Search

Some Nerd Girl

Some Like It Nerdy

Tag

vampires

What We Do in The Shadows (2014) – Review

Like every little girl, when I grew up I wanted to be a vampire. …wait, that’s not a thing? Well, I was a weird kid. I remember watching Interview With A Vampire and being totally enamoured with Lestat and his charming arrogance, as well as being very confused by how much I wanted to be bitten by one of the Backstreet Boys in the video for ‘Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)’ – don’t act like you don’t know the song, everyone knows the song.

Vampires were dark, dangerous and totally charismatic monsters. Christopher Lee gave Dracula his now iconic look as the sultry dark lord of the night, which was only beaten by Gary Oldman in Francis-Ford-Coppola’s-Bram-Stoker’s-Dracula where he definitely made a few more of us willing to be one of his brides. Vampires were awesome. Until the dreaded Twilight saga came along. Suddenly, my beloved undead horrors became a joke, thanks to glittery pretty boy ‘vegetarian’ vamps, along with the True Blood TV series and other teenage supernatural romance novels. I was resigned to watching classic Hammer Horror and hoping that one day there would be something that would make me fall in love with vampires again.

wwdits3

My patience (and occasional ranting) was rewarded with the 2014 mockumentary horror comedy, What We Do in The Shadows. I found this film through my good friend Rachel over on Tumblr – we did Film Studies together for two years in college so I trust her taste in movies – and I was immediately intrigued. Set in Wellington, New Zealand (coincidentally where one of my best friends lives) What We Do in The Shadows focuses on four vampires, Viago, Vladislav, Deacon and Petyr, who share a flat together and have agreed to be filmed by the human camera crew who are protected by wearing crucifixes and have the vampires’ word that they won’t eat them. I can’t say I’d be so trusting, but there you go.

wwdits2

Viago, Vlad and Deacon are relatively young in comparison to the more Nosferatu-like Petyr, who is kept in the basement and looked after by his other flatmates. Their lives consist of sharing chores (occasionally, in Deacon’s case), going out on the town to hunt and have fun, and enjoying their hobbies of music and knitting. Things change however, when Deacon’s very patient familiar/servant Jackie brings over a few humans for the vampires to feast on and the night ends in one of them, Nick, being turned into a vampire himself. As he is welcomed into their company, Nick takes it upon himself to bring his new friends into the 21st century with technology as he adapts to his new undead life – however, he’s not exactly subtle with his new status, which brings trouble to the group’s doorstep.

wwdits5

If you’re a fan of Flight of the Conchords, you’ll recognise Jemaine Clement as Vladislav ‘the Poker’ (who co-wrote and directed with Taika Waititi, who plays the delightful and sweet Viago) as well as an appearance from Rhys Darby too. The humour is very similar to Conchords as well, which should be good news for fans of the quirky Kiwi show. The characters are all likeable in their own ways and the development over the film is very believable too – especially when Nick’s lovely red-cheeked human friend Stu is introduced. Even the darkest moments are lit up with the wonderful sense of humour that runs throughout the entire thing. Then of course, there’s the Spinal Tap feel of the film, it’s funny yet feels genuine and very real. The practical special effects add to that I feel, from the copious amounts of blood to the way the vampires float and fly – in a world where CGI has become the standard for creating effects, it’s a treat to see something more tangible.

wwdits1

My absolute favourite part of What We Do in The Shadows? Viago. He manages to be an adorable cinnamon roll of loveliness as well as a vampire who feast on blood – there’s no gold-eyed vegetarianism here, and yet even covered in blood, gingerly holding a tea towel, Viago is the most wonderful vampire in modern fiction. Just take one look at that adorable little smile and tell me you wouldn’t let him drain you dry. I’d even put down the towels and newspapers for him. (Bonus points go to Clement’s Vladislav, who is somehow oddly sexy in this role.)

I cannot find a single fault with this film. I’ve watched it four times since I got it, and I’ve recommended it to pretty much every friend I’ve had the chance to – you’ll find yourself feeling good after watching it. Which is more than could be said for the feeling I had after watching New Moon. Urgh.


