Thursday, October 11, 2012

Dracula-thon (Part 10)


So, here we are, the final installment of Dracula-thon.

We've seen that altogether, there have been films (both silent, and talkie) by Universal, Hammer, and everyone else, including parodies, plus, video games, comic books, and animation.

That's a lot of stuff out of one novel published 115 years ago! =(8-0

Anyway, here's the last little bit of it....


Billy The Kid vs. Dracula (1966)

The film-

Yhep, this happened.

This sounds like one of those fake movies a character in a shitty ABC sitcom would take a date to.
But nope, it's real, someone actually went out, and filmed this.

I try to puzzle out what led to something like this...and then I look at the "Dracula vs. Capone", comic, and say "fuck it".

The history-

TNT's Monstervision played this, back-to-back with "Jesse James Meets Frankenstein's Daughter".
Man, I miss Monstervision.
Like, almost as much as Nicely's.


Superboy (1989)


The episode-

Short and sweet of it, Superboy meets Dracula, resists his hypnotic stare, flies him out into outer space, exposes him to the sun, and leaves him to vaporize.

The history-

Man, I really ate this series up as a kid.
Now, I look at clips, and it's embarrassingly awful.
Especially this scene.
Yeesh...


Dracula: The Series (1990)


The series-

Yep, Dracula had a show.

It was 1990, and was on the same network as Superboy.
Do you suppose it was good?
If you do, you suppose wrong.

The history-

Yeah, I was into this as a kid too.

...Dracula turned into a swarm of bats.
A swarm of 'em!
What...what was up with that?
Did his brain split up amongst the bats?
How the hell did he re-assemble his consciousness?
Can you imagine how fucked up that would feel?
What if the bats don't reassemble properly?
Is he fucked up by that if it does happen?
I've...never stopped thinking about the questions this raises for 22 years.


Dark Prince: The Legend Of Dracula (2000)


The film-

Someone finally did one on the story of the real Vlad The Impaler.
The historical Dracula that Bram Stoker got the name of his vampire from.

Aaand, it's not too bad.
I dug it.
But then...I used to dig Superboy.
I'll have to see this again.
I can't trust myself now.

The history-

See above.


Buffy The Vampire Slayer (2000)


The episode-

Buffy meets Dracula.

Drac is played by the same guy who played Vlad The Impaler in "Dark Prince", the exact same year.

And, this is the same Dracula that fights Spike in the comics.

The history-

I hated everything that happened in Buffy up until this episode, then, I liked this episode, then, I hated it again until the whole "Dark Willow", season, then, I went back to hating it.

And, Angel makes me puke. Any of it.

Then, I liked Firefly all the way through, and I worship The Avengers.

You're a frustrating roller-coaster ride, Joss Whedon.

So, that's all of Dracula's shows and movies.

Aaand, of course, Dracula is famous to everyone, even to those who've never seen his films, nor read the original novel, thanks to having inspired a Sesame Street Muppet, a chocolate breakfast cereal, and, a "Greg The Bunny", puppet.

And, that's really everything.
Pretty sure...

As said at the beginning, even if you're freakin' Amish, and didn't know anything about Dracula, now, you should know everything.
Even if it wasn't necessarily laid out all in order.

So, let's say goodbye now to Dracula...with the Dracula power metal song!
(Lyrics)





Now, to really finish this all off once and for all, stuff that drew inspiration from Dracula, but isn't Dracula.
Or, films with the Dracula seal of approval.

The Last Man On Earth (1962)


The film/history-

See here.

And then, its remake...


The Omega Man (1971)


The film/history-

See here.

And, then its remake...


I Am Legend (2007)


The film/history-

See here.


Dark Shadows (1966-1971)


The series-

Pretty damned good.
For a soap.

Y'know, given I can't even bring myself to watch all the other ones.

Created by the guy who did the Jack Palance Dracula.

The history-

Sci-fi Channel used to rerun this, and I saw almost all of it.
That's back when that channel didn't suck.


House Of Dark Shadows (1970)

The film-

The story arc of the first couple seasons of the show squished down into a movie to tell the story of Barnabas with a beginning, middle, and end.

Pretty good.
Has its flaws, but, a watchable little vampire flick for Halloween.

Followed by "Curse Of Dark Shadows", which had no Barnabas, indeed, didn't seem to have anything to do with anything.
Screw that movie.

