(An Imaginary Review by The Dark Lord.)
Students of the films of the 1920s and 1930s often discuss that era’s peculiar fascination with wealth on the Silver Screen. Given a modern perspective, and the ability to watch media on a scale quite undreamt at the time, one sees a strange intermingled love-hate affair. The rich seemed to be a completely different species, one of great power and influence and, at times, spectacular and breathtaking stupidity. We’ll never know exactly how to see the zeitgeist of that era, partly because it lacked the cultural sophistication to express itself properly in meme format.
(This is one of the many proofs we have that Ancient Egypt was, in reality, far more advanced than we are now; it turns out that all of the hieroglyphs, which we thought were written language, are, in fact, memes complaining about the Audogastian imperialism and whether or not to build a sea-wall to keep out Atlantians.)
Were Americans, in the throes of the Great Depression, looking to laugh at the foibles of the rich, and to see that all their money couldn’t buy happiness? Or were they escaping their daily lives into worlds of glamor and opulence? The cinema of the time seems, itself, to be unsure about what to offer at any given time. Thus it is that we’re treated to gorgeous long shots of mansions which would seem to rival Versailles; and people within who seem starved for intimacy, hope, or, in some cases, sanity.
It was a strange time, for the world and for cinema. But every time I re-watch “Interminable Knight”, I remember just what a weird era the 90s were, on so many levels. One didn’t even have a target as solid as some Hollywood version of “the Rich” to target. No, in the nineties, we saved our frenemy-love-hate-lovetriangle-hate feels primarily for Vampires.
Vampires! Thousands of years of folktales, then a genre-defining novel by Bram Stoker establishing them as beings of nearly-forbidden erotic potential and awe-inspiring power, and then…the hair. The horrible, horrible hair…
We’ll be talking about this at some length. We don’t like to think about how many of these reviews are going to be about vampire tv shows. We blame it on the success of the first supernatural soap opera, “Poorly-Lit Shadows”, whose unexpected success and unnaturally long life helped create the Vampire Television Madness of the 80s and 90s.
If we had to sum up all of these shows in a single statement, we would totally avoid the hell out of doing that, because we plan to write a lot of reviews, and we see no need to make all of the rest of them redundant by summing everything up right here and now, thank you very much.
…but if we had some kind of remorseless editor with blackmail material on us, we’d say that the core of these shows is something like:
“I am eternally young and pretty and very very powerful and I just hate it so much.”
There’s a lot to say about “Interminable Knight”, but if we had to suffer through it so that you could avoid it, we’ll lay out the problem right here, and right now, like so:
- This Vampire was once a human. (As per usual.)
- For centuries, as a Vampire, he was a cruel, sadistic, blood-drinking undead monster. (Because why wouldn’t he be?)
- But at some point, through True Love and whatever, he decides to rebel against doing Evil, and do Good, eventually becoming an ordinary cop in the modern world.
- The thing he wants most in life is to become human again so he can stop being a monstrous thing.
The only problem is…if he does become human…he’ll stop being superhumanly good at being a cop.
I don’t know how long it should take to redeem you from being an undead sociopathic sadist (and some of us don’t want to be redeemed, thank you very much) – but he’s in a cycle of losing.
The closer he gets to realizing his dream of being human, the closer he gets to abandoning the thing that lets him make up for all the bad things he did when he was inhuman.
The entire damn should could be resolved if he’d just quite moping around and just rock being a Vampire who uses his powers to help people. That’s it. The rest of his life is simplicity: sniffing out killers with his Vamp senses, taking them down because he can’t be killed by ordinary bullets, ending crime in his city, and going home for a nice drink of cow juice. Aaaand done!
But no. No, no, nope. He has to spend the whole damn show, in-between punching people and catching criminals and sometimes smooching, angsting about being a Vampire. There’s stuff with his old Master and his ex-girlfriend and I think there’s a love interest, but really, the guy is rich with leftover money from centuries of wealth, he’s never gonna die, he’s got a great car with a massive trunk that he can sleep in if he’s outside during the day, and all he can do is moan about how, several hundred years ago, he killed a bunch of people, so now he wants to un-Vampire so he can stop saving people and stop atoning for his sins, and if that ever happened, I’m pretty damn sure he’d just switch straight from being sad he’s a vampire, and right over into “Oh, no, I’m human and I can’t fix having been a Vampire” and I, FOR ONE, CANNOT BELIEVE I PLAN TO DO A WHOLE SERIES OF REVIEWS FOR THIS GENRE.
At any rate, I officially give this story a rating of Twelve Quarts Of Blood And A Jug Of Whiskey, which is what I’m going to use to get this show out of my head. Enjoy the rest of your day, folks.
My name is Jeff Mach (“Dark Lord” is optional) and I build communities, put on events, and make stories come into being. I also tweet a lot over @darklordjournal.