Review by The Mad Bibliographer, submitted on 01-Jan-1992

Adapted from the column "Vampires in Print" in The Vampire's Crypt #3 (Spring 1991).

John Steakley. Vampire$ (Roc/Penguin, 1990).

Vampire$ features a tight-knit group of professional vampire-killers. The name of the game is search and destroy -- for big bucks. Team Crow, led by the irrepressible Jack Crow, has the full backing of the Vatican in a job that will never, ever, ever be over. The tenacity of the opposition sometimes slows them down, but they don't stop. They go on blowing up buildings (to let in sunlight, the one sure vampire-killer); the team's scientist, Carl Joplin, develops a vampire detector; and the team as a whole gets roaring drunk whenever the opportunity arises, which it does with impressive frequency. Whatever else may be said for or against Team Crow, they know how to party hearty.

What else do they do? Discover the efficacy of silver and fire against vampires. Lose several members, even early on in the book--it's an occupational hazard. Shock a bishop. Gain a gunman to make the best of the silver bullet discovery. Pick up a reporter, Davette Shands. And--at last--get an almost first-hand glimpse at the lifestyle of the elusive fiends they are devoted to eliminating. (Vampires love opera, hate rock and roll, and don't always get along well with each other.)

Vampire$ gives a closer, longer look at violent vampire-hunting than anything else to date, often at a breathtaking pace. (Imagine Tim Moriarty's Vampire Nights stripped down and souped up.) Vampires range from shuffling zombies to self-proclaimed gods who can catch a crossbow bolt in flight. Summing up the protagonists is a little trickier. Perhaps a concise warning will suffice: you are entering a world in which "Fuck off!" means "Of course I'll help out!" If this sounds like The Twilight Zone, approach Vampire$ with caution, if at all. On the other hand, if this sounds like your kind of people: Approach with caution anyway. Vampire$ is often intense and sometimes quite grim. And for bibliophiles, another note of caution: the trade paperback edition of this book is printed on some of the ugliest paper I've ever seen. (I haven't perused the pocket-sized ed.)

You've been warned, pilgrims.

Fanged Films

From the Library

As the 20th century evolved, rational man turned to science to explain mythology that had pervaded for thousands of years. How could a man be mistaken for a vampire? How could someone appear to have been the victim of a vampire attack? Science, in time, came back with answers that may surprise you.Anemia
A million fancies strike you when you hear the name: Nosferatu!N O S F E R A T Udoes not die!What do you expect of the first showing of this great work?Aren't you afraid? - Men must die. But legend has it that a vampire, Nosferatu, 'der Untote' (the Undead), lives on men's blood! You want to see a symphony of horror? You may expect more. Be careful. Nosferatu is not just fun, not something to be taken lightly. Once more: beware.- Publicity for Nosferatu in the German magazine Buhne und Film, 1922  

Drawn to Vamps?

Vol. 1 No. 1
They Say Nobody Lives Forever
Vol. 10 No. 3
Cave of Vampires