Vampire Twins, Vol. 1

Vampire Twins, vol 1: Bloodlines
Review by Baron Gideon Redoak, submitted on 27-Sep-1996

Vampire Twins--V. 1, Bloodlines Janice Harrell. HarperPaperbacks, 1994. 0-06-106402-5

Dumb, dumb, DUMB first-of-series juvenalia. The plot, such as it is, concerns fraternal twins, Paul and Anne-Marie (aka Ari), living with their divorced mother in the French Quarter of (where else?) New Orleans.

Since we are told on page two that a vampire is spying on the twins, and on page one that a mysterious serial killer is draining drunks of their blood and leaving the corpses lying around, there isn't a whole lot of suspense about the identity of the serial killer. The vampire--referred to in just that way--even wears a cape. He's also incredibly careless, leaving corpses practically on the doorstep of our little family.

Gee, I wonder who the vampire can possibly be? It's so, pardon the expression, bloody obvious that it's painful, but the series title alone manages to kill what little suspense is going in this book. The twins even have pointed canines unlike all of their friends. Gosh.

When Mom dies in a convenient car wreck, the twins are whooshed off to Washington DC by their wacky Aunt Gabrielle--who never eats or drinks, who is cold to the touch, who has pointy teeth, who is never seen in daylight, and who wears, yes, a cape. In other words, she's a typical Washington hostess. *grin*. Not even she, however, will confirm their feeling that her brother--their father--is around and watching them. She sends our siblings off to a snooty private school, where Ari meets a charming young man while Paul glowers jealously and dates the local bimbo. The young man dumps his Romanian girlfriend--whose name is, of course, Nadja (come on, aren't there any other girl's names in Romania?)--and who runs from Ari on the stairs, crossing herself.

At the Hallowe'en party, the vampire himself tries to dance with Ari, but she freaks out. Later, she identifies a photo of her father as the vampire who tried to dance with her. Big surprise.

Far, far more disturbing than the ludicrous and obvious vampire plot is the near-incestuous relationship between the twins. Whenever anything goes wrong--serial killer leaves a corpse on their lawn, mom dies in a car wreck, their teachers are mean, whatever--they crawl into bed together and cuddle. This might have been cute when they were six, but is unhealthy and bothersome at sixteen. (Actually, they act more like they're about twelve--I was genuinely surprised that they were old enough to drive). The phrase "don't you feel sorry for anyone who isn't a twin?" is repeated ad naseum.

By the time Aunt Gabrielle reveals the family secret, even the slowest mortal nitwit could have figured it out. What has bad old Daddy been up to? Killing people, maybe?

Aunt Gabrielle is a mildy amusing character (or caricature), but even she can't save this silliness. Call this one the Babybiter's Club.

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  

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The Final Chapter: Dreams of Death!