Frontier Former Editor

October 22, 2007

Vampires a-go-go, and the best vampire movie never made

Sunday was a vampire-themed day at the FFE household – we came into possession of free tickets to the Barter Theatre (it used to be Theater until some Yankee came on board as artistic director and tried to spiff up the image – wait, I’m part Yankee . . . .).

So, what did we see? It’s October, so why not see a Southwest Virginia-themed production of Dracula?

Without giving too much away, it was great entertainment if you were under 18 and mildly amusing if you were over 40. Guess where it stood on the FFE fun-o-meter? I think what gave me the case of the milds was the artistic director’s confusion on what he wanted the play to be. Was it a catchy little way to add that Appalachian flavor (if you’re a Yankee, then the third ‘a’ is pronounced long to show your arrogance and ignorance of local dialect), or was it the morality play and metaphor for sex in the post-AIDS era that the artistic director thought he might have meant in his playbill notes?

I’m betting that he wanted to show that he could capture Appalachian culture in a quick, marketable way he could toss out when tourists are coming through Southwest Virginia to see the leaves and find something else to do the rest of the day.

Hey, the tickets were free and I’m not a theater critic.

But to round out the day, we did pay (and full price, since Dracula ended after 5:30 p.m.) to see ’30 Days of Night.’ Without giving away too much, it’s based on a graphic novel (or high-falutin comic book) and throws some pretty decent little punches.

Short form – I didn’t mind paying full price for seeing it. If you’ve seen it, please feel free to say yay or nay here without trying to spoil the ending for at least the next three weeks – I will edit out any major plot spoilers that I catch during that three weeks.

And that leads me to the ‘best vampire movie never made’ part of the post title. Will Smith is coming out with ‘I am Legend’ in December. If you’re in my general age group, you know this movie is based on the Richard Matheson novella of the same name and has been filmed twice: ‘The Last Man on Earth’ with Vincent Price, and ‘The Omega Man’ with Charlton Heston.

Price’s version is the most fathful to Matheson’s book, but it’s kind of ‘eh.’ While Heston at least gets to schtupp Rosalind Cash, it too is ‘eh.’

If you dig around on Google, you can find a 1997 script treatment for ‘I am Legend’ that tracks pretty well with Matheson’s book. Whether it forms the basis of December’s release, we’ll see.

 I like depressing vampire movies.

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