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Dracula

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MichiganJ
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Dracula

Postby MichiganJ » October 13th, 2011, 5:25 pm

Been immersing myself in Dracula films.

"There are far worse things awaiting man than death." Count Dracula

Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror (1922)

Even though Nosferatu is ostensibly the story of the fiendish Count Orlock, there's really no hiding the fact that Orlock is really the infamous Count Dracula. The story about the making of the film is fascinating in itself, as is the fact that the wife of Dracula author, Bram Stoker, won a plagiarism suit requiring director F. W. Murnau to not only stop distribution of his film, but to literally destroy all of the prints and negative. Fortunately that Draconian (sorry) verdict wasn't completely adhered to, and we still have, what for me, is one of the best versions of Dracula on film.

Later Dracula films would more closely follow the various stage plays based on Stoker's novel, all of which alter the great Count significantly. Murnau's Count stays a bit closer to the novel, where the Count isn't a well-mannered, tuxedo-wearing member of the upper class (the class differences is one of the fascinating things about Lugosi's Dracula), but rather he's the rat-like embodiment of evil, especially as played by Max Schreck. (Everyone knows that "Shreck"--Max's really name--translates to "terror" in German, right?)

Way too many highlights in Nosferatu, but the crossing on the "ship of death" is certainly one of them, as is the parade of coffins, all carrying victims of Orlock's "plague." Murnau is at his Expressionist best in Nosferatu, and it should be noted that it is this film that introduces the idea that vampires and sunlight don't mix.

Dracula (1931)

It's with good reason that nearly everyone gets the image of a tuxedoed and caped wearing Bela Lugosi when they hear the name Dracula. Even just from his introductions in Dracula (he has two), Lugosi clearly lays claim to the role, one that would be recognized the world over.

But while undeniably a classic, is Dracula a good movie?

Yes, and unfortunately, no.

There's no doubt that the introductory scenes in Transylvania, the beautiful and ominous painted backdrop of the Carpathian Mountains, the Borgo Pass and especially Dracula's castle, are Gothic Horror at its best. In the castle, cinematographer Karl Freund's camera slowly tracks in, pulling us forward as he focuses on a coffin, a bony (and double-jointed) hand reaching out as Dracula awakes. Also awakening are the ominous children of the night, ready to make their beautiful music; the spiders, the bats, the bugs, the armadillos(!).

Then there's Lugois's second introduction, as he presents himself to Renfield on that fabulously creepy staircase (one of two great staircases in the film), with all of those memorable lines, spoken with Lugosi's oft-imitated but never duplicated accent. (Well, at least not 'til Landau.)

And then we go to London and, unless Lugosi is in the scene, the film becomes a giant snooze fest. We are basically confined to a few rooms where people just continue to gab and any action takes place off screen. There's an interminable discussion between "stars" David Manners and Helen Chandler, which director Browning shoots in a single take, that just begs for a closeup or a camera move or something other than filming a stage play. Not only that, but these sequences are sloppy, too. There's a scene where in the foreground, in full view of the camera, a piece of cardboard is taped to a lamp, diffusing the light source.

Fortunately Lugosi occasionally reappears, and there are enough intrusions by the mad Renfield (and I bet anyone who has seen the film has tried to do Dwight Frye's wonderfully maniacal laugh), and of course the always stoic Edward Van Sloan as Van Helsing to usher us back into the darkness of Carfax Abbey and the demise of the dreaded Count.

At least for awhile….

Drácula (1931)

Filmed simultaneously with the Browning version, and on the same sets, I suppose this Spanish language version had a distinct advantage in filming overnight: the ability to see Browning's rushes and improve on them. And that they did, for the Spanish version of Drácula is much more cinematic than Browning's version. The pacing is a bit slower, but director George Melford and cinematographer George Robinson keep the camera moving, and even in the dreadfully boring drawing-room scenes, Melford provides cutaways and indeed cuts to some parallel action as well. It also helps that Melford filmed the entire script, whereas Browning, thinking scenes were redundant, simply cut out pages of the script, getting rid of, what turns out to be, pretty crucial and visual plot elements.

