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Why 'True Blood' Rules: Zombies, Werewolves and Witches May Be Hot Now, But Vampires are Forever
June 1, 2011  | By David Bianculli

Season 3 of True Blood has just come out on DVD and Blu-Ray, less than a month before Season 4 arrives on HBO. It's great to dive in, again or the first time, with Sookie Stackhouse and all her supernatural friends, enemies and lovers -- and it's a biting reminder why, no matter how many other creatures of the night may pop up in movies and TV right now, vampires rule...


I reviewed the DVD set this week on NPR's Fresh Air with Terry Gross, a report you can hear, and read, by clicking HERE. And if you do, or if you've heard it, you might like to see some accompanying visuals, which radio, of course, cannot provide.

When I was giving a brief history of vampires through film and TV, I mentioned Nosferatu, F.W. Murnau's unauthorized but unforgettable adaptation of Bram Stoker's Dracula. Max Schreck played the undead, rat-like bloodsucker in that film, and, as shown at right, he wasn't going to make any audience members swoon at his sight. Vampires became a lot more alluring, and sensitive, in the 1950s and 1960s, thanks to Hammer horror films and TV's Dark Shadows.

One other visual aid is well worth including here.

In my Fresh Air report, I play a clip from the final episode from Season 3, in which Sookie (Anna Paquin) is standing guard over a deadly, powerful predator, the Vampire King of Mississippi (played by Denis O'Hare, who first knocked me out when he appeared on Broadway in the Roundabout revival of Stephen Sondheim's Assassins).

The King had almost died from exposure to sunlight, and I described him as "looking like a charred hot dog that was left out on the grill way too long."

That description hardly does justice to the makeup artist's efforts. At right is the way the crispy creature appears in that scene.


What I should have said, in retrospect, was "a charred hot dog... with eyes."

You can buy the Blu-Ray of Season 3 of True Blood, or the regular DVD set, by clicking HERE.

And be patient -- new episodes arrive Sunday, June 26, on HBO.





Sarah said:

I have been a fan of Dracula and vampires since, as a kid, I watched The Monster Squad for the first time. Yes, Dracula was evil, but there was something about him that I liked and admired and never stopped. Since then I have watched as many vampire movies and series as I can. They are, after all, the reason I started to watch True Blood and my "guilty pleasure" The Vampire Dairies. Although I do admit I am not a fan of the Twilight vamps. Besides that there is nothing like a well written, well acted vampire character to get my blood flowing and my heart beating. Old, new, good, evil, sexy, "charred hotdog", I love them all- Bill, Eric, Damon, Stefan and Angel are great but if I am being true to myself, Spike is and will always be my favorite.

P.S. I'm not a big zombie fan but I am looking forward to the next season of The Walking dead whenever that will be.

[Love the reference, and the allegiance, to the all-time best vamp on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Nice. -- DB]

Comment posted on June 1, 2011 2:23 PM

Retractable Fangs said:

One of the (various) actions that creep me out most about True Blood is when the actors retract their fangs. You do not usually see them advance down, but you do oftentimes watch them withdraw. Too spooky!

Comment posted on September 3, 2011 5:12 PM
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