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Dracula (1992)

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 (Edited)

Brought to you by none other than the great Coppola. Guys, once I came back and I was Trek. Now I'm back and I'm Drac. No.

This film receives flames for deviating from the horror of the novel and turning the relationship of Dracula and Mina from that of a master and slave to star-crossed lovers. Well, there's no denying that liberties were taken with this film, but to me it remains a true Dracula piece for all of the right reasons. There is a mysticism about the whole thing, and a nostalgic quality that's the result of paying constant homage to old horror films. "Dracula" stands apart from other films. At times, it is deliberately tacky. Miraculously, none of the romanticism, style, and elegance are compromised because of that. It is both an over-the-top mess while being a film you can take seriously. It's one of a kind.

Interesting fact: It was George Lucas who suggested to Coppola that Dracula be decapitated at the end of the film so he "can't return." That's actually a good idea. Cool, Lucas.

 

The trailer:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xw2-ZMhxTUs

"Fuck you. All the star wars movies were excellent. none of them sucked. Also, revenge of the sith is the best."

- DarthZorgon (YouTube)

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Well, in the book they cut his throat in addition to stabbing him through the heart, so the idea wasn't THAT original.

http://i.imgur.com/7N84TM8.jpg

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It was original by 3-4 inches.

"Fuck you. All the star wars movies were excellent. none of them sucked. Also, revenge of the sith is the best."

- DarthZorgon (YouTube)

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Did you mean to start a new topic or was this meant to be a reply to the "guilty pleasures" thread?

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DarkFather said:

 Guys, once I came back and I was Trek. Now I'm back and I'm Drac. No.

 

I suppose that means you ae going to stop talking like Spock, and start talking like Dracula or Van Helsing?

"Every time Warb sighs, an angel falls into a vat of mapel syrup." - Gaffer Tape

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Moth3r said:

Did you mean to start a new topic or was this meant to be a reply to the "guilty pleasures" thread?

To me, it's a film you can enjoy without shame.

 

"Fuck you. All the star wars movies were excellent. none of them sucked. Also, revenge of the sith is the best."

- DarthZorgon (YouTube)

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I can't forgive the piece for promising with it's title what it failed to deliver, finally the film of one of the most filmable books in history.

It still shocks me that nobody has ever got it right when the book screams, "Film Me!" whenever I pick it up (well, whenever I forget to take the special tablets).

The cast are mostly awful in it too (Vinola and Keanu at their vorst), only really Richard E Grant and Tom Vaits come out of it with most of their dignity intact.

Lovely costumes though and the colour is lush but all the best bits of the book are missing or screwed up something I could almost forgive if Bram's good name wasn't on the piece.

I love the Vierd idea of British geography in the film.

Whitby, London, Englandshire.

If it was just some vacky Dracula film made by Ken Russell in his autumn years it would have been better obviously and a fun addition to the huge body of Dracula In Name Only films but as someone who first read the book when he was 8 and have read it more times than I can count (geddit?) I must say it pissed me off more than TPM.

BTW I would really love to see someone do a good job of Kim Newman's Anno Dracula books but it would probably get as mangled as the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen film.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6Dp2OfIT_M

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Nearly everything from the book is intact, save for the relationship between Dracula and Mina. That stops me from calling it "Dracula in name only." And the only actor who I thought did a poor job was Keanu.

"Fuck you. All the star wars movies were excellent. none of them sucked. Also, revenge of the sith is the best."

- DarthZorgon (YouTube)

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 (Edited)

No Golden Krone, a blink and miss it first coach ride, the killing of the baby's mother missing, most of the Demeter voyage and arrival missing, most of the Whitby scenes missing, Lucy's mother missing, Lucy's silly innocence missing, Lucy's first encounter with with the vampire hunters missing, Mina's oral rape scene inverted so she is almost attacking him, and there was so much in the film that made no sense at all.

Lucy being a saucy strumpet before getting bitten (if she acted like that in real life she would have been Seward's patient not the object of his suit), Mina walking around and meeting strange men unchaperoned (she is engaged), Whitby being in London.

Some of the material usually unseen from the novel is put back but lacking any purpose (like the gas plumes that the Count uses to find buried treasure to fund his activities being nothing more than window dressing).

Almost every actor did a terrible job even Oldman who seems to be playing six different characters, none of them the Count.

As I say take the name Bram Stoker off it and you will have a lush looking but rather silly, not really Dracula, Dracula film.

