Ask a Vampire: Merticus Guest Reviews The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1
This weekend, fans and critics will dissect The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1, to evaluate the film's dreamy wedding, nightmare pregnancy and cinematic merit. But what does the actual vampire community think about the latest Stephenie Meyer adaptation that features Robert Pattinson as a hunky bloodsucker, Kristen Stewart as his teen bride and Taylor Lautner as a walking set of abs?
To get answers, Movieline tracked down an Atlanta-based, self-identified vampire named Merticus who --- in spite of his community's near-universal hatred of the tween-targeted franchise -- was willing to shed light on the vampire misconceptions perpetuated in the latest Twilight installment.
Merticus is a founding member of the Atlanta Vampire Alliance and Vampire Community News. In addition to consulting about the vampire community, organizing gatherings and collecting period works pertaining to the occult, the married 33-year-old vampire works as an antiques dealer.
At the beginning of Breaking Dawn, Edward leaves Bella for his bachelor party, which the audience is told will be filled with animals on which to feed instead of strippers. What is a vampire's bachelor party like? Do vampires enjoy strippers?
The last bachelor party I had the honor of attending ended in an excursion to a local adult establishment where young women were removing articles of clothing while the men were consuming large quantities of alcohol and emptying their wallets. Refusing to sacrifice my lofty vampire standards and risk contracting some airborne pathogen, I seized upon the first opportunity to make a premature exit for another party.
The ideal real vampire bachelor party wouldn't involve animals gathered for slaughter. Instead, the evening would be filled with offerings of rare to medium-rare fine cuts of meat (preferably not still moving), fifteen or more year old spirits, Cuban cigars, and richly complex and beautiful women who either serve at your beckon call or whip you into submission with their floggers for being the naughty vampire you are. I believe real vampires often have a preternatural je ne sais quoi disposing them to appreciate the sophisticated indulgences in life and for me strippers don't fall into this category.
Bella and Edward enjoy a pretty traditional wedding ceremony. Don't vampires require different vows or matrimonial traditions?
When my wife and I married we wrote our own vows and while I've no plans on divulging the ancient secret rituals and incantations that bind us together; they basically involve "to eternity or eight pints do we part." Our wedding was attended by dozens of real vampires, friends, family, and co-workers who received different sets of invitations depending on what name we were known by; or in my case just "Merticus."
Much like Bella and Edward's, our wedding was a traditional outdoor reception where many of the non-vampire guests were none the wiser that they were in the company of energy-sucking and blood-drinking real vampires. Aside from the bride wearing a red dress and the vampires sitting closely together at a couple of tables there was nothing out of the ordinary. Many of us are masters at blending into the environment or into roles we sometimes have to assume. Fortunately, none of those involve playing a perpetual high school student seeking the affection of a naive young girl who's being pursued by overgrown wolves.
As a vampire, Edward is so strong that during his first sexual experience with Bella, he breaks a canopy bed, rips open feather pillows, destroys an entire honeymoon villa and leaves Bella with full-body bruises. Is vampire sex usually this intense?
I've learned my lesson on the dangers of vampire sex firsthand after nearly stripping out the carriage bolts of my Victorian Gothic spire bed from the mid 1870s during the heated passion of the moment. I'm not sure which was more terrifying -- worrying that the four wooden posts of the bed would collapse or that my longer-than-average and sharpened thumbnails running over her skin would lead to bloodshed all over the fresh linens.
Quality fill feather pillows are hard to come by so I've never fancied ripping them apart though I do sleep with two and often carry one with me when I travel. Real vampires value those they enter into sexual or donor relationships with and would never intentionally harm them. When we leave marks, it's because we intended to do so and the other person enjoyed being nibbled upon after falling for our sexual energy and magnetism.
Sex with a real vampire is likely the best you'll ever experience in your life because we're attuned with our bodies and skilled at bringing our lovers to intense heightened states of sexual pleasure.
As a vampire, is it possible to impregnate a human with a demon fetus who feeds on its mother's blood? If so, is it possible for the vampire to deliver said demon baby in a fit of panic with his/her teeth.
Having never impregnated a human with a demon fetus I'm having difficulty appreciating this process and fear it's something I'll have to explore in more detail. My wife has often exchanged glances with me that made me think she might be demonkin; although that's branching off into mythology far stranger than the vampires and werewolves of Twilight -- that of a woman's scorn.
