Stupid in Tooth and Claw

In this week’s MSN DVD column, I try to make sense of a mystery that’s bothered me for nearly a decade now: What the hell is the appeal of the “Underworld” franchise?

I mean, it’s not a total riddle: Obviously, there’s a percentage of the population that just wants to watch Kate Beckinsale jump around in a rubber suit. But surely people want more from their entertainment than that.

Any ideas? The comment section awaits …

5 thoughts on “Stupid in Tooth and Claw”

  1. Their popularity, Kate Beckinsale aside, is a puzzle, especially since Being Human(UK) gets the while vampire vs. werewolf thing so right! Based on your rollover caption and the plot of the first one, maybe they’re aiming for a vampire/werewolf Shakespeare adaptation with each moviel. They started with Romeo and Juliet. (Not sure what they continued with. I gave up after that first one.) I want to see them do Henry V…We few, we savage few…we band of bloodsuckers. If Sir Ben Kingsley will do Blood Rayne (paycheque?), maybe they can add him in the Shakespearean mix?

    Off topic, but you did mention Dr. Who. I saw Kate’s awesome TARDIS scarf design on io9. Is she going to follow up that design with one with Daleks? Please! It’s been a while since I picked up knitting needles, but I know there are some very bumpy stitches that would do the textured body of the Daleks. (And while she made herself a Dr. Who scarf in her youth, I once dated someone who had a Dr.Who scarf and Tom Baker hair.)

    1. Glad you like the TARDIS scarf… I have had a couple of requests for a Dalek version… it’s a interesting thought….

      Although @wilnervision may have had something approaching Tom Baker hair in his youth, I didn’t meet him until later, sad to say.

  2. Apart from the Beckinsale sex appeal, there are several reasons why these movies keep going:

    1. It’s the closest thing to a film series out there based on the Vampire: The Masquerade RPG. In said game, you’ve got vamps vs. werewolves where they use mystical powers and loads of guns. It’s loosely based on the Anne Rice method of vampire creation.

    2. It’s not Twilight.

    3. You can ignore the vampire thing apart from how it guides the plot (that is, why Kate’s being hunted/hunting something) and how it sets up the action. In other words, it lampshades why everyone can do wire-fu, dresses in black, and can either unload an AK-47 into someone or slice them in half with a sword.

    As far as I can tell, it doesn’t have to actually be good, it just has to be the only thing filling a given niche. Kind of like the Resident Evil movies, now that I think about it.

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