All these vampires on the box could suck the genre dry

A new rash of dramas about the undead might have even less staying power than Dracula at dawn

When the US vampire drama True Blood hits terrestrial TV on Wednesday it will be the latest in a rash of books and films injecting new blood into the genre.

But while aficionados are enjoying the genre's popularity, the first signs of a backlash are beginning: it is only a matter of time before we have had our fill.

After picking up fans and critical acclaim on the digital channel FX, the sexy US tale of waitress Sookie Stackhouse and her vampire love interest, from the creator of Six Feet Under, Alan Ball, is coming to Channel 4.

And it is not alone. Fuelled by the phenomenal success of Stephenie Meyer's Twilight quartet books – the second film adaptation of which hits cinemas in November – blood suckers are in vogue. The film Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant opens later this month; ITV2 will broadcast US drama The Vampire Diaries early next year, and Topshop has seen its clothes influenced by Hammer House of Horror fly off the shelves. Meanwhile Zone Horror, a digital channel dedicated to the dark side, enjoyed the strongest primetime ratings of its five-year history in July.

But Dr Helen Wheatley, senior lecturer in film and television studies at the University of Warwick and author of Gothic Television, said interest in vampires "comes and goes". She explained the first "glut" of TV programmes appeared in the 1970s, following the BBC's choice of vampire story Late Night Horror in 1968 as its first drama in colour "precisely because of the profusion of blood and gore". She added: "For me, it's not a new thing and it won't last forever and it'll come again."

Five thousand blood-thirsty fans will gorge on gothic flicks at the international Vampire Film Festival in New Orleans later this month. Exeter-based film-maker Joshua Gaunt, who is showing Here Lies Lucy: A Vampire Yarn, said it "was just the vampire genre's turn" to get the Hollywood treatment. "I think it's a good thing because it's getting people to take the genre seriously."

Tina Rath, who wrote her doctorate on the vampire in popular fiction, said the genre was "filling the gap that Harry Potter has left" among young adults. "Obviously, Stephenie Meyer has an enormous appeal on a certain level," she said. "Whether it will last is another matter." But she warned: "Dracula always rises from the grave."

True Blood

A possible successor to popular US gothic soap opera 'Dark Shadows' (1966-71) which, says Dr Wheatley, was "a bit like 'The Young and the Restless' with fangs".

New Moon

Second film in the Twilight vamrom series, which leaves teen girls weak at the knees as they follow Bella's relationship with a 104-year-old vampire.

Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant

The latest fang-tastic release sees a young boy who is thrown into the world of vampires after a trip to a freak show.

Being Human

Take a 20-something vampire, werewolf and ghost, put them in a flat in Bristol and sit back and enjoy as they tackle 'normal life'. Aidan Turner stars as the vampire, Mitchell.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Project Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This established Digital Agency based in East ...

Guru Careers: Sales Director / Business Development Manager

£35 - 45K + COMMISSION (NEG): Guru Careers: A Sales Director / Business Develo...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager - Manchester - Urgent Requirement!

£30000 - £35000 per annum + 20 days holidays & pension: Ashdown Group: Marketi...

Sauce Recruitment: Senior Management Accountant

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Sauce Recruitment: Working for a independently owne...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
Diego Costa: Devil in blue who upsets defences is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

Devil in blue Costa is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

The Reds are desperately missing Luis Suarez, says Ian Herbert
Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Former one-day coach says he will ‘observe’ their World Cup games – but ‘won’t be jumping up and down’
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness