Vampires, they’ve been around forever — or so it seems. We’ve seen the charming ones, the scary ones, the ruthless ones, and the ones who fall somewhere in between, but often we forget their origins; which for the most part didn’t arise until about the 18th century. So what really is a vampire and have they been misunderstood?
FX’s new series The Strain created by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan plays on this myth and tries to bring some new understanding to the vampire mythos, along with some disgustingly, awesome creature design and storytelling to bite.
The Strain re imagines the modern day vampire in a world where his desire is not only driven by insatiable blood thirst, but also love. Making him not only the hunter, but the unfortunate victim of his own fate.
Creating one of the most original angles attempted in vampire lore; the creators based their vampire incarnation on folklore from many countries, but primarily were inspired by early eastern vampire folklore.
So what’s the difference between eastern and western vampires, you ask? Which nowadays is hard to tell with all the vampire films or tv shows we’ve seen in the last few years — from True Blood to Twilight to Interview with the Vampire to Dracula it’s pretty difficult to see any real difference, but western and eastern vampires are pretty different. It’s just most of us wouldn’t know the difference because modern society has hammered us to death with more recent 18th century western European versions, which only borrow a bit from Eastern vampire lore.
So for those unfamiliar with eastern lore, The Strain’s vamps are closer to our present notion of a zombie and they don’t necessarily suck blood and bite with the use of fangs. Rather these blood suckers attack there victims much like the Asian Aswang or Mandurugo, which you may have seen an interpretation of on Grimm recently.
Basically both these vampire types use a long tongue like instrument to suck fluid from their victims and have a thing for hearts and organs like the vampires on The Strain. Likewise they are also more ghoul like in appearance. Sorry, no sparkling beauties here.
Meanwhile other aspects of The Strain’s vampire mythos explore aspects where the family they left behind becomes of greater importance — feeding their new life from beyond the grave.
In the most recent episodes it’s been revealed that these vampires are a type of Strigoi, which is a vampire found in Romanian folklore and the whole idea of severing the head from the body comes from Croatian folklore. So you can see already there are some major differences, which I’ll explore further at a later date.
TO BE CONTINUED . . .