Real vampires procreate in the same manner as everyone else and generally the only concern some of us have is that our children may end up with the same tendencies towards needing to feed off subtle energy or blood as their parent(s). To our credit, I've found that many female vampires are more adept at managing the physical pain and the emotional roller coaster of childbirth than their non-vampire counterparts. There are some in the real vampire community who believe vampirism may in fact be genetic and have a greater than normal prevalence in families along maternal or paternal lines.
In Breaking Dawn, Edward serves Bella her first dose of blood in a styrofoam cup with a straw because he thinks that will make the blood "easier" for Bella to drink. How do sanguinarian vamps consume blood? If vampires do drink blood from styrofoam cups, does this mean they don't care about the environment?
If someone handed me a styrofoam cup with a straw for me to drink blood from like I was a small child in need of coddling I would tear their head from their body and burn the remains as should be the fate of all Twilight vampires. It's not that difficult to procure a crystal chalice because most real vampires consume either directly from the source or at least from vessels that aren't made from polystyrene; there are standards which must be upheld!
Sanguinarian vampires consume the blood of willing donors and arrangements are often agreed upon in a verbal or written contract. A sanguinarian vampire is very concerned with the health of their donor and blood being free from disease and parasites. We require screening and careful medical evaluation of our donors before partaking of the coveted red liquid. Medical lancets and sterilized blades are often used for extracting the blood from our donors; drawing blood through biting is not a sanitary or safe practice. The frequency of feeding varies among real vampires but generally one or two tablespoons of blood once a week does the trick. Many sanguinarian vampires don't find value in storing the blood for long periods of time but do sometimes feed from animal blood or alternative blood substitutes in the form of certain foods that they've found to temporarily satiate their hunger.
Have you or any vampires you know ever done a roundhouse kick before punching a wolf squarely in the face? Furthermore, are wolves actually enemies of the vampire community?
All the time! The vampires of the Atlanta Vampire Alliance are masters of the art of mortal combat against all creatures of the nighttime world. Technically speaking, several of us are in fact trained in martial arts, self defense, and threat neutralization. If ever put to the test by an advancing pack of wolves, I'm hoping we could adequately defend our hearth and home. The therianthrope (were/therian) community are not enemies with the real vampire community. In fact, we coexist peacefully and sometimes attend each other's events and share more commonalities than differences. I've nothing negative to say about my therian counterparts and we even have many members of the vampire community who self-identify as vampire-therian hybrids.
Are vampires psychic and/or able to read minds like Edward Cullen?
Psychic vampires feed from the subtle energy (chi) of other humans, living organisms, or the environment but at the same time often possess the ability to perceive the emotions, thoughts, and auras of others. This especially occurs when a real vampire forms an empathic connection with a donor. Others of us have developed a keen sense of perception that comes in handy in card games, social situations, and the occasional interrogation. It wouldn't surprise me in the least if Ashley Greene (Alice) is in fact a real vampire -- more artists, musicians, and high profile personalities are than you may realize.
In Twilight, Edward is attracted to Bella's unique scent. Are real vampires drawn to certain people's scents more than others?
Many real vampires are particularly attracted to pheromones and often draw breath from the surface of the skin both as a means of subtle energy feeding and taking in the scent of the other person. A sanguinarian vampire may be attracted to the scent of a particular person based solely on aromatic virtues; not any tangible satiating qualities or preferable blood type. I will say that some blood-drinking vampires are quite particular when it comes to the taste of the blood they are drinking and have prerequisites for their donors which may include non-smokers and a healthy lifestyle or diet. <span
class="pullquote right">Unlike Edward, we have a solid grasp on our senses and an ability to control our urges when a striking AB negative woman walks into the room.
Is there anything that Breaking Dawn -- Part 1 got right about vampires?
While there are some vampires who believe we exist in the twilight or the balance between our dayside and nightside realities, there's very little that multi-faceted real vampires have in common with the two-dimensional fictional vampires of Twilight. The Volturi didn't receive enough attention in the movies and it should be said that there are some in the vampire community who embrace the aesthetic and superiority complex characterized by this coven of vampires. Personally, I love baseball and have fond memories of helping our team of vampires win an 11-0 game against the opposing team of witches in Savannah, GA one year. Despite the disdain the real vampire community feels towards the release of Breaking Dawn, the filmmakers got one thing right -- the vampire always wins in the end!
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