CHAPTER 14
Vampires for Children

A vampire isn’t some sort of handsome prince. And a vampire
definitely isn’t some gloomy teenager who flunked algebra twice
and likes to pick on his girlfriend’s little brother. A vampire isn’t a
girl who’s read some stupid book seventeen times and thinks she
can become one of the characters.

A vampire is a bloodsucking horror who sleeps in a coffin filled
with his native soil; lives with bats, rats, and spiders; and carries
nothing inside himself but death and disease.

—David Lubar, Attack of the Vampire Weenies (2011, 37)

During the 1960s, children were exposed to the Universal monsters on television, as well as to a fair amount of gratuitous violence in cartoons, for which the networks had set aside special children’s viewing (and advertising) time, notably on Saturday mornings. By the late 1960s, television programming for children was beginning to change. The adult soap opera Dark Shadows was shown daily at 4 P.M. and so, by intention or inadvertently, it attracted a following of young teenagers and children, whom it familiarized with the conventions of the gothic story, sometimes without their parent’s knowledge or permission. By the late 1960s, groups of concerned parents were pressuring the networks to provide content that was more wholesome and less violent, as well as to ban or limit advertising to children. The development of PBS, the Public Broadcasting System, which was based on a noncommercial and educational model, was one result of these pressures, as were the development of targeted “after-school specials,” programs with positive social messages played in the after-school timeslots by the commercial networks. One result of the attempt to move away from violence led, ironically, to

-107-

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Vampires in the New World
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Contents iii
  • Acknowledgments v
  • Introduction - Taking Vampires Seriously vii
  • Chapter 1 - Vampire Scholarship 1
  • Chapter 2 - Dracula’s American 9
  • Chapter 3 - Early New World Vampires 17
  • Chapter 4 - Vamps in Hollywood 27
  • Chapter 5 - Blood and Pulp 33
  • Chapter 6 - Class-IC Horror 41
  • Chapter 7 - Urban Legends 49
  • Chapter 8 - Hammering It Home 57
  • Chapter 9 - Countering Vampire Culture 63
  • Chapter 10 - Black Vampires 69
  • Chapter 11 - Vampire Celebrities 77
  • Chapter 12 - Blood Consumers 87
  • Chapter 13 - Buffy Rules 99
  • Chapter 14 - Vampires for Children 107
  • Chapter 15 - White Trash and Teen Melodrama 121
  • Chapter 16 - Vampire Comedy 131
  • Afterword - Where Do We Go from Here? 143
  • Selected Chronological Filmography 149
  • Bibliography 163
  • Index 169
  • About the Author 177
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