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Movies and literary influences for vampires of BTVS

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  • Movies and literary influences for vampires of BTVS

    Probably, some people have already understood some of these connections/influences (since Buffy's writers took many inspirations from horror movies/literature like Adam=Frankenstein's monster)
    If someone is interested, i want to recapitulate the cinematographic, literary influences and meaning of the major vampires of BTVS and Angel:
    1) The Master and Princes of Lies are based on Count Orlok/Nosferatu of the German movie "Nosferatu" of 19222) Angel/Angelus and Dracula are based on Dracula of Bram Stoker, in particular, the movie adaptation of Francis Ford Coppola of 1992 and Dark Prince: The True Story of Dracula (with the same actor Rudolf Martin as Dracula) linked to the historical figure of Vlad the Impaler3) Darla (of 17th century) is partially based on Countess Elizabeth Bathory of the 17th century and/or Carmilla/Countess Dracula4) Vampire Hunter Daniel Holtz was based on Vampire Hunter Abraham Van Helsing
    Holtz vs Angelus=Van Helsing vs Dracula4) Drusilla is based on "The Woman in White" of Horror Movies and literature5) Spike and Drusilla were originally based on "mad" emperor Caligula and his sister/lover Drusilla of the Roman EmpireLike Vlad, the Impaler was linked to the figure of the vampire also Caligula in modern times fictions is/was linked to it. As a matter of fact, in the movies Dracula: Untold, Caligula vampirized Vlad6) Kakistos and Mr. Trick are based on the literary evolution of the Devil
    Kakistos was a Greek name that means Worst of the Worst and was related to Mephistos a name for the "Devil". As a matter of fact, Kakistos's physical depiction with gloved hands and feet is based on the depiction of the Devil as a goat.
    Mr. Trick is based on Mephistopheles the "modern Devil" developed successively with literature: always well-dressed, interested in society and contracts (always dressed in red or black)From the old depiction and idea of the Devil (Kakastos) to the modern idea (Mr. Trick)

    7) Angel and Spike are partially based on Louis and Lestat of Vampire Chronicles of Anne Rice and the movie adaptation of "Interview with the Vampire"
    Angel and Spike are the 2 main vampires of the show that are partially similar to Luis and Lestat ("the Anne Rice's routine" as Spike said in School Hard)
    The Opposition: Good Vampire and Bad Vampire (Angel/Louis and Spike/Lestat)
    -Angel: The story of the good vampire Angel that eats rats because he doesn't want to kill humans is based on Louis of Vampire Chronicles that also ate rats in order to not kill humans.
    -Spike: The story of William/Lestat that lived with their mothers with no father. Both William/Lestat vampirize their mothers in order to save them from illness and stay with them. However, their mothers abandon them. The incestuous undertones of William/Anne and Lestat/Gabrielle are partially similar.This opposition of 2 main vampires becomes famous in many other tv shows: Stefan/Damon, Bill/Eric, etc.

  • #2
    I really enjoyed reading through this list and you listed all those I knew and more besides. It has taken me a couple of days to dwell on any potential suggestions as additions.

    Firstly, I wonder if there was anything specific about the character of Claudia in Interview with the Vampire that may have inspired the thought to include a child vampire in S1. It is a potentially shocking decision and Collin's bloodthirstiness, like Claudia, is played very deliberately in contrast to the visual of him as a child.

    There is also David from Lost Boys in relation to Spike. It was on considering the visual of the character that I looked up the film to see if there was any reference to a punk influence with David. So I was interested to see the following inclusion on the wiki page:
    Joss Whedon has expressed that the character Spike on the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer was inspired by David.[20] Both David and Spike took visual inspiration from British punk rock icon Billy Idol. Sutherland has stated that Billy Idol was a main source of inspiration for the look of David, while Spike was directly referenced the episode Sleeper where the characters state that Idol took the ideas for his look from Spike.[21][22]'

    I'd also argue that the half-vampire Michael in Lost Boys, who is trying to be good, has some touches of Angel to him. But instead of the mythological idea of a half vampire when they haven't yet fed, BtVS obviously took the mythological dilution of the vampirism with the distinction of the soul.


    • #3
      You are right, Spike is based on David and Angel is Michael.Michael is the main character like Angel and Spike is the bad boy like David, however, the main character (Angel/Michael) steals/take his girlfriend (Star/Drusilla)Spike=Caligula

      Spike's jealousy for Drusilla is based on Caligula's jealousy, which was very possessive and codependent toward her. As a matter of fact, after her death, Caligula's mental health gone worse. Caligula divinized Drusilla after her death as Diva Drusilla Panthea and she was equated to the goddess Aphrodite/Venus by the senate as decided Caligula.

