Carmilla – Maven

How did lesbian vampires grow from gothic legend to a popular webseries?

About Maven of the Eventide

17 comments

  1. I first read about the story of Carmilla when I was in high school, and I always wanted to see a show about her and Laura. That along with a show or movie about Elizabeth Bathory, because we’re always getting an iteration of Dracula in one form or another. Thanks for showing me this Maven, I may look up this webseries. And if there are any new stories in the recent years about vampires like Elizabeth Bathory or Nosferatu, let me know. Thanks in advance.

    • There is interesting foreign movie from 2008 about Bathory (it has dubbing). Except she is not a vampire in it. Still interesting thing to watch if you care about history behind the myth.

  2. Hi Maven. So I want to get this comment in before the usual ‘feminism is bad’ stuff. Having said that that isn’t to say that I’m not offering some criticism. I want to start by saying that indeed it is true that non-cis and non-heterosexual people do find a way to get together while at college and university and therefore the shows casting is completely justified. Having said that the marginalisation of a male character in this show (i.e. Will having no will) and the fact you seem to find it humorous is ironic at best. Injustice is injustice period. I don’t know the full context so maybe the character is written with an explicitly sexist tone but I was left with the impression that he’s been written as the male stereotype of ‘thug’ who stupidly does evil things in his master’s name.

    Having said that I agree with your comparisons when it comes to intimate moments in this show compared to in Hollywood films in general and found the video enlightening not only on the subject of the history of lesbian vampires but also on vampires in general. Also I now find myself somewhat interested in the show so thanks for that.

    • Following your example, I’ll do the compliment sandwich. You do well to understand these issues and not have a kneejerk response to feminist critiques. You definitely are not trying to be a jerk. However, your understanding is flawed.

      There is no male stereotype of thuggery. There is a thug stereotype, and the thug is usually male. But that’s not the same thing. There’s no stereotype that all men must be thugs, or must be one of several stereotypes of which “thug” is one of them. (There is one for “black men,” but I’m not really wanting to go there.)

      It’s not the mere fact that something is a stereotype that is the problem. It is when that is how most characters are portrayed. For example, the flaming gay man is a real thing–but it becomes offensive because it was the only type of gay man displayed. Similarly with black people always being “street.”

      With lesbians, it’s a bit more complicated. It’s not just one stereotype, but a few The sexy lesbian who is always into sex and the butch lesbian who is just a dude. With vampire lesbians, it was always the seductress.

      My point is, the issue was not that they used a stereotype. But that they always used a stereotype. Even if they did eventually become decent, they’d be a stereotype. Men have been used in film in so many ways that you cannot argue that there is some sort of stereotypes that they must fit into.

      And, no, that’s not to say that it’s impossible to make a misandrist portrayal of men in movies, just that it’s not going to be the mere use of a stereotype. It has to be a stereotype that is attached to all men. You’re gonna need something like assuming all fathers are idiots who can’t take care of their kids. Or all men are horndogs and can’t ever just love women/men.

      And, even then, a single use is not the same as the ubiquitous use for anti-minority or sexist stereotypes in fiction. You have to consider the whole, not just the work by itself.

      I hope that makes sense. You seem like a smart dude, and you seem to be offering what you say in the spirit of listening, not just griping.

      I hope you will take my comment in a similar spirit.

      • Snorgatch Pandalume

        I can’t say I’m exactly shocked that what appears to be the only male character in a show about and aimed at lesbians is portrayed in a negative light. 😉

        • Though lesbian vampire and male gay vampires are in fact addressed to opposite sex. Particularly in Japan there is whole school of male homo-manga addressed to women, as in Japan there is a stereotype that woman reading erotic is “in need”, but if female read Yaoi no one touch her. Similarly most males don’t care about seduction part of vampire lore.. until it is a lesbian thing. That is why in both cases we have such strong stereotypes.. male gay mostly don’t act romantic but as a male in opposition to what Yaoi claim, similarly vampire lesbian are horny saucers without personality as it is clearly how typical male see sex partners. Obviously I say mostly, not all of them.

  3. Thank you thank you thank you thank you!

  4. Snorgatch Pandalume

    If you’re looking for a predatory gay male vampire, you might want to check out 1966’s “The Fearless Vampire Killers,” directed by Roman Polanski, who also co-stars as a bumbling vampire hunter’s bumbling assistant. The chief vampire’s son is gay and has the hots for Polanksi’s character. It’s a horror-comedy that’s neither very funny nor very scary, but it is beautifully photographed (what do you expect–it’s Roman Polanski). It also has Sharon Tate–Polanski’s future wife and Manson family victim–in a minor role.

    • Yeah, definitely they exist. It’s just not as common as vampire lesbian-sploitation.

    • Also the musical adaption of said film is a good example. Actually, that version of Herbert is arguably better than the film. He’s considerably more flamboyant but also more likable. And he gets his own number.

      • Snorgatch Pandalume

        I didn’t even know there WAS a musical version! 😮

        • Yeah, the original production was Austrian/German, under the title Tanz der Vampires/Dance of the Vampires. It’s immensely popular with many international productions, including a Broadway production…but most fans like to pretend that never happened. It’s kind of a train wreck.

          Also, the musical makes Krolock bisexual. In one of his solos where he laments the compulsion to destroy that his vampirism has wrought, he brings up multiple lovers he’s murdered over the years, and one of those is male, a page boy to Napoleon.

  5. have you considered doing an episode (or a few) on the Legacy of Kain video games?

  6. Maven, any chance you might look at Vampire musicals in the future?

    Specifically, I’m guessing you’re at least aware of Tanz Der Vampires (loving vampires as much as you do) and it bearing this kind of weird anomaly as the only really successful vampire musical, despite featuring repurposed Meatloaf songs. And Total Eclipse of the Heart.

  7. Currently starting season 3, have a day of binging Carmilla behind me, Thank You!

    ps. not that it matters but I’m a straight guy and besides the occasional clothing change montage I don’t really found anything directed at a female audience, I mean come one it’s a show about lesbian vampire lover! What’s not to like here?

  8. MidnightScreeningsman2014

    Interesting video maven its interesting how I never heard of this series until this video yet it has such a huge fan base and thanks to the fans it’s getting its own movie. That should be interesting but it’s way more interesting how she turns human. I thought that humans when they get turns into vampires they stay that way but I have no idea how she turns human.

    I’m just here scratching my head to how that happened. Good video though and it’ll be interesting to see what you tackle next

  9. I remember learning about lesbian vampires on Wikipedia. It was on their list of unusual articles. I love that, you reall should check it out! It says, “They don’t bite…necks”. I have never heard of this series before. I guess I’m just used to web series being comedies.

Leave a Reply