Alas though, the Spanish Drácula has two insurmountable hurdles that clearly makes Browning's version the Dracula. The first is the main cast: there's just no beating Edward van Sloan's Van Helsing; and while I really like Pablo Álvarez Rubio as Renfield, there's no question the Dwight Frye owns that part. As for Dracula himself, Carlos Villarías is unfortunately almost a cartoon, especially when compared with the amazing Lugosi.

The other insurmountable hurdle in Melford's version is more of a conundrum: What happened to the venomous armadillos?

Mark of the Vampire (1935) Be-Vare: Here There Be Spoilers!

I know what your thinking because I can read minds. For instance, right now you're thinking that I really can't read minds. Right? Right. With my talent established I ask: So what if this isn't really a Dracula movie? It features Lugosi as a caped vampire, and that's pretty much synonymous with Dracula.

This is the kind of film that used to drive me batty (sorry) because it didn't adhere to its own internal logic. After a death, where the body is drained of blood and those two tell-tale marks on the neck indicate vampires, we wait a year for the silliness of the plot to actually kick in. Two vampires haunt an abandoned castle as well as the (oddly) attached chateau where our "heroes" are trying to deal with the menace, and, hopefully, solve the murder. That the vampires turn out to be actors trying to frightened the murderer into being more susceptible to hypnotism and then reenact his committing of the murder is, perhaps, a bit much to believe (not to mention a complete let down), but still maintains the internal logic.

What doesn't, however, are the acting vampires themselves. Everyone except two members in the household know that these two vampires are actors. And yet, our two vampires always act like vampires, even when no one else is around! And The Method hadn't even been invented yet! Like I said, this lack of logic used to drive me batty (see above apology).

But not anymore. Now I believe that Count Mora (Lugosi) and his daughter, Luna (Carroll Borland--the original goth girl, who can be seen in Jack's avatar) really are vampires. Looked at from that perspective, the film, which was edited to its bare bones before release, still holds together quite well, and for me, is much more enjoyable. Plus, Lugosi's only line, the last in the film, "Did you see me? I was better than any real vampire" can now be taken ironically, especially considering this is director Tod Browning's second go at Dracula (and, of course, London After Midnight.)

While featuring a little too much of the MGM gloss, there are quite a few wonderful set pieces that really make this a treat for horror fans, not the least of which is the introduction of the Count and his daughter as they glide along a landing and then down some creepy stairs. There are plenty of bats, spiders, a possum (but again no venomous armadillos) and one too short but amazing shot of Luna flying down from the ceiling, landing, and folding her wings behind her. Pretty cool.

The sexual component, another essential element of Dracula and vampire films in general, is pretty interesting in Mark of the Vampire. Apparently sequences, which inferred an incestuous relationship between Mora and his daughter, were removed from the film. (Of course, if they were just actors and not really related, their relationship should be of no concern.) But still in the film is a fascinating sequence in which Luna transfixes Irena (the heroine of the film who knows that Luna is an actress!), and in her catatonic state, succumbs to Luna's advances, Luna's shroud enveloping Irena. All this goes on, mind you, while Count Mora himself watches with a devilish smile of approval. Real vampires or just actors, it's pretty amazing this scene was passed by the Production Code.

In the original Dracula (1931), there was a short but significant instance of male homosexuality when ol' Drac pushes his hungry brides away from the fainted Renfied. Dracula wants him all to himself. Interestingly, in the Spanish version, it's the Brides who get to feast on Renfield; Drácula isn't even there. Luna's dalliance with Irena is one of the first lesbian vampire sequences on film.

