A post earlier mentioned the similarities between modern day interpretations of vampires. Making the list includes Edward Cullen (Twilight et al) and Angel (BtVS). I would also like to take the chance here to point out Stephan Salvatore (the Vampire Diaries) and Bill Crompton (True Blood), adding them to the list.
Top left: Angel - BtVS
Top right: Bill Compton - Trueblood
Bottom left: Stefan Salvatore - The Vampire Diaries
Bottom Right: Edward Cullen - Twilight
Despite the obvious physical similarities, these gentlemen all embody similar characteristics. First and foremost, they all have human girlfriends. They all slept with their human girlfriends. They are all head over heels for their pretty teenage girlfriends. (if one consider the implications of this phenomena, it rather pedo). They are all 200 year old + men that look like they are in their 20s (ish). All rejects themselves, what they are, their lifestyle and in one way or another, humanity loving; thus, they are lonesome and forsaken by their fellow vampire friends. Did I also mention they all appear to be tortured and brooding?
Unlike their male equivalents (humanity loving, kind, gentleman like figures), female vampires are depicted as out of control, manipulative, blood thirsty and incredibly sexy. Consider Drucilla in BtVS: she’s cute, mysterious, dangerous, unpredictable and border line psychotic, yet undeniably attractive all at once – embodying the core of Gurlesque. [The element, Gurlesque, flirts between the ultra cute, the grotesque and the sexy.] With that in mind, consider Katharine Pierce (Vampire Diaries) and Lorena Krasiki (True blood):
left to right: Drucilla (BtVS), Katherine Pierce (TVD) and Lorena Krasiki (Trueblood)
Female vamps embody all the typical bad girl characteristics, while oozing with archaic elegance and sexuality. (In Durcilla’s case, with a pinch of cuteness as well) In a way, they are the walking conjuration of the saying “face of an angel, body of a devil”. Despite their goddess like appearances, they take pleasure arbitrating violence - a trait typically associated with BDSM. I would argue, they are in their own way, a sex symbol many may fantasize about. The mix of unpredictability, mystery, danger, “gamine” and sex makes them particularly entertaining characters as a whole.
On an ending note, it is interesting that our social cultural paradigms of heteronormitivy are completely overturned in the vampire world: females are the rational cold-blooded killers, and for a change, males are the emotional ones.