Friday, October 5, 2012

Dracula-thon (Part 5)

All right, so, we've gotten through the novel, Nosferatu, Universals, Hammers, those are the biggies, now, for all the rest of the adaptations...

"Spanish Dracula" (1931)

The film-

Really, just "Dracula", but, fans all call it "Spanish Dracula", to distinguish it.

Filmed on the same sets, with the same costumes, at the exact same time, in rotating shifts, as the English-language Bela Lugosi version.

Same movie, shot-for-shot, except, many agree, it features much better performances.

This little treasure was only recently unearthed, and re-discovered in the last couple decades or so, and has a renewed fandom.

I've only mostly seen comparison clips, and already, I've been jaw-droppingly impressed.

The history-

I've known about it, oh, since the 00' the latest, maybe before, still haven't seen it all the way through.
TCM has even played it, I think.
Check it out.
Decently sure, it's as much public domain as the Lugosi, so, I'm sure it's out there on Youtube, or some other streaming site...

Then...big gap, then, the monster rallies, and the Hammers take us from the 50's to the 70's, then...

Count Dracula (1970)

The film-

Or, as I call it, "the other Spanish Dracula".

Starring Christopher Lee, on loan from the Hammer Dracs, and Klaus Kinsky, who would go on to play Dracula in the Nosferatu remake, this one was the most faithful to the novel up to that time, featuring a mustached count, and that he starts out old, and gains youth as he drinks blood.

The history-

Haven't seen, it, must do so.

Dracula (1973)

The film-

Starring Jack Palance as Dracula, and directed by Dan Curtis, creator of "Dark Shadows".

*Peeks at a Youtube clip to refresh my memory*

Hmm, not bad.
If you like the old "Dark Shadows", Dracula, and Palance, there's nothing to dislike here.
I dig it.

The history-

I faintly recall seeing this one rerun on PBS as a kid.
I was all wrapped up in the Universal/Hammer Draculas/Frankensteins, so, I wanted to see every version that came up the pike.

Andy Warhol's Dracula (1974)

The film-

A.K.A "Blood For Dracula".

I've...been told to avoid this one by several people...

As for the connection to Warhol...he had nothing to do with it, and just had his name slapped on it.

The history-

Well..look at it, tell me what you think....

Count Dracula (1977)

The film-

Starring Louis Jourdan, whom you may know from "Swamp Thing", and, "Octopussy".

Arcane as Dracula?
Damn right it was cool!

Considered to this day the most faithful to the novel.

The history-

Ditto the Dan Curtis one.

Then, came Frank Langella, then,..there's another big gap...and then we skip ahead to...

Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992)

The film-

Hated it.

Maybe I'd have felt differently if I had never read the book, but I did, and just a year or so before this came out, so it was still fresh in my mind.

I mean, doesn't the fucking title "Bram Stoker's Dracula", suggest to you, that they're trying to do the definitive version of the novel?

Like, "hey, no 'director's vision', bullshit here, we're telling the real fucking story, man!"?

Well, to me, it assrapes the novel like nothing else before.
And you just saw the Warhol clip, so, that's saying something.

Okay, even excluding the liberties,...Keanu bugs me, I just wanna sock him in the chops, and chop him in the throat; Hopkins's Van Helsing is over the top, and I really hate seeing him fail, yeah...this one is just a bad ride for me.

I call it "the Coppola one", with a crinkle in my nostrils, and a crackle in my voice.

The history-

See above.

Another big-ass gap, and then we skip ahead to....

Dracula 2000 (2000)

The film-

Almost makes me want to hug "The Coppola One", with forgiveness.

But no, there can be no redemption.

Um, all right, so, Dracula is re-re-re-updated to modern times in 2000, and, fuck it, I'll spoil it..., Dracula is revealed to be Judas, the Judas, which is why he's cursed, and why all the Jesus paraphernalia hurts him.

And, why he hasn't permanently died in all the other movies, because he's supposed to be hung, like Judas was.


Anyway, Wes Craven's name is slapped on it, and I gather he had about as much to do with this car wreck as Andy Warhol had with "Blood For Dracula".

The history-

Basic cable.
Glad I didn't rent it.

Dracula II: Ascension (2003)

 The film-

The sequel to "Dracula 2000".

Nuff said.

The history-


Dracula III: Legacy (2005)

The film-

The other sequel to "Dracula 2000".

*Sigh* fuckin' 00's...

Wait...Jason Scott Lee?
"Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story", Jason Scott Lee?

Roy fucking Scheider?

See? There's no God.
Michael Bay lives on to assrape the Turtles, Heath Ledger and George Carlin are dead, Honey Boo Boo is a TV star, "Dracula 2000", got two sequels, promising actors are in the slum, Zach Galifianakis is a multi-millionaire, and there's no fucking God.
I've been trying to hammer it home with all this sophisticated philosophy, and here's the dead-solid plain proof right here.

The history-


So, that's those three, then, we jump back a little bit to...

Dracula's Curse (2002)

The film-

A two part miniseries.
Another updating of the novel to modern times.

Gets wavey-hand, to poor reviews.

The history-


Then, we jump back up to....

Dracula 3000 (2004)

The film-

Okay, move over, Dracula 2000 trilogy, "Andy Warhol's Dracula", even "The Coppola One", here apparently, is not only the worst Dracula, but possibly the worst movie ever!

It's Dracula taken into space!
In the future!

One reviewer says "makes 'Leprechaun 4', look like 'Alien'".


Yeah, I'll pass on that...

Teenage/twenty-something me would have taken a masochistic stab at it, to get some kind of ironic MST3K style yuks out of it...but, screw it, I'm all haggard now, I only want to soothe my nerves with things I actually like.

The history-


Dracula (2006)

The film-

The cover/poster makes it look like some softcore porn.

Well...there's always been that side, and it's an important one, even though I haven't addressed it 'til now.

I myself don't see the thrill of getting a hole-punch hickie, but, whatever floats your boat...

And, look, I get all the sublimated symbolism sizzling beneath the surface of Stoker's novel, so, I'm not an oblivious knucklehead, like Adam West's character in "Young Lady Chatterly II", nor, a prude.

As Martin Landau as Bela Lugosi in "Ed Wood", said, "take my word for it. If you want to make out with a young lady, take her to see "Dracula"".

And...on that score, you probably wanna go for the Lugosi, or the Langella.
Louis Jourdan is no slouch either.

This one?
Haven't seen it, but it gets wavey-hand reviews.
Why mess with "meh", when there are better to choose from?

The history-


Dracula 3-D (2012)

The film-

Hey, right up to the present!

Dario Argento directs, Rutger Hauer as Van Helsing?

Shit, pre-internet me would have nabbed that right off the shelf!

But, no, apparently, it's a disaster, a howler, and definite MST3K fodder.

The history-


Aaaand, that's it.
That's all the straight-ahead Draculas.

Next, all the splinter-off stuff.

Starting with...CASTLEVANIA!!!

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