First Time Watching “What We Do in the Shadows”

First time watching "What We Do in the Shadows." blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas. aspasiasbissas.com. Vampire, vampires, psychic vampire, Taika Waititi

Somehow I totally missed the existence of What We Do in the Shadows until a friend recently recommended it to me. I really need to start paying more attention.

If you’ve been as out of the loop as I have, What We Do in the Shadows is a sitcom about vampires and their human familiars. It’s done in a faux documentary style, along the lines of The Office. It’s also produced by Taika Waititi, who (among other things) directed Thor: Ragnarok and is the voice of Korg (the guy made of rocks). They had me at vampires, but Waititi being involved didn’t hurt. I’m only going to be talking about the pilot episode here (I’m sure I’ll be posting more in the future), and I’ll do my best to avoid spoilers.

First off, let’s take a moment to be grateful for an all-too-rare vampire comedy. The world could use more of them.

The main group includes a familiar (Guillermo), blood-drinking vampires, and a “psychic” vampire, who drains people (and the other vampires) of energy. They’re all fantastic (Matt Berry plays one of the vampires– rejoice!) The vampires arrived in the New World two centuries ago, with plans to conquer the continent. Instead they end up settled in Staten Island. This wouldn’t be a problem except that a high-ranking vampire is on his way to pay a visit and see their progress. Meanwhile Guillermo’s tenth year anniversary as his master’s familiar is coming up, and he knows he’s about to get something special for all his years of hard work and loyal service (and does he ever…).

I was excited to see the vampires exhibiting “traditional” traits, including turning into bats, climbing walls, and sleeping in coffins. Don’t get me wrong– I definitely appreciate innovations in the mythology, but sometimes it’s just nice to stick with the classics.

I also have to say that I am in complete awe of the makeup department for the job they did with Baron Afanas– I hope they won an award for it. Words won’t do it justice, so please watch the episode and see for yourself. Doug Jones, who plays the Baron also did a great job. Side note: Jones played a “Gentleman” on the brilliant Buffy episode “Hush,” which did win an award. You should definitely watch that too, even if you have zero interest in watching the rest of Buffy. And Jones will be playing Count Orlok in the upcoming remake of Nosferatu. These are good times for vampires.

Overall, this was a great introduction to the show. It kept me laughing, impressed me with its production values, and made me fall for the characters. I hope it’s around for a long time.

Have you watched What We Do in the Shadows? Let me know what you think of it in the comments…

Want more vampires in your life? Download my books…

Aspasia S. Bissas books: Love Lies Bleeding, Blood Magic, Tooth & Claw, book, books, free book, free books, freebies, freebie, free ebook, free ebooks, vampire, vampires, dark fantasy, dark romance, historical fiction, gothic fiction, gothic fantasy, urban fantasy, paranormal, supernatural, horror, dark reads, indie author, indie fiction, strong female protagonist, aspasiasbissas.com

Love Lies Bleeding: Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple Books
FREE Blood Magic: Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple Books
FREE Tooth & Claw: Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple Books

If you prefer paperback, use this link to order Love Lies Bleeding from Bookshop – a portion of each sale goes directly to independent bookstores, as well as to myself. Thank you for supporting indie! ♥

Cheers,

Aspasía S. Bissas

🧿

Revisiting the Classics

Revisiting the Classics, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas, aspasiasbissas.com. Bela Lugosi, Bela Lugosi's Dead, Bauhaus, video with lyrics, undead, mood music, moody music

I’ve been watching a lot of YouTube lately, and I have a real fondness for music reaction videos, where people hear a song for the first time and, well, react to it. I love that these (mostly younger) people are interested in learning about music they missed out on, and I’m amazed at how many there are.

Revisiting the Classics, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas, aspasiasbissas.com. Bela Lugosi, Bela Lugosi's Dead, Bauhaus, video with lyrics, undead, mood music, moody music, Peter Murphy.
Peter Murphy, lead singer of Bauhaus. Photo by Mark Jeremy – https://www.flickr.com/photos/markjeremy/56264831/, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=48716048

In the spirit of sharing good music with those who may not have heard it before (or just want to hear it again), I present “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” by Bauhaus. Put on your blackest clothes, crack open some red wine, and enjoy…

I’ve been pretty out of the loop on new music lately– do you know of any good recent bands or songs (any genre) you want to share? Let me know in the comments…

Now that we’ve set the mood, download my books and keep the vibe going…

Aspasia S. Bissas books: Love Lies Bleeding, Blood Magic, Tooth & Claw, book, books, free book, free books, freebies, freebie, free ebook, free ebooks, vampire, vampires, dark fantasy, dark romance, historical fiction, gothic fiction, gothic fantasy, urban fantasy, paranormal, supernatural, horror, dark reads, indie author, indie fiction, strong female protagonist, aspasiasbissas.com

Love Lies Bleeding: Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple Books
FREE Blood Magic: Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple Books
FREE Tooth & Claw: Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple Books

If you prefer paperback, use this link to order Love Lies Bleeding from Bookshop – a portion of each sale goes directly to independent bookstores, as well as to myself. Thank you for supporting indie! ♥

Cheers,

Aspasía S. Bissas

🧿

Review: Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Review: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas, aspasiasbissas.com
Spoilers Ahead

“Into every generation a slayer is born: one girl in all the world, a chosen one. She alone will wield the strength and skill to fight the vampires, demons, and the forces of darkness; to stop the spread of their evil and the swell of their number. She is the Slayer.”

