Renfield

Renfield, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas, aspasiasbissas.com. Vampire, vampires, Renfield, Dracula, trailer, movie, movies, Nick Cage

Have you seen the new Renfield trailer yet? Hearing about a movie focused on this character, my first thought was this is a movie that no one asked for. Seeing the trailer, my first thought was that I can’t wait to see it (and not least because Dracula is played by Nick Cage). Take a look at the trailer and let me know in the comments what you think…

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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: SmashwordsBarnes & NobleKoboApple Books, Amazon
FREE Blood Magic: SmashwordsBarnes & NobleKoboApple Books
FREE Tooth & Claw: SmashwordsBarnes & NobleKoboApple 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

🧿

Controversial Characters: Buffy’s Dawn vs. Angel’s Connor

SPOILERS AHEAD

Whenever a show has a devoted fandom there’s always going to be something that, right or wrong, the fans aren’t happy about. The big controversies on Buffy and Angel were the late additions of two new characters, namely Dawn and Connor. Now that I’m re-watching both shows, I’m looking at both characters with fresh eyes, wondering whether they deserved the hate.

Dawn

Dawn was introduced at the end of the first episode of Season 5. “Buffy vs. Dracula” (a great episode, by the way). Her introduction was really well done, first with hints and foreshadowing going back as far as Season 3, then with her unexpected appearance in the episode. After years of being an only child, Buffy suddenly has a sister, and everyone acts as though she’s always been there.

Controversial Characters: Buffy's Dawn vs. Angel's Connor, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas, aspasiasbissas.com. Vampire, Vampires, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, BtVS, Angel, Angel the Series, Buffy gif huh

After some perfunctory hinting that Dawn is this season’s Big Bad, it comes out that she’s actually a mystical, dimension-unlocking Key, put into human form by some monks with too much time on their hands, and given to the Slayer as a sister for protection from the Hell God (Glorificus/Glory), who needs the Key to get back to her hell dimension before her window of opportunity closes. Got all that?

Yeah, it’s a lot.

I really believe all the planning around Dawn went into the character’s concept, and very little into the execution. Dawn is supposed to be fourteen when she shows up, but she’s written like she’s eight. It’s both painful and annoying to watch this teenager smiling with her mouth plastered in ice cream. Or interrupting Buffy’s training sessions because she’s “bored.” Or threatening to tell their mom that Buffy slayed in front of her. At fifteen, Buffy, Willow, and Xander were fighting monsters, trading quips, and hanging out at the Bronze. Their characters were funny and interesting. But somehow at fourteen Dawn is too young to be left alone without a babysitter.

And yet by season six Dawn manages to get worse, alternating between whining that no one spends time with her, and screeching for everyone to get out of her room. Maybe this is a realistic portrayal of teenagers (I have my doubts), but nobody watches TV for realism. If we’re supposed to sympathize with Dawn, the writers made it really difficult, especially when she shows no empathy for what anyone else is going through.

(I want to add that none of this is the fault of Michelle Trachtenberg, the actress who played Dawn. She did a decent job, but just didn’t have much to work with.)

By the seventh and final season, Dawn’s over her annoying phase, and even proves herself useful and capable– but she also fades into the background. Season five was supposed to be the show’s last season, but since it ended up extended for another two years, I don’t think they really knew what to do with her once she was no longer The Key. Overall, I think the Dawn character had a lot of room for improvement, and the writers/producers repeatedly dropped the ball. The show could have been just as good, or better, without Dawn.

Also, she killed Miss Kitty Fantastico.

Controversial Characters: Buffy's Dawn vs. Angel's Connor, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas, aspasiasbissas.com. Vampire, Vampires, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, BtVS, Angel, Angel the Series, Angel and Darla

Connor

Connor’s origin story begins in season 3, and is almost as convoluted as Dawn’s. When two vampires hate each other very much (after spending centuries together as a couple), and unknown forces conspire to get them back together for a night, sometimes the mommy vampire finds herself nine months later going into labour in a back alley, where she finally just stakes herself to get the whole thing over with.

