Sunday, November 03, 2013

Dracula

(1931) ****
I find it difficult to rate something that is responsible for both Twilight and Interview with the Vampire. It feels incredible to see Lugosi pave the way for future vampire movies, to watch his every movement and listen to every line, as noted in JPX's review from 2005. I'm also in agreement with Landshark in his '08 review that it feels like you need to do some homework beforehand (or while watching the Lugosi classic) to get the cinematic context needed to appreciate this one. There is a fascinating history to the process of making the movie as well as histories of the character actors themselves if you listen to the commentary (which I'm actually doing right now while writing this review).
Van Helsing, not portrayed here by Hugh Jackman (dangit!)
I personally loved the opening scenes in Transylvania, the eerie aura that Dracula exudes as he escorts Renfield around his castle and goes about his business. Once the Count travels to England and wreaks havoc in London I found it difficult to pay attention or get attached to any new characters, although it provides a cultural bridge between the Transylvania of old and a modern world of London. With this comes new challenges and conquests for Dracula: Van Helsing promises to put a stop to his murderous rampage, while pretty dames sleep with their windows open and working-class citizens are out late walking home at night provide a tasty meal for the Count. Normally watching a film won't inspire me to read the original novel; but here, despite October being over, I can't wait to  dive into it like Lugosi's fangs in a warm pulsating neck.

7 comments:

AC said...

cool! love the book, not sure i've ever seen this. and who knows, perhaps my transylvanian peasant ancestors were drac snacks? one can only hope.

Anonymous said...

How many Dracula horror movie are there? I lost track of 'em.

btw I miss the daily Spider-Man blog posts.

Anonymous said...

How many Dracula horror movie are there? I lost track of 'em.

btw I miss the daily Spider-Man blog posts.

Trevor said...

Love the old universal monster films.

JPX said...

There are many Dracula movies although the Universal pictures are considered the "classic" Dracula movies.

Fear not, Spider-Man will return!

Terrific summary/review, Crystal, I'm glad you are discovering these old chestnuts. The commentary on these classics is very interesting.

Catfreeek said...

Loved this review Crystal, Bela is one of my favorite Dracula's he really knew how to command presence.

Octopunk said...

Great review, Crystal. You should write a review of the book!