But with it on it's a bloody disgrace (I actually saw someone on the telly at the time saying she never knew that the original story was meant to be a romance, well it wasn't as you know and that title is part of the problem).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6Dp2OfIT_M

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Of course there are going to be things missing. You're being completely unreasonable. They only have so much time to fit in scenes from the book, while establishing the characters so that we can care about them.

Almost every actor did a terrible job even Oldman who seems to be playing six different characters, none of them the Count.

Dracula was a creature of many faces and attitudes even in the book. And how can you not say none of them were accurate? Unless you want to be petty and say that old man Dracula didn't have breast hair-buns in the book. The personality was intact in that case: a visually creepy, yet polite and very accomodating host. There's malice lurking under the surface that very gradually surfaces, and we discover along with Jonathan that Dracula is a demonic freak of nature. He's able to defy gravity by easily scaling walls. He feeds a baby to his three hedonistic whore wives.

Explain to me how that's "not the Count." The ingredients are there, save for some aesthetic alterations. So many compotents are present in fact, that naming him "Dracula" was very accurate to what we're given in the book.

Lucy being a saucy strumpet before getting bitten (if she acted like that in real life she would have been Seward's patient not the object of his suit),

She barely had a personality otherwise. Are you slamming the film for adding to a character? I personally thought the phallic connotation of her grabbing Quincy's large knife was funny. The way Lucy was handled in the film, even though she did have her legs spread the whole time, helped us take Dracula's threat seriously when he attacked her both times in wolf form. Here, she's a believable female wanting to break out of the shell society is trying to impose on her.

Some of the material usually unseen from the novel is put back but lacking any purpose (like the gas plumes that the Count uses to find buried treasure to fund his activities being nothing more than window dressing).

Lacking any purpose? Being said by the guy who listed these as unforgivably missing from the film:

No Golden Krone, a blink and miss it first coach ride, the killing of the baby's mother missing, most of the Demeter voyage and arrival missing, most of the Whitby scenes missing, Lucy's mother missing, Lucy's silly innocence missing, Lucy's first encounter with with the vampire hunters missing, Mina's oral rape scene inverted so she is almost attacking him, and there was so much in the film that made no sense at all.

"Fuck you. All the star wars movies were excellent. none of them sucked. Also, revenge of the sith is the best."

- DarthZorgon (YouTube)

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To everyone else on the thread:

For the love of God, do not stupidly leap in and make this out into something it isn't. It's a friendly discussion. I get along with Bingowings. So it's not about turning either of us into the "bad guy."

"Fuck you. All the star wars movies were excellent. none of them sucked. Also, revenge of the sith is the best."

- DarthZorgon (YouTube)

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 (Edited)

The book isn't very long and a lot of what is described (which takes up a great deal of the length of the text) can be covered visually often with pages covered with a single shot, so the arguement for not following the majority of the events of the book isn't really valid. The story hasn't much fat to strip away anyway, it's pretty much filmable as it is (and yet no one has done it yet which could have been the unique selling point to this film, especially with that title).

Dracula is an ages old aristocratic monster, with a sense of honour about his past and his eye set very much on the future.

That's all there is to him and that's all you need to tell the story.

He has his nocturnal powers, his bewitched henchmen and his horded treasure. He is an invader from the outer space of the past and alien world of exotic Eastern Europe.

He corrupts the simple air-headed Lucy and turns her into a wanton sexual predator and devourer of children. So her earlier silly state is necessary for the plot otherwise where does the horror of her transformation come from? The Whitby scenes and the murder of her mother are vital to the story as it builds up the futility of the attempts to save Lucy which pays off later when Mina is in a similar situation. Vampire Lucy is an utter perversion and desecration of the human she was, Lucy in that film died a saucy tart and woke up a saucy tart who bites children. Lucy's first encounter with the hunters is one of the most cinematic elements of the book and it's not in the film

The pillars of gas have a purpose in the book, Dracula marks them and digs up the treasure underneath to fund his activities, in the film they look good but don't actually serve any purpose.

The whole journey to Castle Dracula and Harker's stay there is a progressive journey into a horrific supernatural tinged world all the elements serve a purpose as does the horror on the Demeter (which is almost a mini-horror story in itself) cutting that out is unforgivable.

As Harker travels more into the forest he is travelling more into the past and more into the alien (Didn't Coppola get this? Hasn't he already proved that he can do this sort of thing already?).

The Demeter brings the alien from the magical past into the scientific present (well back then).

The love story utterly emasculates the threat of Dracula, he goes from being a powerful invading alien to a love sick soppy creature hounded to death by a group of cardboard villains only he isn't because he also feeds babies to his brides but he doesn't want brides because he wants Mina his true love but he does because he turns Lucy?

It's a real mess of an adaptation.