The history-

Cable.


Dark Shadows (1991)


The series-

A remake, of course.
It was a weekly nighttime show instead of a daytime soap.
Pretty good production values.
Ben Cross was a kickass Barnabas.

The history-

Jesus, my neighbor still remembers Barnabas beating his servant, Willie with his cane, and screaming "Willieeee!!!".
Don't get him started.


Dark Shadows (2012)


The film-

The Tim Burton remake.

Ehh....well...I dunno...

The history-

Well, the ad campaign sells it as a comedy, but, I've heard reviews say those are pretty much all the funny bits, and the rest of the movie takes the material seriously.

III...dunno...
I'm really gun shy with Burton after that "Alice In Wonderland".


Blacula (1972)
Scream, Blacula, scream (1973)


The films/history-

See here.

So, Blacula isn't really black-Dracula, he's an African prince who got bitten by Dracula.
Okay, so, that's cleared up.
IIII...aaalmost crowbar-ed it into Dracula canon.
But, nah, it's more of a spinoff...


Martin (1976)


The film-

See here.

There, I knew Halloween would re-absorb that one back into the fold eventually.

This is George Romero's take on vampires.
He's just a messed up kid who kills people; and superstition, and the media, take it the rest of the way.

As usual with Romero, it has a message, and as usual with Romero, it's bleak, and prophetic.
Forgotten, and under-appreciated, it deserves another look.
Its just very recently been freshly re-released on DVD, and the price has come down, so, dig it up.

The history-

See above.


Salem's Lot (1979)


The film-

Scariest fucking vampire movie I've ever seen.

You got Stephen King, you got vampires, bam, it's like Mentos and diet cola.
Stand back.

The thing with King...is how real he makes it, everyone acts like real people, it could be happening right up your fucking street.

So, all that was missing from Dracula, was...it's old timey, people don't talk/act like that anymore, it's detached from us, it can spookify, but...to have this shit happening to dubbahs up the street?
For it to feel really real?
NOW it's pants-crapping time.

This also came out the same year as Langella Dracula, Nosferatu remake, and "Love At First Bite".
Quite a year for vampires.

The history-

Watched this for this review, and, I think it's retroactively one of my favorite King flicks now.
Dunno why I held back from it for so long.


The Hunger (1983)


The film/history-

See here.

I reiterate, best fuckin' vampire movie ever.

Oh, shit, yeah, forgot to mention in that review, it's got Bowie!
Everything with Bowie automatically fucking rocks.
See also "The Man Who Fell To Earth", and "Labyrinth".
Also, "The Prestige", which has Bowie as Nicola Tesla.

Also forgot to mention, its almost sort of MTV aesthetic.
Y'know, back when MTV was cool, and that meant something.

And, sadly, the director, Tony Scott, died this year. :-(
Stupid press mostly remembered him for Top Gun. B-(
*Flips the bird to an invisible floating VHS copy of Top Gun*


Lifeforce (1985)


The film-

Directed by Toby Hooper (Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Poltergeist), and written by Dan O'Bannon (Alien, Return Of The Living Dead).

And, what this magical team-up delivers, is a "vampires from space", movie that doesn't suck!
(Y'hear that, makers of Dracula 3000?)

The history-

Another happy slice of my HBO childhood. :)


Fright Night (1985)


The film/history-

See here.

Meh, covered it pretty good there.

Oh, yeah, was gonna mention this, it's sooort of a remake of Dracula, when you think about it.
Strip it down to its skeleton, and the basics are there.
Entering the vampire's lair to save the maiden, the young guy, and the old guy, all the tropes are there, just updated 80's style.


Fright Night Part II (1988)


The film-

Sort of a rehash of the first one, but this time, there's 3 vampires, and a bug-eater, and the genders are reversed, with Charlie getting seduced by Jerry's sister, and the new girlfriend saving him.

One of those sequels like "Ghostbusters 2", where it's just fun to have the characters back.

Oh, yeah, this flick mentions the Dracula novel.
Charlie makes his girlfriend read it.

I always dug the end credits song "come to me", which was the love theme from the first film with lyrics.
I even threw it into the song marathon in last year's Halloween compilation.

The history-

Used to own the tape.
Fucking old VCR ate it. :(
Now, it's rare and expensive, even on DVD.
Dammit, dammit, dammit.


