One of my secret favorite things about the internet is the abundance of fan and homemade videos. I can spend hours watching low-budget versions of musical routines, celebrity reaction videos, and home movies featuring animals. As you may know, I am also a self-taught student of the Twilight craze, so fan-made Twilight videos are like the frosting on my internet cake. There are SO MANY. Here is one that I watched yesterday:
One aspect of the “Say Vampire” video that I like, and something that is present in any good Twilight parody video, is that it highlights some of the things that are problematic in the original. Edward comes off as a sexual predator in the actual film, but Kristen Stewart’s Bella doesn’t seem to notice. In this parody version, not only is Edward’s creepiness taken to new heights, but Bella calls him out on it. Here is another parody video you may have seen that takes E.C.’s creepo factor to the next level:
Some viewers may have written Buffy off as frivolous back in the day because of her teenybopper demeanor, but it only takes a juxtaposition like this to see that Edward Cullen wouldn’t stand a chance against Ms. Summers. This brings us to another thing that can make a good parody video, I think, and that’s a comparison with another cultural artifact (Buffy, in this case). Here is another parody video that makes a point about Twilight by comparing it to something else:
I haven’t seen High School Musical, but I like how that parody video highlights how weird the depictions of high school are in both the HSM and Twilight franchises. Who would want to be in high school FOREVER? And who would want that experience to play out AS A MUSICAL? Yikes. I also like how the parody points out some of the iffy race depictions in Twilight by playing up Jacob Black’s transformation into a werewolf.
Of course, the most interesting thing about parody videos like these, in my opinion, is that fans and interested parties make them on their own time and with their own resources. What is it about Twilight that compels people like these filmmakers to react in this way? And what is it that compels people like me to watch their reactions? There are literally thousands of Twilight parody videos on YouTube, and that’s not counting fan and reaction videos. Have we entered into a new media era wherein the most satisfying way to interact with a cultural artifact is to produce your own version? And is that a good thing, or do this many videos just dillute the message?
The three videos posted above are but a small and humble selection of the Twilight parodies that are out there. If you’ve made one yourself, or have one that you like, post the link in the comments section!