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Warped Werewolves, Venal Vampires, And The Top 5 Myth Bastardizations6 Comments

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Ian David Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-05-10 01:29 PM
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Warped Werewolves, Venal Vampires, And The Top 5 Myth Bastardizations6 Comments
Edited on Sun Dec-05-10 01:30 PM by Ian David
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Warped Werewolves, Venal Vampires, And The Top 5 Myth Bastardizations6 Comments
Posted In Blog, Books, Comics, Entertainment, Movies, TV

by A.J. Focht

Todays media is overrun with rehashed tales of old myths. It is nearly impossible to come across a fantasy story that doesnt re-use mythical beings. Vampires, werewolves, and zombies all come from traditional myths and plague our airwaves and book stores; every author is looking for a way to put their own spin on this time tested material.

Some authors are very good at taking traditional myths and adapting them, whereas others should be hanged, drawn, and quartered for their crimes against them. Most myths have grey areas that can be adapted, but they all have their canon lists of facts and pieces of the myth that cannot be changed without altering that which is intrinsic to it. When an author starts altering these facts they upset the status quo. They weaken not only the fabric of the mythological being but our ability to suspend our disbelief. This leaves their final product looking like a cheap bastardization of the original.

With the large boom in fantasy tales being sold these days (if you dont know what I am talking about go to your local book stores young adult literature section) there have been a lot of myths bastardized. I present you with the five of the worst mythical creature bastardizations.

The Top 5 Myth Bastardizations



More (Kinda NSFW):
http://suicidegirlsblog.com/blog/warped-werewolves-vena...
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phantom power Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-06-10 08:49 AM
Response to Original message
1. Phantom Power's translation:
"The myths I grew up with are totally way better than the new versions of the myths that my children are growing up with, even though it's all just made up."

"and you kids get off my lawn"
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X_Digger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-06-10 09:23 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. Agreed and..
The author totally misses the fact that some of the derivations explored in some media are actually just a different mythos- ie, skin-walkers have a long history in some actual native american cultures.
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Orrex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-07-10 08:54 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. I confess to finding some of that distasteful, though
Nothing wrong with the underlying myths, but there's a sort of assembly line mentality about it lately, in which the writers aggressively mine existing myth structures for a "new" and interesting take on some otherwise familiar archetype. IMO it's a lot like the way that CSI-type programs will feature stories "ripped from the headlines," too cynically artificial and self-serving.
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X_Digger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-07-10 10:31 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. Well, depends on the author / treatment..
When it actually feels like a different, rich universe and not a 'lets plaster over the plot holes with special powers that come from three different mythologies'- then I give it it's suspension of disbelief.

Good Example: Charles de Lint

Bad Example: CE Murphy -- don't get me wrong, I like her work, as mind popcorn.
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Orrex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-07-10 10:38 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. I suppose that's true, but the signal:noise ratio is pretty bad
For every interesting and sincere exploration of some lesser-known mythology, there are a million cheeseball knock-offs.
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Orrex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-07-10 08:49 PM
Response to Original message
3. Some clarification is necessary here
Vampires have always been harmed by the sunlight, making it one of their major weaknesses.

Weakened, yes. But the idea that sunlight kills vampires is a comparatively recent innoviation:

A more universal effect of the film is less obvious: the ending of Nosferatu single-handedly created the concept that vampires can be physically harmed by sunlight.
Wikipedia's entry on Nosferatu

So unless A.J. Focht is equally going to complain about Nosferatu's revisionist vampire lore, then there's no solid basis for complaining about Meyer's tweaking, either. I mean, I think the sparkly thing is pretty lame, but I'll grudgingly allow it as artistic license.

Hell, any two vampire movies will feature wildly divergent descriptions of the creatures' abilities and weaknesses, so there's almost no point in arguing about which account is "correct." Hell, vampires have precedent in so many societies that it's really just a matter of finding the right cultural hodgepodge and dredging out the aspects that you want to explore.

Me, I like the Vorvon.

Now, onto zombies:

4. The Walking Dead
Now dont get me wrong, I love this show. It has done a phenomenal job of creating a post zombie apocalypse world, but I have still one major hang-up. In the second episode, a zombie is seen using a rock, albeit rather ineffectively, to help smash open a window. This shows that the zombie has some of his cylinders firing still, and that just isnt right. Zombies are not only dead they are brain dead.

Apparently Focht hasn't seen that little-known zombie flick Night of the Living Dead. In it, the very first zombie that we see looks to the ground and picks up a large rock with which to smash Barbara's passenger window.

Hey, I'm not fond of zombies using elaborate missile weapons or complex machinery, but if Romero sez that the ghouls can use rocks, then dammit zombies can use rocks!
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