I’d like to take a moment to introduce myself as Luker Von* whom some of you may remember as the bright-eyed, Midwest transplant in NYC who was propositioned for sex not too long ago. I’m honored Sorcia has asked me to contribute and I hope you all enjoy as well.
Choosing a first snarktitle was challenging until I embraced the fact that I excel in all things pop-vampirism. I watch The Vampire Diaries un-ironically, can catch anyone up on True Blood, loved Let The Right One In, could easily write a doctorate on Buffy The Vampire Slayer and sometimes—just sometimes—I watch a few minutes of Bones (shudder) just because David Fucking “Angel” Boreanaz is on it. And this, folks, is where my complicated, passionate fascination/hate of the Twilight series stems from. Because it actually hurts a little bit of my disappointingly mortal soul that it is just so spectacularly awful. And yes, I’ve read all four books.
So, spoilers from here on out. I’ll only be sticking to the first book, not the film, though I’m happy to write about the rest of this god forsaken series if there is interest. On to:
Twilight, or, I Love My Stalker Boyfriend Because He Sparkles
I’m not even sure where to start, so how about doing Twilight in flash fiction: Bella moves to Forks, lives with dad. Her life is saved by pale orphan Edward of the family of vampires known as the Cullens. They date. Evil Vampires come to town and want to eat Bella; the Cullens protect her. There is a fight in a ballet studio; two Evil Vampires survive. Bella also lives but wants to die and transform into a vampire. Edward refuses to turn her; they go to prom.
All of this takes about 500 pages to get though, most of which is told in Bella’s excruciatingly mundane first-person narrative during an Extended Flashback of her life before the ballet studio fight. The most fascinating thing about Bella is how long it takes her to fucking realize that the Cullen family is comprised of a rag-tag group of vampires, and the “kids” spend their days being all sexy and undead and stuff in their high school vampire clique. Clue the first: they are inhumanly beautiful and “chalky pale” and their dad pulls them out of school every time there is a sunny day. Bella notes this around page 18.
Anvil the second arrives about 30 pages later: Edward exhibits Clark-Kent-style superstrength by preventing a car from smashing into Bella using only his hand. If this had happened to me, and oh I so wish it had happened to me in high school, I would have been like, well, that guy’s clearly a vampire. In fact, I think I actually said those words out loud when I read Twilight inside a Borders during my lunch break. It takes Bella over one hundred pages, one old Native American folktale, a mild encounter with potential gang rape, and some good old-fashioned Googling to get there.
Stephanie Meyer takes everything that is cool about vampires and ungraciously shits all over it. Not only do TwiVamps sparkle in the sunlight, but they don’t even need an invite to enter a home, one bite of their vamp venom will turn you, their bodies are made of hard crystals or something, and they are virtually unkillable, except by other vampires. This rules out potential showdowns with an angry mob of villagefolk and leaves Blade and Buffy with nothing to do but mourn the passing of the late 90s. They also apparently all have One True Love, so most of the Cullens are paired off except for still-virginal 104-year-old-Edward, who we are to believe was never once tempted by ANYONE he encountered in the past century.
So, like any gentleman, he follows Bella around, reads the minds of people she is with, tells her he is anxious when not around her, tells her she’s stupid for liking him, and rounds it all off by slipping into her room at night (unbeknownst to her) to watch her sleep. Lucky girl. And here all I wanted in high school was a Smirnoff Ice and someone to paw at my boobs. Edward’s got the chance to score some sweet, 17-year-old similarly-virginal poon but resists, because more than some Frenching and touching runs the risk of giving into temptation and ripping her the fuck apart and drinking her dry. This would be kind of hot were it not incredibly tedious.
Edward’s boring and righteous vampire “family” is no better. They’re all soulmates with each other, and Carlisle, the puppetmaster father figure of the group turned a fair amount of them into vampires while they were on the brink of death. He’s really great at skulking around near catastrophes (and striking when the iron’s hot). I’d like to note the slight homoerotic fact that he turned succulent little Spanish Influenza-ridden Edward first, even before his wifey-mate Esme. They all choose to drink animal blood and call themselves vegetarians like it’s the cleverest thing that side of the fucking Mississippi, but seem to have no other moral stance or code when it comes vampire matters. They use their immortality and superpowers to, you know, read or play piano or, if they feel really wild, they play baseball.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Stephanie Meyer’s fascinating and eloquent prose, which provides us with some of the following gems. Actually, given her habit of using the same adjectives to describe how purdy Edward is (his voice is musical, his smile crooked but charming, his breath sweet), I’m thinking it’s the Twilight version of Coffee and Sandwiches from Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. Maybe Stieg Larsson is SM’s secret Swedish penname.
She wows her readership by bringing out the big guns of Creative Writing 101 by starting the story with her main character, Bella Swan, in vague but angsty danger. “I knew that if I’d never gone to Forks, I wouldn’t be facing death now.” Sigh. You and me both, Bells.
p. 173 “he seemed to be wavering, torn by some internal dilemma” –a classic Meyerism, wherein SM will state something and then explain it. Again.
p. 174 “I wondered if it should bother me that he was following me; instead I felt a strange surge of pleasure.” –oh girl, it gets my downstairs tingling too.
p. 181 “Holy crow!” I shouted. “Slow down!” –Because apparently Bella is a character from the 1940s.
p. 190 “I quickly rubbed my hand across my cheek, and sure enough, traitor tears were there, betraying me.” –a personal favorite.
* Hi kids, Sorcia here. We’re having yet another name contest here at the Junction, so put your best bets for Luker’s new psudonym in the comments. We want to stick with Luker Von ____ , so fill in the blank and, as always, you get extra points for hilarity.