Category Archives: Vampires

Around the Common Room: October 12, 2012

The Hog’s Head isn’t the only site pulling out the Halloween props–ghosts, spooks and goblins are all over the web! To begin, you may want to get your Potter-themed costume from OfficialHarryP

otterCostumes.com. Though making your own is always a perfectly good choice, too.

On Blu-Ray this fall: Universal Classic Monsters: The Essential Collection, which includes such famed monsters as The Phantom of the Opera, Creature from the Black Lagoon, Dracula, Frankenstein, The Wolf Man, The Bride of Frankenstein and The Mummy.

Definitely frightening: a pie chart of Voldemort’s soul, describing what percentage is in which Horcrux (assuming a 50/50 split every time).

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Lilith: George MacDonald’s Tale of Demons, Darkness, and Death

A Hog’s Head Halloween Book of Spooks

Edom’s streams shall be changed into pitch,
its soil into sulfur,
and its land shall become burning pitch;
Night and day it shall not be quenched,
its smoke shall rise forever.
From generation to generation it shall lie waste,
never again shall anyone pass through it.
But the desert owl and hoot owl shall possess it,
the screech owl and raven shall dwell in it….
Wildcats shall meet with desert beasts,
satyrs shall call to one another;
There shall the lilith repose,
and find for herself a place to rest.
–Isaiah 34, NAB

From her vague origins as she-demon and development through Hebrew midrashim and other ancient texts, the Lilith of legend became the first wife of Adam, rebellious long before Eve listened to a snake. Through another turn of history, she’s identified with Lamia, a child-killing Greek monster and vampiress. In MacDonald’s Lilith: A Romance, which is far more horrific than romantic, she is both.

The book doesn’t begin with Lilith herself. It begins with a young Englishman, a mutilated book, and a ghostly librarian. The latter morphs into a raven and leads the Englishman, Vane, through a mirror into a strange fairyland, where Vane is immediately invited to die.

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Around the Common Room: July 27, 2012

cheapest cialis>It’s not Halloween, but apparently it’s a bit of a week for vampire news anyhow–although the story of Kristen Stewart having cheated on Robert Pattinson is more like sordid vampire gossip, and you’ll also find people around here who will argue that the word vampire doesn’t properly apply. Anyway, less sordidly and perhaps more vampirically, MSNBC has the news that Jonathan Rhys Meyers has been cast as Dracula in an upcoming NBC series. What I find funny, however, is that they claim this:

“In the world of “Twilight” and “True Blood” and all the contemporized stories, we thought we’d go back to the original”

…but then, the plot summary reads like this:

The series, which bypassed the traditional pilot stage, takes place in the 1890s and finds Dracula living a double life in London as an American businessman interested in bringing modern science to Victorian society. His true plan to exact revenge on those who burdened him centuries ago, however, is derailed when he falls in love with a woman who seems to be his reincarnated wife.

I’ve read Dracula, and I don’t remember any of that.

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Around the Common Room: May 24, 2012

After a couple of weeks’ buildup, we have an immense number of links this week. Accio interesting stuff!

First, the Hogwarts Professor’s report on St Andrews’ academic conference on Harry Potter. The members of the Blogengamot who couldn’t catch a broom to Scotland for that experience are all thoroughly mopey for having missed it.

In the fantasy realm, in bullet points:

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The Strange Case of Professor Quirrell

[Note: Since Breaking Dawn Part 1 is nearly upon us, I’m starting a series of articles looking at villains and folklore motifs in the Harry Potter series. Hey, any time is good for some serious Potter talk, right? These are forming part of a larger project I’m writing on HP. Beginning at the beginning, here’s HPPS and a look at Professor Quirrell’s jokes.]

Professor Quirrell is not the first character most people would associate with humour. For most of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, he seems a genial buffoon, garnering a few laughs at his general ineptitude, but perhaps more to be pitied than laughed at. But in his denouement, he holds up his actions in the book at an object of ridicule: next to the sinister and villainous Snape, he says, “who’d suspect p-p-poor st-stuttering P-Professor Quirrell?” (209).

There is, of course, a metafictional aspect to this statement, as Rowling reveals the device whereby she mislead her readers to suspect the wrong person. Quirrell himself presents his characterisation as a joke, stuttering affability overlaying a violent, ruthless drive for power. Implicit here is another, cruelly jibe, and a simultaneous compliment to his own intelligence: no one suspected him. His performance throughout the story has been an elaborate, vicious joke on everyone at Hogwarts.

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Carlisle Cullen Richest Man in Fiction

You don’t have to be a Twilight fan to appreciate the wonderful humor in this report, in full here.

FORKS, Wash. — Those Goldman Sachs bankers taking home millions in bonuses could take a few lessons from the richest man in fiction, Dr. Carlisle Cullen. Unlike those bankers, Cullen has avoided populist ire by hiding his $34.1 billion personal fortune from charities, the I.R.S. and, until now, Forbes’ intrepid imaginary billionaire hunters.

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The Laughs are MONSTERous!

(No, really–that’s what the poster says!)

What do you get when the legends of silver screen comedy run into the legends of silver screen horror (literally)? You get the 1948 classic, Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein. Hailed as one of the greatest comic horror movies ever made, it showcases the comedy duo at the height of their powers and the classic Universal Studio monsters in all their campy terror.

Glenn Strange is the monster in question, the immortal Lon Chaney continues his role as the Wolfman, and, most memorably, Bela Lugosi assumed the role of Count Dracula for the second and final time. Vincent Price even features in an uncredited cameo as the Invisible Man–and gets enough time to laugh evilly.

Abbott and Costello are Chick and Wilbur, two hapless freight handlers who receive a remarkable shipment–Count Dracula in a coffin, Frankenstein’s monster in a crate. Nor did the shipment arrive by accident. Dracula has designed a sinister plot to empower the monster, and lacks one vital ingredient to bring terror to the world: Wilbur’s brain.

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Werewolf and Vampire Tips!

I was browsing a bookstore humor section and came upon some helpful titles you might want to consider:

Are you a new werewolf? Want to easily handle the transition to your new life? You want The Werewolf’s Guide to Life: A Manual for the Newly Bitten by Ritch Duncan and Bob Powers.

Learn about lycanthropy, and werewolf romance, faith, working life, wellness and health. Discover how to find and be part of a werewolf community. Find tips for dealing with wannabes, werewolf hunters, and vampires (that means you, Cullens–Arabella). Embrace your inner werewolf and learn about the Lycanthrope Ascendance movement.

Or perhaps you’d like to snag a vampire. Here’s some help:

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