Fright Night (2011)


The film-

Nu-Chekov is Charlie, and replacement-Arnold from remake "Totall Recall", is Jerry.

I've finally seen it now, and it's surprisingly good.
I enjoyed it.

You've got to not compare it to the first one though.
...which is hard, because they put key moments and lines in there to kinda say to you "eh? Eh? Remember? From the other one? Right?".

But yeah, I liked it.

Oh, and they threw a reference/critique of the Stoker novel into this one too.
And, Dark Shadows!

The history-

The above mostly covers it.
Just noting that, in the comments of last year's Fright Night post, I hadn't seen this yet, and I'm embarrassed that it took this long to get to it. :-P


Vamp (1986)


The film-

Finally saw this one this year too.

Damned good!

Almost as good as, and in the same style/flaver as, the original "Fright Night".
Kicking myself for missing it all these decades.

Man, I miss Grace Jones in movies.
That bitch was ka-razah!

"Conan The Destroyer", this, and "View To A Kill", and poof, she was gone.

Anyway, again, if you dig the original "Fright Night", and love the 80's overall, you will savor this as a treat.
Shit, it's even got Gedde Watanabe as a goofy sidekick!

The history-

The above covers it.


The Lost Boys (1987)


The film/history-

See here.

I get a kick out of Corey Feldman in this.

And, it all builds to that punchline of an ending.


Lair Of The White Worm (1988)


The film-

Allegedly based on another less popular Stoker book, directed by Ken Russel, and starring Hugh Grant before we knew he liked homely hookers.

Eh.

The history-

Rented it, I think...

Eh.


Subspecies series (1991-1998)


The films-

About the vampire lord, Radu, who was the historical Dracula's brother.

So...pseudo-Dracula with a cleverly chosen name, really.

These are Charles Band flicks, in case you didn't already know.
Y'know, he of "Dark Angel: The Ascent", "Shrunken Heads", and "Gingerdead Man".

Ugh...I'm too tired to give a rundown of each one...

Okay, Radu has The Bloodstone, which is the talisman looking thingy on the cover of the second movie, and...a vampire licks it like a lollipop, and it oozes blood, like those push-pops you dribble sour liquid on, and, licking the blood off the Bloodstone makes a vampire immune to vampire weaknesses, and have extra super powers, including the ability to make little goblin henchmen out of any recruited matter, especially dirt on the floor.

Over the course of the flicks, the good guys rotate, cuz they die off in ensuing sequels, and Radu continuously plots to...I dunno, conquer the world, or...something.
The Bloodstone gets passed back and forth like a football from bad guys to good guys too.

Radu's voice is scratchy, and annoying.
Like, more grating than even 80's Cobra Commander.
You immediately want the fucker dead for that alone.

The history-

I think I've seen up to three.
Sci-fi (again, back when it was good, and fun) ran a marathon of 'em.


Buffy The Vampire Slayer (1992)


The film/history-

See here.

Of course, this character went on to meet the real Dracula, as we saw at the start of this....


Cronos (1994)


The film-

One of the other best vampire films of all time.

Directed by Guillermo Del Toro.
Like "The Hunger", it's carried mostly by atmosphere.

Damned good.
Damned, damned good.

Here, the origin of vampires is this ancient mechanical amulet with a preserved bug in it that stings you with its venom.

The rest...you've got to see.

The history-

Another one saw on Sc-Fi when it didn't suck.


Interview With The Vampire (1994)


The film-

Okay, Tom Cruise was all wrong for the role, BUT, the script really did capture the novel.
They didn't fuck with it hardly at all.

If you can manage to take it as it's own thing, it's one of the better vampire flicks.
Not in my top ten of excellence, with stuff like "Cronos", or "The Hunger", or "Martin", or "Salem's Lot", but...top 25, maybe.
I thought overall, it was a good job.


Queen Of The Damned (2002)


The film-

Based on the novel of the second sequel to "Interview", so.. ostensibly the sequel to the "Interview", movie...
Even though they barely connect as entities....

From here...

Queen Of The Damned (soundtrack)

I dug virtually everything on this.
The movie...eh, *wavey hand*.
Well, if you take it as a protracted music video for the songs, it's all right.

I could go into a long winded rant about how batshit Anne Rice has been lately, but..nah...we'd be here for hours...



