Sunday, February 14, 2016

Vampire's Day Soiree 2016

Once again, the fang-tastic Holly of Holly's Horrorland is hosting the season's most sanguinary sensation, The Vampire's Day Soiree! I bid you all  welcome to my... er... neck of the woods, and hope you enjoy my little contribution to the evening's entertainment at this most bloody of bashes.

When Groovy and Gothic Collide!

My introduction to vampires began with Hammer's 1971 film Lust for a Vampire... or more precisely, the toned-down-for-television To Love a Vampire. After what was probably incessant pleading, my father let me stay up late to watch it on TV with him. It was the first horror movie I had ever seen, and had a massive impact on me. It really is spectacularly silly in parts, but it not only spawned a life-long love of the vampire genre, but also a soft spot for something that I personally refer to as "groovy-gothic".

Lust for a Vampire gave rise to a lasting impression in my youthful psyche that female vampires were seventies dolly birds who wafted through eerie graveyards in revealing, diaphanous gowns, and that crumbling castle ruins went hand in hand with far-out musical montages.

This groovy connection to the gothic was further consolidated with movies like Dracula A.D. 1972 (1972), Count Yorga, Vampire (1970), and The Return of Count Yorga (1971), which took the gothic vampire and placed him in a contemporary, swinging seventies setting.

Dracula A.D. 1972 even featured American band Stoneground performing two songs, Alligator Man and You Better Come Through for Me. For many, this was a decidedly low point for Hammer Studios, but I adored all the gloriously groovy nonsense!

The groovy-gothic vampire also bared his fangs on the small screen in the form of Barnabas Collins in the Dark Shadows soap opera (1966 - 1971). I didn't see the original show, in fact, I don't think it ever actually aired in Australia, but Tim Burton's 2012 Dark Shadows movie is an absolute favourite of mine.

Interestingly, I've seen interviews with Tim Burton in which he mentions not only how much he loved running home from school to watch the Dark Shadows series, but also that Dracula A.D. 1972 was a big influence on his career.

So as much as I thoroughly enjoy a traditional gothic vampire tale, I will always have a sentimental attachment to the sublime, and sometimes cheesy, groovy-gothic vamp. Even having Bela Lugosi's incarnation of Count Dracula juxtaposed with the 1976 cover design of Dracula Classic makes my heart sing.

Thank you for joining me for a little groovy-gothic, vamp-tastic fun! Please feel free to mingle with the other passionate-for-plasma partygoers here.


  1. Fabulous post, Emma!

    Funny you should be talking about groovy Gothic. Just wait till you see what I have in store for my post. haha! :)

    I need to watch Lust for a Vampire stat!

    1. Thank you, Chris!! Looking forward to your post!!

      Ha! Yes, 'Lust for a Vampire'!! STAT!! ;D

    2. I'm with Chris I have never seen Lust for a Vampire! Fun post as always now I need to run over and see what Chris has instore.

  2. Very Hip! I missed " Dark Shadows" as those were my rebellious years. Still foggie until the end of the seventies! I do remember Bella though, and I believed he was " Dracula"
    So happy to be visiting you! Blood is in lips smacking popcicle form ! here at the North Pole! xo

  3. Thank you for your contribution to this wonderful event! I especially enjoyed the photo here that features many from the cast of the original "Dark Shadows." I'm in the process of attempting to watch all of the original episodes, and am at episode 370 something. I never realized just how evil Barnabas Collins could be.

  4. Happy Valentine's Day Emma! ♥
    What a great post - I was smiling the whole time reading it! I especially liked the Dark Shadows film montage. Oh, and what really got me giggling was "The Count is back with an eye for London's hot pants..."
    Oh behave! Hahaha! Siobhan xox

  5. What a great post! I'm not sure if my first vampiric loves were The Lost Boys or David Bowie in The Hunger, or maybe even Lestat and Louis in the Anne Rice books. Way before the film came out!

  6. Is loving your camp-vamp, groovy goth, post ok Emma, or did I just declare a love for a politically incorrect minority group haha! Oh my, seeing a film with your dad sparking a lifelong love of the fanged makes me smile, and I have not even seen most of these, but the posters demand me seek out these classics... Love LOVE :)

  7. What a delicious post, Emma. I love how you came to love vampires. It puts me in mind of how fell in love with the types of literature I love today. I started by adoring straight horror that made my eyes wide and my legs a tad shaky, but with the years I started leaning towards the psychological terror of a well told Gothic story, with most of the monsters wearing human skins. Still, my first love will always be those first books.

    By the way, you've just added at least three movies to my list. ;-)

    Happy Vampire's Day Soirée!

  8. Oh I do love a groovy retro vampire and as your film posters show, the 70's was a classic era for them.

  9. When I was a kid, "Dark Shadows" didn't air in Canada either, but I read all the novel adaptations of the series! Loved Barnabas Collins!

  10. Emma, I miss you! Great post my friend! I haven't seen a lot of the 1970's movies you were talking about. I now have to! Johnny played a great Vampire! Vampire Valentine Hugs!

  11. Count Yorga - I haven't heard that name in forever! LOL I can't remember if I even liked the movies it was so long ago now. I got an excellent score at the thrift store the other day ... Sweeney Todd, Dark Shadows and From Hell - all three for $5! I'm going to have myself a Johnny Depp marathon, just as soon as I get over another plague virus I managed to catch this week. :P

    What an enjoyable post, Emma! It has been the week 'From Hell' and I'm sad I didn't manage to come up with anything for Holly's soiree this year.

  12. Oh, Bela. *heart swoon*

    You listed some great movies.

    Happy Vampire's Day!

  13. Oooow...I too found my love of all things vampire while watching "Friday night's appointment with Fear" from behind a sofa cushion. Those wonderfully light up eye shots as Dracula peered from the shadows :D XXX

  14. There's my girl Carmilla again! You have excellent taste, my fangtasic friend! Groovy-Gothic (love that name!) is my favorite genre too. Psycho-Biddy is a close second though!

  15. I've tried to think back to what era my first movie vampire experiences were from and what stuck with me, but I can't really pinpoint anything until Angel and Spike. And anyone after them just pales by comparison :)

  16. Hello,

    Barnabas Collins is a super gentleman! Actually, we can find some Barnabas in our modern society. Generally, we see more Barnabas in the Gothic moviment we like of various old traditions in our daily life.

    Who lives in this actual society likes to write letter, write in one blog, read impress book etc. But, always, the old society is a fantastic times in all over this ( temporary ) world with your culture.

    Super this small post about the vampire movie, main-
    ly, with the Barnabas's presence, Brutais blessings!

  17. Cool "Dark Shadows" pics... Hope that you and yours are well.
    We were wondering about this year's "May Monster Madness". And let us know when your Anniversary (of your blog) is this month.


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