Spike From ‘Buffy The Vampire Slayer’ Is The Only Hot Vampire
All the other vampires can't compare.
Listen, let’s just acknowledge that Spike from the iconic television show Buffy The Vampire Slayer, is really the only properly hot vampire. It’s canon! But also, let me explain why, before you get ANGERY.
We’re probably due for another vampire renaissance in pop-culture, another epoch of fascination and reimagining of everyone’s favourite creature of the night, another wave of blood boys. It will be the third such period that I have personally lived through, and yet another layer in the infinite trifle that is society’s delight with our fanged friends. Like that’s fine, but when are we gonna have our erotic frankenstein moment? Anyway.
We don’t need to establish that vampires are meant to be sexy. They are meant to be sexual. Sexy little tooth babies who just hate old yellow face.
Their entire ouvre is basically about being a walking metaphor for lust and desire and forbidden sexuality- we do not need to go over this again.
Yet, despite how well-established this idea is, the fact is that most vampires are… not always hot. We have weird night perverts like Dracula, or beautiful icy leather queens with guns like Selena from Underworld, or insipid perpetual adolescents like Edward from Twilight. I’m not saying these vampires aren’t attractive, or beautiful, or interesting or even charismatic.
I’m just saying that they aren’t as hot as Spike.
51. Spike, Buffy The Vampire Slayer pic.twitter.com/XGKgOqVvbZ
— •a thousand years• (@delenasdragon) February 21, 2019
“From Now On, We’re Gonna Have A Little Less Ritual And A Little More Fun Around Here”
Buffy The Vampire Slayer creator Joss Whedon always had a very specific goal for vampires — he wanted them to be grotesque monsters, not sexy.
It’s why he gave them their “true” demon face, to represent the monstrous, demonic, visage of violence they truly represented — he needed vampires to be soulless. Joss has often said that he didn’t want being bitten by a vampire in Buffy The Vampire Slayer to be “sensual”.
Bitch really failed!
When Spike was introduced in season 2, Joss therefore kept pushing back on any efforts by his actor, James Marsters, to make Spike in any way likeable. However, it’s a testament to his talent that he was able to take a mid-grade baddie and turn him into first a recurring character, a big-bad, a love interest and finally one of the gang. It’s a testament to his charisma.
“If you play it like that, the audience has nothing to grab onto and there’s no reason not to kill you off,” said Marsters in an interview. “I always say when you are doing anything in art, you got to find the love. It could be love denied, love twisted, it doesn’t have to be sweet, but you have to find the love.”
And you can see the difference — whereas most vampires by season 2 of the show are played like pantomime villains, Spike brings so much monstrous humanity and joy to his violence. He’s the first villain that we see genuinely enjoy something, not in an evil “I’m going to blow up the ocean!” way.
In the second season, we get a crash course in all the things that Spike feels strongly about — mayhem, blood, and Drusilla — and he sells it. And he’s funny, both on purpose and accidentally.
And it works. He’s the first charismatic villain, and each season builds on that.
• spike, buffy: the vampire slayer
– HE'S SPIKE
– character devolopment is on poooint
– spuffy spuffy spuffy
– goes from hot to cute in 5sec pic.twitter.com/QazYFwJJRo
— chia (@writerinthedvrk) June 16, 2017
“Angel’s as dull as a table lamp and we have very different colouring”
I mean, not to get regressive, not to be superficial, heaven forbid I express horniness on main — but Spike… is really sexy. Breaking news!
It might seem obvious, but Spike’s aesthetic is kinda groundbreaking for pop-culture vampires. Before Buffy, seeing a vampire who isn’t wearing a a long cape and puffy shirts was still abnormal. And amongst the civvy wearing vampire normies, Spike immediately stands out as someone who doesn’t just look different, but clearly has defined their aesthetic. They have curated their outfit, their vibe, their look.
And it’s iconic — that long leather trenchcoat, the slicked-back platinum hair, the chipped nails. It’s fucking hot, and frankly even more attractive when you realise that Spike, a hundred year old vampire, put the effort in to creating this fashion persona.
Hell, even his accent is curated. It shows that he cares about his image, about the art of how he presents to the world. It’s very punk, in the original Malcolm McLaren/glam style of how punk presented itself.
