Saturday, 5 April 2014

AtoZ Day 5: E is for Eyes, Estrie, Embrace of the Vampire

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Okay, I admit it, I have a thing for strange eyes. Eyes that glow, eyes that become animalistic, eyes that go solid black or red, basically anything - I love it. I've noticed over the years that the first thing I tend to look at on a person is their eyes, so this was always going to be a button of mine.

These days with cgi or special contact lenses easy to find most vampires in film and TV have the eye thing going on. This pleases me no end.

I assume that the eyes being the window to the soul is one reason for changing the eyes of a vampire in fiction and in folklore. In legend some of them have red eyes, which could again be due to signs of composition. Others have a captivating gaze that can mesmerise a human being with a single glance and modern adaptations often interpret this as a glow. Before reflecting contacts or quick post production the old films had to do with lighting that area of the actors faces.

Dracula's bloodshot eyes from Hammer's film are still an icon, so evil eyes can play a very important part.

Do you like your vampires to have strange eyes, if yes, what is your favourite, if no, why?

Creature Feature:


These creatures are Hebrew vampires from Jewish mythology. As with many female vampires they are said to prey on men, although they'll go for anything in a pinch, sucking their blood.

These demon women are able to change form and can take the shape of animals to hide and hunt.

According to Vampire Underworld the way to make sure an Estrie does not come back it to pack the mouth with earth at the time of burial, or to decapitate and burn the body.

Movie Recommendation Mention:

I can't call it a recommendation today because the movie is terrible, but it was the only one I had seen beginning with E :).

Title: Embrace of the Vampire
Rating: 18
Summary: In the original (pictured to the right) a timid college freshman played by Alyssa Milano is drawn in by a handsome vampire.

In the remake it's a bit deeper in that Charlotte (this time played by Sharon Hinnendeal) has a vampire connection, but it's basically the same idea.
Why not to watch either of them: As far as I can tell they are both mostly an excuse to get some boobs on the screen. The pace of both is terrible and I was bored out of my mind. I never reached the end of the original and the end of the remake was awful. In the remake they try to keep you guessing at to who the vampire is, but there aren't exactly many candidates and it's kind of written in neon.

(#5 in The Diverse Life of Ianthe Jawara, Vampire)
by Natasha Duncan-Drake

As she walked up the steps to the house, Ianthe was furious. All through the taxi ride home she had been thinking and there was only one reason she could come up with as to why someone might have been watching her.

"Good evening, Madam," Philips, their butler, greeted as she stormed through the front door.

"He's upstairs I suppose," she said, knowing that it was rude, but not caring at that particular moment.

"As ever, Madam," Philips replied. "Sir is preparing for bed."

Ianthe liked Philips, he was very formal, but he didn't judge. Those kind of people were few and far between in vampire circles, so she had great respect for him, but she didn't want to mellow before she faced her maker.

"Thank you, Philips," she said, handing him her coat and heading for the stairs.

Preparing for bed meant only one thing and Ianthe did not hesitate. She stormed up the staircase, down the hall and into her maker's private rooms. There was the sound of water coming from the bathroom and she simply walked straight in.

It wasn't as if she and Alex hadn't seen each other naked before. If she had kept her clothes on that night she wouldn't have ended up undead.

"Why are you having me followed again?" she demanded.

Alex glanced up at her from where he was lying in heavily scented water. It was annoying how perfectly relaxed he looked and that just made her want to strike out more. Vampires were vane, but they had reason to be. His long chestnut hair was fanned out on the back shelf behind the tub and he looked like a model posed for a shoot rather than a man taking a bath.

"Ianthe," Alex said and smiled a very patronising smile, "how nice to see you."

"Alex, I'm not in the mood," she said and glared at him. "Just answer the damn question."

Alex said nothing for just long enough to be annoying.

"I am not having you followed," he said just before she could hurl some more abuse at him. "I have not bothered with such trivialities since the end of your first year."

That brought her up short. Alex didn't lie to her; he totally neglected to tell her things and refused to answer certain questions, but he didn't outright lie. It seemed to be a matter of honour or something.

"Then who was the man outside Cal's house?" she asked, off balance again.

Alex stood up in one smooth motion, water sliding off his perfect body in eye enticing rivulets. For a moment Ianthe found herself distracted. There was a reason she was in this mess after all and it hadn't had a huge amount to do with Alex's personality.

"I wouldn't know," Alex said, reaching for a robe. "If you will associate with mongrels I can't be responsible for who might be lurking in the shadows."

Ianthe remembered why she was furious.

"My friends are not mongrels," she said and turned on her heel.

It was only as she was stamping down the corridor back to her own rooms that she realised Alex had managed to completely goad her into a rage. She mentally cursed herself and switched direction again. However, when she made it back to Alex's door it was firmly shut and did not open as she tried the handle. It was a pointed message.

With vampire strength she could easily have forced the lock, but even she was not willing to go that far. There were a few rules she was not willing to break and forcing her way into another vampire's lair was one of them. It was sacrosanct.

Alex had won this round.

