Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Damon Salvatore


Damon Salvatore was a hero, a vampire, and one of the male protagonists of The Vampire Diaries. He was a major antagonist in the first part of Season One. He was the elder brother of Stefan Salvatore. He was born in 1839 and lived in the colonial town of Mystic Falls with his brother Stefan and his father, Giuseppe Salvatore. He became a vampire in 1864. At the time of his return to Mystic Falls, Damon and Stefan hadn't seen each other in fifteen years due to their bitter, violent relationship. 

 In the 1950's, Damon was captured and tortured by the Whitmore family, of which the members experiment on vampires for a "bigger purpose" and during his 5 years of captivity, he meets another prisoner, Enzo, whom he becomes good friends with. Eventually, the plan the two made failed at a critical moment and thinking Enzo "died" because of him, Damon turned off his humanity to suppress the guilt and sadness. He sought revenge, an act of hunting down every member over generations which he finally ends with Aaron Whitmore's death. 

Damon Salvatore (portrayed by Ian Somehalder)
Damon's sole purpose in coming back to Mystic Falls was to free Katherine Pierce, the vampire who turned him and who he deeply loved. After realizing that Katherine never loved him, his love for her faded as his friendship with Elena, Katherine's descendant and doppelgänger, grows. Due to her impact on him and the strengthening relationship with his brother, they begin working together to protect Elena, along with her friends and family. Before his death, and at the beginning of Season Five, he lived with his brother, girlfriend, Elena (when she isn't away at college), and her brother, Jeremy Gilbert in the Salvatore Boarding House. 

Throughout the series, his bond with Elena continuously grows and they eventually fall in love with each other. Shortly after her death and subsequent transition into a vampire, Elena's feelings for Damon are heightened which makes her admit her love for him and they start a romantic relationship.

As the bad boy of the show, he goes by this motto: "If you're gonna be bad, be bad with a purpose. Otherwise, you're just not worth forgiving."

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Monday, October 20, 2014

Stefan Salvatore


Stefan Salvatore is the main male protagonist (or deuteragonist as Elena is the main protagonist overall), a 165-year-old vampire and both the descendant of and one of the two known doppelgängers of the world's first immortal man, Silas; he is the sole remaining doppelgänger of Silas' doppelgänger line, as well as one of the two remaining doppelgängers overall (the other being Elena Gilbert, who is a doppelgänger of Amara's doppelgänger line). Aside from being the male lead and the deuteragonist of the series, Stefan is also the narrator of The Vampire Diaries, as the story and the series is being told from his point of view. Stefan was born and raised in the supernatural town of Mystic Falls, Virginia and came of age during the Civil War. He's the youngest son of Giuseppe Salvatore and his unnamed mother, who died of consumption, presumably when Stefan was a child. He had an older brother, Damon, who was also a vampire, as well as an unknown half-brother. Stefan has had a love-hate relationship with Damon since 1864, when they both fell in love with Katherine Pierce, the woman who turned them into vampires. In the 1920s, Stefan had a brotherly friendship with Klaus Mikaelson, and was romantically involved with his sister, Rebekah Mikaelson. He was best friends with Lexi Branson until her death, and eventually became best friends with Caroline Forbes sometime in 2009. 

Stefan Salvatore (portrayed by Paul Wesley)
Stefan had what seemed to be a rather simple life during his human years. He was the "golden boy" was seen to be noble, dutiful, academic, scholarly and responsible. Stefan was also seen to have a very close relationship with his brother, Damon. This all changed in the year 1864 when Stefan and Damon both met and fell in love with Katherine. Their relationship with Katherine would change Stefan and his relationship with Damon forever. At the tender age of seventeen (just shy of his eighteenth birthday), Stefan was killed, triggering his transition into a vampire. Stefan had blood control issues as a newly turned vampire and could not handle human blood or control himself around it. After Damon had abandoned Stefan due to feeling betrayed by him, Lexi became his mentor and best friend, helping Stefan to control his blood lust and retain his humanity. Over the many decades of his immortal life, Stefan would leave and come back to Mystic Falls on and off, and he spent his time travelling all around the world, being exposed to a variety of different cultures and ways of life. 