Vampire In Brooklyn (1995)


The film-

Wait, why is this even on my list???

Well, unlike "Dracula 2000", Wes Craven can't wash his hands, he directed this bad boy.
He was getting his hands dirty on this poop grenade.
Yesiree.

The history-

Oh, pull up a chair for my enthralling "Vampire In Brooklyn", stories...
Pfft, haha, yeah, right.


From Dusk 'Til Dawn (1996)


The film/history-

See here.

If you liked this, you may also like "Feast".


Bordello Of Blood (1996)


The film/history-

See here.

This thing tries to be "From Dusk Til Dawn", and/or "Lost Boys", and falls flat on its fuckin' face.

Worth seeing once every ten years to remind yourself why you're glad Dennis Miller is gone.


Vampirella (1996)


The film/history-

See here.

Y'know the earworm I planted of singing the Barbarella theme with Vampirella substituted?
It blew back on me, and hasn't stopped all year. :-(
That'll teach me...


John Carpenter's Vampires (1998)


The film/history-

See here.

No, it didn't teach me, now imagine the Family Guy James Woods song.


Blade Trilogy (1998-2004)



The films/history-

See here.

Character was introduced in the 70's Dracula comic, which spawned it's own (awful) film.
Blade Trinity features Dracula for a villain under the name "Drake".


The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003)


The film/history-

See here.

Connects to Dracula with Mina.

Stinkah-winkah!

Read the books instead.


Underworld series (2003-2012)


The films/history-

See here.

Okay, quick rundown...
First one, she fights werewolves, falls in love with a werewolf, fights corrupt members of her own people.
Second one, more of the same.
Third one, prequel, we see her in medieval times, and how the vampire/werewolf war started.
Fourth one, she fights bad humans.

There you go, you've seen 'em.


Van Helsing (2004)


The film/history-

See here.

Ahh, full circle to both last year, and the "Halloween Two!", post..

So, Dracula, Frankenstein, and Wolfman are in this.
As is Kate Beckinsale from the "Underworld", flicks.
And, Wolverine.

Do NOT try to get this to jibe with the continuity of the Universals, or Hammers, or blood will shoot out of your eyes.
This is not young Peter Cushing.

Oh, and, it's preceded by an anime, and a comic book.


Bloodrayne (2005)



The film/history-

See here.

Vidya game crap.
Doesn't make me hold out high hopes for a decent Castlevania flick.


30 Days Of Night (2007)



The film/history-

See here.

Crossed over with "Infestation", and X-Files.

And via Infestation, it overlaps with Danger Girl, who met Ash, who met Dracula.
Bada-bing.


Ultraviolet (2006)


The film/history-

See here.

Yeah, Milla Jovovich clearly wanted to try to out-Beckinsale Beckinsale.


Daybreakers (2009)


The film/history-

See here.


Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (2012)


The film-

Ugh, and fiiinally, we bust out of the reruns, and get back up to today.

..haven't seen it.

Heard....mixed reviews.

The history-

N/A.
Do not use this one for a term paper. ;-)

And...if you think I'm doing "Twilight", you're fucking crazy.

That's it, THE END.

Up next, FRANKENSTEIN!

4 comments:

Diacanu said...

Oh, crap, and forgot to work in there...

Jerry Nelson, who played Count Von Count on Sesame Street, passed this year.
:(

hyla2 said...

The Count is down for the count?
Blah! That SUCKS!

. . .

(Ah, shit, now I feel ashamed of myself)

Seriously, though--we'll miss ya, Jerry! :(

hyla2 said...

Ahh, "Lifeforce"! So underappreciated.

Fun fact: contains full frontal naked lady!

Downside--she wants to suck you to death.

Upside--SHE WANTS TO SUCK YOU TO DEATH!

:F

(geez, what's wrong with me today . . . )

Unrelated fun fact: this comment's anti-robot code is "mbitten"! HA!

Diacanu said...


Sorry for the late reply, took all of yesterday for my brain to recover, then, the debates came on, then, it was "oh, shit, gotta do the Frankenstein one to stay on schedule!", then...well, y'know.

Re: The Count, well, it's sad, but, he had his replacement lined up. Carroll Spinney (Big Bird, Oscar) has done likewise...and it's the same guy. Man, he's gonna be busy....

Re: Lifeforce, indeed, underappreciated.

Also, Ha!

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