So, basically... I have this idea for a vampire tale. A really dark, twisted one. I mean, the story's not original, but if I can find someone who's really good at writing horror/drama/thriller movie scripts (I can't put pen to paper except to write the occasional song... and I really don't want it to be cheesey), it could be a cool idea... I should point out, as I did below, that what I'm looking for here is not the plot to the story. This is just a side thing that'll (I hope) get answered in little snippets throughout the movie. The point here isn't generating a plot, but giving them a scientific explanation.
Anyways, there are certain things about the vampire lore I want to keep, and certain things I want to throw away.
The first and foremost thing is to get rid of the whole supernatural stigma. Religious symbols don't (a)(e)ffect(sp?) them and so on. And neither does the sun. They don't have the power to turn into other creatures. They can't fly. They can't disappear into thin air. It also doesn't change their personality. In other words, if Ghandi had been turned into a vampire, aside from needing to drink blood, he'd still be Ghandi. A philanthropist-turned-vampire is still a philanthropist. A serial-killer-turned-vampire is still a serial killer. In this scenario, your doctor may be a vampire.
And they don't all drink human blood... and many don't even drink real blood, but buy synthetic blood that does just fine.
Also, they can eat regular food and drink regular drinks. In other words, unless they need to drink blood, they're pretty much indistinguishable from your average Joe... with some exceptions.
I do want to keep the whole super strength/super speed thing. Also, the whole immortal (or aging-really-slow) and the down-right impossible to kill (not even the stake through the heart or cutting of their head works) aspect would be nice to keep, too, if feasible scientifically (this is ultra important... I'll throw those last two out if there can't be a logical scientific explanation of them).
So what do y'all think? A virus? I'm thinking a virus that is actually somewhat contagious. It can be spread through any kind of exchange of body fluids, with activation of the virus happening when the person is nearly dead (like, for example, you're the bartender, a vampire [though you don't know it] comes up and orders a drink... he doesn't finish it, and you're thirsty, so when no one's looking you shoot it back... later that night, you walk outside, get hit by a car, and next thing you know, you're a vampire). That's why, here, if a vampire doesn't drain a victim completely, they'll turn. Maybe there'll be a short side-note about someone (perhaps a scientist--turned-vampire) looking for a cure.
Any thoughts on how it could be explained naturally/scientifically? I know movies have touched on it before, but never in any way that's been realistic (from my experience). I want this to be realistic... you know... almost as if it could actually happen...