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The L.A. Times calls vampire trend dead, a weary nation rejoices.

The L.A. Times calls vampire trend dead, a weary nation rejoices. (photo)

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After months and months of breathless reporting on how vampires are to the Naughts what Bret Easton Ellis cocaine yuppies were to the ’80s, someone’s finally stepped up and presented an almost irrefutable argument as to why the whole trend, er, sucks.

At the Los Angeles Times‘ movie blog, Steven Zeitchik makes a simple, compelling case: outside the “Twilight” franchise, no cinematic vampire revivals have prospered. Take “Twilight,” “True Blood” and the ever-persistent “Buffy” cultists out of the equation, and it’s a landscape of underperformers and flops: “Daybreakers,” “Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant,” “Thirst.”

In the past, vampire movies always enjoyed a healthy genre persistence, grinding along steadily without any real stand-outs (or trend pieces!). Universal’s ’30s and ’40s horror niche, the Hammer films of the ’50s and ’60s, the trashy softcore ’60s and ’70s erotica knock-offs (like “Dracula The Dirty Old Man”), and the slasher ’80s (with “Fright Night,” among others.)

Zeitchik’s argument is that true cultural permeation gives room for knock-offs to succeed almost as well as originals, which is totally true. Generic gas-explosion action movies were in plentiful supply throughout the ’80s and ’90s (and not just during summer blockbuster season), while the Naughts reveled in cloudy CGI spectacle, but it’s somehow hard to envision 30-40 vampire films coming out over the next five or six years.

Another problem is that the “Twilight” and “True Blood” crews are all terribly moody. The vampires of, say, “Daybreakers” are still bad guys, which may account for the lack of interest. It seems like audiences are nuts about swoony bloodsuckers and much less keen on threatening ones, which has to be a first for the genre to date.

The glory cheapie days of the vampire — a creature of cunning and darkness — have been traded in for showy CG transformations and effects that, paradoxically, seem to look sillier the more elaborate they get. The real spectacle is the melodrama — clumsy but sincere, and apparently missing from the public’s viewing diet for too long.

[Photos: “Daybreakers,” Lionsgate, 2010; “Fright Night,” Columbia, 1985]

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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