When mummies first limped their way into popular culture, they personified the May-December romance. Mummies are consistently on the lookout for much younger woman. It won’t matter that she’s married or has a boyfriend or, frankly, isn’t particularly attracted to lanky, bandage-covered guys who reek of tana leaves; mummies are single minded in their pursuit of love. Fortunately (for most of us), mummies have a very specific ‘type’; they want the girl––and only that girl––who’s a dead-ringer for their three-millennia-dead-Egyptian princess. Love, like reincarnation, springs eternal.
Thanks to blockbuster movies and modern special effects, mummies are no longer the slow shuffling bandage-trailing reincarnates of the past. Today’s mummy has been re-reincarnated. Even so, modern mummies don’t seem all that threatening … unless one happens to resemble a long dead Egyptian princess.
In Victorian times, vampires were very, very bad. The object of a vampire’s fancy was, predictably, an unsullied maiden yet once that vampire came through her bedroom window her virgin’s resolve proved as flimsy as her diaphanous peignoir. Although this metaphoric ‘breaking and entering’ was scandalous, the notion that she ‘liked it’ was what shattered the sensibilities of the time. (You know what they say: once you’ve had fang, you’ll never want wang.)
Society has outgrown (for the most part) Victorian/Freudian sexual attitudes and, as a result, vampires have become quite popular. It’s easy to understand why. Who wouldn’t crave immortality coupled with preternatural beauty? Think of what could be accomplished with countless lifetimes to amass wealth, knowledge, and experience. Sure, there’s the dietary restriction, but even that could be ‘revamped’ to serve humanitarian purposes, like easing the suffering of the terminally ill, or dispatching the evil, cruel, and petty, or winnowing out lobbyists.
Werewolves are the underdogs. We feel bad for them. They are what they are through no fault of their own––unless you consider that walking on the misty moors or wandering through the foggy forest, all during the full moon, might not have been the cleverest plan––but smarts aside, werewolves demonstrate a highly evolved sense of social responsibility, and often suffer bouts of depression during self-imposed confinements––lone-wolfing it, if you will––to avoid harming others.
Once, a morose creature doomed to a lonely life and gruesome death, the modern werewolf has been reinvented. He’s formed support groups (Living With Lupus). He’s hit the gym. He’s learned to kick box. Truth be told, he’s pretty hot. Still, he’s no equal for the vampire. Violent mood swings are a still problem, not to mention all that hair.
Once upon a time, zombies were simply un-dead creatures shuffling about their daily chores while bound to the will of an evil sorcerer. Somewhere in zombie lore (thank you, George Romero) they became emancipated. They also developed an appetite for human flesh. Occasionally, a shuffle of zombies would stumble across the Living––seeking refuge (at night, always at night!) in an old farmhouse or a barn or a run down warehouse––but, for the most part, a baseball bat to the brain and a quick sprint down the road would thwart them.
Today’s zombies have gone apocryphal. They are the unquellable swelling hordes hell-bent on mindless destruction––not unlike a certain political party's constituency––and as the remaining sentient human beings struggle against a zombified world devoid of dignity or humanity or grace, we have an awful feeling: is this The End? Or is there still some small hope against the things that go ‘Trump’ in the night?
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