This chapter seeks to compare and contrast two compelling portrayals of the bisexual or ‘gender-blind’ vampire: The Hunger (1983) and American Horror Story: Hotel (2015). These texts present a number of notable differences. They were released over 30 years apart and they also diverge markedly in form: Hotel is a 12-episode television serial, whilst The Hunger is a tight 97-minute-feature film. Whilst these differences highlight shifts in the format of horror more broadly, they also facilitate the reflection on whether the portrayal of the bisexual vampire has dramatically shifted alongside these changes. Such a reflection is ripe with potential given that in addition to their differences, both texts also share significant aesthetic and narrative similarities. Both Hotel and The Hunger foreground performativity and feature female protagonists who defy heteronormative understandings of gender and sexuality. Undoubtedly, Hotel can be read as an aesthetic homage to The Hunger. However, whether Hotel also echoes some of the more conservative aspects of the earlier film’s politics is a more complex question. Focusing on the ways that these female vampire protagonists, as well as a selection of their lovers and victims, are gendered, this chapter will illuminate a number of developments and lingering issues in the ways that horror depicts (or circumvents) complex facets of the relationship between bisexuality and gender.
Benson, C. (2019), "‘She’s That Kind of a Woman’: Tracing the Gender and Sexual Politics of the Female Vampire via
Emerald Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2019, Chloe Benson