Sunday, April 18, 2010

Vampire cage matches

I have a hefty stack of exams to grade sitting on my dining room table downstairs, so naturally I am playing with Blogger and investigating all the fun little gadgets and template upgrades I have been blissfully ignorant of until now. I have discovered that I can add a poll application, which will allow you, my lovely readers, to vote on whatever question I choose to put to you.

No voting today—just an idea. I follow the blog of George R. R. Martin, partly to look for indications that his next Ice & Fire novel will be finished soon, but also because he's a funny and engaging blogger in his own right. In the last few weeks, the SF/Fantasy news blog Suvudu has done a March Madness series of fantasy cage matches, in which they have pitted characters from fantasy novels (including Gandalf, Aragorn, Dumbledore, Roland from Stephen King's Dark Tower series, Drizzt Do'Urden from R.A. Salvatore's the Forgotten Realms series, H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulu, Aslan, Eragon, and Jaime Lannister from Ice & Fire—hence Martin's interest) against each other in fights to the death. The blog writers provided little sketches of how they imagined the fights would go, and suggested a projected winner, but the results were ultimately left up to fan voting—often with surprising results. You can review the results in the left masthead of the Suvudu site—I won't spoil the fun by offering spoilers.

It was, to borrow a recently coined term, enough to give one a geekgasm.

After my first exam yesterday, I took my students down to the Duke of Duckworth for a drink, and at one point the conversation drifted into an extended riff on the general crappiness of Stephanie Meyer's Twilight series. I of course brought up the brilliant t-shirt, modeled beautifully by Nikki Stafford here, that says "... and then Buffy staked Edward. The End." And as will often happen in such conversations, there was much speculation on just how badly Edward Cullen would get his ass handed to him if he were to encounter Buffy, or Angel, or Blade, or Spike, or really any other vampire / vampire killer out there.

Which brings me to my funky blogger polling app. I propose a series of vampire cage matches, modeled on (or stolen from, if you prefer) the Suvudu model. I will take sixteen vamps (the full thirty-two would just be unwieldy), arrive at a ranking, and pair them off appropriately. I will write a blurb suggesting how the fight will go, project a winner, and open the match up to voting. Sound good?

I've arrived at a first draft list of vamps, but would like reader input. If you think I've missed someone important or included someone who shouldn't be there, let me know. I will take all suggestions under consideration. Here are the rules:

  1. This is exclusively a film and television tournament. The vampires must have a specific incarnation on the big or small screen, and in the event that a character appears in different forms (e.g. Lestat in Interview vs. Queen of the Damned), one must be specified.
  2. NO DRACULAS. Two reasons: first, it hardly seems fair to the others. Second, there are so damn many versions out there, we could have a tournament simply among his various film incarnations. An idea for the future perhaps, but let's leave the daddy of all vamps on the sidelines for this one, OK?

Um, OK. That's it. Just those two rules.

Here's my draft list, which is totally open to suggestions for change. And if it seems heavy on the Buffy/Angel characters, that's only because Joss Whedon is a god. Not THE god. But certainly A god.

Selene (Underworld)
Angel (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel)
Lestat (Interview with the Vampire)
Miriam Blaylock (The Hunger)
Blade (Blade)
Darla (Buffy, Angel)
David (The Lost Boys—you know, the Jack Bauer vamp)
Akasha (Queen of the Damned)
Bill Compton (True Blood)
Edward Cullen (Twilight)
Spike (Buffy, Angel)
Marlow (Thirty Days of Night)
Charles Bromley (Daybreakers)
Max Schreck (Shadow of the Vampire)
The Master (Buffy)
Santanico Pandemonium (From Dusk Till Dawn)

OK, let's hear everyone's thoughts—and the way they should be ranked, too.

Sigh. And now, back to grading exams ...


christine said...

Chris, this is finally a topic I can weigh in on.

You should definitely switch out Bill Compton for Eric or Pam. Either would be way more creative and tricky in a cage match than lame old Civil War Bill. Ugh. He sucks.

Nikki Stafford said...

LOL! Christine beat me to the suggestion of Eric Northman... I would definitely have him in there. (Though I'd love for Vampire Bill to stay, too!) But definitely, definitely Damon from Vampire Diaries should be in there. Maybe Stefan, too, but I think Damon would last longer. ;)

Darren said...

I would love to see Otto von Chriek in the brackets, but he may understandably decline. Michael Morbius could make things interesting - or are we not allowing comic book vampires?

Finally, I assume that Sir Francis Varney is joining Drac in the box seats?

Question Mark said...

* Darla makes the cut and not Drusilla?

* This might fall under the 'no Draculas' category, but what about Count Duckula?

* And for that matter, Count Chocula?

* And, for that matter, where's THE COUNT? "...fourteen, fifteen, sixteen vampires in the tournament! Ah ah ah!"

Scarlet said...

Apparently I'm third in line to condemn you for not mentioning Eric Northman. I'm reading the series now and I can tell you that he only gets sexier and more brutal as time passes.

I also question your decision to exclude Darla and (gasp!) Drusilla? For shame.

Finally to the point... of the vamps you have listed I would put my bet on either Selene or Blade.
Selene because, lets face it, Kate Beckensale in that outfit is more than words can possibly describe and I think she gets major points for looking hot while kicking ass.