Connor is the human-ish son of Angel and Darla, both vampires, one with a soul. His existence is cause for much excitement, mostly by nefarious cabals who generally want to kill the kid. Despite Angel and co.’s best efforts to protect baby Connor, he ends up in the hands of Angel’s longtime enemy, a vampire hunter named Holtz. Stuck between letting Holtz take the baby or watching Connor fall into the hands of those who will definitely kill him, Angel chooses the lesser of two evils. Holtz escapes with the baby by jumping through a portal to the darkest hell dimension: Quor’toth. The portal is then sealed behind them with no way to open it.

Angel tries to get Connor back, but realizes it’s impossible. Once Angel accepts that he’ll never see his son again (it takes only a few days, apparently), another portal opens and out comes an armed teenager wearing a skin suit and trophies made of body parts. I’m not gonna lie– it’s pretty epic.

Controversial Characters: Buffy's Dawn vs. Angel's Connor, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas, aspasiasbissas.com. Vampire, Vampires, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, BtVS, Angel, Angel the Series, Connor hi dad

We soon find out that not only did Connor survive Quor’toth, but he can kick some serious ass. Besides impressive fighting skills, he has super speed and strength. He can easily jump on a moving bus and he’s got a vampire’s sensitive hearing (but none of the drawbacks, like a need to consume blood or intolerance to sunlight).

I thought he was an excellent addition to the show, but a lot of people disagreed. Connor was so hated by some fans that when rumours started about bringing Spike to Angel, people started urging (there may have been a petition– I can’t remember) the producers to kill off Connor and bring on Spike. Note: none of the characters actually had to die to add Spike to the cast. It should also be noted that the dislike of Connor spilled over into people specifically targetting Vincent Kartheiser, who played Connor. The actor did an awesome job and deserved none of what was directed at him. This is why fandoms have a bad reputation.

I never understood why people found Connor annoying. Yes, the character did a lot of questionable– and some downright wrong– things (same as pretty much all the other characters, I might add). What haters didn’t seem to get (or care about) is that Connor is a deeply traumatized kid. He was raised in a hell dimension, by a man who (rightfully) hated his father and manipulated him into wanting to kill Angel. And that’s only the start of what Connor went through. He’s a tragic character who manages to never be boring. He also undergoes a fair bit of character development, and a redemption that continues in the comic books (meanwhile Dawn in the comic books goes back to being annoying, but with added recklessness). Watching these episodes again, I’m finding I like and sympathize with Connor even more now. It’s too bad he was hated– he could have pulled off his own show.

In the end, my opinion on these characters hasn’t really changed. Dawn didn’t improve Buffy, even though her initial season included one of the best villains ever. Meanwhile, Connor, despite having one of the cringiest storylines (him + Cordy = ew), was a great character and a solid addition to Angel. But what did you think of Dawn and Connor? Share in the comments…

Can’t get enough vampires? Download my books 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: SmashwordsBarnes & NobleKoboApple Books, Amazon
FREE Blood Magic: SmashwordsBarnes & NobleKoboApple Books
FREE Tooth & Claw: SmashwordsBarnes & NobleKoboApple 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: Morbius

Review: Morbius, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas, aspasiasbissas.com. Vampire, vampires, Morbius, Marvel, Spider-Man, Sony, movie reviews

As soon as I heard about Morbius coming out, I was excited to see it. And then the reviews started coming in.

Spoilers Ahead

I should mention that I haven’t read the comic book, so I won’t be comparing the movie to it at all. My SO has read it and he said he was never a fan of the character, who started out as a Spider-Man villain and ended up being more of a neutral character. If movie Morbius is anything like comic book Morbius, I can see why he wasn’t a fan.

Morbius is about Michael Morbius, a man with a chronic (and ultimately deadly) disease that he’s vowed to cure. In pursuit of a cure he creates artificial blood that has somehow saved more lives than penicillin, but still can’t save his own. So he crosses over to the unethical side of research, importing (sigh) vampire bats from Costa Rica and using them to create a serum that when fused with his own DNA will, theoretically, finally be the cure he’s been looking for.

