Neil Gaiman as being "a bit more like the film than others I have seen." Early reviews from advance screenings also continue strong, with an animation professional and a lucky father both giving the film high marks for the way it creates a unique and engaging otherworldly experience. Posted 01.19.09 by reelz
Some walls in New York, DC, and Chicago have gotten a Coraline make-over with button-eyed portraits and otherworldly themes as part of the continuing quirky guerilla marketing campaign for the upcoming movie.
Other random real world walls have had mysterious black Coraline keys attached to them. But contrary to rumors that these are part of some kind of scavenger hunt, Coraline author Neil Gaiman confirms that sometimes a key is just a key. The rumors are, he suggests, likely just part of an attempt to hike up the value of the keys to sell them on ebay. Posted 01.12.09 by reelz
In a video interview with Wired, Neil Gaiman lays out the Alice-in-Wonderland-like story of Coraline, showing clips of the film -- due out February 6 -- along the way. Gaiman, who authored the award-winning novella on which the movie is based, also explains how his story was adapted for the first stop-motion animated film shot in 3D. It is, he says, "the biggest, most strange, expressive, peculiar, enormous stop-motion film I think that's ever been made." And that's certainly what audiences are hoping for from director Henry Selick, who worked with producer Tim Burton on The Nightmare Before Christmas.
A collection of five earlier Coraline featurettes can be viewed online at The Animation Blog. And Empire offers a look at the quirky new international poster. Posted 11.18.08 by reelz
Fanboys rejoice! The writers' strike is over and graphic novel adaptations are back on the table for Hollywood's greedy little fingers to bring to film.
Next up: an adaptation of Black Hole, Charles Burns' graphic novel about a group of high schoolers dealing with an STD called the 'teen plague.'
The screenplay is being written by sci-fi masters Neil Gaiman and Roger Avary (i.e. the writing team behind Beowulf) and David Fincher (Zodiac) will direct.
Source: Variety. Posted 02.21.08 by reelz