      For this reason, Drusilla, in the tv show is also a saint equated to Virgin Mary. Spike's behavior in relation to "divinize" his loved girlfriend Drusilla is based on Caligula.

      Transcript of "What's my line Part 1":

      "Cut to Drusilla's room. She waves her hand over an intricately carved gold cross held out to her by Spike on a red velvet pillow.

      Spike: This is it then?

      Drusilla: (senses) It hums. I can hear it.

      Spike: Once you're well again, we'll have a coronation down Main Street, and invite everyone, and drink for seven days and seven nights."

      Spike talks about the coronation of Drusilla in relation to the coronation of the Virgin Mary because Virgin and Saint Drusilla=Virgin Mary, vampirized/annunciated by Angelus/Archangel GabrielThe coronation of Mary (Drusilla) by Jesus (Spike)

      Like I said in the post about Buffy and Christianity:
      • Angelus=Archangel Gabriel
      • Drusilla=Mary
      • Spike=Jesus


      • American Aurora
        American Aurora commented
        Editing a comment
        You make some really amazing connections - really enjoy reading them!

    • #4
      Interesting expansion on Spike and Dru and great point about the mirroring of Angel/Michael stealing Star/Dru.


      • #5
        If you are interested, in the episode "In the Dark" of Ats, Spike talks about the Angelmobile as a parody of the Batmobile.
        Angel is also based on Batman, both as dark heroes that use gadgets and the dark city (Gotham/Los Angeles of Angel).
        Angel and Bruce Wayne are physically similar and both brooding, private loners, with tragedy in their past who have dedicated their lives to altruistically helping people in need and ultimately, making their city a better place. With Angel being the head of "Angel Investigations," they're even both detectives. Also, there is a relation between bats of Batman and vampires of Angel

        Spike and Drusilla=Joker and Harley Quin
        Instead, Spike and Drusilla are symbolically based on Joker and Harley Quin, I don't think/know that/if writers consciously understood the archetypal similarities of these characters.
        There are different versions of the Joker and the most similar to Spike and Drusilla is the version of the Suicide Squad movie of 2016. Considering the difference of years, writers of Buffy and Suicide Squad didn't copy themselves but these archetypes of characters are similar and sometimes unconsciously are recreated

        -Spike=The Joker
        -Drusilla=Harley Quinn, both women are "mad" with psychological problemsHowever, the Joker is more psychopath than Spike, as a matter of fact, the Joker tortured Harley in order to make her insane like Angelus tortured Drusilla to make her insane
        So, in a more detailed way The Joker=Angelus+Spike because:
        The opposite of Batman is the Joker
        The opposite of Angel are both Angelus and Spike in a different way


        • Stoney
          Stoney commented
          Editing a comment
          The Angel=Batman element of AtS is so deliberately played quite a few times in S1. It might even be in the first episode when he uses a grappling hook and the constant broody presence on rooftops as well as a few deliberate nods in the text.

      • #6
        The writers of BTVS and Angel took also many inspirations from Hercules and Xena as a tv show, not only in relation to a powerful female warrior figure like Xena as the main character but also in relation to the structure of characters and tv shows.
        As a matter of fact, the writers and directors of Hercules and Xena (like many other writers and directors of movies and tv series) created their character in relation to the opposition Yang-Yin of the Chinese philosophy Taoism expressed in detail in the I Ching.1) Buffy-Angel and Hercules-Xena as tv shows
        Buffy and Angel as tv shows are the opposite of Hercules and Xena:
        1. There is the main tv show (Buffy and Hercules) and a spin-off (Angel and Xena)
        2. There is the main tv show that is more related to "Light-Yang" with a more good-hearted and innocent main character (Buffy and Hercules) and a more "Dark-Yin" spin-off with the main character that becomes a hero for redemption (Angel and Xena)
        3. There is a main male character (Angel and Hercules) and a main female character (Buffy and Xena): Yang-Male and Yin-Female
        2) Buffy and Angel=Hercules and Xena
        • Buffy=Hercules: the main hero
        • Angel=Xena: The hero for redemption from his evil past helped by Buffy/Hercules
        However, the scheme is also reversed:
        • Buffy=Xena: Main Female Lead
        • Angel=Hercules: Main Male Lead
        Hercules and Xena best friends are Iolaus and Gabrielle:
        Hercules (Dark Hair) and Iolaus (Blonde Hair) are Yin and Yang in opposition to Xena (Dark Hair) and Gabrielle (Blonde Hair)
        Instead Buffy (Blonde Hair) and Angel (Dark Hair) are opposite.
        • Buffy's main friends are: Xander and Willow (Male-Female/Yang-Yin) + Dawn (the younger sister, a daughter figure)
        • Xena's main friends are: Joxer and Gabrielle (Male-Female/Yang-Yin) + Eve (her daughter)
        Buffy/Xena Relationships