After many years away, Stefan returned to his hometown of Mystic Falls to visit his distant nephew Zach. On May 23, 2009, Stefan saw Elena Gilbert for the very first time while rescuing her after her parents' car drove off of Wickery Bridge. Although he managed to save Elena's life, he could not save Elena's parents in time. Stefan was initially shocked and suspicious about Elena's uncanny physical resemblance to Katherine Pierce, and decided to research Elena's background in order to make sure that she wasn't the woman he'd fallen for over a century ago and the woman he eventually grew to hate and resent. Eventually, after finding her personal records and observing her from afar, Stefan determined that Elena was definitely not Katherine and that she was in fact the opposite of Katherine in every way. Still, he was strongly and indescribably drawn to and intrigued by her. Because of the connection he had felt towards Elena, Stefan decided to get to know her, so Stefan posed as a new transfer student at Mystic Falls High School. Stefan and Elena had an undeniable connection with each other and instantly bonded, eventually engaging in a romantic relationship. But his relationship with Elena began to become rather chaotic and tumultuous as many outside forces and obstacles tried to keep the two apart. As a result, Stefan and Elena ended up struggling to be together and stay together throughout the series.

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Sunday, October 19, 2014

Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant


Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant is a 2009 American film adaptation of the Vampire Blood Trilogy of the book series The Saga of Darren Shan by author Darren Shan.

The Vampire's Assistant Movie Poster
The Vampire's Assistant is a fantasy-adventure based on the first three books of the series, The Saga of Darren Shan, by author Darren Shan about a teenager who unknowingly breaks a 200-year-old truce between two warring factions of vampires. Pulled into a fantastic life of misunderstood sideshow freaks and grotesque creatures of the night, one teen will vanish from the safety of a boring existence and fulfill his destiny in a place drawn from nightmares.

16-year-old Darren was like most kids in his suburban neighborhood. He hung out with his best friend Steve, got decent grades, and usually stayed out of trouble. But when he and Steve stumble upon a traveling freak show, things begin to change inside Darren. That’s the exact moment when a vampire named Larten Crepsley turns him into something bloodthirsty.

Newly undead, he joins the Cirque du Freak, a touring sideshow filled with monstrous creatures from a snakeboy and a Wolf Man to a bearded lady and a gigantic ringmaster. As Darren flexes his newfound powers in this dark world, he becomes a treasured pawn between the vampires and their deadlier counterparts. And while trying to survive, one boy will struggle to keep their brewing war from devouring what’s left of his humanity.

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Saturday, October 18, 2014

Jerry Dandrige


Fright Night is a 1985 American horror film written and directed by Tom Holland and produced by Herb Jaffe. It stars William Ragsdale, Chris Sarandon, Roddy McDowall and Amanda Bearse. The film's plot follows young Charley Brewster who discovers that his next-door neighbor, Jerry Dandrige, is a vampire. When no one believes him, Charley decides to get Peter Vincent, a Vampire Hunter TV show host, to stop Jerry from starting a massive killing spree. The film was released on August 2, 1985 and was followed by a sequel, Fright Night Part 2 in 1988, and a reboot in 2011 starring Colin Farrell.

Jerry Dandrige (portrayed by Chris Sarandon)
Jerry Dandrige as portrayed in the original film has been variously interpreted as gay, bisexual and metrosexual. Literary critic John Kenneth Muir noted instances in the original film in which Dandrige and another male character are posed in potentially sexual positions. These include a scene in which Dandrige's male companion, Billy Cole, kneels before Dandrige. Cole is dressing a wound Dandrige has received but Muir found the position reminiscent of fellatio. Dandrige's speech to "Evil" Ed Thompson in which Dandrige convinces Ed to become a vampire is also cast in the language of homosexual seduction, in which Ed is placed in a physically submissive stance and Dandrige speaks of Ed's outsider status in language that echoes the outsider status of homosexuals in the 1980s.

Anthropologist Paul Clough and cultural critic, Jon P. Mitchell, characterized Dandrige as "beautiful but strange" and a man interested in seeking out relationships with young boys and young girls. Dandrige introduces Charley to homosexuality, bisexuality and, through his victims, prostitution. According to Fright Night editor Kent Beyda, writer/director Tom Holland deliberately set out to insert homosexual imagery into the film. He confirmed that the scene in which Cole goes to his knees in front of Dandrige was intended to evoke homosexuality as part of Holland's intent to explore every sexual aspect of the vampire myth.

Jerry Dandrige (portrayed by Colin Farrell)
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Friday, October 17, 2014

YouTube Treasures: Once Bitten


Once Bitten is a 1985 American horror comedy film starring Lauren Hutton, Jim Carrey and Karen Kopins. Carrey stars as Mark Kendall, an innocent and naive high school student who is seduced in a Hollywood, California nightclub by a sultry blonde countess (Hutton) who, unknown to him, is really a centuries old vampire.



