Saturday, May 11, 2013

Dracula (1931)

This is the cheesiest movie I have ever seen. As such, it is very funny. When I saw it was one of the number horror films on almost every list I read, I had no idea it was going to be so campy.  The special effects are abysmal, the acting is sub-par, and there was like no action at all.

Bela Lugosi was very creepy as Count Dracula and has the voice and accent that everyone still today associates with him.  In the far distant future, people will dress up as vampires for Halloween and still speak in his accent. It's become a part of our culture. People have been obsessed with vampires for hundreds of years.  There's at least 15 vampire movies on the "1001 Films" list. I personally think that that's overkill.  All we need is a classic one, that set the genre, and a recent one that either redefines the genre or provides a similar but more in-depth story.  But no, we get 15 or 16.  I'm not going to sit here and count them cause I'll just get angry.

We first encounter Count Dracula at his castle in Hungary/Transylvania. The castle courtyard is overrun with armadillos and possums, which are very common here in Florida, but wouldn't be near a European castle. It's too cold for them.  The castle is also covered in cobwebs and is generally a wreck. If a vampire can live forever, then certainly he can find some time to clean his place.

He leases Carfax Abbey, which is next to the sanitarium in England where his lawyer, Renfield, is sent to after being bitten and becoming one of his slaves.  Renfield was so great with his crazy eyes, expression, and over-the-top voice.  His nurse/orderly, Martin, was one of the funniest characters with his dry sense of humor. Count Dracula is not scary at all, just weird and creepy. And his fangs are never showed.  How am I supposed to know he's a vampire if I can't see his fangs? Film gets a 6/10.

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