Title

The Creatures Of The Night: Vampires From Books To Films

Date of Award

2007

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Mass Communication and Journalism

First Advisor

Arthur Kaul

Advisor Department

Mass Communication and Journalism

Abstract

Focusing on the fact that we are shifting from a Print media culture to an electronic media culture, this is a study that explores how this transformation occurs concerning books to films. Specifically, vampire books and stories that have been made into vampire films will be the main point of this piece. Besides showing how the media transformation is made, actual historical personages who contributed to the establishment of the vampire myth are discussed. Among these people are infamous mass murderers, medical abnormalities, and servants of the church. There are three research questions, which are answered by this dissertation. First, how was a specific literary convention and object of fear, the vampire, established from history, legend, and myth into first, the print medium, and thence into the electronic media? Second, what conventions, once established in the print media, made the transition into the electronic media and how did these changes occur? Finally, why is such a comprehensive study of a single object of fear within a single genre of filmmaking an important focal point for understanding how the fears of a society change over the years and how the vampire changes to incorporate those new fears of the society? The research covers all available vampire films that were directly made from vampire books. The study results indicate that potential individual motivators for why certain aspects of a literary work made the transition to film and others did not cover a wide spectrum, the main reason for inclusion or exclusion of story aspects, and adherences to original plot lines was due to monetary constraints. The higher budget films were most often the films that were closest to the original text. The completeness of the vampire's dissemination throughout nearly every culture on Earth indicates that this highly pervasive phenomenon is worthy of continuing research.