        3) Ares and Callisto=Spike and Faith: The rivals
        Buffy-Angel, Hercules-Xena, Spike-Faith, Ares-Callisto are similar and opposite in relation to Yang and Yin; as a matter of fact, their relationships are interconnected in different ways
        Relationships of Characters

        The basic relationships are:
        • Buffy=Xena and Callisto=Faith
        • Angel=Hercules and Spike=Ares
        However, it is also reversed:
        • Angel=Xena and Spike=Callisto
        • Buffy=Hercules and Faith=Ares
        Buffy and Faith opposition based on the archetypes "Angel/Yang/Blonde-Demon/Yin/Dark" is similar but opposite to Callisto and XenaAlso:
        • Ares is jealous of Hercules like Faith is jealous of Buffy
        • Xena (Dark Hair/Yin), in his evil days, is responsible for Callisto's personality (Blonde Hair/Yang) like Angel (Dark Hair/Yin), in his evil days, is responsible for Spike (Blonde Hair/Yang)
        -Ares starts as a villain but because of his admiration toward Xena fall in love with her in the successive seasons; like Spike, that also starts as a villain, but because of his admiration toward Buffy fall in love with her
        -At the end of the series Faith and Ares becomes allies with Hercules and Buffy, and Callisto and Spike got sanctified/divinized.
        4) The main enemy: First Evil/Dahak (Satan/Angra Mainu-Azi Dahaka related to the Church and Christianity)
        • The main enemy of Buffyverse is the First Evil
        • The main enemy of Hercules/Xena is Dahak
        First Evil

        Both these entities are based on the Judeo-Christian concept of Satan, Dahak is based on Angra Mainyu/Ahrimanthe principle of evil and destruction as opposed to Ahura Mazda (God) of Zoroastrianism, as a matter of fact, Hercules meets Zarathustra
        The Judeo-Christian concept of Satan/Enemy of "God" was born from Zoroastrianism during the Persian rule of Hebrews after their liberation from the Babylonian exile of Nebuchadnezzar II with the victory of Cyrus the Great in the 6th century BC
        Christianity developed from a Judaic set from Hebrews messianism, and originally Hebrews didn't have a Satan enemy of God; the ha-satan of the Hebrew Bible was sometimes an emissary of "God", after the syncretism and influences from Persian Zoroastrianism the Hebrews developed their concept of Satan.

        In Hercules/Xena Dahak is based on the concept of Angra Mayinu developed in Judaism and Christianity (linked also to the snake of Eden) in relation to the fall of polytheism and the development of monotheism with Judaism and Christianity

        Both in Buffy and Xena/Hercules First Evil and Dahak are linked to the Church: First Evil with Caleb, an ex-priest, and Dahak with his priest was trying to create the church of the only God after the fall of pagan deities

        Personally, I think that the First Evil was lame, I didn't like the way it was represented. I can't think of that entity as "the principle of evil" and i also think that many people didn't take him seriously watching season 7. Instead, the depiction of Dahak in Hercules/Xena was one of the best depictions of "Satan/Evil Principle" I have seen in fiction (movies and tv series).

        The way he mocked the real "God" posing as a priest of the light and a savior, his sarcasm and irony, the way he tried to corrupt people with good intentions during the depression for the death of loved ones, the way he took the body of Iolaus in order to torture emotionally Hercules, the way he tried to corrupt the innocent and naive Gabrielle in order to put her against Xena after impregnating her. He was a great character and a new and interesting depiction of "Satan/Evil Principle"

        The way the actor of Iolaus portrayed him and his relationship with Hercules reminded me of the Joker of Heath Ledger with Batman (another great character)

        What's are your thoughts about this?
        Last edited by Nothing13; 13-06-21, 01:28 AM.


        • #7
          I watched Xena before I'd ever seen Buffy. Although it has been a lot of years since I saw it, I really enjoyed your comparisons. The only thing that stood out to me as questionable was likening Dawn to Eve. Simply because Dawn is a main cast 'good' character that is part of the group as opposed to the villainous threat of Eve. But they do obviously mirror as daughter elements in the story, in general terms. The linking of Callisto and Faith is great, I do really like that.