Pulling her dignity around her, Ianthe walked back down the corridor, crossing the top landing to her corner of the house. It was possible Alex had just wanted to get rid of her. It was also possible that his point about werewolves was true, even if his derogatory tone had been unnecessary. Cal was a friend, but not a saint and the lurking stranger could have been some other supernatural who just didn't want to be seen. She had jumped to conclusions because she was tired and on edge thanks to the time.

Overreacting wasn't exactly new for her. Becoming a vampire really hadn't changed that much; she'd always been of a fiery disposition. Her mum had always said it was the French in her genes.

"Would Madam care from some cocoa before bed?" Philips' familiar voice asked just as she reached her door.

"Thank you, Philips," she said, turning and giving him a smile, "you're an angel as ever."

"Always at your service, Madam," Philips replied with a small bow and buttled on his way.

Her bed was calling her and she decided to sleep on the whole thing. No doubt it would all be very plain and simple once she woke up later in the day.

A few of us discovered that we all had supernatural themes for the AtoZ so we got together and did a mini list. If you also have a supernatural theme (ghosts, monsters, witches, spells etc), please feel free to add yourself to the list.

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  1. I don't often watch vampires movies. I'd rather read about them. Not sure why either.

    ~Patricia Lynne~
    Story Dam
    Patricia Lynne, YA Author

    1. I prefer to watch my vampires, although a really good vampire novel has no equal :)

  2. I have a thing for strange eyes too. When I was a kid, I used to sketch all different kinds of unusual eyes in the margins of my writing notebooks. My artistic skills aren't that great, but I enjoyed it.

    1. I used to sketch eyes too, in my rough book for school :) That and stars.

  3. Nice post and something my husband would enjoy as he likes vampires monsters and dragons. As for not so much.

    1. I like your husband's taste :) We can't all like the same things though. Thanks for visiting.

  4. I'll admit it. Weird, as in hollywood weird, eyes creep me out. I don't know what it is. I'm good with 4 heads, but leave the eyes alone! lol

    Estrie sounds like a pretty interesting vampire. The kind I would like to be, if I could be one. The vampire/shape changer combination is appealing.

    1. I once wore whiteout contacts to the office for halloween and freaked everyone out - was so much fun :)

      I like the idea of shape changing too, although sounds like it could be painful.

  5. Give me the theatrics of the old movies! The way the face was muted in darkness except for one band of light hi-lighting the bogged-out, over-compensated sinister stare of the eyes. Brilliant!
    So, who IS watching Ianthe? Guess I'm going to have to wait to find out! Damn, these days off! ;)
    Have a lovely Sunday, see you back here bright and early Monday morning. :)

    1. I loved the way they emulated this in the Adams Family with Morticia :).
      It might take Ianthe a while to find out, sorry :)
      Hope you're having a lovely Sunday too, I'm playing catch up because I was off visiting the in-laws yesterday.

  6. Well, Sis, you know we share the penchant for strange eyes thing - my own vampires in Death In The Family have glowing eyes. One of the best uses of eyes, for me, is in The Lost Boys - on Michael when he's slowly turning - it's nothing definite, just a subtle change in his gaze, very effective.

    1. Oh yes, definitely a good eye usage there and the way they don't change back when they are supposed to is a great shock :)

  7. I love the eyes on the vampires in UnderWorld. There's something that draws me in. Neat choice for today. Eyes can be creepy, but they are very neat.

    1. Ooh, good choice. I really am a bit obsessed with eyes and it also let me use the horrible pun the eyes have it ;)

  8. I do like strange eyes too! Hm for vamps in reading I think Kresley Cole's Immortals After Dark series. Their eyes are normal unless they've killed while drinking and then their eyes turn red. One of the heroes Lothaire was a bad guy as well and had killed many this way and had red eyes. I found the set up fascinating.

    Happy A to Z-ing!
    herding cats & burning soup.

    1. Ah, so like the werewolves in Teen Wolf - if they have killed an innocent their eyes glow blue rather than being gold. Ah, bad guy turned good - love those.

    2. LOL well bad guy turned not *quite* as bad guy. It's still got a good chunk of evil in him. Was fun to watch. Don't think I've seen Teen Wolf. Hmmm.

  9. Your movie review cracked me up!!

  10. I like you am big on eyes, and when I look at people, I always try to look at their eyes first.

    Favorite eyes would have to be the vampires from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Still humaneque, but a clear difference.

    1. You can tell so much from a person's eyes.
      Oh yes, definitely cool the ole Buffy vampire eyes :)

  11. HUGE eye fan here. (That just sounds strange.) There are so many muscles, wrinkles and defining features around eyes--their shape, smiling, pointed, large etc, and lashes, the length color, and spread... Yeah, I'm totally a detail girl.

    Loved the excerpt.

    1. We know what you mean :). The devil is in the details as they say.
      Thank you.

  12. I love when eyes are strange. It's a great way for them to be sneaky and let the reader know something that the characters don't know.

    My favorite eyes are in Supernatural. Every creature has something unique about their eyes. It's so much fun!

    1. Ah yes, Supernatural has taken eyes to a new level haven't they :).

  13. I agree on the thing for Strange to the soul :)

  14. I love funky eyes! I write strange eyes in a lot of my characters.


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