Over the past few months I’ve been listening to the fantastic How Did This Get Made? podcast, and this week, they’ve been doing The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn: Part One: Vambortion: A Mother’s Choice. It’s a great listen, but when you combine that with this week’s War Rocket Ajax awards show and the question of whether that movie or Transformers 3 was the worst thing Laura Hudson subjected me to this year, the result is that I’ve been thinking about Twilight way more than any right-thinking person should. I even had a Twilight-themed dream last night, in which I
rested my head against Jacob’s solid abs and felt safe and protected for the very first time was sitting around telling people to shut up because I had to put the dumb things they were saying on Twitter. Seriously.
But in the midst of all that, I’ve realized something about that rock-stupid movie that I don’t even think I made note of even in the pretty thorough list of reasons why it was dumber than a sack of hammers that I wrote back in October. And since my New Year’s resolution was to turn the ISB into a place where I could talk about the things that I’m still angry about months after I experience them, here you go:
Breaking Dawn revolves around the dumbest possible idea of a vampire reproductive system.
The entire plot of this piece of garbage is that Bella gets pregnant by her vampire husband the first and only time they have sex, because it’s important that we all understand that wanting sex will always and inevitably lead to suffering and death. But that is A Whole Other Thing. The point is, this event involves a series of related facts:
Fact 1: Vampires are eternally ageless. We know this because Edward has been pretending to be a high school student for a hundred years.
Fact 2: Male vampires have functional junk. Edward’s clearly got some functional sperm, because even Breaking Dawn isn’t so dumb that it doesn’t understand how babies are made when a mommy and a daddy do some private hugging.
Fact 2a: Vampires apparently continue to produce sperm for their entire unlives. Because look, if you want to tell me that Edward has spent a hundred years as the most handsome 17 year-old in the world, including several years in a household with a bunch of similarly ageless girls who are often described as being perfectly beautiful in a situation that’s basically What If Anne Rice Wrote Brady Bunch Fan-Fiction, and that he’s never had sex, fine. You can have that one. I’ll give it to you. But if you want to tell me that he never jerked off, that is far and away the least believable thing in your dumb story about vampires and werewolves. Trust me on this one, Steph: I was a teenage boy. You, presumably, were not. I think I can speak from experience on this one.
Fact 3: Vampires feel desire. I mean, Twilight‘s meant to be a love story, right? It’s not like Edward’s just interested in Bella as a snack, even if he comes off as a weird stalker, the intent is that he genuinely loves and desires her.
Fact 4: Nobody in this world of perfectly beautiful teenagers has ever had unprotected sex that has resulted in a pregnancy. There are no vampire babies in Twilight, and they make a big deal (in the movie at least) about how nobody knows what the hell’s going to happen with Bella’s pregnancy, because it’s never happened before. Now, there are really only two possibilities here: Either Carlisle Cullen is doing a brisk business in garlic condoms, or female vampires don’t have the same reproductive capabilities as their male counterparts.
Fact 5: Bella’s baby is a fucking vampire: In fact, it is so much of a vampire that it needs to drink blood while it is in the womb.
None of these facts, all of which are established within the work itself, make any sense at all in the context of the others. If vampires can get girls pregnant, and vampires feel desire, and if vampires are (as explained in the first book) designed to be super-sexy in order to soften up their prey, then there should be a whole fucking lot of vampire babies. It should not be a unique thing, right? And if vampires don’t age and always stay the same as they were when they became vampires, then a vampire baby should just be a fetus forever, right? It’s not like they just keep aging until they hit a certain point and then stop — Carlisle is always going to appear older than Edward. So it definitely shouldn’t, say, age super fast or anything, right? But both of those things happen to provide Bella with a Unique And Special Danger that she can be morally superior about, because apparently there had to be an anti-abortion allegory that teens and frustrated soccer moms could masturbate to.
Okay, just to compare, look at something like the Blade movies. Don’t get me wrong, those films are frequently dumb as all hell, but they establish that vampires can reproduce with each other (there are references to “pure-bloods”), and they establish that while it may be very slow, they do age. We see old-as-hell Nosferatu-lookin’ vampires and we see young vampires. Blade himself even ages as normal. All of this makes sense in the context of the movie’s own rules.
The only thing Blade skips over is the matter of vampire babies and whether they’re babies for an extended period of time, which is fine, because nobody wants to read about vampire babies. And if they do, they can just go ahead and read that one Castlevania comic that ends with the most amazing last panel ever, a cutaway of lady’s womb with a Dracula fetus inside it and the caption “THE END?”
And that is still not as dumb as Twilight.