— Comic Book Resources (@CBR) January 16, 2020
In the early days of the movies, few topics were as a consistent draw of attention than vampires. Most commonly illustrated by takes on Bram Stoker’s Dracula, these were most commonly horrors, with heroes setting out to conquer the mythical man-bat. As with westerns, however, these saw a definite period of unpopularity as we approached the new millennium.
Unlike westerns, however, vampire-based media eventually saw a rapid return, to where the concept finds itself in a similar league as zombies when it comes to mainstream appeal. With Marvel and Sony soon to release the Jared Leto led Morbius vampire movie at the end of July, we want to look at what this film is about, and what other forms of vampire media ensure the concept’s current popularity.
Based on the Marvel comic character of the same name, Morbius is the story of nominative deterministically named Michael Morbius. As a gifted scientist, Morbius suffers from a rare blood disease that would kill him, save for some drastic cure. Unfortunately for him, it turns out fixing a rare disease with an ancient and cursed remedy doesn’t come without consequences.
While we can expect the trademark big action which is typical in movies with Marvel’s touch, it should be noted that this film is one of the more shared ventures between Marvel Studios and Sony. As with Venom, this makes its place within the greater Marvel Cinematic Universe uncertain, though it appears attempts are being made to keep things as clean as possible.
A Widening Grasp
Taking a step back, it’s important to see just how flexible the idea of the vampire is. This flexibility allows them to be slotted into so many different avenues, providing new takes on practically any genre and form of media imaginable.
In a classic sense, the BBC series Dracula is returning to what first made vampires popular. A more morose and brooding take, as with Christopher Lee’s flick so many years ago, the BBC series illustrates a very different tack than Morbius, and that the basis of vampire media is still undoubtedly intriguing.
As much as we might be personally loathe to admit, there is no question that the Twilight series did a lot to bring vampires back into the mainstream. Illustrating them not necessarily as monsters, but as frustrated and misunderstood, these films grossed immense international interest, priming what is now a new filmic golden age.
Of course, modern attention isn’t just about movies, as video games have also seen great success with taking on vampires. The Castlevania series is especially popular in this regard, running for dozens of games over multiple console generations and even inspiring a Netflix anime series.
Even online slots are getting in on the action, with games like Lucky Count and Immortal Romance borrowing heavily from both classic and contemporary vampire media. Just as film loves all types of vampires, so does gaming, and both traditional video and casino games (you can find many of these online so you can see for yourself) understand and carry this legacy.
These examples are just scratching the surface of the cold, frozen ocean of vampire media today. Films, television series, books, board games, video games, toys, graphic novels, and anything else imaginable have taken steps into what was initially a niche world. Just as with zombies, these have effectively become a subgenre of every other genre, with their permanent place in entertainment now cemented.
However Morbius performs at the box office, don’t expect vampires to take a hit. After all, you cannot kill that which is already dead.