More to come...
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Re: Dracula

Postby ChiO » October 13th, 2011, 5:55 pm

More, MichJ, more. I love DRACULA, but I must admit that it is probably as much a function of nostalgia as fine filmmaking. But...Lugosi, Freund and the children of the night...sometimes nostalgia is what it used to be.
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Re: Dracula

Postby feaito » October 13th, 2011, 7:37 pm

Super interesting post Kevin...keep 'em coming...I agree with you almost 100%.

I can't wait for your review of Dracula's Daughter, on of the best from the '30s.

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Re: Dracula

Postby Mr. Arkadin » October 13th, 2011, 10:11 pm

MichiganJ wrote:Been immersing myself in Dracula films.

"There are far worse things awaiting man than death." Count Dracula

Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror (1922)

Even though Nosferatu is ostensibly the story of the fiendish Count Orlock, there's really no hiding the fact that Orlock is really the infamous Count Dracula. The story about the making of the film is fascinating in itself, as is the fact that the wife of Dracula author, Bram Stoker, won a plagiarism suit requiring director F. W. Murnau to not only stop distribution of his film, but to literally destroy all of the prints and negative. Fortunately that Draconian (sorry) verdict wasn't completely adhered to, and we still have, what for me, is one of the best versions of Dracula on film.

Later Dracula films would more closely follow the various stage plays based on Stoker's novel, all of which alter the great Count significantly. Murnau's Count stays a bit closer to the novel, where the Count isn't a well-mannered, tuxedo-wearing member of the upper class (the class differences is one of the fascinating things about Lugosi's Dracula), but rather he's the rat-like embodiment of evil, especially as played by Max Schreck. (Everyone knows that "Shreck"--Max's really name--translates to "terror" in German, right?)

Way too many highlights in Nosferatu, but the crossing on the "ship of death" is certainly one of them, as is the parade of coffins, all carrying victims of Orlock's "plague." Murnau is at his Expressionist best in Nosferatu, and it should be noted that it is this film that introduces the idea that vampires and sunlight don't mix.


I await comparison with Herzog's 1979 color version.

MichiganJ wrote:And then we go to London and, unless Lugosi is in the scene, the film becomes a giant snooze fest. (Dracula 1931)


While Lugosi is mesmerizing in the lead, I find many of the same faults with the 1931 film as you did. Hammer's 1958 remake was a much stronger and balanced work in my opinion. Although Christopher Lee is no Lugosi, Fisher makes the most of his strongest assets, namely his height and imposing presence, wisely cutting his lines (which actually makes him more menacing), whereas Bela's speech is the highlight of the earlier film.

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Re: Dracula

Postby MichiganJ » October 14th, 2011, 2:58 pm

ChiO wrote:I love DRACULA, but I must admit that it is probably as much a function of nostalgia as fine filmmaking. But...Lugosi, Freund and the children of the night...sometimes nostalgia is what it used to be.

I couldn't agree more. Every time I watch Dracula, I am immediately back in my grandparents' living room with my brother. At home we aren't yet allowed to watch Creature Features, but my grandmother doesn't know that, so we turn on the 15-inch black and white TV (of course with rabbit ears), and snuggle into our sleeping bags. My brother is gone fast, when Dracula emerges from his coffin my brother retreats to the safety of the kitchen and the ever present saltine crackers. I make it to London, but only just. When Dracula approaches the girl selling flowers, I too get the sudden hankering for some saltines. Safety in numbers soon brings us back, and we discover the joys of Renfield's laugh. Our incessant cackles through the commercial breaks is enough for my grandmother, who comes in and turns the TV off and goes back to bed.
But she never says we can't turn it back on….

feaito wrote:Super interesting post Kevin...keep 'em coming...I agree with you almost 100%.

I can't wait for your review of Dracula's Daughter, on of the best from the '30s.

Thanks Fernando. Dracula's Daughter is by far my favorite Universal Dracula film and I'm formulating some thoughts and will post something this weekend.

Mr. Arkadin wrote:I await comparison with Herzog's 1979 color version.

