Friday, April 09, 2010

Dracula as Antichrist

On more than one occasion I’ve commented on the fact that the vampire is an Antichrist figure–what with the twisted Eucharistic symbolism and all.

At the time I was confining myself to the literary significance of the vampire. The symbolic function of the literary or cinematic vampire in relation to other characters in the novel, movie, or TV show. In other words, fictitious role of the vampire.

However, the vampiric genre seems to be increasingly popular. Of course, this is, to some extent, a case of Hollywood cashing in on a lucrative market niche. And it’s a vicious cycle. The popularity of the genre feeds (pardon the pun) the media, while the media feeds the genre.

Now it’s possible that this is just a fad. Perhaps a cyclical fad.

But the subculture of vampirism may also be burgeoning into a cult or alternate religion–like Mormonism. Not coincidentally, it taps into to a segment of the youth culture. For vampirism reflects the fear of death. Fear of aging. The denial of death.

And that is very powerful. Very alluring.

Of course, this is make-believe. But make-believe has never been an obstacle to cults–or even mainstream religions like Catholicism.

Vampirism also trades on the fascination with evil. The appeal of the forbidden. And that is also tempting to the young.

We’ll see, as time goes on, if the vampiric subculture stays, fades, or expands.


  1. I tend to think of vampires and werewolves (and Harry Potter's witchcraft) as just darker versions of dwarfs and elves. The popularity of all these things just seems to be a lack of imagination that keeps lazy writers from coming up with interesting new types of creatures -- and a lack of imagination (in some combination with better CGI techniques) that keeps readers and viewers fascinated by them.

  2. Besides the fear of death, vampirism also reflects the aura of sexual decadence - "they only come out at night."

    The whole atmosphere of nightclub, impersonal-intercourse, sinister exchange of bodily fluids.