Beyond Dracula

Catherine Deneuve and Susan Sarandon in Tony Scott's "The Hunger."

Doesn't matter that the moon isn't full,  there is no escaping vampires. At this very nanosecond on the small screen True Blood and The Vampire Diaries at your throat; on the large there are last year's Twilight and Let the Right One, a Danish film being remade by Hollywood. Coming soon to your local multiplex: the Twilight sequel, New Moon.

Why are stories of neckbiters so popular? Ask Alice Affleck Bullitt, whose Beyond Dracula, a course offered at the Bryn Mawr Film Institute in October, will explore modern vampire films such as Kathryn Bigelow's Near Dark and  Neil Jordan's Interview With a Vampire.  For Bullitt, "The allure of vampires is that they are dangerous, but also seductive--isn't it hard to deny that as humans, we are often drawn to things or individuals despite (or to wit, because of) the fact that they are bad for us?"

The bloodsucker is an unusually adaptable metaphor. It can be used to represent sex (as in Tony Scott's The Hunger, featuring a stylish Sapphic  love affair between Catherine Deneuve and Susan Sarandon), social transgression (Bigelow's Near Dark, with the fanged ones coming from the wrong side of the tracks), insatiability (Jordan's Interview With a Vampire) and initiation (Twilight).

What metaphor does your favorite vampire film/show trade in?