Nosferatu the Vampyre is one of my favorite Herzog films and I am really looking forward to revisiting it. I love the slow pace and overall quiet nature of the film and Kinski's hands are nearly as fabulously creepy as Lugosi's. Two other words for now: Isabelle Adjani.

Mr. Arkadin wrote:Hammer's 1958 remake was a much stronger and balanced work in my opinion. Although Christopher Lee is no Lugosi, Fisher makes the most of his strongest assets, namely his height and imposing presence, wisely cutting his lines (which actually makes him more menacing), whereas Bela's speech is the highlight of the earlier film.


I just finished the Hammer Dracula cycle (on deck now is Scream, Blacula, Scream) and I need to get cracking on the write-ups but Lee is certainly a formidable Dracula. (Although, not so much in the Franco film.)
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Re: Dracula

Postby MikeBSG » October 15th, 2011, 9:10 am

I too was surprised by the sexual overtones in "Mark of the Vampire."

"Dracula's Daughter" is easily my favorite Universal vampire movie, although "Son of Dracula" is better than its reputation suggests.

Have you ever seen "The Vampire Bat," a 1933 B film starring Lionel Atwill? it's worth a look. Dwight Frye has a good role in that one.

Of the Hammer Draculas, I like "Horror of Dracula," "Dracula Prince of Darkness" and "Taste the Blood of Dracula" the best.

"Scream Blacula Scream" is probably my favorite AIP vampire film of the 70s, although "The Deathmaster," with Robert Quarry, is pretty good.

Two non-Dracula Hammer vampire movies that are very good are "The Vampire Lovers" and "Vampire Circus."

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Re: Dracula

Postby CineMaven » October 15th, 2011, 10:54 am

Michigan J...I am loving your write-up on "DRACULA" and look forward to your exploring Dracula in films. I'm a big fan of "Dracula's Daughter" and I hope you post on "BLOOD and ROSES." It touches on the implicit, explicitly.

I can also totally relate to Creature Features...Saltines...gettin' away with stuff that our parents don't know about.
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Re: Dracula

Postby Rita Hayworth » October 15th, 2011, 1:23 pm

Dracula 1979

Frank Langella, Lawrence Oliver, Donald Pleasence, Kate Nelligan, Trevor Eve, and Jan Francis gave this version a very romanticized and stunning portrayal of a Dracula that I thought it was visually stunning, cleverly written, and set in 1913 England of which gave the story a new meaning. Both Jan Francis and Kate Nelligan were captivating enough to give Dracula played by Frank Langella something to bite on "literally". These two lovely actresses were perfect in this film and gave it aura of beauty that was missing in some Dracula films in the past. Tony Haygarth, did a great job as Renfield in which I thought should been expanded a little bit more to give it more meat in the film. I really like his style. Many of you here may or may not like this film; but I do and I find it to be sensual, a little erotic, and has some intense imagery that surprised me in more ways than one. Frank Langella performance as Dracula was very good and the performance of Lawrence Oliver as Van Helsing was marvelous.

In closing, this is solid Dracula film and one of my favorites ...

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Re: Dracula

Postby MichiganJ » October 15th, 2011, 2:23 pm

Mike,

Love The Vampire Bat, it's one of my favorite performances by Dwight Frye. I've seen all of the other films you mentioned with the exception of The Deathmaster and will need to check that one out soon.

Maven,

Thanks for the kind words. I have seen Blood and Roses and it does what you suggest, in spades. This demands a DVD release.

At the moment, I'm focusing on Dracula films in particular, but a new Vampire Films thread sounds good to me. I've watched a couple of really unusual vampire films recently.

