Hollywood, CA – A small legion of vampires and lovers of the undead descended upon the Music Box Theater @ Fond, in Hollywood, this last Sunday (8/16/09) for Vampire-Con 2009. Promotional materials billed Vampire-Con as “the world’s first vamp-pop culture celebration” and invited attendees to come find their inner vampire. The promoters obviously want to capitalize on the public’s current infatuation with “fangers”.
The convention kicked off on Friday night (8/14/09) with a two-night film festival at the New Beverly Cinema. The films offered a good cross section of how Hollywood has depicted vampires throughout the years: “Count Yorga, Vampire” (1970) a classic campy vampire film, “Lost Boys” (1987) a big budget vampire romp, and a preview of a new vampire film “Midnight Son” (2009) produced by Eduardo Sanchez - one of the writers and directors of “The Blair Witch Project” (1999). The Saturday night films were dedicated to Lesbian Vampireotica, which included the classic vampire movie “The Hunger” (1983) by Tony Scott – this movie oozes sensuality (next to “Daughters of Darkness” (1971), I can’t say which one of these is my favorite vampire film).
Sunday’s Music Box event featured a handful of vendors selling such wares as Vampire brand Merlot wine, coffin couches (that’s right couches that looking like ornate coffins), and jewelry with a Gothic flair. The vendor selling the vampire poetry magnets gave me the biggest chuckle of the afternoon – the secrets of a graveyard never hide in the moonlight (I won’t win any poetry contest any time soon) – I had to buy a set. The promoters made the effort to introduce some social consciousness to Vampire-Con by partnering with the American Red Cross, who encouraged all to donate blood on-site. Aids Project Los Angles was also in attendance offering free HIV testing.
The small, but enthusiastic, crowd sat through panel discussions that explored “Why We Love Vampires: A Brief History of the Undead” and “Inked in Blood: 40 Years of Vampirella” that honored the forty year history of Vampirella – the original first lady vamp of comic books. Following this panel a contest took place to crown a Vampirella spokesperson. Honestly, I was so distracted by the two lovely women walking around in the traditional skimpy red Vampirella outfit that I can’t tell you who won the contest. Both girls looked great! Vampire-Con culminated on Sunday night with the Vampire Ball – a dance/costume ball.
I enjoyed walking around Vampire-Con, listening to people say, “I hope this takes off.” How great to hear people tell how they first became fascinated with vampires. Myself, I was bitten back in the late 60’s during those late Saturday nights when I was allowed to stay up and watch “Fright Night” hosted by Seymour. Seymour introduced me to all the great Universal Studio monsters. My favorite monster, of course, was Bela Lugosi in “Dracula” (1931) – the cape, the creepy castle, and the whole vampire myth sucked me in. By this measure, Vampire-Con 2009 was successful in allowing a lucky few to spend several days finding their “inner vampire” and sharing that experience with others. The promoters hope to make this a yearly event.
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