The Newyorker reports:
"VAMPIRES VERSUS ZOMBIES"
Forget vampires, zombies, and blood-soaked prom-goers—Stephen King’s earliest memory of horror films was the forest fire scene in “Bambi.”
“The Disney pictures are scary as s***,” he announced on Saturday afternoon at the “The Vampire Revival.”
His fellow panelists agreed: Melissa Rosenberg, who’s adapted Stephenie Meyer’s “Twilight” books for the screen, added “Fantasia,” and Matt Reeves, the director of “Let Me In” and “Cloverfield,” admitted that he always had to close his eyes during the “Pirates of the Caribbean” ride. But the subject at hand wasn’t forest creatures or animatronic drunks. Noël Carroll, a CUNY professor and author of “The Philosophy of Horror,” and moderator and staff writer Joan Acocella joined this group to discuss sex, gore, and the characters on which they usually intersect these days: vampires.
When Stephen King released “Salem’s Lot” in 1975, vampires were so out of fashion that the publisher didn’t want to mention them on the jacket flap. In recent decades, a few pop-culture phenomenon—“Buffy” a decade ago, “Twilight” now—have brought waves of fans (read: teen-age girls) back to the genre.
These vampires are lost souls, Carroll said, the type that women long to make their “projects.” The sex, King pointed out, is invariably adolescent—“they just want to bite the girl’s neck”—and Rosenberg elaborated: the self-loathing Edward from “Twilight” is “actually very safe, because of his own morality.” King asked if there was a parallel between maintaining abstinence and not wanting to suck her blood? Rosenberg didn’t miss a beat: “Absolutely.”
King was quick to highlight the Christianity of the undead: zombies eat the body, vampires drink the blood. And then he turned to the inevitable question: when the zombie apocalypse arrives, which of the two would win? In a room full of vampire fans, King was impressively confident: zombies. They use the whole body, after all."