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June 28, 2014

Vampire Movies and Dracula [CBD]

Vampire movies are great!

Not our current crop of bodice-ripping, tween pin-up, pubescent sexual fantasy movies; but real blood and guts and throats ripped out and packs of wolves and terrifying monsters.

Like "Near Dark," a classic from 1987......


The tight, simple story of boy meets girl, with vampires thrown in. Perfect. They didn't try to do too much, used some solid actors, and had a satisfying ending.

But too often a good story morphs into something ridiculous, and that is usually Dracula. Bela Lugosi's 1931 version was pretty damned good if you can tolerate the old movie feel (sorry MPPPP). But they went rapidly down hill from there, and I can't think of a single Dracula movie that was worth a watch, except perhaps for Francis Ford Coppola's "Bram Stoker's Dracula."

And Coppola went full retard on this one. It's overblown, badly acted (Keanu Reeves in particular; what a surprise!), and not particularly interesting --- it's the standard Dracula story. In its defense, it is a beautiful movie, with good scenery and camera work, and the woman who plays Lucy has a topless moment that is quite lovely some good scenes. Some fellow named Hopkins did good work as Van Helsing, and Gary Oldman was odd but good as Dracula, although the rest of the cast is mediocre. Tom Waits plays Renfield though, and that is a fun few minutes.

But the movie falls into the trap that seemingly every single Dracula movie lands in: IT HAS TO BE GRAND AND HAVE A BIG MESSAGE!

I do have a soft spot in my heart for "Van Helsing," a silly but swashbuckling version of Dracula, complete with werewolves and an excellent Igor (played by an unknown named Kevin J. O'Connor)...and other things....

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And let us not forget the 'ettes!

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Is it too much to hope that the current attempt, due out in October of this year will be in control of itself and that someone will rein in the ambitions of its producer and director?

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posted by Open Blogger at 01:30 PM

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