At 400 years old, the Countess has collected a stable of young men and women who accompany her on her centuries-old journey through eternal night-and youth. While she is immortal, she is required to drink the blood of a young male virgin three times by Halloween each year in order to keep her immortality and youthful appearance - a task she finds increasingly and extremely hard, since attractive young male virgins are almost impossible to find in the 1980s, particularly in hedonistic cities, ex. in this case, Los Angeles.

Meanwhile, high school student Mark Kendall wants to have sex, but is being put off by his girlfriend Robin Pierce. One night, Mark and his best friends Jamie and Russ go into a singles bar in Hollywood. Mark meets the Countess and he goes back to her mansion, and after she seduces him, he passes out when she bites his thigh. When he wakes up, she pretends they have had sex and tells him that he is now hers. Mark doesn't know what she means by that, and over the next few days he begins showing strange behavior; having strange dreams, avoiding direct sunlight and even drinking blood (from raw meat). 


Sebastian (portrayed by Cleavon Little) and the Countess (portrayed by Lauren Hutton)
After the Countess gets a second bite, Robin notices Mark's odd behavior and confronts the Countess during a dance-off at the high school's Halloween dance. While it appears that Robin has won back Mark, this is only temporary. The Countess kidnaps Robin in order to lure Mark to her mansion for a final bite before her deadline expires, and it is up to Robin, Jamie and Russ to stop her. Eventually, in order to save Mark from the Countess's clutches, he and Robin have sex in a coffin while being chased by the Countess's minions, thereby taking Mark's virginity, bringing him back to normal. This renders him useless to the Countess as she has to drink virgin blood. Defeated, the Countess then begins to grow old and decrepit before their eyes. The Countess' assistant, Sebastian, tells her not to worry as there are other virgins in the world despite the fact that the Countess doubts she will find another virgin.

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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Vamp


Vamp is a 1986 vampire film starring Grace Jones and Chris Makepeace. Two college students, Keith (Chris Makepeace) and AJ (Robert Rusler) want to hire a stripper to buy their way into a campus fraternity. They borrow a Cadillac from a lonely rich student (Gedde Watanabe), who insists on coming with them to scope out strip clubs in a nearby city. They find themselves at a club in a shady party of town, and after being impressed by an surreally artistic stripper Queen Katrina (Grace Jones) AJ visits her dressing room to convince her to come strip for their college party. Katrina seduces AJ, then pins him down, killing him with a bite to the neck.

Queen Katrina (portrayed by Grace Jones)
Keith becomes concerned at the delay, and gets help from a waitress named Amaretto (Dedee Pfeiffer) who keeps insisting (to his confusion) that she knows him from their past. They search the neighborhood, and Keith is separated from her while trying to escape from both a psychotic albino street gang, as well as from vampires throughout the area. While hiding in a dumpster he finds AJ's discarded body, but when he calls the police and returns to the club to accuse the owners, the vampires have preempted him by bringing AJ back as undead and bringing him back to the club. AJ confesses to Keith that he's now a vampire, and after realizing that Keith will not kill him and is willing to die for him, AJ stakes himself with a piece of broken furniture.

Keith, Amaretto, and Duncan flee the club, but their car is rammed by vehicles driven by vampires, and after escaping they realize that Duncan has been turned to a vampire, and abandon him in a burning car. The couple attempt to escape through the sewers, as Amaretto breaks down an tells Keith that her real name is Allison, and she knows AJ from a game of spin-the-bottle back in high school. While they flee through the sewers, they find and burn a nest of vampires, but Allison is grabbed and held hostage by Queen Katrina. After an arrow to the face and pipe staked in the chest fail to stop Katrina, Keith kills her by opening a grating, allowing the sunlight to destroy her. Before they can escape to the surface, they are trapped by Vlad, the dead Katrina's vampire consort, until Vlad is staked from behind by a revived AJ, who sheepishly notes that the stake he tried to kill himself with turned out to be formica.

As Keith and Allison climb to the surface daylight, AJ remains in the sewers calling out to him his ideas to go to night school, or work a job on a graveyard shift.

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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Lilith


Lilith is a character in Jewish mythology found earliest in the Babylonian Talmud, and is generally thought to be related to a class of female demons. In Jewish folklore, Lilith was Adam's first wife, who was created at the same time and from the same earth as he was. Lilith abandoned both her husband and marriage after refusing to become subservient to Adam. She was subsequently cursed by God for her disobedience when she would not return to the Garden of Eden after an affair with the archangel, Samael.

Lilith by Roberto Mendoza*
The resulting Lilith legend is still commonly used as source material in modern Western culture, literature, occultism, fantasy and horror. It is also often cited as evidence that she might have originally been a goddess, or at the very least an aspect of the great goddess and was demonized for being an independent female.