And it all started with one movie.

Part Clueless (before Clueless) with a touch of Heathers, and an undead element, BtVS is a fun, if not fantastic, 90s teen movie. Then again, it was never meant to be great cinema– the idea behind it was ‘let’s make a monster movie where the monster-hunter is a teenage girl, and let’s give her a silly name’ (I’m paraphrasing, if you couldn’t tell). Who would have thought that this movie would (or could) morph into an awesome TV series, with a female action hero (groundbreaking at the time), and some of the best vampires this side of Santa Carla.

Review: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas, aspasiasbissas.com
Sarah Michelle Geller as Buffy in the TV series

Watching the movie, you can’t help but compare it to the (far superior) series it inspired. The movie even gives us glimpses of future characters on the show (Principal Flutie, Cordy, Giles, Spike). While I’m grateful the movie kicked things off, I’m also really glad that some things never made it to the series. There’s nothing quite so cringy as watching Kristy Swanson demonstrate Buffy’s vampire-sensing skills by moaning and clutching her stomach in faux menstrual-cramp agony every time she’s in the vicinity of the undead. I think that was supposed to represent some kind of primordial woman power. Gold star for effort, I guess, but big miss on the execution.

I’m also glad they changed the vampires significantly in the series. The vamps in the movie mostly skulk around making guttural noises, laughing maniacally, and showing off their new goth makeovers. They also have floppy elf ears. I get that the movie was supposed to be campy and goofy, but those ears are an…interesting…choice (mind you– this was well before vampires all looked like models). Aside from those issues, Benny (David Arquette) and Amilyn (Paul Reubens) are entertaining, getting a lot of the best lines in the film. Lothos (Rutger Hauer) makes a decent Master Vampire, although he would’ve been more menacing without the Halloween-costume cape.

Review: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas, aspasiasbissas.com
The ears aren’t terrible, but I can’t imagine Angel or Spike rocking this look.

As for the non-vampires, while Buffy does kick ass, more or less, Kristy Swanson is pretty lacklustre, especially when you see what Sarah Michelle Geller did in the role. Swanson doesn’t really seem to get the character, and she plays a teenager as though she’s only ever read a description of one.

Luke Perry as “Pike” is actually pretty good. Both his character and his portrayal are enjoyable– I could have done with more of him.

I have nothing bad to say about Donald Sutherland as Merrick, Buffy’s original watcher. The man is a treasure. In fact, if the movie ever gets remade, I vote Sutherland’s son Kiefer as the new Merrick.

Despite my complaints, I do like this movie. It’s fun, there are vampires– what’s not to like? I think the best way to view BtVS is not as a movie unto itself, but rather as the early draft for the awesomeness that is to come. Watch it, laugh with it (or at it, as the case may be), and appreciate Buffy the series all the more.

Review: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas, aspasiasbissas.com

After Amilyn has lost an arm:

Amilyn: We’re immortal, Buffy; we can do anything.
Buffy: Oh yeah? Clap!

Love a good vampire story? Download one now…

Aspasia S. Bissas books: Love Lies Bleeding, Blood Magic, Tooth & Claw, book, books, free book, free books, freebies, freebie, free ebook, free ebooks, vampire, vampires, dark fantasy, dark romance, historical fiction, gothic fiction, gothic fantasy, urban fantasy, paranormal, supernatural, horror, dark reads, indie author, indie fiction, strong female protagonist, aspasiasbissas.com

Love Lies Bleeding: Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple Books
FREE Blood Magic: Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple Books
FREE Tooth & Claw: Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple Books

If you prefer paperback, use this link to order Love Lies Bleeding from Bookshop – a portion of each sale goes directly to independent bookstores, as well as to myself. Thank you for supporting indie! ♥

Cheers,

Aspasía S. Bissas

🧿

[Note: this review was originally posted on one of my older blogs. I’m re-posting it here with major revisions and new photos. If it seems familiar, you might have read the original version way back :)]

Quote of the Day

Quote of the Day, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas, aspasiasbissas.com. Quote by Khalil Gibran: We are all like the bright moon, we still have our darker side.

