Monday, February 6, 2012


I love lists. I know a lot of you out there do too. Since reading Charles’ post about the vampire conundrum – being immortal, but having to feed off others to stay that way – I thought it would be fun to do a roundup list of some books and movies that deal with the various issues of immortal life that may include...

·         Outliving friends and loved ones and ending up alone and lonely. (And, closely related...)

·         Loving someone who’s not immortal and dealing with that person’s decline and eventual death.

·         Paying a price to maintain eternal/immortal life.

·         Keeping one’s immortality a secret over time and trying to blend with normal humans.

·         Accomplishing everything imaginable in the march of time, and ending up super bored and jaded.

There are certainly other issues to contend with, but this is just a start.

As for films and books and other creative treatments featuring the theme of immortality or dealing with it as a side issue, here again is a beginner list, not meant to be all-inclusive. The items aren’t in any particular order, just as I thought of them – or found them with a Google search! (Oh, on second thought, I’ll try alphabetizing them by first word of title). Look it over and see if you can add others.

AI (A little boy android searches for mommy-love in all the wrong places.)

All of Me (Reincarnation straight from the horse’s mouth.)

Bicentennial Man (I mistakenly remembered it as being called Millennium Man! An artificial man suffers unrequited love and fights for android equal rights.)

Blood and Sunlight (Penumbra Publishing author Jamie Wasserman’s vampire tale involving choices and consequences, and the search for true love.)

Cocoon (Old people take a dip in the pool of revitalization but cause a ripple in some aliens’ rescue plans.)

Crystal Clear: Storm Ryder (Penumbra Publishing author Dana Warryck’s science fiction romance dealing with love, loss, and moving on, in the quest to define ‘self’ and hold on to true love.)

Death Becomes Her (Dark comedy illustrating that death ain’t pretty, even in the afterlife.)

Dorian Gray (A picture is worth a thousand years.)

Dracula (Bram Stoker’s classic horror tale that started the vampire craze.)

Forever Andrew (Penumbra Publishing author Robert J. Wetherall’s take on a man who manages to cheat death.)

Freejack (Time travel meets the transferring of consciousness in the future, to preserve the lives of those who can afford it.)

Groundhog Day (Bill Murray’s not immortal but he gets a new redo every day until he gets it right.)

Gulliver’s Travels (Getting old can get ugly – maybe it’s better for everyone if you get it over with and just die.)

Hancock (Sometimes superheroes ain’t very nice. Actually this is a fun movie with a surprising twist that certainly caught me off guard.)

Harry Potter (The theme of immortality is strong for the character Voldemort whose name in French means ‘flee from death.’)

Highlander (Supposedly there can only be one. Dude! Grab your sword! The movie sucked eggs – except for Sean Connery.)

Holding Back the Day (Penumbra Publishing author Jamie Wasserman’s vampire tale involving choices, consequences, and the search for true love.)

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (Nazis, Templars, and drinking from the cup of life.)

Interview with the Vampire (Ann Rice’s famous vampire chronicles.)

Jimmy Stu Lives! (Penumbra Publishing author Kent McDaniel’s futuristic look at cryogenics and living again – coming soon.)

Lord of the Rings (One subplot in this expansive fantasy – Elves put the smackdown on death.)

Methuselah’s Children (Robert A. Heinlein’s classic series dealing with longevity and its various issues.)

Peter Pan (The epitome of eternal youth and refusing to grow up.)

Red Mars (Living long’ll make you blue.)

Slaughterhouse Five (Groundhog Day the Kurt Vonnegut way.)

The Bible (While myriad religious interpretations muddy the waters, this still remains the quintessential tome on living, living forever, or living again.)

The Hunger (Yikes – what lengths a determined and insatiable woman will go to in order to preserve her youth.)

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (Nonfiction exposé of biomedical research and its implications on the people who were experimented on without their consent. Henrietta Lacks lives on in a Petri dish.)

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (Love Sean Connery. Various ‘gentlemen’ of a certain repute, and one very special lady, have an exceptional talent for survival and go one-to-one with an über-foe.)

The Lost Boys (A teen vamp cult classic.)

The Mummy (Best let sleeping mummies lie.)

The Worthing Saga (Orson Scott Card’s twist on Rip Van Winkle.)

Tuck Everlasting (Keeping secrets keeps you alive.)

Twilight (Stephanie Meyer’s teen vampire saga.)

OK, that’s my list. What else can you come up with?

Pat, Penumbra Publishing.


Amelia James said...

All of Me is so funny! Love Steve Martin. The Highlander series was so much better than the movies. I miss it.

Penumbra Publishing said...

Yes, very funny. And Adrian Paul was a hunk!

Natasha Larry said...

I'm going to add Captain America's nemesis: the Red Skull.

Penumbra Publishing said...

OK! Comic book? Graphic novel? Movie? The Captain America movie was surprisingly good.


Charles O'Keefe said...

Good one Pat (and I like that I inspired you :) Immortatilty and how it is dealt with is fascinating. I am still convinced that it would not necessarily mean a life of boredom/lonliness/bitterness. I think it would all depend of the person. To give some obviously ficitional examples:

Wolverine (he is technically an immortal)) he might be a little grouchy but he certainly never gets bored.

Sylar and Clare from "Heroes". Since they also both have regeneration it can be assumed they would never age/die from natural causes. In the end of the show both Clare and Sylar cope with their immortatlity in positive (albeit very different) ways. "Heroes" was a good idea for a show I thought but went quickly downhill after season 2.

Of course I have to mention my own book "The Newfoundland Vampire" (soon to be published by Pat and the other great folks at Penumbra). I also show how vampires deal with immortality in very different ways (and yes one of them is bored but he's the villan ;)

The Underworld movies. I know they are primarily action flicks but the main character Selene has been around over 600 years and she does find ways to cope with her eternal life. For example she has a lover/husband who is also a vampire (well technically he's a hybrid but he would still be with her forever). Which implies that if you were going to be around forever, you would end up with another vampire/immortal to keep you company :)

Well I'll stop because I could go on and on. I also liked Highlander the series (except the "Raven" one which was terrible) and the first movie wasn't that bad, I've seen way worse.


Natasha Larry said...

Egads! Never speak of Heroes again! The graphic novels were actually pretty good, so I don't know what went wrong there.

Joesph and Matt have the same favorite superhero! I feel another guest blog coming on.

Pat: the comics and the movie, I've never read any Captain America graphic novels.

Charles O'Keefe said...

Ahh you mean Batman :) I love Batman but I didn't mention him as he's not immortal. I also forgot to mention "True Blood" which deals with immortals/vampires. They do at least show many different kinds of vampires and show how they deal with eternal life (mostly they party and havr sex a lot ;)I thought it was a clever idea (vampires are suddenly known to exist) but by season 4 it gets so ridiculous/stupid I don't even know if I'll watch season 5 and that's saying someone from a big vampire fan like me :-)

Penumbra Publishing said...

I like to mix it up a bit - more than just vampires. Super anything goes. Even ghosts, if it's not all ridiculously gory. If I want gore, all I have to do is watch Arher or South Park. Haha.