If there are any girls out there with cheekbones like James Marsters in the Buffy era please announce yourselves in my DMs
— cathy (@catherinebouris) May 26, 2020
There’s this scene early on, where Spike briefly switches sides to help Buffy defeat Angelus, and he gives this speech:
“We like to talk big, vampires do. ‘I’m going to destroy the world.’ That’s just tough-guy talk. Strutting around with your friends over a pint of blood. The truth is, I like this world. You’ve got…dog racing, Manchester United. And you’ve got people. Billions of people walking around like Happy Meals with legs. It’s all right here. But then someone comes along with a vision. With a real… passion for destruction. Angel could pull it off. Good-bye, Piccadilly. Farewell, Leicester-bloody-Square.”
While he speaks this incredibly humanising speech (most monologues from vampires are about opening the Hellmouth or smooching a powerful demon, or sucking down on delicious baby bloodetc), he slowly and sensuously lights and smoke a cigarette. We should not be endorsing smoking, but by god it’s hot.
The combo of this very cool and real speech about just… enjoying the world, about carpe-ing that diem, while making fuck-eyes at the camera with a cigarette… ooft.
It was one of my sexual awakenings.
But by far, the hottest thing about Spike is that he’s passionate! And he isn’t afraid to COMMUNICATE that.
Sure, a lot of that passion earlier on is for eating people or killing slayers, but it’s hot fiery passion nonetheless.
Most vampires tend to be very cerebral in their passions in pop-culture — Angelus for example just loves to weirdly psychologically torture a teenager. It’s weird to intellectualise being horny for drinking blood. Yet, Spike, in his fury, with his mad sense of fun, with his very big loves and desires, does so much more to manifest that idea of the blood-driven naughtiness that vampires are meant to represent.
I mean, we have to acknowledge that we don’t ENDORSE Spike as a person — he is a soulless monster, whose ethical decision should be judged as such. That’s not good. Many of his choices and actions in the show are monstrous, and need to be separated from his status as hot. Being hot is a morally neutral occurrence.
There are several specifically objectionable episodes featuring Spike — but I’m not saying he should be exonerated as a character. I’m just saying he’s hot!
But Spike, more than ANYONE in this entire show, knows how to love — truly, madly, deeply. Weird, for a soulless vampire, but as Drusilla says at one point “Oh no, we know how to love very well.”
“Love isn’t brains, children, it’s blood. Blood screaming inside you to work its will. I may be love’s bitch, but at least I’m man enough to admit it,” he says in season 3.
Me watching Buffy as a teen: "Spike is so hot!"
Me watching Buffy in my 30s: "Giles is so hot!"
Spike is still hot but young me really slept on Giles. Especially season 2 and 3. He just threatened Synder and I 👏 am 👏 here 👏 for👏 it!
— Meghan (@BeatIsSoFunny) May 8, 2019
Heck yeah, you might as well be love’s bitch. He feels so much. He’s ruined by Drusilla’s rejection, destroyed by his yearning for Buffy, and ultimately made human by his desire to become worthy of her love.
The fact that he’s so manfully pushed around by the winds of romance is just… very attractive. Give me emotional honesty or give me death (or in this case, give me both).
His solo in ‘Once More With Feeling’ exemplifies all this — it’s unapologetically emotional, flamboyant, and also… just beautifully performed.
Let’s just all remember the time Spike and Buffy literally fucked a house down.
Sex with Spike WAS meant to be moralistic for Buffy, an ethical lesson — in a season that dealt with themes of addiction, grief, and PTSD, he and his undead dick were meant to be unhealthy and bad.
Which of course made it hot.
Buffy wasn’t in high school anymore, she was sad and horny now. Relatable.
— Buffy Gifs (@buffygifs) April 28, 2015
But Spike truly got all the best sex scenes — and I think that’s because the puritanical streak in Buffy The Vampire Slayer stopped short of romanticising him too much. I mean, he fucked Anya on a table in the magic shop, and you could tell it was better than anything Xander ever mustered up.
In the end, his charisma, beauty, and passion on their own wouldn’t necessarily make Spike a hot vamp — but smooshed all together in one powerfully compact form, and dang, he works harder than any other creature of the night.
Patrick Lenton is the Editor of Junkee. He tweets @patricklenton. Read his book Uncle Hercules And Other Lies.