Why are there no more vamps in Hollywood, or indeed, around the world anymore?
Look at Theda Bara, the woman whose name was popularly believed to have been an anagramme made from then best selling pulp novel, "Arab Death".
(She'd probably have to go into hiding for that, these days)
The closest thing to the vamp character, which so delighted the cheesy tastes of the 1920s male audience, is perhaps Angelina Jolie -- she of the Billy Bob Thornton vial of blood around her neck, and those impeccably evil lips of hers.
But even then, one gets the merest hint that it's not exactly a put-on, but rather, a lifestyle choice -- the exact opposite of the campy schlock of a true vamp.
Theda Bara owes something of her craft to man-eaters like Mata Hari, or the willy-snipping revenge of Lorena Bobbit, who not coincidentally, has very sunken, demonic eyes too.
The whole incarnation of the vamp, is a completely modern creation, which you can see reflected in the photograph above...
One that even today, doesn't look terribly dated, if only for the torpedo cups Theda Bara wears with such gravity-defying sexiness.
Perhaps, in terms of sheer ghastliness on screen, no one has held a candle to Theda's ilk since then, than Helena Bonham-Carter.
Any woman with that much kohl under her eyelids, is automatically a vamp diva. Or just dirty.
I miss the days of the vamp, without ever once wanting to look like one.
A) I'm too fair. B) I'm too clean. C) I want to devour men's wallets, not precisely their bodies.
If not for me, then for others though.
But the silliness, the self-conscious "devourer of man" antics, the look of steely death warmed up:
That fun, is gone forever from our screens.
Goodbye Theda Bara. Hello Scarlett Johanssen. Sigh.