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Until Dracula most vampires were not very attractive; they are dead things that rise from their graves to drain the life from the living. Many legends require that the vampire return to their grave before sunrise of they will die. Once coffins became the norm instead of shrouds and simple holes in the ground, this of course meant that vampires sleep in coffins.
I think one of my favourite scenes involving coffins in a vampire film is from Once Bitten. The virgin hero finds an interesting solution to becoming the female vampire's next convert; he has sex with his girlfriend in a coffin so he's no longer qualified.(highlight to read since it's a spoiler)
What is your favourite use of a coffin in vampire fiction of any sort?
Camazotz 'The Death Bat'
This monster is Mayan in origin and according to Mythical Creatures and Beasts it is a man sized, evil vampire bat that sucks its victims dry.
He is also listed as a god and had a whole cult. Visit the site of the Museum of Anthropology in Veracruz Mexico to see pictures of some artefacts depicting him.
If you want lots more details about him, Badass of the Week has a whole article about him. He lived in a blood soaked cave.
Summary: Captain Kronos is a master swordsman and one time soldier who now hunts vampires. He ends up in a village where the young women are being drained of their youth by a vampire. The Durward family are the local lords of the manor and the children are suspiciously good looking.
Why you should watch it: I love this film. I remember seeing it as a teenager late night on TV and it always stuck with me. It's Hammer at its best; a bit campy, some terrible dialogue, but completely entertaining. Bonus: Benedict Cumberbatch's mum plays Lady Durward.
(#3 in The Diverse Life of Ianthe Jawara, Vampire)
by Natasha Duncan-Drake
Ianthe slept in a coffin. Well actually it was a coffin shaped bed, much roomier and more comfortable than the real thing, but it delighted her. It utterly offended the vampire who had made her which was the main idea of purchasing it in the first place.
It was big and black with red sheets and pillows and she loved it.
The fact that she was playing up to vampire stereotypes was a complete scandal. Proper vampires did not go in for coffins and capes and evening dress at all times of the day, so Ianthe did her best to live up to the clichés the books and films seemed to love. She even had a bath oil that turned the water blood red so she could bathe in blood when she felt like it.
She lived in a suite in the house of her maker. No vampire could be seen to let their child live in anything except the best of circumstances, well in Europe anyway, and she'd been retraining to be a teacher when her maker turned her and hence all but penniless. Her maker provided her with a generous allowance and financial advice so she could begin to build her own financial stability, but other than that they had no day to day interaction. She did not like him, he did not like her and that was that.
Ianthe knew she was an embarrassing mistake that was not going away and she liked to live up to that reputation.
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