Here's the Scoop: Aug. 11, 2010

Neck high in popularity
Why are vampires so popular? I don’t know.
I’m not really up-to-date with the “Twilight” books and movies that have been such big hits. But I guess when you take a decent story, mix in a bunch of good-looking actors and tons of marketing dollars, success is not a surprise.

However, the “Twilight” series is just the latest in a string of vampire-related hits. It seems that vampires are so hot, the mere mention of the word turns something common into a can’t-miss success.

For instance, take the band Vampire Weekend. This group has a truly annoying sound. If they were called The Frankenstein Holiday or The Werewolf Month, I wouldn’t be writing about the band.
Personally, I’m not sure how much longer all-things vampire will remain sizzling — but I hope it lasts for a bit more. That’s because “Stake Land” should be out soon.

Those of you hooked on vampires will recall that “Stake Land” was largely filmed in Margaretville, Pine Hill and other local spots last year. This film could further stake our area’s claim to fame, so to speak.

The movie website offers this description: “The film takes place following a global spread of vampirism. Kelly McGillis plays a nun who joins a small team of survivors as they make a treacherous journey north to safety through the war-torn U.S. McGillis’ character, ‘Sister,’ faces a crisis of faith during the vampire bloodshed, ultimately taking up arms to do battle with her newly formed family unit.”

I don’t know about you, but I could very easily become a vampire fan when this movie is released.

Local stars
Adding to the attraction is the fact that a number of area residents have roles in the film. I was actually offered a pretty big part, until I told the crew that I am not fond of the sight of blood — even the fake kind. Naturally, I will make an exception when I watch the movie.

If this film becomes a huge hit, I wonder what it might mean in terms of tourism dollars? Will all the filming locations become places of worship for hardcore fans? Will the area become known as much for vampire slayings as it is for hazy blue/green rounded mountains? Let’s hope so — and let’s hope these fans “sacrifice” tons of discretionary income while they’re in town!

Some folks might think that having a bunch of vampire fans invading town would be a pain in the neck, but I think the movie could put some teeth into the local economy.

Once an area is captured on film, it becomes forever linked with that piece of art. I still can’t drive past the Margaretville Motel without having fond memories of Laura Linney (nominated for an Academy Award for her role) spending time in that very spot during the filming of the acclaimed “You Can Count on Me.” Laura and I actually became pretty close (not in the motel sort of way) as I covered the movie and she still consults me on roles she’s considering.

In the name of disclosure, I should note that I have a working relationship with the folks from “Stake Land” — free popcorn for each mention of the movie. Maybe they’re just trying to butter me up for a favorable review.
— Brian Sweeney