Vampires, right? The stiletto heels of the paranormal. People keep saying they'll go out of fashion as we come to our senses, but it keeps not happening, because they're just too damn sexy.
From way back when, I mean. This isn't a new idea. I still remember puzzling over the abridged version of Dracula when I eleven. I wasn't quite sure what was wrong with poor hysterical Lucy, but it didn't sound all bad.
And then high school, and Interview With the Vampire.
Louis, the vamp who put the e in emo before we even knew what emo was. Baffled, beautiful and bewildered with ennui, he wasn't a vamp because he was attacked by a vicious monster or or bewitched by some blood-fanged hellbeast. He was a vampire because he hated his life but was too scared to die when the opportunity came.
Cue a whole generation of romance heroes with heartbreaking fatal flaws.
Louis was gorgeous and he sparked a tradition of angsty, whining vamps who abhorred this life of death and sorrow, yadda yadda, but for inadequately explored reasons never actually get around to killing themselves. But we forgive him because he's the original and the best.
And because, in 1994, we found out he actually looked like this:
Gulp. Honestly. No one really cared whom they cast as Louis because of the furore over Tom Cruise (I mean, OMG, like, he's not even blond, are they crazy? etc. etc.). And then River Phoenix died and people cared even less. I don't know what possessed Them to cast JD from Thelma and Louise as Louis, but that limb? I want out on it.
(Okay, so Mr Pitt had done a little more than that at the time. If you haven't seen it, check out Kalifornia. It's fantastic.)
I actually love the entire casting of Interview. It's crazy, but it's crazybeautiful.
IMO Mr Cruise is perfect. You want to punch him, but you admire him too. And everyone who's read the books knows that Armand is a short chubby-cheeked redhead from Venice. Right?
Need I say more? And recall, if you will, the collective bated breath in the cinema when this (almost) happened:
Mmm. Anyway. I digress :)
Apart from spawning a generation of Louis-clones -- and are we pleased about that or what? -- Interview is notable also for what it didn't spawn, at least not straight away: a generation of vampires like Lestat. The monster hero who's pretty damn pleased to be a monster, thanks very much, and if I'm going to hell (or not?) I might as well have some fun along the way. It's only recently that we've been inundated with this kind of character.
But more than thirty years (can you believe it?) have passed since the release of Interview, and no one has yet out-emo-ed Louis. No one has out-bratted Lestat.
If only Ms Rice had known when to stop.
Like me. Here.