And then it goes horribly wrong. Oh no– what an unforeseen tragedy that no one could have foreseen.

It wasn’t just the story and main character that were underwhelming. Starting with the opening shot of scenery suddenly interrupted by a helicopter entering from behind the camera, I felt like I’d seen this movie a thousand times before. From the cinematography to the acting to the writing– it was all just so pointless. There’s no tension or mystery at all, no artistry; and the whole thing seems rushed, like everyone involved was just trying to get it over with. Twilight was by no means a good movie, but at least it tried.

By the way, I’m no fan of Twilight, but I’d rather watch the entire movie series in one sitting than sit through Morbius again. Bring on the sparkles.

The only bright-ish spot in the entire movie was Michael’s best friend, Lucian AKA Milo (played by Eleventh Doctor, Matt Smith). Milo also has the disease Michael has and is desperate to be cured, taking the serum in secret. Michael then immediately treats Milo as though he’s a monster/pure evil because he doesn’t want to go back to a painful life and early death. At least Milo embraces being a vampire and exudes some menace, unlike mopey Michael. At no point does Michael consider finding a way to live with being a vampire, like finding a source of human blood without the need to kill people (blood bank blood maybe? Idk). He immediately concludes that his serum is a curse with intolerable side effects (i.e., becoming a vampire) and it’s best to just give up rather than try to find a way to make it work. No wonder Milo isn’t on board.

The movie ends with a predictable twist and the worst post-credit scenes I’ve seen. I’m honestly not sure why Morbius was made; it doesn’t add anything to vampire lore, and I can’t see it adding anything worthwhile to the Spider-verse (like Spider-Man, Morbius is a Marvel character licensed by Sony, so technically not part of the MCU). Milo isn’t even around anymore to possibly make things more interesting in future movies.

If you’re a stickler for watching everything Marvel related, then go ahead and watch Morbius. If you want to see a decent vampire flick, then go watch Lost Boys, or What We Do in the Shadows, or yes, even Twilight (at least you can laugh at it). The critics were right, Morbius sucks, and not in a good way.

What did you think of Morbius? Share in the comments…

Cant get enough vampires? Download my books 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: SmashwordsBarnes & NobleKoboApple Books, Amazon
FREE Blood Magic: SmashwordsBarnes & NobleKoboApple Books
FREE Tooth & Claw: SmashwordsBarnes & NobleKoboApple 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

🧿

Quote of the Day

Quote of the Day, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas, aspasiasbissas.com. It's as much fun to scare as to  be scared, quote by vincent price, vincent and kermit, vincent price and kermit the frog, fangs, vampires, vampire, Halloween

Yes it is 🧛

It’s vampire season! Get into the spirit by downloading my books 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: SmashwordsBarnes & NobleKoboApple Books, Amazon
FREE Blood Magic: SmashwordsBarnes & NobleKoboApple Books
FREE Tooth & Claw: SmashwordsBarnes & NobleKoboApple 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

🧿

Music for Vampires

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

In the Buffy episode Surprise. there’s a short scene of vampire Drusilla dancing to a song. That song is “Transylvanian Concubine” by Rasputina. I loved the song as soon as I heard it, and it was perfect in the scene.

Buffy actually features a lot of good music, and even had a few bands play onscreen (Bif Naked, Cibo Matto, The Breeders, Aimee Mann…) But “Transylvanian Concubine” stood out the most to me. Give it a listen and see what you think:

Music for Vampires, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas, aspasiasbissas.com. Transylvanian Concubine, Rasputina, Buffy, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Surprise, BtVS, Drusilla, Drusilla gif
Drusilla grooving

What did you think of the song? What’s your favourite song featured on a show or movie, vampire or otherwise? Share in the comments…

Looking for something to read with your music? Download my books 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: SmashwordsBarnes & NobleKoboApple Books, Amazon
FREE Blood Magic: SmashwordsBarnes & NobleKoboApple Books
FREE Tooth & Claw: SmashwordsBarnes & NobleKoboApple 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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