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The eponymous antihero of George Romero's Martin is an equally conflicted figure bedeviled by sexual insecurity. He undertakes his first serious and sexually active relationship while afflicted with what may be only an imaginary case of vampirism. Young Martin is so impotent that he doesn't attack his victim with his teeth like other blood-suckers do, but rather with chloroform and a syringe, removing all traces of physical contact or "the sexy stuff," as Martin bashfully calls it.
The more typical flip side to that form of emasculation is the transformative rape fantasy paradox Dracula's female victimsexperience in Stoker's story. After being reluctantly seduced, cloistered women like Lucy Westera gradually transform first into anemic rape victims, then sexual predators. In Dracula's Daughter, Universal Studios' direct sequel to Lugosi's Dracula, the Count's daughter resurfaces only to alternately lament her fallen condition, then to ask her Karloff look-alike of a manservant to fetch women for her to seduce and then to rinse the blood out of her soiled blouse. The female vamp in Claire Denis's truly mystifying Trouble Every Day is similarly guiltstricken: chained up in her own home,she can't easily lure men inside to feed on them, though a few somehow still manage to slip in. The blood that soaks her clothes, face, arms, etc. is the perfect refutation of the post-feminist tenant that sexual revolution merely means a lack of inhibitions.
Alternatively, the most satisfyingly cathartic avenue for vampire films to explore is one that Stoker's story never envisioned, specifically the sexual apocalypse that Dracula threatens to unleash but never does. Last Man on Earth, the worst of the three film adaptations of Richard Matheson's novella I Am Legend, stars Vincent Price as the sole survivor of a vampire-like plague. Tobe Hooper and Dan O'Bannon's incoherent scifi clunker Lifeforce treats vampirism as a planet-wide epidemic so strong that it's capable of turning Patrick Stewart into a transvestite— just in case the sheer kink of the scene was lost on the viewer, Hooper tarts up classically trained Stewart in eyeliner and lipstick as Mathilda May's evil "Space Girl," a clothing-liberated psychic vampire, invades his body.
Amongst the featured titles, Lifeforce is special in that it's so horrible, it inflicts a uniquely unseemly terror. Horndogs and cult film buffs alike will get a big kick out of seeing a constantly naked May bring on the apocalypse, but everyone else will know the true meaning of fear when they see a spaceship that looks like an IUD designed by HR Giger ejaculate a laser from its mushroom tip after getting an interstellar stiffy. If Bela Lugosi's dead, camp killed him.