As we well know, I’m a big fan of classic literature + monsters. It helps me read books I’d otherwise take a year and a half to slog through, because I am a terrible uncultured philistine pop culture English nerd. But adding monsters to things I like is also something I approve of, and I absolutely do love Shakespeare! So, here’s five suggested Shakespeare/supernatural mashups, classed under “things in print” because I’m talking about reading Shakespeare, not seeing it performed.
5. Much Ado About Noshing
(Title suggested by a friend of mine, and clearly it is Much Ado + zombies.) Leonato, a nobleman, is hosting some soldiers in the great war against the undead that is being waged across the countryside. The leader of the soldiers is a prince called Don Pedro; his bastard brother Don John is actually involved in the conspiracy to create and control the zombies. His daughter, Hero, falls in love with one of the soldiers, Claudio; his niece, Beatrice, is flirting with another of the soldiers, Benedick, in an argumentative fashion. Don John is an asshole, so he makes it seem as if Hero is participating in the zombie-creating plan with one of his associates; Claudio leaves her, disgusted, and they decide to pretend she has been bitten and zombified until truth can be revealed. While this is going on, Beatrice and Benedick kill some zombies and admit their love, and soon it is revealed that Don John is a zombie master and Hero is innocent. They all live happily and gorily ever after.
4. A Midsummer Night’s Scream
This one is pretty easy, since it’s already got fairies. But let’s see what happens if we get permission from Charlaine Harris to make them, like, Southern Vampire Mysteries-style crazyass fairies. Actually, here, I’m just going to rewrite the plot of Midsummer like it’s True Blood. Hermia, a human woman, loves Lysander, a vampire (see? This is why it has to take place at night!). She is also courted by Demetrius, another vampire, who is in turn sought after by Helena, another vampire. (So basically, it’s like Sookie Bill Eric Pam-who-wants-to-boink-Eric-still.) Wackiness ensues when they get mixed up with the magics (!!!) of the fairies in the woods by their home, because these fairies are bloodthirsty tricksters, and they think if they can make Demetrius and Lysander both stick with their own vampire kind, they can have Hermia for their own because she’s part fae. Titania and Oberon are crazy bitches. Then everyone ends up as they’re supposed to. (And somewhere they add in another character just so there can be a Jessica analogue, because she’s precious.)
3. The Taming of the Succubus
A hell-god, ironically named Baptista (there will be sly jokes), is responsible for two succubi: Bianca and Katherine. Bianca is good of heart, and wants to renounce her sinful nature, but Katherine revels in the fact that she can seduce and ruin men. Some young religious figureheads, Lucentio and Petruchio, enter the town in which these demon-types preside, but Baptista will only allow Bianca to renounce her nature if Katherine does as well (even he is tired of dealing with the willful girl); Lucentio is glad to save Bianca’s immortal soul, but Petruchio has the much more difficult task of “taming” Kate. Taming her will give him considerable power, and possibly a promotion (saving a non-repentant succubus is much more legitimate in the eyes of God, though saving any succubus is good), so he works at it. And because it’s supposed to have a happy ending, everyone’s souls are saved at the end and they all live happily ever after.
2. As You Bite It
(Wherein I get permission to use the Whedonverse Slayer mythology.) Duke Senior comes from a long line of Watchers, and passed the knowledge onto his daughter Rosalind, but he was overthrown by his power-hungry brother Duke Frederick, recently become a vampire. He did not turn his daughter Celia in her youth, wishing to wait until she was grown, but she is called as a vampire Slayer. Shocked, she is unsure of what to do; Rosalind immediately offers assistance. Duke Frederick banishes Rosalind from court, and she and Celia retreat into the Forest of Arden to train and learn about demons. Rosalind also dresses as a man while doing so. In the forest, she is courted by Orlando, who loves her, but gets advice from “her,” both about love and about demonology; she is also courted by Phoebe, a local saucy witch. (Just ’cause Phoebe’s my babygirl. Even if she is ridiculous.) Celia falls in love with Orlando’s brother, Oliver; they are both committed to the cause of amateur demon hunting, which works out well. With Rosalind serving as Celia’s Watcher, the girls slay their way back to court and a happy ending.
1. Romeo and Juliet and Ghosts
Yes, I know. The other titles were bad witty puns; the other plays were comedies. But Romeo and Juliet is ridiculous enough, and I propose this instead: at first, it’s the exact same story. Except the entire town of Verona is like the house in American Horror Story, so when people get murdered they come back and haunt the hell out of each other forever. Romeo dies, but Juliet doesn’t, because Romeo immediately comes back to life, and they exist forever in a weird Tate (Evan Peters) and Violet (Taissa Farmiga) situation while everyone else just tortures each other psychologically until, I don’t know. Lady Capulet gives birth to the antichrist or something.
–your fangirl heroine.