Monday, June 22, 2009

My brain is on fire! A million of strange eyes seem gazing on me.

I'm reading a free online ebook of Varney the Vampire. Highly recommended. It's a mix of "Castle of Udopho" over the top goth, Dickensian plotting, "Melmoth the Wanderer" morality, and Cervantes style romantic comedy.

How can you not love:

"I saw those glazed eyes close to, mine--I felt a hot, pestiferous
breath upon my face--help--help!"

Follow this link to hidden treasure:

http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/toc/modeng/public/PreVarn.html

Aside from inspiring Dracula, Dark Shadows, Interview with Vampire and the obvious Horror schtick, the book is also a root for the James Bond spy thriller genre.

Starting with "Les Vampires" - The 10 part serial from 1915, set in Paris, France following the exploits of a gang of master criminals who call themselves "Les Vampires."

From Wikipedia:

In November 1915, the walls of Paris were plastered with street posters that depicted three masked faces with a question mark as a noose, and the questions "who, what, when, where?". The morning newspapers printed the following poem:

Of the moonless nights they are kings,
darkness is their kingdom.
Carrying death and sowing terror
the dark Vampires fly,
with great suede wings,
ready not only to do evil... but to do even worse



Les Vampires influenced the 1919 Fritz Lang a mystery-action serial called The Spiders - Also about a gang of mysterious criminals (but set in tropical destinations). It was censored in Germany

WARNING: WATCH WITH SOUND OFF
(some alt country band have cut the footage to a jingle jangle country song)



Fritz Lang continued his work in the "master criminal" Genre with: Dr. Mabuse.

Dr. Mabuse is a doctor of psychology and master of disguise. He tricks many people out of money by conning them and using hypnotism. etc. If you've had the pleasure of watching the Dr. Mabuse films you can recognize a direct influence on teh James Bond Films...