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Posted at 9:29 AM ET, 03/18/2009

Friday at Midnight, Get Your Hands on Edward Cullen

By Jen Chaney

Ah, there's nothing like a little vampire hype to kick off the first weekend of spring.

This Friday night, retailers around the country and here in the Washington area -- including Borders, Blockbuster, Hot Topic and Wal-Mart stores -- are throwing "Twilight" midnight DVD release parties, celebrations designed to amp up excitement within that key Bella-and-Edward-obsessed demographic. (Speaking of amping up excitement, I wrote a review of the DVD earlier this week. It probably won't affect your decision about whether to buy it. But, you know, read it anyway.)

Locally, every store is handling its "Twilight"-apalooza a little differently. The Blockbuster at Cabin John Mall in Potomac, Md., for example, kicks off its festivities at 10 p.m. with a vampire lookalike contest (the freakiest bloodsucker wins a year of free rentals), a free rental giveaway to the first 50 Twilighters who show up sporting fangs and other fun and games. (The press release mentions that there will be a festive round of "pass the brains, dig for eyeballs." No, I am not making this up.)

At all Borders stores in D.C., Maryland and Virginia, the fun also starts at 10 p.m. with what may be the most specific film awards ever given: The "Twilight Movie Awards." Go to the Borders Web site, print and fill out a ballot, then bring it to the Borders fiesta of your choice to find out who wins. (Naturally, this entire exercise raises the important question: Why doesn't the Academy Awards include a category called Best OME -- Oh My Edward -- Moment?) Wristbands will be handed out at all Borders stores, so it's best to show up early to make sure you get a DVD once the clock strikes 12. Members of both Team Edward and Team Jacob also can reserve copies in advance for pick-up at midnight.

Meanwhile at area Hot Topic stores, which became the epicenter of "Twilight" mania last November when the movie was released, the parties are invitation-only. How do you score an invitation? By pre-ordering a "Twilight" DVD at your favorite Hot Topic, of course! (Those pre-orders must be made in-store, by the way, and not online.) Most Hot Topic parties get underway at 10 p.m., with a variety of giveaways and raffles. Among the items you could win in said raffles: a Jacob poster autographed by Taylor Lautner, a lifesized Robert Pattinson cut-out and, at the Fair Oaks Mall location, a pair of Edward and Bella dolls valued at $125 each.

To find out which retailer is hosting a party nearest you, Summit Entertainment -- the studio behind the film adaptation of Stephenie Meyer's novel -- wants you to visit the "Twilight" Web site, enter your ZIP code and select a store from there. Actually, they insist that you go to that Web site, otherwise they'll send a pack of vampires and werewolves to your private residence.

Oh, just kidding. But seriously, that's the best way to figure out the most convenient way to join the party come Friday. Vampires, kids. It's what this economy really needs to get its blood pumping again.

By Jen Chaney  | March 18, 2009; 9:29 AM ET
Categories:  Movies  
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