Which is a shame because it has wonderful production values, a proven cast (even Keanu and Winona can act when they want to) and a director who can direct but just didn't in the end a bit like the PT really.

As for Lucy's weapon fiddling I would have enjoyed it in Carry On Screaming but not in Bram Stoker's Dracula (there is a time and a place for everything).

We aren't going to change each other's minds here, that's not the nature of sharing each other's views on this or any other subject.

As I said earlier if the title and the publicity machine wasn't offering what it didn't deliver I would be more forgiving of the piece.

If the PT were fan films and not the official Star Wars Prequels they would be seen as masterpieces.

Dracula is such a filmable book that having no film version that just takes the story and puts it on screen after all these years is utterly frustrating. Especially when so called unfilmable books like Lord Of The Rings get better served.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6Dp2OfIT_M

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I have to (more or less) agree with Bingowings here.  The book is absolutely fantastic, and could easily be adapted into a 2 and a half hour film with almost nothing cut out.  And the love story in the film is complete and utter bullshit.

But I can respect the film for what it is - it's bizarre and convoluted, but that's part of its charm.  It's an entertaining flick, and Gary Oldman is amazing as always, but to me it will never be "Bram Stoker's" Dracula ... just another sub-par adaptation of a far superior book.

a trolling bantha

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Caught this flick last night. Need to add my two cents. For whatever reason, Coppola decided to make this as anti-Victorian as possible.

Van Helsing lecturs of syphilis, Seward does morphine and basically tortures his patients. I'm surprised Quincy didn't ever say "I sure wish we hadn't freed the slaves so I could beat them." Lucy is a sex fiend and Mina is a modern woman straining against societal bonds. The first thing they show at the olde Victorian theater is porn. Dracula is the good guy and the way of life the heroes are defending is crap on a stick.

I could overlook the ridiculous costumes, terribly overdone special effects, and even the love-story (to a degree) if it wasn't for the directors overwhelimg desire to flip the meaning of the book a complete 180 degrees.

It's like if they redid Star Wars, and not only tried to make Vader sympathetic, but also showed that the rebels were a bunch of asses and Vader was actually morally in the right the whole time... (didn't they actually do that with Thrawn?)

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"It's like if they redid Star Wars, and not only tried to make Vader sympathetic"

Already been done i am affraid, ever see the orginal return of the jedi?

Never mind the prequels which were supposed to make a guy in the star wars universe who is equivalent to hitler a sympathetic guy by starting him out as a naive 9 year old boy.  Lucas failed miserably but that does not change his aim that he changed the saga to be vader's story, the whole framing of the saga now is in the context of an evil bastard being the hero instead of his son redeeming the spark of good left in him.

“Always loved Vader’s wordless self sacrifice. Another shitty, clueless, revision like Greedo and young Anakin’s ghost. What a fucking shame.” -Simon Pegg.

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I just read Dacre Stoker (Bram's great grand nephew) book "Dracula: The Undead," which bills itself as a 'sequal' to the original Dracula. I think Stoker had less to do with it than his co-writer, Ian Holt, a man whose only credit was one direct to DVD slasher film. Holt basically says in the afterword "I waited for some Stoker naive enough to attach his name to my crummy novel."

Dacre writes that he wants to redeem Dracula, since his family lost all influence over the books and films in the 1930s. To do so he and Holt wrote the biggest mockery of that novel ever made.

(Warming, spoilers abound)

He frames the entire "Dracula" story as having actually happened, but Bram Stoker's book was a fictionalized account, which lets him toss out everything in the original novel that doesn't suit his story. Dracula feeds a baby to his wives? Didn't happen. Dracula goes out in the sun? Didn't happen. Dracula lays out his plan of evil pretty clearly? Didn't happen.

What DID happen though was a romance and consensual sexual relationship with Mina. The book never bothers to elucidate how this happened, but I got the feeling the author was trying to say, "y'know, like in the Coppola movie."

The fact the book ends with details of exactly how the characters are doing well after the Dracula adventure, and lays out that Mina's child was born a year to the day after Dracula died is another case of "Didn't happen."

Instead Seward is a morphine addict (stolen from Coppola), Holmwood is a recluse, and Harker spends his time drunk and banging hookers because he can't deal with the fact his half-vampire wife had sex with Dracula before they were married (and if anyone doesn't see the 'twist' ending coming in regards to their son, I will be seriously surprised).

Speaking of twists, when Dracula finally reveals himself, I was shocked. Not by the revealtion, but by the fact the book acted like it had made a revelation. The plot point was so painfully obvious it hadn't occured to me that anything was supposed to be a surprise.

