Woman dressed as a vampire with bloody fangs and red eyes

Episode 17: De-fanged – Scary vampires are SO last century

In this year’s Halloween episode, we are joined again by our friend Fred as we look look at the perennial horror trope, the vampire. Flip throws out the claim that modern vampires are no longer scary, leading to them being ‘de-fanged’.

We discuss the history of fanged fiction, from Polidori’s novel The Vampypre, through to Bram Stoker’s Dracula, and into cinema depictions including Max Shrek and Bela Lugosi. In the late 20th century, there was a vampire resurgence, and vampires moved from antagonists to protagonists, removing the horror in the process. We discuss how this change in perspective impacted vampire stories, look at current stories beyond paranormal romances, and speculate on what the future of vampire stories might be.

Do you agree, have vampires been de-fanged?

You can listen to this episode on our website, or you can subscribe on on Anchor.FM, Apple Podcast, Spotify, Google Podcast, or wherever you get your podcasts.


  • 0:00 – Introduction
  • 0:44 – Have vampires been de-fanged?
  • 4:48 – Vampires are no longer a horror trope
  • 18:01 – The Gen-X 90s Horror Resurgence
  • 29:42 – Vampires in plain sight
  • 36:38 – Why did vampires become protagonists?
  • 54:07 – Vampires with bite
  • 59:56 – Where are vampires headed in the future?
  • 1:15:46 – Final thoughts
  • 1:18:08 – Wrap up & Outro

What we have been reading:

  • de la Cruz, Melissa. Blue Bloods series.
  • Hamilton, Laurel K. Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter
  • Harris, Charlaine. Midnight Texas series
  • Harris, Charlaine. Southern Vampire Chronicles (known as True Blood Series)
  • Blue Bloods novels (NYC)
  • Le Fanu, Sheridan. Carmilla
  • Meyers, Stephanie. Twilight series
  • Newman, Kim. Anno Dracula
  • Polidori, John. The Vampyre
  • Pratchett, Terry. Carpe Jugulum
  • Prest, Thomas Pecket and James Malcolm Rymer (attrib). Varney the Vampire; or, the Feast of Blood
  • Rice, Anne. Interview with a Vampire
  • Rice, Anne. The Vampire Lestat
  • Simmons, Dan. Carrion Comfort
  • Simmons, Dan. Children of the Night
  • Smith, LJ. The Vampire Diaries
  • Stoker, Bram. Dracula

What we have been playing:

  • Baldur’s Gate II: Shadows of Amn
  • BloodRayne series
  • Castlevania series
  • The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion – Vampire Prince storyline
  • Ravenloft RPG
  • V Rising
  • Vampire the Masquerade (Bloodlines etc) CRPG
  • Vampire: The Masquerade RPG
  • Vampire: The Requiem

What we have been watching:

  • American Horror Story: Hotel
  • Angel
  • Being Human
  • Blade series
  • BloodRayne
  • Bram Stoker’s Dracula
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer (movie)
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer (tv show)
  • Castlevania
  • Dante’s Cove
  • Dark Shadows (tv)
  • Daybrakers
  • Day Shift
  • Dracula
  • Forever Knight
  • From Dusk till Dawn
  • Hammer Dracula series (9 films)
  • Hemlock Grove (mixed paranormal)
  • The Hunger
  • Interview with a Vampire
  • Kindred: The Embrace
  • The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
  • The Lost Boys
  • Midnight Mass
  • Midnight Texas
  • Moonlight
  • Morbius
  • Mr Vampire
  • Night Watch / Day Watch (Russian films)
  • The Munsters
  • Van Helsing 
  • Nosferatu
  • Sleepwalkers (Stephen King movie)
  • True Blood
  • Twilight Saga (5 movies)
  • Ultraviolet (BBC)
  • Underworld
  • Vampirella
  • The Vampire Diaries (LJ Smith)
  • The Vampire Academy
  • What we do in the shadows

Other resources:

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