There are few characters that were researched and documented more and who ignited peoples’ imagination and fascination for everything related to supernatural manifestations more than the famous vampire from Transylvania, Count Dracula. It is safe to assume that almost everybody from all corners of the world has heard about Dracula (mostly due to the entertainment industry which seems to never get bored with him). His legend and its historical connections with Romanian Wallachian ruler “Vlad the Impaler” (“Vlad Dracul“) are still as attractive now as they were in 1897, when Bram Stoker gave life to the Count in his famous novel Dracula.
Bram Stoker and his character surely became immortal and once every few years, some screenwriter or director considers that Dracula needs a new story, a new context to manifest himself, a new personality even and releases a new movie to keep us all clanged to our cinema seats. Some movies had a major impact upon the history of cinema itself, becoming icons in the movie industry and saving themselves a well – deserved place among the most famous movies of the world, while others didn’t register a notable breaking success with the public.
But the fascination continues anyway: the Bram Stoker Festival (also knows as the “Fangtastic Festival”) is an initiative of Dublin City Council and this year will take place in Dublin between 26th and 28th of October in a celebration that promises to fill the streets with ghoulish characters and artistic events from movie projections, to theater, music, costume parties, readings and all sorts of other types of entertainment. And let’s not forget that as we speak, there is a new TV series revolving around Dracula who dwells in London. So as we said before, the entertainment industry never gets bored with the Count!
Taking into account that Halloween is coming fast and since we all love the most famous villain of all times, we can re-watch some famous movies with and about him and get inspired for our next Halloween costumes and interpretations. So let’s get inspired and see 10 of these movies in chronological order! Before we proceed, remember that IMDB lists around 200 titles of cinema films, TV series, videos and TV episodes that are related to Dracula, so you can have a lot of possibilities to choose from!
Who can forget famous Bela Lugosi’s interpretation as Count Dracula? And how many people know that there were a few other prior interpretations of the story (silent movies lost in the mists of early cinema)? The 1931 movie directed by Tom Browning with Lugosi as leading character is still a cinematographic icon even today. The movie isn’t a direct adaptation of the book onto the silver screen, but it is based on a 1924 stage play also called Dracula, which is in fact a novel adaptation.
A piece of reference for every other Dracula movie that came after, Bela Lugosi’s character is a dark and complex one and marked forever the horror genre. You can have fun this Halloween by watching the movie together with your family and friends and trying to imitate Lugosi’s all time famous voice and costume.
IMDB Rating: 7.6 stars
Wins and nominations: the latest is a Saturn Award won in 2103 for Best DVD/Blu-Ray Collection and don’t forget you can easily buy the Blu – Ray version from Amazon.
Director Terrence Fisher and lead actor Christopher Lee made history with this movie and although the film credits the novel as being the muse for the production, many people consider it to be of a lower quality than the Dracula movie, as Lugosi’s performance apparently was still alive and powerful in people’s minds almost 30 years later. What is truly important about this particular movie is Christopher Lee, but have a little patience, as his impersonation of Count Dracula will become even more memorable in the years to come.
IMDB Rating: 7.4 stars
Wins and nominations: in 1959 it was nominated for a Hugo Award in the Best Dramatic Presentation category, gathering together the director, the screenplay writer Jimmy Sangster and the novelist Bram Stoker. And because we will go next to another Christopher Lee’s interpretation of Dracula, you can start by watching this movie first, as it is available on Amazon in Blu – Ray.
According to some viewers’ suggestions, you should watch this movie immediately after the aforementioned Dracula “for a fantastic vampire double bill that is pretty hard to beat!” We are in Karlsbad and follow the story of an innocent couple that finds itself in the dangerous situation of meeting the Count himself, a blood thirsty vampire that was just waiting for such opportunity.
What is really great about the movie is the lead actor Christopher Lee, who gives a brilliant interpretation of the count. This is considered one of his most memorable roles, even if in the same year the public saw him in another incredible performance in the role of Grigori Rasputin. Christopher Lee seems to be bound to play evil mastermind characters and for sure, our generation loved to hate him as he played powerful wizard Saruman in the Lord of the Rings trilogy and the current Hobbit trilogy.
IMDB Rating: 6.6
Wins and nominations: nothing notable here, but if you want to see Saruman young and darker than hell itself, you can look for the Blu – Ray version of the movie and buy it online from here.
Yet another brilliant performance from Christopher Lee, as he takes the role very seriously and doesn’t disappoint the audience. This is a Jess Franco’s version of the Bram Stoker novel and if the name of the director rings any bell, you should know he has an impressive portfolio of horror movies as a director, screenplay writer, producer, art director and soundtrack specialist. But back to this movie, even if the ratings are not as high as in the previous cases, you can still enjoy great acting and a gloomy dark atmosphere that will give you the chills. Of course, it is an old movie and now it may not have the same flavor, but if you’re a fan of the Count and of Lee, this Halloween treat might be exactly what you need to set you in the mood for the holidays. And take a good look over Dracula’s castle, as you may find some decorating ideas worth exploring.
IMDB rating: 5.6 stars
Wins and nominations: again nothing notable in this field, but you can enjoy an old fashion horror by purchasing the Special Edition DVD movie from Amazon.
This is a romanticized version of the novel, with a handsome and charming count Dracula in search for his eternal bride. We have here two cinema icons of all times, seductive Frank Langella in the role of the Count and monumental Laurence Olivier playing Professor Abraham Van Helsing. The film was called a “Gothic masterpiece” and “the quintessential vampire movie” and it took the character a little bit forward, as director John Badham saw the count not as a horrific creature resembling more the concept of ugly, terrifying Nosferatu, but a more interesting creature, endowed with beauty, seduction skills and even some more humane traits, perhaps borrowed from the mythical Incubus and its legendary background. This Count Dracula version is still a blood sucker but Langella made him look attractive, sophisticated, emanating sex-appeal from each breath,elegant in manners and terribly powerful, even if you won’t see the count displaying his fangs or getting his face soaked in the blood of his victims. A touch of class which was well perpetuated there from.
IMDB Rating: 6.2
Wins and nominations: in 1980 it won a Saturn Award for Best Horror Film and gained its rightful place in the cinematic history of Dracula. You can buy the movie from Amazon and enjoy an unforgettable performance from two cinema titans.