*Lilith is part of the "Simply Divine" series by Roberto Mendoza, and is available for purchase over at his CafePress, Imagekind, Zazzle, and Etsy shops.

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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The Blood Countess


Much has been written about the Blood Countess, Erzsébet (Elizabeth) Báthory of Hungary. Reviled as the World's Worst Female Serial Killer, Countess Báthory is said to have bathed in the blood of the 650 servant girls she tortured and murdered. Upon her arrest, she was condemned to life imprisonment and walled up in a tower of her castle. Reputed to be a vampire, lesbian, and witch, her shocking story inspired the Brothers Grimm, Bram Stoker, and gothic horror fans around the world for the past four hundred years.

Countess Elizabeth Báthory
 Countess Elizabeth Báthory de Ecsed was a countess from the renowned Báthory family of nobility in the Kingdom of Hungary. She has been labelled the most prolific female serial killer in history, though the precise number of her victims is debated. Báthory and four collaborators were accused of torturing and killing hundreds of girls between 1585 and 1610. The highest number of victims cited during Báthory's trial was 650. However, this number comes from the claim by a woman named Susannah that Jacob Szilvássy, Countess Báthory's court official, had seen the figure in one of Báthory's private books. The book was never revealed, and Szilvássy never mentioned it in his testimony. Despite the evidence against Elizabeth, her family's influence kept her from facing trial. She was imprisoned in December 1610 within Csejte Castle, Upper Hungary, now in Slovakia, where she remained immured in a set of rooms until her death four years later.

The stories of her serial murders and brutality are verified by the testimony of more than 300 witnesses and survivors as well as physical evidence and the presence of horribly mutilated dead, dying and imprisoned girls found at the time of her arrest. Stories which ascribe to her vampire-like tendencies (most famously the tale that she bathed in the blood of virgins to retain her youth) were generally recorded years after her death and are considered unreliable. Her story quickly became part of national folklore, and her infamy persists to this day. She is often compared with Vlad III the Impaler of Wallachia, on whom the fictional Count Dracula is partly based, and has been nicknamed The Blood Countess and Countess Dracula.

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Monday, October 13, 2014

Selene


Selene is a Vampire Death Dealer, sired by Viktor after he had slaughtered her family unbeknownst to her. She was born to Hungarian parents sometime in 1383. Later in the story, she becomes the first Vampire-Corvinus Strain Hybrid. Her lover is Michael Corvin, and they have a daughter together, Eve.

She is the main protagonist of Underworld, Underworld: Evolution, and Underworld: Awakening. She is portrayed by actress Kate Beckinsale, and as a child by Lily Sheen. In Underworld: Endless War, her voice is provided by Laura Harris.

Selene (portrayed by Kate Beckinsale)
 "Selene's almost forgotten she's a woman, she's absolutely focused on revenge and killing, and she's really good at it. Then, she meets Michael, she starts to get a... kind of memory of what it's like to be human, and to be with humans. She's not completely human, but she is actually 'human' somewhere underneath there." ~ Actress Kate Beckinsale, on Selene.

Selene was born to a Hungarian family sometime in the year 1383. Her father was a well-known architect who helped design a fortress for a Vampire general, Viktor. The fortress was a dungeon intended for the imprisonment of the Werewolf William Corvinus, who was condemned for his bloody and destructive behavior. As a child, Selene had roamed the halls of the dungeon alongside her sister, and drew on its walls.

To keep the location of William's prison secret, Viktor killed Selene's entire family. However, he could not kill Selene, because she reminded him of his deceased daughter, Sonja, who he had killed after she became pregnant by a Lycan. Instead, Viktor made her a Vampire. He lied to her, telling her a pack of Lycans had killed her family, ensuring that she would never betray the species as Sonja had. In retaliation, Selene became a Death Dealer, and began to hunt and kill Lycans, intending to drive them into extinction. According to the Underworld: Evolution novelization, Selene was 19 years old when Viktor turned her.

Kraven, the Coven’s regent, was obsessed with her, although she did not return the feeling. He pursued her for years, but she constantly rejected him, bruising his massive but fragile ego. Under the orders of Viktor, Selene exiled Andreas Tanis, the Coven historian. Selene believed that Tanis was spreading lies, as Viktor claimed, although this was another false truth. For 600 years, Selene remained loyal to Viktor, never believing anything ill of him.

