Vampire series are losing their bite, but zombies will bring fresh blood

Pat Stacey

Tomorrow night, though, we reach the fateful -- and quite possibly fatal -- hat-trick when MTV unveils Valemont, its new series about the spooky goings-on at an exclusive American university that also happens to harbour a nest of vampires.

Actually, "new" is not quite the right way to describe Valemont; rehashed would be more accurate, for what we have here is a repackaged serial that originally went out in two-and-a-half-minute mini-episodes, screened during the gaps between MTV series The City and The Hills.

This time, Valemont is being transmitted in half-hour chunks. Not that this makes much of a difference. Most of it is already available on YouTube and it's diabolical, though not in the sense a series about undead bloodsuckers should be.

Vampires, which were once the most sinister and scary of supernatural creatures, are currently more overexposed than Christopher Lee after Peter Cushing ripped down the curtains and drenched him in sunlight in Hammer's classic 1958 Dracula. The net effect is that they've lost their bite.

But there's good news for those of us fed up to the back teeth with pearly white fangs. The Living Dead, the much-anticipated new series about zombies, begins in the US next month and should be shuffling onto satellite channel FX shortly after.

Based on an acclaimed comic book series by Robert Kirkman, The Living Dead reeks of quality, as well as damp earth.

Apart from boasting Frank Darabont, who made the supremely scary movie The Mist, on board as writer/producer/director, it's produced by AMC, the cable channel behind Mad Men. All of which can only bode well.