Chapter 6
Terrorist Vampires:
Religious Heritage or Planetary Advocacy

This chapter unpacks depictions of US foreign policy in Hollywood blockbusters, franchises, and series, whose content was repurposed and production was often offshored. Vampire hunters perform the racialized warfare of the failed War on Drugs and ongoing War on Terror. Vampires advocate for planetary consciousness after neoliberalism’s ascendancy. Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992), From Dusk till Dawn (1995), and Vampires (1998) organize fears of so-called Islamic fundamentalists and Mexican border hoppers. Deterritorialized biological warfare also manifests in films that return to the historical trauma of mixed blood via stories of mixed species in franchises like Blade (1998–2004) and Underworld (2003–2016) and series like True Blood (2008–2014), The Vampire Diaries (2009–present), and The Originals (2013–present). Others examine resilience through multiple conquests, as in Cronos (1992) set in México’s federal district and released on the quincentennial of Columbus’s conquest. Meanwhile, the Twilight franchise (2008–2012) christianizes the figure of the vampire and, by extension, the concept of the US secular democracy, but also evokes indigenous rights to land. Films ask us to find a space for empathy amidst the terror of economic and military violence.

Bram Stoker’s Dracula (USA 1992; dir. Francis Ford Coppola)

The Lost Boys
(USA 1987; dir. Joel Schumacher)

(USA 1998; dir. John Carpenter) 

Buffy the Vampire Slayer
(USA 1997–2003; cr. Joss Whedon) 

Underworld (UK-Germany-Hungary-USA 2003; dir. Len Wiseman) and
Underworld: Rise of the Lycans (USA-New Zealand 2009; color; English; 92 minutes; dir. Patrick Tatopoulos)

Twilight (USA 2008; dir. Catherine Hardwicke) and
New Moon (USA 2009; dir. Chris Weitz)

Vampires Suck
(USA 2010; dir. Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer)