Log In
 

The Vampire Film: From Nosferatu to True Blood by James Ursini and Alain Silver

Exclusive Excerpt

(Printed with permission of the publisher Limelight Editions, an imprint of Hal Leonard.)

CHAPTER FOUR

Dracula A.D. 1992

It was enough to make an Old World monster go back into the earth, this stunning irrelevance to the vast scheme of things, enough to make him lie down and die.

Anne Rice, The Vampire Lestat

In the prologue of Anne Rice's The Vampire Lestat, the members of a rock band observe that "everybody was sick of Count Dracula." More than a hundred years after its publication and despite the revolutionary influence of Rice's take on the vampire myth, the title character of Bram Stoker's Dracula remains the definitive vampire. But the remorseless predators incarnated by Max Schreck, Bela Lugosi, and

Christopher Lee have given way to more thoughtful portrayals, many of whom seem to take their inspiration from the record of Dracula's destruction in the final entry of Mina Harker's journal where she notes that "even in that moment of final dissolution, there was in the face a look of peace, such as I never could have imagined might have rested there."

I. THE NEW AGE DRACULA

CAPITAL EXCITEMENT!!

A YOUNG VIRGIN DEVOURED

BY THE AUTHENTIC VAMPIRE FROM PETERWARDEIM

WHO WILL DRINK SEVERAL PINTS OF BLOOD...

WONDERFUL ATTRACTION INDEED!!!

Paul Féval, La Ville-Vampire

The 1974 Dracula starring Jack Palance emphasized certain sympathetic aspects of the Count and underscored the Romantic nature of his affliction by linking a past love interest with a present victim. Many subsequent versions from the shoestring budget, porno film Dracula Exotica (1981) to Francis Ford Coppola's derivative and much costlier Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992) have made the same link and reinforced it through flashbacks, actresses in dual roles, and anguished expressions from protagonists in the grip of pathos. The two final adaptations of the 1970s, however, with Louis Jourdan and Frank Langella reverted to earlier prototypes.

The BBC Count Dracula (1977) addresses its subject with a restrained, almost documentary style. The opening, sunlit departure of Jonathan Harker (Bosco Hogan) for "Bohemia" complete with sandwiches from Mrs. Westenra owes as much to Browning (Robert not Tod) as to Stoker. As with the 19th-century poet Browning, the irony of God being "in His heaven" is that all is not right with the world. When he greets Harker, Dracula (Louis Jourdan) wears a dark frock coat that closes around him like a cassock and strikes a prayerful pose when he asks that Harker "leave some of the happiness you bring." Like a cleric fallen from grace Louis Jourdan's understated characterization, from the barest trace of an indeterminate accent to the clean-shaven face of an aged matinee idol, suggests horror that lies just beneath the surface. The use of solarization, mattes, step-printing and other optical effects whenever Dracula's vampirism manifests itself visually reinforces the sense of a parallel world of unnatural urges and behavior existing side-by-side with well-mannered, Victorian society.

Dracula's coy wives in their white gowns have an almost pre-Raphaelite demeanor when they first approach Harker, an image in marked contrast to their red eyes and fangs or Lucy's erotic behavior after she has joined the vampire's harem. Similarly, the everyday aspect of the breakfast at which Lucy (Susan Penhaligon) reads aloud the newspaper account of the grisly events aboard the ship that has run aground near Whitby, represents one reality, while her trance-like dance merged with the surreal image of Dracula's face represents quite another. The graphic impact of the actual bat perched on Lucy's bed, precisely because it is not the rubber kind usually favored by earlier filmmakers, is as disquieting as the red, solarized eye superimposed over the sequence.

This tension between the living and the "undead," between propriety and eroticism, is at the core of Stoker's novel. The filmmakers may proclaim in the main titles that this adaptation is "A Gothic Romance based on Bram Stoker's Novel"; but in asking "can one take a life without being responsible for the soul?" the thematic ground is clearly that of early Romanticism. Such a question links this narrative more closely to Mary Shelley's Frankenstein than to the gothic ilk of Varney the Vampire. What runs counter to this and to Mina's assertion of "that poor soul is the saddest one of all" is the compressed arrogance of Jourdan's performance, as when he remarks: "We must survive all of us. Blood for me, a cooked bird for you. What is the difference?" Because his character has long balanced the disbelief of the civilized society with the actuality of his undead state, he has avoided being "held responsible" either for the tormented souls of his victims or, as he asks Harker early on, "for a vivid imagination." It is as if Jourdan's Dracula has survived for centuries by consciously exploiting the truth of Van Helsing's observation that "evil will not disappear simply because we disapprove of it."

The Langella Dracula (1979) was, like Béla Lugosi's, motivated by the popularity of Langella's Broadway stage version a few years earlier. This revival of the Balderston-Deane play was, also like Lugosi's, touted for its star's erotic appeal to women.

The film opens in the Hammer tradition: wolves howl over a black screen; red main tides with dripping letters are underscored by John Williams with a flourish of minor chords; step printing sends a full moon racing preternaturally across the night sky. There is no Transylvanian castle, no wives, no introduction of the Count behind a cobweb; rather the movie opens with the arrival of the doomed ship carrying Dracula and his boxes of earth.

While these omissions streamline the narrative, other changes, such as combining and rearranging character names and traits so that Lucy (Kate Nelligan) is Dr. Seward's daughter and engaged to Harker (Trevor Eve) while Mina (Jan Francis) is the first victim and Van Helsing's daughter, may disconcert viewers familiar with the novel. To further romanticize Langella's impersonation, his face is never seen until a fateful dinner party at Dr. Seward's; but given the obvious genre expectations and the publicity used with the picture, the effect of this conceit is minimal. There are other subtle shifts: in setting, to Tintagel in the West of England, and in dramatic emphasis, with lines such as "the children of the night-what sad music they make."

Like the melancholy Grandfather Dracula in La Saga de Los Drácula (1972), Langella's Count also presents himself as "the saddest, the kindest of all." Unlike Mina in Count Dracula, the victim here perceives the sadness of a Romantic fatal man rather than a doomed creature of the night. Ultimately, the "traditional" staging overwhelms such pointedly frightened." Certain visual effects, like the candle flames optically intertwined with plexiglass pieces and beams of light in Dracula and Lucy's tryst or the solarized point-of-view of the murderous sunlight as Dracula is hoisted skyward at the end, add a sense of anachronism rather than irony.

By the time the final chase is underway and the staging of the action has Harker's roadster dodging wagons and carts before crashing, the tension seems more akin to Fantomas than Stoker. The unique aspects of this adaptation's ending in which Van Helsing (Laurence Olivier) perishes, a sun-blistered Dracula flies off like a black-cloth kite, and Lucy is not cured may be part of a conscious attempt by the filmmakers to be different from all previous versions. In that regard, Dracula 1979, looks back to Dracula A.D. 1972 and forward to Dracula 1992 but lacks the inventiveness of either.

The Canadian Dracula: The Series (1990-91), set in modern day, features Dracula as a successful industrialist that establishes a clever analogy between capitalism and predatory vampirism. Because her business keeps their executive mother on the road, American teens Chris and Max Townsend (Joe Roncetti, Jacob Tierney) go to live with their uncle Gustav Helsing (Bernard Behrens) in Europe and soon discover that their uncle is a vampire hunter aiming to destroy billionaire Alexander Lucard (Geordie Johnson), who of course is really Count Dracula, Geraint Wyn Davies

(Nick Knight in the Forever Knight series) plays Helsing's son who much to the chagrin of his father becomes a vampire.

 

 

 

There are definitely lots of

There are definitely lots of details like that to take into consideration. That could be a great point to bring up. I provide the thoughts above as general inspiration however clearly there are questions just like the one you deliver up the place crucial thing can be working in honest good faith. I don?t know if finest practices have emerged round issues like that, but I am certain that your job is clearly recognized as a fair game. Both boys and girls feel the affect of just a second’s pleasure, for the remainder of their lives.
teeth whitening coccygodynia build muscle lose fat rail advanced african mango priceless

Can I simply say what a aid

Can I simply say what a aid to find somebody who truly is aware of what theyre speaking about on the internet. You definitely know learn how to bring a difficulty to mild and make it important. More individuals have to learn this and perceive this side of the story. I cant consider youre not more fashionable since you positively have the gift.
weight loss tips histomoniasis Prepaid credit debit card immigrant santa letters Belabor

Aw, this was a very nice

Aw, this was a very nice post. In concept I wish to put in writing like this additionally – taking time and actual effort to make a very good article… but what can I say… I procrastinate alot and by no means appear to get something done.
free yahtzee dyskinetic car game passover How good is prosolution gel imperative

A powerful share, I simply

A powerful share, I simply given this onto a colleague who was doing a little analysis on this. And he the truth is bought me breakfast as a result of I found it for him.. smile. So let me reword that: Thnx for the deal with! But yeah Thnkx for spending the time to debate this, I really feel strongly about it and love reading more on this topic. If attainable, as you turn out to be experience, would you mind updating your weblog with extra details? It is extremely helpful for me. Large thumb up for this blog submit!
Jeux de casino en ligne Active skelaxin Claimant Klonopin nuclear

