NosferatuI don't remember when it started, but somewhere around the age of 16 I discovered Bauhaus, heavy eyeliner, and Neil Gaiman's Sandman. (Guess who my favorite character was?). I acquired a leather jacket, big boots, and a collection of Anne Rice and Poppy Z. Brite books. Bram Stoker's Dracula and The Crow were the height of romance.

That's right. I'm a former goth. (My friends are snickering right now. Former! Former, damn you all.)

What I find very interesting is that what Twilight, from an admittedly cursory glance at its fanbase, is, well, not goth. They're screamy teens with Hot Topic tees or grown women and the occasional dude. But werewolves and vampires and smoldering glances and longing are all super goth! And there are some goths who do enjoy a bit of glitter (or a LOT of glitter), but not on our vampires. I mean, their vampires. I asked one friend, and she replied, "Because VAMPIRES DON'T SPARKLE. Make sure you put that in there. One goth I spoke to says, NO SPARKLING KTHXBAI."

But more importantly, the velvet-and-lace crew of goths are a bit older and not the target audience. And the teen goths can't relate – Bella might toss her hair and bite her lip, but her angst isn't relatable to someone who is truly an outsider, someone who is rejected or even beat up by their peers, not the center of attention, no matter how uncomfortable she might feel with her new hangers-on or her dad.
Vampires are appealing because they're sexy (like Gary Oldman's Dracula in Bram Stoker's Dracula) or gnarled near-corpses (Max Schreck's Graf Orlok in Nosferatu or Klaus Kinski in Nosferatu the Vampyre or Willem Dafoe as Max Schrek as Graf Orlok in Shadow of the Vampire ). Either way, they're taboo and not the cool untouchables at high school who are too hot to talk to anyone else.

And then there's the sex. Rather, the lack thereof. Even if we're talking about the grotesque, stinky, just-rolled-of-of-the-grave vamps, they're gnawing on necks and drinking blood, which represents sex, the unrepressed id, which is just what Edward is trying to avoid. Vampires aren't about repressing their uncontrollable desires; they're all about giving in to them. The "good guys" we're supposed to be rooting for in Twilight try to control their urges, while the "bad guys" are the ones who are wild and uncontrollable. But isn't that the whole point of vampires? To do anything you want because you can live forever? Yes, some vampires do their best to avoid sinking their fangs into their loved ones to spare them an eternity of wandering the earth in the lonely darkness, but not because blood-drinking is all about sex and sex is naughty unless you're married.

That said, I am excited to see Bauhaus lead singer Peter Murphy's cameo in Eclipse. As MTV's Larry Carroll reports, "Although odds are that most Twilight fans aren't rocking out to Bauhaus on a regular basis, the cameo is important because it seems to shed a bit of light on Slade's vision for the third Twilight film. Hiring a goth pioneer from the '80s could indicate his eagerness to embrace an older audience and a darker, more violent, possibly more male-friendly tone. It also shows that Slade, who rose to prominence with the twisted indie film Hard Candy, isn't afraid to veer off Stephenie Meyer's written pages from time to time."

Although I think Slade's vampy 30 Days of Night was practically unwatchable, it's definitely way less mopey and action-oriented than Twilight. Whether or not it will get any velvet-clad behinds in seats is another story altogether.
categories Cinematical