Discovering Dracula Movie


The Dracula movie traces its origins to the 1897 Gothic vampire novel of the same title by Bram Stoker. Written at the height of the invasion genre’s popularity, Stoker’s Count Dracula was crafted to be a debonair noble from the Carpathian Mountains in Romania’s Transylvania. Dracula movie went on to become the most popular vampire movies at all times however before this movie was ever made it is only fair to discuss all the other movies that set the stage for the Dracula myth frenzy.

Aficionados of Dracula movie (which remain loyal to the book) can thank the influence that Jane Emily Gerard’s 1885 publication of "Transylvania Superstitions" had on Stoker. Whetting his appetite for the now famous Dracula movie props that are the Gothic castle, snow covered ground and forbidding forests, Bram Stoker dug deeper into Romania’s history and unearthed the perfect model for the undead noble: Vlad II, a.k.a. Count Vlad Dracul or Vlad the Impaler. 



Who is behind Count Dracula in Dracula movie?

Feared for his cruelty but revered for his statesmanship, Vlad the Impaler was the blueprint for the vampiric Count Dracula of literature. Adding to the mystique is the country of Romania, which is as steeped in folklore and myth today as it was 250 years ago. To be fair, Stoker’s Count Dracula is not the first literary vampire; "The Vampyre" by George Gordon Lord Byron’s companion John William Polidori was published in 1819 and – at least in literary circles – is considered the true father of the vampire fiction

Lacking the ruggedness of the narration and change in scenery, Polidori’s vampire did not lend   itself to the initial Dracula movies as much as the Stoker character. Not surprisingly, the first Dracula movie ever filmed was the 1922 adaptation “Nosferatu” that features an unforgettable performance by Max Schreck as the vampire.

Why the public fascination with Dracula movie?

Of all the Dracula movies – even those that would follow in the age of Technicolor and special effects – “Nosferatu” captures the essence of the Gothic horror novel the closest. While the public could not get enough of the vampire, this Dracula movie brings something new to the table: underneath the undead corpse that requires human blood for its eternally damned existence the public discovered a dark sexuality not previously seen on the silver screen.

Not surprisingly, subsequent Dracula movie would tap into this aspect of the vampiric depiction as opposed to the walking corpse element. Most famously, it was Hungarian stage and screen actor Béla Lugosi, who combined his accented speech with naturally aristocratic features to portray the lady-killer first on the 1927 theater stage and then in the movies. Sir Christopher Lee, another famous stage actor, immortalized Count Dracula in the 1958 movie “Horror of Dracula.”

From there the Dracula movie genre took some detours and byways that bordered on the involuntary comedic and downright awful. Nevertheless, some of these flicks have an undeniably loyal cult following. There were, for example, the 1972 “Blacula” featuring an African American vampire, the 1979 George Hamilton rendition in “Love at First Bite” and of course the 1995 Mel Brooks comedy spoof “Dracula: Dead and Loving It.”

A host of lesser known Dracula movies also seek to capture one or more elements of the Count Dracula persona. Although not generally considered a true Dracula movie in the Stoker tradition, the 1983 screenplay of Whitley Strieber’s horror novel “The Hunger” exemplifies the lure of immortality and high price it exacts. In spite of initially lousy reviews, this Dracula movie movie was quickly embraced by the Goth counterculture movement, David Bowie fans and vampire buffs the world over.

The Dracula movie and in general, the majority of Dracula movies nowadays capitalize on the Gothic Count Dracula from 1897, however, the discerning devotee is consistently on the lookout for movie depictions that show the vampire in perhaps one of its other, lesser known,incarnations.