Kingme--

I used to write the music and film reviews for my High School newspaper (The Patriot!) and wrote a review of the 1979 Dracula. I remember basically panning it because it forgot to be scary and focussed too much on romance. I look forward to revisiting it and seeing if my opinion has changed after all these years.
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Re: Dracula

Postby MichiganJ » October 17th, 2011, 4:21 pm

Dracula's Daughter (1936)

The final film in Universal's first amazing cycle of classic Horror, Dracula's Daughter is nearly as influential, and in some ways more so, than the original 1931 Dracula. Unlike the Frankenstein series, Dracula's Daughter is the only film in the Universal Dracula series that is a true sequel, starting exactly where the original ended, with Van Helsing (Sloan) driving a stake through Dracula's heart. (And in a neat, and unexpected twist, he's arrested for murder.)

It's interesting how the film inverts the progression of the original, this time starting in London and ending up in Transylvania. Gloria Holden, perfectly cast as the Countess Zaleska, is one of the first female "monsters" on screen, as well as one of the first vampires with that tragic aura, questing for a cure or at least release from their torment; something many modern vampires also seem to desire. Of course when Zaleska is hungry, that aura of sorrow becomes considerably more ominous, as in the most famous sequence, where she seduces poor Lili, the young woman who had innocently come to pose for the Countess. "Why are you looking at me like that?" Lily asks, "Will I do?" Uh-huh.

There is no denying the homoeroticism in Dracula's Daughter, and the gay subtext found in many subsequent vampire films are clearly traced back to Dracula's Daughter. It's curious how such an overt lesbian scene made it passed the Breen office at all, and I wonder if it was because the previous scripts were considerably more salacious, a deliberate attempt to push the envelope in sex and violence. James Whale was on board to direct, with Lugosi back in a lengthy prologue, but as time went on, Whale lost interest and a copy of one of the early versions of the script mysteriously found its way into Breen's hands. Whale out, new script, Dracula's Daughter as we know it and love it. (Although I'd loved to have seen that Whale version, too.)


Son of Dracula (1943)

A married woman helps her boyfriend escape from prison so that he can murder her husband and the two of them can be together at last. Film noir? What if the woman in question is dead--well, undead? Still film noir? And what if it was the boyfriend who made her dead in the first place? And what if the husband is Count Dracula? (Who made her undead.) Does it help that the story takes place in the sweltering heat of America's deep South?

Phew! Atmospheric, campy, exciting and horribly mis-cast, Son of Dracula is one fun ride. But for poor Lon Chaney, looking like a well-dressed wrestler without a hint of aggression or menace, Son of Dracula would have been one of Universal's many classic horror films. It's still great, of course, and there's no missing the eerie sequence where Dracula's coffin rises from the swamp, Dracula emerging and effortlessly gliding to shore. Creepy, even for a well-dressed wrestler.

(Chaney is the only actor to have played Universal's Frankenstein monster, Dracula, the Mummy, and, of course, the Wolfman. You can use this piece of trivia in a bar bet, if you drink with film geeks.)


House of Frankenstein (1944)/House of Dracula (1945)

I wrote about these over in the Frankenstein thread and still think that they are highly enjoyable, but clearly produced for kids (of all ages, but kids nevertheless). John Carradine is even more dressed up and polished than Lugosi (Carradine has the top hat) and while his performance is rather distant, it seems to work well for the character, at least for the short amount of time Dracula has in each film.

The Return of the Vampire (1944)

A wonderfully gothic look and plenty of England's ground fog, not to mention the return of a caped Bela Lugosi helps to make this a visual treat. It should be much better than it actually is, which is frustrating, but if one can look beyond the inanities (like the werewolf, who is a werewolf day and night, who talks--a lot, and fights like a regular man, with fists--essentially he's a guy who needs a bad shave), then there are plenty of rewards. Lugosi is terrific and Nina Foch is the beautiful niece of of his nemesis, the vampire huntress Lady Jane. Lots of exposition as dialogue, but the sets are terrific and it's a pretty great film that has Dracula (okay, in this case named Armand Tesla), unearthed and freed by the Germans during The Blitz.

Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1944)

Again I wrote about this in the Frankenstein thread (and will again in the A & C one), but it bears repeating just how good Lugosi is in this, his second and final performance as the "legitimate" Dracula. For me, it's his best performance on screen, and again, Universal made more than the right call to play the monsters straight. Lugosi's Dracula is powerful and menacing, just as we love him. Great film.

A few years ago I was listening to a radio interview with Leonard Maltin and he was asked what his favorite "guilty pleasure" was. Without missing a beat he said, "Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein." Cut me to the quick because I can understand not liking the film and not liking Abbott and Costello. But I can't understand how A & C Meets Frankenstein is a noted film critic's guilty pleasure. Zombies on Broadway, now that one I'd understand.
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Re: Dracula

Postby feaito » October 17th, 2011, 6:50 pm

Your review Kevin, has made want to see Dracula's Daughter again! :D

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Re: Dracula

Postby MichiganJ » October 21st, 2011, 3:46 pm

The Return of Dracula (1958)

One of my favorites as a kid, The Return of Dracula doesn't get nearly the love and respect it deserves. Because it was released a mere month before Hammer's Horror of Dracula, it seems to have gotten lost in the shuffle, which is a real shame because the film offers a pretty original take on the good ol' Count.

A modern day (circa 1958) Dracula poses as Bellac Gordal, who stays with an unsuspecting American family (The Mayberry's!) who thinks he is their European cousin. It's very interesting to see a Dracula film set in small-town America in the late 50s with the cold war angst in the background. Naturally, for a horror film of the era, the film's heroes are the two teenage lovebirds. I don't think I've ever seen Norma Eberhardt before but she is simply wonderful as the teenaged Rachel Mayberry. Enamored of her artistic "cousin", she also harbors suspicions of his unusual hours. Pandora Box's Francis Lederer is also terrific as Dracula, equally mesmerizing and creepy, his stylish Dracula also has a wonderfully subtle wit.

Low budget but a solid picture that deserves to be rediscovered. Might make a good double bill with Shadow of a Doubt.

Look for the one splash of color, added after the film was in release and a direct response to Hammer's film.

Speaking of…it's Hamm-ah time.

Some thoughts before going into the brief specifics of the first few Hammer Dracula films. As my lovely wife was away a couple of weekends back, and as I had conquered my list of "to do" items--well, not the garage, the painting or… After I'd misplaced my "to do" list, I took the opportunity to do something which I'd always wanted to do; I watched all of the Hammer Dracula films in sequence. While it was quite enjoyable, there were a number of revelations that I had never noticed before when watching the films over the years. A few include:

--Dracula himself, Christopher Lee, does have a remarkable presence, maybe even more so than Lugosi. But he'd better, because Lee is barely in the first four Hammer Dracula films and in those same four, Lee may have a total of three pages of dialogue. He's basically a supporting player and in each of the films, Lee has very little to do at all except be resurrected, look menacing, bite a neck or two, and then die. Rinse and repeat. There is very little to his performance; no subtlety, no emotion, no eroticism. Throughout the series, Lee gives a one-note performance. Fortunately that note is terror. His presence, or actually the lack thereof, is palpable throughout the films, and that's one reason why they work so well.

--Another is Peter Cushing, who, as an actor, is the exact opposite of Christopher Lee. Even in the more, let us say unusual Dracula films, Cushing, as always, provides a nuanced and thoughtful characterization, and has the ability to speak the most inane lines and make them believable.

--The Dracula/Vampire rules now include the fact that running water is an effective way to kill--oops, I mean "destroy" the vampire. Actually, according to these films it's pretty easy to destroy Dracula. Almost as easy as it is to resurrect him. (A corollary: reflections in water are allowed, but still no mirrors.)

--Crosses are still effective, although it depends on when they need to be and Dracula's proximity. Also, crosses can be made from nearly anything including two candle sticks. I think if one encounters Lee as Dracula, even crossing your two index fingers may be enough, although I'll let you try it first.