And having vampire 'venom' (a term used in "Twilight" but not "Dracula") isn't a bad thing. In fact the 'dark gift' (a term from Anne Rice, not Stoker) basically makes you a superhero. In a plot point straining credulity, Mina Harker manages to get her hands on a Japanese katana to battle the evil lady-vampire, and later for no obviously explaiend reason Dracula (the righteous soldier of God who only feeds on animals, rapists, and murderers, a fact only told to the reader in the final chapter and totally out of character from he original novel) battles the evil lesbian-vampiress in another swordfight straight out of an episode of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer."

Dracula is clearly the good guy, and the heroes are morons for having tried to stop him. He only ever came to London to stop Jack the Ripper, and Lucy only died becasue of a bad blood transfusion. He's the perfect hero in every regard, and anything in the original novel that suggests otherwise 'didn't happen.'

And again like Coppola, this book HATES the Victorian era. I'm not saying the Victorian era was an ideal time, but the idea that a character in a book set in that time couldn't possibly be admirable unless they battled the ideals of their age is laughable. Mina is now a female journalist who writes under a man's name, and Jonathon was a crusader against child labor. In a 180 from the book, Mina always hated being a ideal Victorian woman, and consequently in the climactic scene randomly puts on a slutty dress to show the audience that she's a real liberated woman and worthy of their admiration.

There's also lots and lots of elicit sex, mostly lesbianism. While Stoker's novel assuredly tocuhes on lots of sexual imagery, this novel borders on soft-core porn.

It's also filled with lots of refrences to real historical events, some of which strain suspension of disbeleif (Seward was along for the ride on the first ever Paris-London plane flight).

Basically, nothing as Dracula as a good guy hasn't been done (Fred Saberhagen did in 35 years ago in "The Dracule Tape"). Nothing in tying in historical figures is new (Kim Newman's "Anno Dracula" series and Phillip Farmer's various "Wold Newton" works do it and do it better). And the basic feeling of the entire work derives more from "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" than it does from a real Stoker.

If people read this as the 'real' sequal to Dracula, Dacre Stoker has done more to harm the reputaion of that amazing work of literature than all of the bad Dracula movies ever made combined.

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yeah, I think I'll give that book a miss.   Sometime, I have to read the original.   I've watched alot of Dracula movies, but I've never read the original novel.

DarkFather said:

Interesting fact: It was George Lucas who suggested to Coppola that Dracula be decapitated at the end of the film so he "can't return." That's actually a good idea. Cool, Lucas.

 

I wouldn't say can't return.  Watch the hammer Dracula movies.  They found all sorts of ridiculous ways to bring him back.   Trust me,  decapitation would not stop them from bringing him back if they really wanted to. 


E!-A!-G!-L!-E!-S! EAGLES!!!
SUPERBOWL LII CHAMPS!!!

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Exactly-they were like the guys who came up with the sequels to Planet of the Apes.

The problem with this film is simply the fact that it claims to be Bram Stoker's vision, much like Mary Shelley's Frankenstein did two years later.

VADER!? WHERE THE HELL IS MY MOCHA LATTE? -Palpy on a very bad day.
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captainsolo said:

Exactly-they were like the guys who came up with the sequels to Planet of the Apes.

The problem with this film is simply the fact that it claims to be Bram Stoker's vision, much like Mary Shelley's Frankenstein did two years later.

I thought I read somewhere that the reason why it was called Bram Stoker's Dracula was to avoid legal issues with Universal, which had the rights to the title Dracula.

There are 10 types of people in this world: those who understand binary, and those who do not.
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I had a funny thought. I'm rereading "Dracula" and one of the plot points is that Dracula wants Harker at his castle so that he can practice and master English pronunciation.

In the Coppolla Dracula, it would have been great, that since Harker was the only English speaker Dracula had ever met, he spent the whole movie talking like Keaneau Reeves.

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Whoah.

IT'S MY TRILOGY, AND I WANT IT NOW!

"[George Lucas] rebooted the franchise in 1997 without telling anyone." -skyjedi2005

"Yeah, well, George says a lot of things..." a young 1997 xhonzi on RASSM

"They're my movies." -George Lucas. 19 people won oscars for their work on Star Wars (1977) and George Lucas wasn't one of them.

Rewrite the Prequels!

 

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If you want a good Dracula novel beyond Stoker get Kim Newman's Anno Dracula books, get them all, you won't regret it I promise and while you are at it get Back In The USSA too (no Dracula but a lovely Ed Gein chapter that mustn't be missed) it's grrrrrreat.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6Dp2OfIT_M