Friday, October 28, 2011

Killer Characters and Scary Monsters!

Part three of the awesome Killer Character blogfest hosted by Deana Barnhart and E.R. King is today, concluding a week long extravaganza. It's been so much fun seeing everyone's choices and why they love them. I've learned some things too! Always a bonus. :)

Today is also my blog chain post, but I promise to keep it all short so you can move onto the next blog.

So who is my all time fave antagonist, who happens to be a killer character???
This was a no brainer for me .....


I wish I could come up with a horror story as unique and fascinating as this. Bram Stoker's Dracula is definitely in my fave book pool. And yes I loved the Francis Ford Coppola version of the film too, even though they differ in many ways.

And, well ... Gary Oldman happens to be my FAVE actor of all time. So I'm a bit biased, but gosh darn he rocked as Count Dracula. He can take me away from death anytime! ;)

Anyway, back to the character ... He was inspired by Vlad the Impaler, Romanian Prince of Wallachia, in the early 15th century,  who was also known as Dracula, or Son of the Dragon. The mythical vampire creatures had been around for awhile, so Stoker didn't create them, but what he did is give it a fresh new spin by creating Count Dracula as a charming aristocrat.

Such a rich character. I love that we see him in all his charm, yet when his plans are interfered with, he flies off the handle, showing the true person beneath all the cordiality.  And the fact he is undead, makes him supernaturally powerful over those who wish to attack him.

He can defy gravity
              communicate telepathicly
              has hypnotic powers
              shapeshift

His powers are limited, however... and I'm sure you all know the drill there: daylight, garlic, crucifixes, holy water, running water like streams

Bram Stoker is a genius. It's no wonder people today are still so fascinated with vampires. He really set the bar and creeped the world out with Count Dracula. Bravo!

And as part of my blog chain, and in keeping with the Halloween spirit, Matt MacNish over at QQQ wants to know what our fave monster is. When I was a little girl, my dad loved to rent horror movies--back when VCRs had just been made available to the average home. We weren't allowed to watch all of those films, but the older we got, the more of an event Horror Movie Night would become. Keep in mind, I grew up in the 80s when horror movies were HUGE. And this is the same dad who'd scratch at my bedroom door after watching Freddy Krueger movies. LOL! Yep, I blame him for all my issues.

But it was fun, and it toughened us up. We saw a lot of bad horror films, and some really great creepy ones. And I can truly say, they just don't make them like they used to. But through and through, there was one monster that always kept me up at night... one that felt so real, I could almost feel its breath on my neck when I'd hike up the covers over my head and swear to never watch another horror film again ....

Yep. The ol' werewolf did it to me every time. And my dad loved the werewolf movies as much as I did. They were all over the place in the 80s: The Howling, American Werewolf in London, Silver Bullet ... I can't say exactly what it was, but they freaked this little girl out. Nowadays, horror films are more paranormal and less fantastical in my opinion. And maybe that's why werewolves have remained my fave monster of all time. There is something so wild and fierce and dangerous about them. Wolves on their own are beautiful, but mingled with the human body, they become a grotesque creature that was never meant to roam the earth.


So there you have it. I'll always be a werewolf fan, for the sheer memories of childhood fear alone. Thanks, Dad!

For more on monsters who scare us, checkout others on the blog chain Eric and Michelle McLean.

What about you? Who's your fave antagonist? And what's your fave monster??

35 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Oldman was damned cool as Dracula.
I dig the werewolves in Underworld. All right, I dig Kate Beckinsale's vampire even more.

salarsenッ said...

Man, did I miss a ton of blogfests or what???

Great post. Bram's version of Dracula is by far my favorite! I loved the darkness of the film.

welcome to my world of poetry said...

I can remember "The American Wherewolf In London. saw it a few times on tv. Thought it was good at the time.


Have a wonderful week-end.
Yvonne.,

DL Hammons said...

When I was 14 or 15 I watched a made-for-TV movie called THE NIGHT STALKER. Scared the SHIT out of me!! Couldn't sleep for a week after that. So Vampires are in my sweet spot as far as antagonist go. I loved FRIGHT NIGHT and Chris Saradon's vampire was impressive.

Heather M. Gardner said...

The way Mr. Oldman whispered 'Mina' always gives me shivers.
HMG

Richard said...

I don't read horror, so I don't think I have any all-time great villains. The last time I remember a movie truly scaring me was The Exorcist, and that was like 30 years ago.

Old Kitty said...

Oooh lovely choices!! Yay for count dracula and werewolves!

I have a soft spot for Frankenstein (the Dr and the creature he creates!).

Take care
x

Deana said...

Vampires and Werewolves! Awesome antagonists and mosters alike.

Angela Cothran said...

Dracula is a great choice! I'm ashamed to admit that I've never read Dracula--what's even worse is I have a copy sitting in my bookshelf. Maybe I should break it out for Halloween.

Julie said...

Dracula is an excellent choice, so creepy. I was scared to death of American Werewolf in London back when it was first out. Haven't seen it in years now but it definitely made me afraid of werewolves!

LTM said...

eye, yi yi, P! That werewolf scared the pants off me!!! But I remember B.S.'s Dracula and that movie depiction. It was just the perfect mix of creepy and good, and I do agree that Oldman was the right choice. Happy Halloween!

Catherine Stine said...

I really loved Jack Nickelson in The Shining. He did scare me, and I'm not easily scared. My fave monster? I like ones that are totally made up from scratch.