          I think a lot of the repetitions in dynamics does really go to show that there are some standard tools in story telling that are used to explore heroic journeys and the people that are met. How the antagonist and protagonist work as foil characters is often a central element and joined by the added visualisation of colour symbolism and 'opposition' too. I know that Vladimir Propp offered specific stages that heroic journeys/stories tend to follow and I think I read some basic character types once too. I don't remember it including the redeemed villains though and a sense of the developments that can happen between the villain/false hero and hero. But that sense of contrast between the villain and hero is certainly a mainstay. It might just be that I didn't see wider examples of characters or the potential greater development that brought that chequered history with the protag.


          • #8
            What's are your thoughts about Dahak compared to the First Evil? Which depiction of the "Principle of Evil" did you prefer?


            • #9
              From what I recall, it has been about 15 years + since I watched Xena, I think that Dahak is more of a monstrous, literally destructive, embodiment of evil. As a God-like being of darkness, he was just portrayed as far more powerful in and of himself. Whereas The First feels a character more about the psychological weaknesses and corruption of people from within by their own fears and faults. Dahak's corruption was more possessive (as I recall). As a force of evil The First is less dominant then, more manipulative. The lack of physicality somewhat lessens it. But I do still feel the element of manipulation that is psychological above physical corruptions is also scary. But that's more on an individual level perhaps. Both need/use followers, but The First feels like they neeeeeed them more. The First works for me as a threat that infiltrates and represents evil, but Dahak is more devilish and God-like evil. If that makes sense.


              • #10
                Yes, it makes sense and I agree with you that Dahak is more a God-like being of evil instead of the First that is more abstract about the psychological weaknesses and corruption of people from within by their own fears and faults.
                However, I think that the writers didn't have done a good job in representing the First in the story; their idea, in theory, was what you said and it was a good idea, but in practice, sometimes the First was only talking without doing anything. Sometimes the First wasn't so effective in corrupting people, with the following episodes of season 7: he tries to corrupt talking but others didn't listen him anymore.
                The main characters, also, were more worried about his army in Hellmouth than the First himself and in the final battle, he didn't do anything. Defeated his army, defeated the First. I found it a bit lame at the end of "Chosen".

                For example, in my opinion:
                1) Caleb: yes, he was a good character and he was an effective scary villain but in the end, he was a misogynistic priest that everyone could understand that he had psychological problems when he talks about the Bible. Instead, the priests of Dahak were more astute in order to trick other people and gather followers of this "new religion".
                Dahak himself posed as a parody of a messianic figure in order to fool people and these people unaware of his evil intentions loved and followed him. He created a false Church of the "only God of Light" with gospel chants as a parody of Christianity, and he was believable.

                2) The First and Caleb operated principally in Sunnydale and they didn't almost anything in the rest of the world (outside killing potentials). Instead, Dahak and his priest operated in all the world with people of different nations (Sumerian Mythology, Norse Mythology, Greek Mythology, and Celtic Mythology): He corrupted Gilgamesh, a demigod; he used Loki in order to start the Ragnarok; he killed the druids and accused Hercules in order to "demonize" him and used Cernunnos; he used Ares and others Greek Gods ran away from him. He impregnated Gabrielle and used Hope, their daughter against her. Dahak's presence influenced the whole world.

                In conclusion, I like the idea of the First as a more impersonal and abstract entity of evil, but writers, in my opinion, could write the story in a better way in order to make him more effective as a Satanic-World-Treat, instead of only because of his army of Turok-hans


                • #11
                  Yes, I think that is fair. It did start to feel like The First could only concentrate on one person at a time. There was CWDP and then it seemed to feel goading everyone had lost its appeal.

                  I get that the opportunity to eradicate the slayer line had been born and there was a sense of needing to coordinate attacks against the potentials and then take out the active slayers, but The First lost momentum too easily. I wish they had used more people from the past to cameo and press on it appearing in dreams/odd moments to multiple characters and really plaguing them with self doubt. The group pushing Buffy out could have been built up to better in this way. And it being so easily pushed to a standstill for a time from the Turok Han being killed in Showtime didn't make a whole heap of sense. If it was off working on Caleb to bring him in it would have been good to see some of that. But I do like the idea and feel I can see what they were looking for, however I would agree they could definitely have upped the sense of threat from it considerably.