Monday, September 19, 2011

55. Dracula


I watched this movie awhile ago so it isn't exactly fresh in my mind.  Fortunately, I love all things Dracula so I am quite qualified to write this review.

Dracula is an amazing epistolary novel and translates well to a movie.  I was prepared for a corny horror film.  This managed to be wonderful.  You can see what a good Dracula that guy makes.  He is a great actor and totally made the film.  He creeped me the hell out.  Lock your windows at night!

If you don't know the story, you don't deserve to know.  Great movie, watch it!!  I don't have time for more!

RATING: ****-

Interesting Facts:

No fangs or bite marks are shown.

Bette Davis was considered for the role of Minnie.

The guy that played Dracula was buried in his cape.


  1. Have you seen Ed Wood to know how Bela Lugosi ended his career?

  2. OK, I'm going to break ranks here and be a bit critical. I know you all like this and prefer it to Frankenstein, released later the same year. But I'm going to back the big fella over Dracula, I'm afraid.

    There was genuine tension throughout much of it, which came from a great lead characterisation and the long silences. On the other hand, I found some of the physical acting, particularly from the minor roles in the early scenes to be very overdone and hammy. I read that one reviewer at the time noted that it had been made like a silent film, of which Browning had much experience, including poor use of dialogue. So with the silences, no soundtrack and exaggerated visual acting this all kind of makes sense.

    The bats bouncing up and down on wires were just ridiculous, plus armadillos (armadillos?? WTF?) and generally naff direction of the actors (by which I mean, they acted badly but in a way that seemed to be how they were told to act rather than the actors themselves)

    Maybe my hopes were too high and I can well imagine a cinema audience of the time being enthralled by it, but it seemed like it had dated badly to me.

    1. *cringes reading earlier review* It's been awhile since I have seen this, but I am such a fan of Stoker's novel that I am pretty much willing to accept any adaptation. I do recall the over the top acting, but since the whole film was supposed to be over the top, I just kind of rolled with it. Have you seen the 1958 version?

  3. I defend the Armadillos. They just add to the general oddness of the place, that things are just not right. OK, I get your point .. why armadillos, how would he have got them way back in the ?? century ?*, and yes, to days standards , rubber bats on wire is laughable .. but .. I still think it's a fantastic film. Without putting '58 down in anyway, I prefer this one.
    *In the old days, Amazon didn't have animal welfare policies that forbade buying livestock online. So that's OK then, sorry.

  4. Yes, I loved the Hammer horror films as a kid. The BBC showed one or two every Saturday night very late which I used to video and watch the next day (Note: clearly disturbed child). Maybe Christopher Lee is putting everyone else in the shade to much for me? I didn't like Nosferatu either and only carried on watching Francis Ford Coppola's version to the end out of fascination at how a film could be so enthusiastically bad.

  5. Correction: Dracula leaves no shadow so Christopher Lee can't be putting anyone else in the shade

  6. Am I weird for not remembering the armadillos? Dessie, I felt like that when I watched Manhunter. Anthony Hopkins just ruined the Hannibal character for me as no one else ever comes close to his performance.

  7. I like that this has been reduced to a debate about armadillos - you're either for or against them, there's no middle ground!

    When he first arrives at the castle we see different shots of cobwebs etc to paint a picture of this odd place. One of these is of two armadillos crawling out of a hole in the wall.

    I can just imagine the conversation between Dracula and one of the phantom women...
    - It gets kind of lonely around here, it would be good to brighten the place up with a pet or something
    - Let's get a dog, I love dogs!
    - No, they're too much trouble. You have to take them out and walk them every day, they want too much attention.
    - How about a cat?
    - You know how cat hair affects my allergies!
    - What about an armadillo?
    - Perfect! We can get two so they can keep each other company. There's a man down in the village who keeps them at his pet shop.
    - Don't forget to buy a litter tray!

    I can only guess that they were supposed to look like giant termites to a less worldy-wise cinema audience.

  8. > Dessie. Ha, she missed the Armadillos. Loved your comeback there .. I just doubt a local pet shop in Transylvania has the. Being a Count he'd get Harrods to ship him some out.