Blade, however, is my real choice. We don't really get to delve into his emotional side in the movies which means that, for me, he remains this staid example of ass kickiness. Plus, he's the day walker.

Oh.. and as a side note, or end note as the case may be. I see that you haven't even chosen to include the vamps from The Vampire Diaries. Ian Sommerhaulder makes for a very delicious and terrifying vamp despite the show's sad vapidness.

I'm finished now.

Chris in NF said...

OK, based on these early comments:

(1) Darla's out, Drusila's in.

(2) Re: Bill Compton. Let's remember, this isn't strictly about who the best fighters will be, but also the ones we'd like to see *in a fight*. I'll take Eric Northam into serious consideration, but I'm keeping Bill.

@Nikki and Scarlet: Alas, I have never watched The Vampire Diaries, and so am rather ignorant of which characters would be good to include. I am happy to include someone from the show, but only if one of you guys is willing to write the brief story of how you expect the fight to go. :-)

@Darren: TV and film only. Sorry.

@Mark: I'm reluctant to include animated and/or muppet vampires ... but if more people concur with you I will reconsider.

Lilly said...

I would like to share the delight of the top commenter in finally having a topic that I can comment on here. Vampires? So my bag.

Vampire Bill? Really? Eric would be the better True Blood choice if only because he wouldn't be exclaiming 'I do declare!' throughout the fights. Also, Bill only gets really bad ass when Sookie is in danger, so unless she is in the middle of the cage, no go.

Speaking of bottled blond vampires, Lestat from Interview with a Vampire over Queen of the Damned? Really? You want Tom Cruise in there? He can't pull of leather pants like Townsend, and if there is one thing that I like in a cage match it is leather pants. He also never really frightened me, and I saw that movie when I was young. Townsend, however, when he was climbing that wall with that hard rock music playing? Holy wow. I also sort of want to suggest Marius from Queen of the Damned, but he is so under rated, looking like a vampire Kurt Browning and all.

I'd like to suggest Jan Valek from Vampires, but I might be booed off the blog. Anyway.

Akasha would win, anyway. She waves her hand, bats an eyelash, whatever, and they are all dust. So. You know. Not really a fight so much as a dusty cage.

christine said...

Further to your qualification, Chris, I would pay to see someone punch-out Bill Compton. But I would pay more if the puncher was Eric Northman. To be honest, I would even pay more to be the prize for the winner of a fight between them... or is admitting that slightly too slutty for this blog?

Chris in NF said...

@Lilly -- this is a good point about Akasha. In the interests of not skewing the field, I should probably drop her. I'd not be adverse to dropping in Jan Valek, but given that I've never seen Vampires, you'd have to volunteer to write the blurb. And yes, blond Lestat -- because I don't give him good odds, which means at some point someone will be kicking some Scientologist ass.

@Christine: don't worry, you're in bounds. But this blog does not, alas, have the wherewithal to make that dream of yours a reality.

Shaun Coady said...

Just Tv and film only huh? While there is a stunning cast of of blood sucking warriors, I believe that the genre of the vampire is going the way of the zombie, many straight to DVD releases of crap that no one would ever want to watch (one such example is Vampires Vs. Zombies, but don't get excited, I let my daughter use the case for a chew toy, that is how horrid and painful it was to watch)

So there is a great list Chris is going to use, too bad there wasn't enough time or space to include many of the other forms, like Mina Harker, from League of Extraordinary gentleman, who too can pull off leather pants. There is also Saya, from Blood the Last Vampire, and how about R├╝diger von Schlotterstein? Perhaps you could sub categorize into the decades in which the films were released. That might allow a more detailed group of individuals to battle it out, then take on the winners from the other time lines.

Something that I think could give it some kick is having a Deadliest Vampire Warrior contest, each vampire coming from a different style of direction and vision, each with their standard and unique equipment, so to speak, and simply run simulations, I am sure that the guys from the show would love some undead-ness for season three. Using that computer simulation would be cool too.

I don't know much about the comic book or vamp literature out there nowadays, but it too will be an interesting spectacle to behold, and I look forward to seeing who rises to the top the heap.

Lol said...

Eric Northman, Eric Northman, Eric Northman. For Vampire Diaries, I'd vote Damon even though I'm technically Team Stefan. The "vegetarians" (like Vampire Bill also) would never win in a serious combat situation. Max Shreck in Shadow of the Vampire/Nosferatu would win for creep factor.

Swain said...

No Blade II or Blade: Trinity love? Ron Perlman's Reinhardt or Parker Posey's Danica Talos are both great characters from not very great films. Although II was far superior to Trinity. And really, when ISN'T Ron Perlman great?
On the undercard, can we have Kirsten Dunst's Claudia versus Godric in an Under-18 bout?

sos said...

I'm with Question Mark on the Count Chocula. Even Count von Count could be in the running.

In all seriousness though, I think Angelus would be a little more gruesome than Angel. If you want a good vampire fight there are no souls allowed.

Darren said...

@Chris Wait, isn't Blade a comic book vampire?

Anonymous said...

Drusilla would be better than the master, because she's meaner. And Eric would be better than Bill to represent True Blood