--Every interior room, including Dracula's various crypts are, what can be best described as, clean well-lighted places. No expressionist shadows or darkness. This brightness, by the way, includes all location exteriors, too. Never has nighttime been so bright as in the Hammer Dracula films.

--Although knowing that Dracula is powerless when the sun is up, searching for and finding his crypt must occur as the sun sets. After all, it's only fair, right?

--Beautiful blonde women, although expected to show an ample amount of cleavage, may be under Dracula's power, but will not actually be bitten and therefore will be saved. Beautiful red-heads and especially brunettes are doomed. (But fortunately still show a lot of cleavage.)


Horror of Dracula (1958)

There's a great smart twist at the beginning of this film, which is very loosely based on the Stoker novel. Harker, in the film a librarian hired to catalogue Dracula's collection, is already onto the count, but to no avail. Harker's journal falls into the hands of Van Helsing (Peter Cushing) and the hunt begins.

The script is tight and rapidly moves forward with Cushing being the central character. Lee's Dracula shows up just enough to remind us of his menace and the finale is still wonderfully exciting.

One of Hammer's best.

The Brides of Dracula (1960)

Speaking of best, Hammer or otherwise, The Brides of Dracula is one of the all-time best vampire flicks. While technically it isn't a Dracula film, his name is in the title, and it does feature a most impressive turn by the ol' Count's nemesis, Cushing's Van Helsing. Cushing and the film are so good that one wishes Hammer had continued a Van Helsing series. (Cushing wouldn't return as Van Helsing until Dracula A.D. 1972).

The voluptuous Marianne Danielle, a French school teacher heading to her new post, mistakenly frees, what turns out to be (of course), a vampire…

Plenty of highlights, including the exciting climax in the windmill, but don't miss the resourceful Cushing as he frees himself from the vampire's bite--by a applying a red-hot iron to his own neck!

Dracula-Prince of Darkness (1966)

After seven years, this sequel picks up exactly where Horror of Dracula left off. Two couples are warned not to go to the castle, but do anyway, with predictable results. Lee doesn't say a single word but one of the actor's sounds uncannily like Cary Grant.

Dracula Has Risen From the Grave (1968)

Interesting take on this one because at the beginning of the film, the male protagonist is an atheist. That changes by the end. While Lee has a line or two, he still says nothing and the film, like many of the other Hammer Dracula films, is really about the other characters. Veronica Carlson is stunning.

Taste the Blood of Dracula (1970)

One reason to watch these films in sequence is to see how the writer's will possibly resurrect Dracula from the previous film's "destroying." Here, a bit of the dust, blood and ring that was the dissolved Count in the last film, is collected by a salesman, who recognizes its value. Three contemptible English "gentlemen" meet the equally depraved Lord Courtley at a Brothel, and they agree to finance the poor Lord's purchase of Dracula's cremains. Cool but wacky things ensue, and let's just say that the remains of Courtley are transformed into Lee, who now vows for revenge. Lee's dialogue is pretty much relegated to reminding us which number victim he is at. (He is The Count, after all.) Still, it's good to see ol' Drac have a bit of motivation for a change.

More soon.
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Re: Dracula

Postby Gary J. » October 21st, 2011, 4:43 pm

MichiganJ wrote: But for poor Lon Chaney, looking like a well-dressed wrestler without a hint of aggression or menace,


That's one of the best descriptions of Chaney Jr. on film. The guy always comes off so somber, so quiet.....so comatose.
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CineMaven
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Re: Dracula

Postby CineMaven » October 23rd, 2011, 8:34 am

"You build my gallows high, baby."

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MichiganJ
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Re: Dracula

Postby MichiganJ » October 23rd, 2011, 9:40 am

Yes, it plays fine. Thanks for the link. Even out of context, the scene is sexy and creepy.
"Let's be independent together." Dr. Hermey DDS


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