Cheers,

Aspasía S. Bissas

🧿
Aspasia S. Bissas books: Love Lies Bleeding, Blood Magic, Tooth & Claw, book, books, free book, free books, freebies, freebie, free ebook, free ebooks, vampire, vampires, dark fantasy, dark romance, historical fiction, gothic fiction, gothic fantasy, urban fantasy, paranormal, supernatural, horror, dark reads, indie author, indie fiction, strong female protagonist, aspasiasbissas.com

Love Lies Bleeding: Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple Books
FREE Blood Magic: Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple Books
FREE Tooth & Claw: Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple Books

If you prefer paperback, use this link to order Love Lies Bleeding from Bookshop – a portion of each sale goes directly to independent bookstores, as well as to myself. Thank you for supporting indie! ♥

First Look at My New Book

First Look at My New Book, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas, aspasiasbissas.com, Love Lies Bleeding, Blood Magic, Tooth & Claw, vampire, vampires, dark fantasy, urban fantasy, gothic, paranormal, horror
Photo by Alex Fu on Pexels.com

Although there’s still work to be done, some parts of my new book (no title yet) are ready to share! I thought I’d give you all a taste of the opening chapter. This book continues the story started in Love Lies Bleeding, introducing some new characters along the way. Fair warning, if you haven’t read Love Lies Bleeding yet, this excerpt contains spoilers. (And a trigger warning for anyone sensitive to violence.)

Spoilers Ahead

Mara was hungry and lonely. Hungry, she could take care of.

She was in London. She’d been there for what felt like months, but really was only a little over a week.

Nigel and Dominic were dead.

She’d killed them.

They’d deserved it, she reminded herself as her anxiety started to spike. Dom had betrayed her, and both of them were threats to her and Lee. Even more than vampires usually were.

Her mind, as it so often did, latched on to Lee. How was he doing? Was he all right? Did he forgive her for leaving, for abandoning him?

It was for the best, all for the best. Always for the best.

An image of a bashed-in skull appeared in front of her. Nigel’s unseeing eyes staring, judging. She blinked and Dominic was there, lying on the ground, a dagger with a broken handle buried in his chest.

No, she muttered; not real.

 But it was real. Or had been. She could still feel Nigel’s skull shattering under the iron poker, could still feel the handle of the blade breaking off as she tried to twist it in Dominic’s heart.

She knew it had happened; she just couldn’t believe it. Maybe because it felt as though they were still with her. Or maybe because she hadn’t bothered to check to make sure Dom definitely wouldn’t be coming back. Either way, she’d felt as though she was being followed ever since.

Part of her hoped Lee had tracked her down, not only because she desperately wanted to see him, but also because the alternative didn’t bear considering.

Was Dominic still out there? Was he her ghost, her shadow, her hunter? Leave it to him to keep chasing her from beyond the grave.

Or had all her victims broken free, the restless shades of her centuries of slaughter? She’d come home and unlocked their tombs.

The edges of her vision started tinting red. Right, she was hungry. Blood first, ghosts later.

The bars were always good for an easy meal. The streets were already full of rowdy patrons heading to the next place, or getting into brawls, or stumbling home, heads fuzzy and defenses down. It wouldn’t take much to get one to follow her instead, to wander off into a dark corner of the city where prying eyes didn’t reach.

She’d have to play the game a few times tonight, if she wanted enough to be sated without taking too much from anyone. It wasn’t how she usually fed—how she used to feed—but she was trying something new. Feeding without hunting, without killing. Without the thrill. No matter how much blood she drank this way she was always left empty. But she survived, and it kept any more ghosts from haunting her.

Rising voices caught her attention: a man and a woman’s. The man’s voice was laden with threat; the woman’s, distress. Mara’s pulse quickened. Maybe she’d be playing a different game tonight, one where a predator would get bled. It was always nice when people got what they deserved. And so rare.

She approached the area where she’d heard the voices, making sure to look innocuous. Just a girl out late, alone, quick steps and head down—no threat to anyone. Or so they’d think—so they always thought—until it was too late to think at all. But when Mara reached the spot, an unlit path next to a park playground, she found a woman standing calmly facing the other direction. No one else was around. Had they already left, or had Mara misheard and gone to the wrong place? She stopped, confused. The woman turned to look at her.

Too late.

(© Aspasía S. Bissas)

Let me know what you thought of it in the comments below. If you haven’t read Love Lies Bleeding, or my free stories “Blood Magic” and “Tooth & Claw,” download them now:

Aspasia S. Bissas books: Love Lies Bleeding, Blood Magic, Tooth & Claw, book, books, free book, free books, freebies, freebie, free ebook, free ebooks, vampire, vampires, dark fantasy, dark romance, historical fiction, gothic fiction, gothic fantasy, urban fantasy, paranormal, supernatural, horror, dark reads, indie author, indie fiction, strong female protagonist, aspasiasbissas.com

Love Lies Bleeding: Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple Books
FREE Blood Magic: Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple Books
FREE Tooth & Claw: Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple Books

If you prefer paperback, use this link to order Love Lies Bleeding from Bookshop – a portion of each sale goes directly to independent bookstores, as well as to myself. Thank you for supporting indie! ♥

Cheers,

Aspasía S. Bissas

🧿
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