ClaireClaire is a foul-mouthed British twenty-something who spends most of her time pretending to be an adult. Her nerd status started from an early age with her dad’s love of sci-fi and developed through a love of gaming, reading and horror. As well as volunteering for a charity, Claire writes about her life with borderline personality disorder (BPD) and mental health over at her blog, as well as tweeting nonsense over as @MouthAndSpoons. The dream is to either make it as a successful writer, or go into mental health research. She lives at home with her equally nerdy husband, their dog Lady, cat Pip and a lot of fish.

Advertisements

I Made (Another) Thing!

Back in October, I proudly announced that I had Made a Thing called Colony One. I was pretty excited about this, as it was the second novel I had put out there for the world to read.  Sometime around November, I announced that I would be posting my next creation live as I wrote it.

Well, to make a long story short; I am thrilled to announce that creation – Urban Fantasy novel Unforgettable – has been released into the wild and is available for purchase as of today!

3D Mock Five
Digital Format

3D Mock Two
Paperback

 

Unforgettable tells the story of Cassidy “Cas” Dubois – a girl whose natural born talent of stealing memories has secured her a place within the local supernatural community – whether she likes it or not. Which she usually does not. She struggles with her isolation daily but as we follow her here, all that is about to change. This story has it all – vampires, Weres, witches, demons and Death.

There are so many things about this novel for me to be excited about. Such as:

  • It’s the second book that belongs to the Children of the Fallen series – and sets the tone for the novels to come as I introduce more Nephilim that are forced to come to terms with their nature and unavoidable crisis.
  • I was able to share this work before publishing it. This allowed me to gauge the interest, success of the story line itself and get the feedback I needed to make the novel even better. A great MANY thanks to those who read and gave me their thoughts!
  • I managed to score yet another phenomenal cover from my favorite designer.
  • With each novel release, I am growing my brand and (hopefully!) expanding my reader base.

As many of you know, self-publishing has its pros and cons – but I have to admit that this experience has been one of the better ones. I had a great support system, a really fun story to write and the benefits of learning from my previous adventures with Children of the Fallen and Colony One.

I cannot underline enough how much the support of my readers, friends and family has helped in allowing me to continue this journey. This announcement would be incomplete without a very large and very sincere THANK YOU to all of you. All I ever wanted to do was put out entertaining stories that inspire the imagination – and I look forward to doing this for years to come!


Eve2Eve is the founder of Some Nerd Girl and the author of urban fantasy novels Children of the Fallen and Unforgettable as well as science fiction novel Colony One. She has been writing since the age of 13 and has been flying her nerd flag for the past 16 years. Fandoms include Star Wars, Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica. Basically if it has ‘star’ in it, she’ll give it a shot.

Vampires – Love ’em or Leave ’em?

We here at Some Nerd Girl like to tackle the real problems of the day… like vampires – love ’em or leave ’em?

The world is losing its monsters, and it may not be a bad thing. The vampires that I grew up with- brooding, sexual, and tormented; they are truly a thing of the past. The modern era has no room for them. These days, the vampires we see may be tortured, but they’re tortured by petty pursuits and many are borne of their own machinations. “Vampire Politics” is a term seen in every new book these days. But why did vampires become boring? At the very base of the folklore, vampires have always served as cautionary tales. Folklorists have some pretty solid theories that vampirism is based on rabies breakouts. Unusual sightings of bats, a transition period before death, hypersexuality, and of course rabies is transmitted by being bitten. The tale of vampires told people the signs of a very dangerous disease. (Here’s a source if you’re on of those ‘fact checkers’: http://www.theverge.com/2013/4/18/4201878/sick-idea-how-rabies-spawned-vampires-and-zombies)

I am pretty sure Bella would not let THIS bite her.
I am pretty sure Bella would not let THIS bite her.