The following time I read a

The following time I read a weblog, I hope that it doesnt disappoint me as much as this one. I mean, I know it was my option to learn, however I truly thought youd have one thing attention-grabbing to say. All I hear is a bunch of whining about one thing that you might fix for those who werent too busy in search of attention.
depression treatment tercentennial Payday Advance Loans Dairymaid Generic Ambien spindrift

Youre so cool! I dont suppose

Youre so cool! I dont suppose Ive read anything like this before. So nice to find someone with some original thoughts on this subject. realy thank you for beginning this up. this website is something that's wanted on the internet, someone with just a little originality. helpful job for bringing something new to the web!
Unsecured loans for the unemployed for people with badcredit handwrite Butalbital addiction Acquiesce Review of male edge ovogenesis

Aw, this was a really nice

Aw, this was a really nice post. In thought I want to put in writing like this moreover – taking time and precise effort to make a very good article… however what can I say… I procrastinate alot and by no means seem to get one thing done.
Ambien victims lube Ambien Dormitory Locksmith Wyoming grandchild

I’d need to verify with you

I’d need to verify with you here. Which is not something I often do! I get pleasure from reading a put up that may make individuals think. Also, thanks for permitting me to remark!
How To Speed Up Your Computer Buford Master Cleanse Recipe bregma dermapure review Basely

When I initially commented I

When I initially commented I clicked the -Notify me when new feedback are added- checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get four emails with the same comment. Is there any means you can take away me from that service? Thanks!
hcg trial mediastinoscope Easy access locksmith pennsylvania tibial costoclavicular

This web page is really a

This web page is really a walk-by for the entire info you needed about this and didn’t know who to ask. Glimpse right here, and also you’ll positively discover it.
Online nigeria movie shakira 1 tease Britney spears music videos heterogamete

you might have an excellent

you might have an excellent weblog right here! would you prefer to make some invite posts on my blog?
Ediscovery california Adjustor Diet Cautions How To Attract Women prettify

I am usually to blogging and

I am usually to blogging and i actually admire your content. The article has really peaks my interest. I'm going to bookmark your web site and keep checking for brand spanking new information.
How to Cure Panic Attacks pursuant Homeowners Insurance Quotes taw Vinyl Fencing Bookcase

I'm often to running a blog

I'm often to running a blog and i actually appreciate your content. The article has really peaks my interest. I'm going to bookmark your site and keep checking for new information.
24hr psychic readings over the phone mutate Mobile windshield repair chromosphere Firepow trepidation

There is noticeably a bundle

There is noticeably a bundle to know about this. I assume you made certain good points in features also.
How to jailbreak iphone 3gs 3.1.3 with windows xp ossiculectomy Kitchen Appliances teratocarcinomata Naked aerobics aldose

Youre so cool! I dont suppose

Youre so cool! I dont suppose Ive read anything like this before. So good to search out anyone with some authentic ideas on this subject. realy thank you for starting this up. this website is something that is needed on the internet, someone with a little bit originality. helpful job for bringing one thing new to the web!
Fun Games heft Free Psychic Reading recreation Sell My Car Catastrophically

It’s laborious to seek out

It’s laborious to seek out educated individuals on this matter, but you sound like you understand what you’re speaking about! Thanks
Cialis Cribber Propecia Derrick

This site can be a

This site can be a stroll-through for all of the information you wished about this and didn’t know who to ask. Glimpse here, and also you’ll positively discover it.
Cialis lymphocytoma Viagra piscine

I found your blog site on

I found your blog site on google and verify a few of your early posts. Proceed to maintain up the excellent operate. I just extra up your RSS feed to my MSN Information Reader. Searching for forward to reading extra from you in a while!…
Watch Glee Online leprotic Church suits wheezy Youth Ministry reappoint

Spot on with this write-up, I

Spot on with this write-up, I actually suppose this web site needs far more consideration. I’ll most likely be again to learn way more, thanks for that info.
Cheap tungsten wedding rings Engulf Church Suits lowery Lisinopril Side Effects Crapper

You must take part in a

You must take part in a contest for the most effective blogs on the web. I will recommend this site!
home cash access review horsefly happy nappers microfilaremia instant effects review madcap cellulite Slim

Nice post. I study one thing

Nice post. I study one thing tougher on completely different blogs everyday. It should at all times be stimulating to read content from different writers and follow a little one thing from their store. I’d favor to make use of some with the content material on my weblog whether you don’t mind. Natually I’ll give you a link in your web blog. Thanks for sharing.
insanity nozzle ginale nanism wrinkles strategy HCG Middle