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Sunday, October 12, 2014

Sonja


Sonja is a Vampire whose story is pivotal in the Underworld series. She is portrayed in the original Underworld by Jázmin Dammak, and in Underworld: Rise of the Lycans as an adult by Rhona Mitra and as a child by Olivia Taylforth.

Sonja (portrayed by Rhona Mitra)
Sonja, daughter to the powerful Vampire Elder, Viktor, was born in the year 1210, 3 years after the birth of the first Lycan. Nothing is known of her mother, Ilona, except that she died in labor. At a very young age, Viktor gifts Sonja with a pendant, which she wears most of her life.

An exceptional warrior and a member of the Vampire Council, Sonja is being groomed by her father for an eventual position as an Elder, although she seems very uninterested in the prospect. Viktor insists that Sonja attend Council meetings, and fulfill her duties to the Coven, but Sonja ignores him and spends her nights chasing Werewolves and guarding the castle. She trained alongside the Death Dealers growing up, and feels more loyalty to her duty as a Vampire warrior than as a Council member. Whilst it is never explicitly stated that she is a Death Dealer, she just as skilled and deadly in combat as any of them and performs all the usual duties of a Death Dealer.

At some point, Sonja meets and falls in love with a Lycan slave, Lucian. Lucian is also enamored with her, and the two begin an affair. How the affair begins is never explained, though Lucian and Sonja are both born in the same general time period, and so grow up around each other. In front of Viktor and the other Vampires, Sonja is cold and uncaring towards Lucian. In private, the two secretly wed each other, and spend their days together. Things begin to unravel when Sonja realizes she is pregnant, and that they cannot continue to hide their affair for long. Frightened of her father's wrath, Sonja makes plans with Lucian to run away together. Before she leaves, she agrees to give her seat on the Council to Andreas Tanis in exchange for his silence, and a key to release Lucian from his shackles.

Before Sonja and Lucian put their escape plan into effect, Viktor discovers the secret passageway the two have been using to meet in secret. The Elder begins to suspect that something is amiss, and he bites Sonja, drinking her blood and learning the truth of her affair with Lucian. Lucian is able to escape the castle with a small group of fellow Lycans, but Sonja remains behind. Lucian returns for her, but Viktor and the Death Dealers begin to fight them. Despite Viktor's ill treatment of Sonja and Lucian, Sonja refuses to kill him. Instead, she reveals her pregnancy to him, hoping that this will make him accept Lucian as her husband. Viktor is horrified. He captures both Lucian and Sonja, and condemns them to death for their affair.

Lucian is chained to the floor in a large empty room, while Sonja is tied to a stake. While Sonja watches, Lucian is beaten by Soren with a silver whip. Once Lucian's torture is completed, Viktor and the Council members leave the room. A hole in the roof is then opened, exposing Sonja to sunlight and burning her alive. Lucian fights against the chains holding him down and screams her name as she dies. Later, once the moon rises, he is able to take on his Lycan form, and escapes the castle with her pendant. Lucian continues to wear the pendant as a reminder of Sonja for the next 600 years, until his death at the hands of Vampire Regent Kraven.

Sonja's death is a catalyst for Lucian's personal vendetta against the Vampires, although the slave rebellion truly started because of a desire for freedom.

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Saturday, October 11, 2014

Andreas Tanis


Andreas Tanis is a cowardly Vampire of considerable age placed in exile by the order of Viktor, one of the Vampire Elders. He is portrayed in Underworld: Evolution and Underworld: Rise of the Lycans by English actor, Steven Mackintosh.

Andreas Tanis (portrayed by Steven Mackintosh)
During Viktor's reign, Tanis acts as notary during meetings of the first Vampire Council and is often tasked with locating Viktor's headstrong daughter, Sonja. During one of his trips to find Sonja, he discovers she is having an affair with a Lycan servant named Lucian. Instead of informing Viktor, he warns Lucian to not give it away, making the Lycan aware that he knows. When confronted by Sonja, Tanis admits he remains silent simply for his own benefit and agrees to aid the lovers in exchange for Sonja's seat on the council. He gives the imprisoned Lucian a key to the shackles preventing him from transforming into his wolf form.

Things spiral out of control when Viktor learns of the affair and condemns both Sonja and Lucian to death, sparking a war between the Vampire and Lycan species. After the death of Sonja, Lucian escapes his fate and returns with a horde of both Lycans and Werewolves, whom he uses to defeat the Coven and drive away the remaining Vampires. As Viktor prepares to face the Lycan horde with his Death Dealers, he orders Tanis to take the other two Elders to safety. Tanis and the three Elders leave what is now Lucian's castle by ship.

 Let the bloodbath begin! Celebrate Halloween all October long
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