Even Stoker’s Dracula is a cautionary tale warning of the danger of foreigners. While that side of the story is maybe a little politically incorrect, if you consider the social and economic factors of the time the book was written, it makes sense. The fact that technology helps fight the danger is actually pretty neat. Mina’s typewriter and the use of a phonograph may not be cutting edge today, but the technology of the time was used to counter the darkest forces of evil. Let’s consider that for a moment, the fact that technology and logic beat out superstition and mythical creatures. We’ll come back to it later.

Hipsters may have the edge if Dracula ever makes a comeback.
Hipsters may have the edge if Dracula ever makes a comeback.

The most important part of the “old school” vampire stories, of course, is the temptation. The trade-off. What would you give for immortality? Would you flee from your friends and family as they try to introduce you to the pointy side of a stake? You’re a blood-hungry monster, after all. How will you stay sane for a millennia while seeing those around you wither and die; except for the ones you kill yourself? Would you trade in bacon for blood? Could you forsake the sun and a life in the light, for immortality in the dark? Even if you did, would it be worth it? Vampirism has always been a deal with the devil, and the devil always got his due.

Is now a bad time to mention humans are called the long pig..?
Is now a bad time to mention humans are called the long pig..?

In modern media, there are no cautionary tales to scare us in the night. We know all about bloodborne diseases, and sun allergies, and even the fact that skin shrinks in certain earths, making nails and hair look longer. In modern works, technology helps vampires. Who cares about sunlight when the only thing it will do is make you sparkle?! Even if you are one of those “bursts into flames when the sun rises” kind of vampires, well, these days you just need a witch to make you a fancy ring. Or get yourself some broad-spectrum 100spf. Why lurk in the dark worrying over the life you’re taking to feed on, when instead you could open up bottle of Bacon-flavored TrueBlood™?

Supposedly
Supposedly

Even the society of the undead has changed. With little exception, vampires have been outcasts and lone wolves. Dracula may have had a harem, but they’re barely mentioned and barely used. Lestat, the devil, tries endlessly to create bonds with other vampires, only to be spurned and betrayed again and again. Even when Rice’s vampires do manage to get along, eventually someone realizes what a terrible idea it is and sets the whole business up in flames. Even the maker of vampires in Rice’s books spends a lot of time setting them on fire.

“Not _again!_” he seemed to say….

On the other side of the fang, modern vampires own night clubs, they work as covens, they boss each other around and swear fealty to each other. Some get married, some work in gas stations. The vampires of today have integrated. Modernity, it seems, has finally made us the DietVampire.

Although... I'm pretty sure you have to diet to get a body like that.
Although… I’m pretty sure you have to diet to get a body like that.

All the eternity, but none of the torment or loneliness. Gone is the struggle to survive and not hate yourself. The modernization of vampires has been a massive tradeoff. These DietVampires really don’t have struggles very different from the ones that normal folk have. They own businesses, they call in to radio shows, they have creepy half-vampire children. All the hardship of olden days has been replaced with modern convenience, and authors have recognized that. To try to give us something to care about and make vampires scarier, the writers have turned to something different – politics and chess games. Usually there’s some sort of “let’s turn humans into livestock” angle to it, of course.

Modern vampires could learn from Supernatural's Leviathan, who are genuinely creepy.
Modern vampires could learn from Supernatural’s Leviathan, who are genuinely creepy.

There isn’t anything tantalizing to the plot lines of modern vampire stories, because even if they’re after our blood, they’re really not after our way of life. They’re not asking us to make a choice. While being livestock that may be scary to society, it isn’t very scary to a single reader. What makes vampires scary to people aren’t plans and games, it’s the temptation that they offer; the temptation to make that deal with the devil… unfortunately for horror fans, now the deal with the devil comes with 0% financing.

The verdict? You decide! Leave your thoughts in the comments!


Barb2Barbie O’Havoc has been considered a nerd since the first time she pissed someone off for having a weird opinion. Since then, she’s been spending her time indulging in the surprisingly expensive habits of reading trashy vampire novels and hitting people while playing roller derby. Both of her main hobbies have led to a love of terrible puns, much to everyone’s dismay.

Barbie O’ also loves coffee and local restaurants, and occasionally rambles about both on the Johnstown Food Blog.

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