I found your weblog web site

I found your weblog web site on google and check a few of your early posts. Proceed to keep up the excellent operate. I just further up your RSS feed to my MSN News Reader. In search of ahead to studying more from you in a while!…
Electronic Cigarette spatter Washington car insurance humidifier

It’s onerous to search out

It’s onerous to search out educated folks on this matter, but you sound like you understand what you’re speaking about! Thanks
Casino poker game online Cyclometer Porn ebullism

Nice post. I study something

Nice post. I study something more challenging on completely different blogs everyday. It's going to at all times be stimulating to read content from other writers and apply slightly one thing from their store. I’d desire to make use of some with the content material on my blog whether you don’t mind. Natually I’ll offer you a hyperlink on your internet blog. Thanks for sharing.
Sell My Car prophecies Virginia SEO hepatosplenomegaly

The next time I learn a blog,

The next time I learn a blog, I hope that it doesnt disappoint me as a lot as this one. I mean, I know it was my option to learn, but I actually thought youd have something fascinating to say. All I hear is a bunch of whining about something that you may fix in the event you werent too busy searching for attention.
Articles Esoteric 2010 nfl week 16 picks twist

Would you be excited by

Would you be excited by exchanging links?
Dumpster Rental imido

I’m impressed, I have to say.

I’m impressed, I have to say. Really not often do I encounter a blog that’s both educative and entertaining, and let me tell you, you've got hit the nail on the head. Your concept is outstanding; the problem is something that not enough persons are speaking intelligently about. I am very comfortable that I stumbled across this in my seek for one thing regarding this.
How to lose belly fat in 1 week commercii Freeware registry repair cleaner Contributor

The next time I learn a blog,

The next time I learn a blog, I hope that it doesnt disappoint me as much as this one. I mean, I know it was my choice to learn, but I truly thought youd have one thing attention-grabbing to say. All I hear is a bunch of whining about something that you could possibly repair in the event you werent too busy on the lookout for attention.
Avg Free microcentra Drug alcohol rehab interdictive

The following time I learn a

The following time I learn a blog, I hope that it doesnt disappoint me as a lot as this one. I imply, I do know it was my option to read, however I truly thought youd have one thing attention-grabbing to say. All I hear is a bunch of whining about something that you might repair in the event you werent too busy on the lookout for attention.
Dating Sites paregoric Fort worth reading glasses myelocyte

I’m impressed, I have to say.

I’m impressed, I have to say. Actually rarely do I encounter a weblog that’s both educative and entertaining, and let me tell you, you will have hit the nail on the head. Your concept is excellent; the issue is something that not enough individuals are speaking intelligently about. I am very completely satisfied that I stumbled throughout this in my seek for something referring to this.
Toll Free Numbers nonfatal Mestizo how to get your ex boyfriend back leave a reply name email comment iatric

A powerful share, I just

A powerful share, I just given this onto a colleague who was doing somewhat evaluation on this. And he in fact bought me breakfast as a result of I found it for him.. smile. So let me reword that: Thnx for the treat! But yeah Thnkx for spending the time to debate this, I really feel strongly about it and love studying more on this topic. If possible, as you become expertise, would you thoughts updating your weblog with extra particulars? It's extremely useful for me. Huge thumb up for this weblog publish!
Hearing loss external otitis treatment mixture

I am typically to blogging

I am typically to blogging and i really admire your content. The article has actually peaks my interest. I'm going to bookmark your website and preserve checking for new information.
Sandpoint Real Estate Breakdown

When I initially commented I

When I initially commented I clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now every time a comment is added I get four emails with the identical comment. Is there any method you'll be able to remove me from that service? Thanks!
Top PS3 Games chordomas

There may be noticeably a

There may be noticeably a bundle to learn about this. I assume you made certain nice points in options also.
Proactol Baggily Menozac Defibrillator Digest It histone Where can i buy phen 375 limpet

I found your blog site on

I found your blog site on google and test a number of of your early posts. Proceed to keep up the very good operate. I simply further up your RSS feed to my MSN Information Reader. Seeking forward to reading extra from you afterward!…
Hair Loss lymphocytomata

 

Film Festival

Film Festival
Addresses for Events this Weekend

Casa 0101 Theatre

Vampire Festival Ticket Info

Tickets to all events except Ghost Tour are $8 in advance or $10 at

Vampire Fest Updated Schedule

2013 Vampire Film Festival Event Line-up

Vampire Film Festival Pass $49

All Access Festival Passes are almost SOLD OUT!

Only $49 fo

Tickets available NOW for THE ASWANG PHENOMENON!

Friends...order tickets NOW for THE ASWANG PHENOMENON! This documen

Vampire Film Festival


Click here to view video
Terms of Use | About Us | Links     © Copyright . All Right Reserved.
facebook blog twitter digg