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    Vampires Jump the Shark! (Thanks, Twilight)

    Robert Pattinson, New Moon Summit Entertainment
    Counterpunch

    Remember when Hollywood vampires were indie cool? Think TV's Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Roman Polanski's The Fearless Vampire Killers.

    But then Twilight arrived. And Robert Pattinson assaulted our senses with his everywhere-ness. And fanggirls assaulted our senses with their everywhere-ness at Comic-Con.

    And finally, overkill of overkills: Starting Friday, people are going to fork over their hard-earned allowances for tickets to BandslamBandslam!—just to see the new trailer for New Moon.

    It's over. Hollywood vampires have jumped the shark. Thanks to the Twilight Saga, they are too big to be indie. They are too hot to be cool. They are a blasted water-ski attraction. Just like Fonzie, the original shark jumper.

    The signs are everywhere:

    1. This headline says it all: "Twilight Barbie Dolls coming soon to a Walmart near you."

    Giving all you vampire die-hards a moment to recover…

    One…

    Two…

    Got your breath back? OK, let's resume:

    2. The Edward Barbie. And while, yes, it's cruel to link to an actual picture of the doll, which "looks just like the dazzlingly beautiful vampire Edward Cullen," we are trying to make a point.

    3. I'm Not Obsessed nailed this one back in March: The Twilight board game. Suffice it to say, if you're a creature of the night associated with a tie-in product that has to carry a choking-hazard warning for small children—and this argument basically goes for the Barbie dolls, too—then you're about as hip as Barney the dinosaur.

    4. The Teen Choice Awards. Yeah, that's pretty cutting edge. True, Miley Cyrus brought the Madonna 'tude, but Twilight just picked up a bunch of surfboards. And, another thing, the TV ratings went down.

    5. A weekly TV show devoted exclusively, as in only, to Twilight. Aren't vampires supposed to avoid the direct sun at the risk of being (over)exposed? Oh, well not with Twilight: Weekly Spotlight around. (It airs Mondays on ReelzChannel.)

    Put 'em all together, and believe you us, if Bram Stoker's Dracula weren't undead, he'd be rolling over in his grave.

    Even Wendi Mirabella, executive director and producer of this weekend's Vampire-Con, a Los Angeles event billed as the first "vam-pop culture" convention, tells us there's a "small segment" of old-school vampire fans who have been put off by Twilight. Or rather by the Twilight phenomenon.

    To be sure, Mirabella's not complaining about the movies—or conceding that the fanged ones' moment has passed: "[Twilight] draws attention to the genre that never really has lost popularlity. I don't think it [the vampire] has jumped the shark in any way, shape or form."

    Still, we have one word regarding the future in Hollywood-monster cool: werewolves.

    Just try buying a Jacob Black Barbie doll. It ain't gonna happen, 'cause it don't exist. And yes, we know, Taylor Lautner's Jacob Black is a shape-shifter and not a werewolf, but many casual observers think otherwise, which only makes werewolves and Jacob Black all the more cool: They're misunderstood!

    Just like Edward Cullen used to be.

    (Originally published Aug. 13, 2009, at 9:45 p.m. PT)

    _________

    Still a Twi-hard? Peruse our Twilight Saga Stuff photo gallery.

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