Friday, June 20, 2014

Guest Blog: Legally Undead by Margo Bond Collins

UFI welcomes Author Margo Bond Collins. Thanks for Joining us!!

My Favorite Vampire Hunters in Film and Television

Buffy: Because what’s not to love about a snarky blonde cheerleader with a destiny to be a vampire slayer? Add Joss Whedon’s particular brand of brilliance, and Buffy is still one of my favorite vampire hunters, even more than fifteen years after the television series first aired. 

Blade, Whistler, and Abigail Whistler: I love the way the Blade
film series uses the conventions of vampire film and myth. The dhampir (or half-vampire) as a vampire hunter is one of my favorite semi-obscure vampire myths, and Wesley Snipes does a nice job of being a taciturn, tortured hero in the dhampir role. Film scholar Jeffrey Weinstock has claimed that the vampire film is always about technology, and Whistler (Kris Kristofferson) is the consummate tech guy. Finally, the addition of Abigail Whistler brings the kick-ass heroine into the series, making it just about perfect, as far as I’m concerned.

Peter Vincent: I know that the 2011 remake of Fright Night was not exactly a favorite of either critics or fans. But I love, love, love David Tennant in the role of the stage magician whose dark past makes him a vampire expert. 

The Winchester Brothers: Normally, these are top five lists. But
I’m going to count Sam and Dean Winchester from the television series Supernatural together—it’s virtually impossible to consider them any other way. Technically, Sam and Dean are monster hunters in general, and vampires make up only a small percentage of their hunts—but since Dean was once briefly turned into a vampire and Sam had to contemplate beheading his brother, I think it counts. Plus: they’re just so beautiful.

 Pike: In the original film version of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, she ends up with Pike, a mechanic whose best friend is turned into a vampire. I like Pike because, like Elle in my book Legally Undead, he doesn’t want to kill vampires. In fact, he packs up to get out of town. But then he sticks around to help Buffy figure out that she is, as he says, “the guy. The chosen guy.”

I really wanted to find a film or TV version of Van Helsing to include in this list, but I just couldn’t. The movie Van Helsing was simply laughable, and the Van Helsing character in the various Dracula movies doesn’t seem strong enough. I’d love to hear about any Van Helsings or other vampire hunters I might have missed who should be considered!

Margo Bond Collins is the author of Waking up Dead, Fairy, Texas, and Legally Undead, first in the Vampirarchy urban fantasy series, coming in 2014 from World Weaver Press.

She lives in Texas with her husband, their daughter, several spoiled cats, and a ridiculous turtle. She teaches college English online. She loves paranormal fiction of any genre and spends most of her free time daydreaming about vampires, ghosts, zombies, werewolves, and other monsters.

Find Margo and her books

Legally Undead
Vampirarchy #1
A reluctant vampire hunter, stalking New York City as only a scorned bride can.

Elle Dupree has her life all figured out: first a wedding, then her Ph.D., then swank faculty parties where she’ll serve wine and cheese and introduce people to her husband the lawyer.

But those plans disintegrate when she walks in on a vampire sucking the blood from her fiancĂ©, Greg. Horrified, she screams and runs—not away from the vampire, but toward it, brandishing a wooden letter opener.

As she slams the improvised stake into the vampire’s heart, a team of black-clad men bursts into the apartment. Turning to face them, Elle realizes Greg’s body is gone—and her perfect life falls apart.


The worst thing about vampires is that they're dead. That whole wanting to suck your blood business runs a close second, but for sheer creepiness, it's the dead bit that gets me every time. They're up and walking around and talking and sucking blood, but they're dead. And then there's the whole terminology problem--how can you kill something that's already dead? It's just wrong.

I was twenty-four the first time I . . . destroyed? dispatched? . . . a vampire. That's when I found out that all the books and movies are wrong. When you stick a wooden stake into their hearts, vampires don't disintegrate into dust. They don't explode. They don't spew blood everywhere. They just look surprised, groan, and collapse into a pile of corpse. But at least they lie still then, like corpses are supposed to.

Since that first kill (I might as well use the word--there really isn’t a better one), I've discovered that only if you're lucky do vampires look surprised before they groan and fall down. If you're unlucky and miss the heart, they look angry. And then they fight.

There are the other usual ways to kill vampires, of course, but these other ways can get a bit complicated. Vampires are notoriously difficult to trick into sunlight. They have an uncanny ability to sense when there's any sunlight within miles of them, and they're awfully good at hiding from it. Holy water doesn't kill them; it just distracts them for a while, and then they get that angry look again. And it takes a pretty big blade to cut off someone's head--even an already dead someone--and carrying a great big knife around New York City, even the Bronx, is a sure way to get arrested. Nope, pointy sticks are the best way to go, all the way around.

My own pointy stick is actually more of a little knife with wood inlay on the blade--the metal makes it slide in easier. I had the knife specially made by an old Italian guy in just about the only ratty part of Westchester, north of the city. I tried to order one off the internet, but it turns out that while it’s easy to find wood-inlay handles, the blades themselves tend to be metal. Fat lot those people know.

But I wasn’t thinking any of this when I pulled the knife out of the body on the ground. I was thinking something more along the lines of “Oh, bloody hell. Not again.”

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