Carla White said...

I read a lot of Stephen King and he's created many good monsters. The one that still gives me goosebumps, though, would have to be the clown from IT. But he wasn't a real person, so in that regard, Jack from The Shining was a great (sort of) antagonist and monster. It was terrifying to see his transformation and hear the voices in his head.

Great post, PK! I still have yet to read Dracula.

Hart Johnson said...

Oh, now I have to see that! I've read Dracula and like it--didn't realize that Oldman image was from Dracula. I Also liked Frankenstein and Jekyl and Hyde--in fact to me I find Jekyl and Hyde the scariest set up--someone drunk on power messing with nature.

Katrina L. Lantz said...

Wow, he scratched at your door? I'm trying to decide if that's funny or just really mean. Sounds like you ended up sharing a lifelong love through it, so that's good! Werewolves are so scary, but I haven't watched enough or read enough for them to feel real to me. I'm more likely to cuddle up to my sheets in fear of vampires.

Great double-post! I loved Gary Oldman's Dracula, too!

E.R. King said...

Dracula still terrifies me. I have compared all literary vampires to him, and if they fall short of his scariness, I move on. I like evil to be evil! And he is definitely that. Thanks so much for participating in the blogfest!

Jen said...

That sounds like the sort of thing my Dad would have done! When I was six, my siser told me that the twigs tapping on my window at night was a vampire trying to get in -- right after she read me her Dracula comic. I slept with the blankets over ny head for years. Dracula still scares me!

Jenny S. Morris said...

Dracula is one of the creepiest. Love it.

Michelle H. said...

My dad was the same way. The moment he bought a brand-spanking, newfangled thing called a VCR, he rented every single horror movie at the local video store.

DM said...

Loved this blog, and Dracula has to be the scariest one because he seems to outwit everyone. Gary Oldman is one of my fav actors too. So versatile.

Melissa Ann Goodwin said...

Pk - awsome. Love Gary Oldman. He can be bad. He can be good. But he's better when he's baaaadddd....

Jenny said...

I was having such a hard time coming up with a blog post for today's blogfest prompt, and so many people told me Dracula. He's really, really chilling and scary and totally not someone I ever want to met. Even in the daylight with him in a coffin.

Sarah Pearson said...

American Werewolf in London was my first scary film. It freaked me out :-)

Anonymous said...

Florence is back as "anon" ... can't get it in yet.

Yes, yes, on Gary and Dracula, ditto on The Shining. Mary Shelley was so ahead of her time. My brother used to horror stories to me when I was little and whisper in my ear when I was sleeping. He did an imitation of the old radio show introductions of Inner Sanctum and The Shadow ... who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of man ... the shadow knows ... Boo. But for pure joy Edgar Allen Poe is still one of my all time favs and a classic recording a seventh grade teacher played of Orson Wells reciting The Black Cat on the day before Halloween. Great post, PK from you and Mark ... thanks.

Anonymous said...

So sorry Matt ... I must have been thinking of my nephew Mark.

Cynthia Lee said...

I loved some of the 80's horror movies, too! I loved The Howling and especially American Werewolf in London.

I still laugh when I think about dude standing in Trafalgar Square, trying to get arrested by yelling "Winston Churchill was full of s*@t! Shakespeare was French!"

A fairy recent indie horror movie called The House of the Devil was an homage to 80's horror. It was very well-done and pretty creepy. The heroine even wore acid-washed jeans tapered at the ankle. ;)

Tere Kirkland said...

Oh, Gary Oldman, you blood-sucking scamp! As bad as parts of that movie are, Oldman made it better. And Anthony Hopkins as Van Helsing? Inspired! Too bad the rest of the casting wasn't as spot-on.

I love werewolves, too. AAWiL is probably my favorite were movie. The effects were great for the time, and, like any great horror movie, it was what wasn't shown that made it scary.

Fun post!

Michelle McLean said...

ooo both excellent choices!! It's funny...I love vamps and werewolves for two different reasons. 1. they scare the you know what out of me (if we are talking the traditional monster) and 2. they are seductive, alluring, and swoon-worthy if we are talking the newer Stephanie Meyer/Charlaine Harris/Laurell K. Hamilton variety.

It's so interesting how our monsters have evolved over the centuries...

T C Mckee said...

I agree. Oldman as Dracula wouldn't have needed to hypnotize me at all. One of my favorite movies. Great post!

James Garcia Jr said...

Hi, P.K. Great choices. I liked Oldman in that, too. I also loved him in The Professional. I don't care for that genre of movies, but that film was brilliant!
My favorite antagonist might happen to be Hanibal the Cannibal Lechter.
My favorite monster is probably the possessed Regan MacNeil in The Exorcist. That is the most frightening film ever and stays with me for two days after I watch it. When I get in bed for the night I dare not open my eyes until morning, because I just know she'll be there above me...

Nas Dean said...

Ohhh! Vampires and Werewolves? Great choices, PK!

Christine Fonseca said...

You definitely picked some GREAT ones!

Kate Karyus Quinn said...

Excellent monster choice!

Sandra Ulbrich Almazan said...

Classic choices!

William Kendall said...

Oldman was brilliant in that role, but then he almost always is in any role.

And the real Vlad Dracul was a worthy inspiration for the character. A real monster in and of his own right.

Then there's Elizabeth Bathory, who rates as one of history's monsters in her own way.