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Dracula

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 (Edited)

(new thread to stop hijacking the "Last Movie Seen" thread)

Finished with Jack Palance's Dracula and I think it might be my new favortie. Fairly faithful (a few big deviations) Palance gives a very very menacing yet charasmatic performance without ever being suave. The reincarnated love angle (with Lucy not Mina) didn't feel as forced or as melodramtic at the Coppola picture.  I really, really dug it. Even the production values, which were fairly high for a US TV Movie, stand up well compared to the ghetto budgets the Jess Franco and BBC Dracula's of the same era were produced on.

 Boost's Dracula List: Most Faithful to Least Faithful to the book

  1. Count Dracula 1977 (Louis Jordan)
  2. Count Dracula 1970 (Christopher Lee)
  3. Dracula 1973 (Jack Palance)
  4. Dracula 1931 (Bela Lugosi)
  5. Nosferatu The Vampyre 1979 (Klaus Kinski)
  6. Bram Stoker's Dracula 1993 (Gary Oldman)
  7. Dracula 1979 (Frank Langella)
  8. [Horror of] Dracula 1958 (Christopher Lee)

 

These are the Dracula pictures I am currently working with to produce an epic "All Dracula Compilation/Comparison" Video, something akin to what HelmetCrow did with the six Star Wars films.

At first I was going to do ALL Draculas including John Carradine, The Monster Squad, Van Helsing, etc, but that got out of hand and I just went with the films that were adaptations of the book.

As I edit and tweak the presentation, I need some recomendations of what music to use. I was going with "Swan Lake" from the Lugosi picture, but decided I wanted something neutral, that wasn't connected with any of the actors who played the Count. Any ideas?

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I guess I'll have to watch the Jack Palance version.   But it won't top the Lugosi version.   Nothing could.    (imho)


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

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Well Horror of does come close in some ways, but it is a completely different movie with different aims. Nosferatu is super creepy as an alternative. Never have gotten all the way through the Spanish Universal though.

VADER!? WHERE THE HELL IS MY MOCHA LATTE? -Palpy on a very bad day.
“George didn’t think there was any future in dead Han toys.”-Harrison Ford
YT channel:
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Dracula is a bit of a pet subject of mine (it was the first novel I managed to read all the way through at the tender age of 8).

I've been working on an associated project (nothing like yours Boost...I'm really looking forward to seeing how that pans out and all power to your arm). I'll make a proper announcement when I get more under my hat but I've been working on it pretty much since Christmas.

Today I was thinking about how certain aspects of the story have become or were based on classic story components.

The journey into heart of darkness, the bewitching host, the unwelcome passenger, the possessed innocent etc.

The Demeter sections could be seen as a template of sorts for stories like Alien , Lucy's story is largely replicated in The Exorcist.

The Castle Dracula sections remind me of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.

I was racking my brains trying to think of other stories which replicate the end of Dracula.

It's the most neglected section in terms of film and television adaptations, only really Coppola's and the Louis Jordan television version even attempt to chase the villain back to his fortress.

Any thoughts?

 

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

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captainsolo said:

Well Horror of does come close in some ways, but it is a completely different movie with different aims. Nosferatu is super creepy as an alternative. Never have gotten all the way through the Spanish Universal though.

 Please don't get me wrong, I love "Horror of Dracula" (it might have been my first Drac film), it's just that it's story is close to unrecognizable from the novel.

The mere fact that Harker/Van Helsing are a vampire-slaying tag team from the first scene was enough for me to rank it at the bottom of the list for fidelity.

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Bingowings said:

Dracula is a bit of a pet subject of mine (it was the first novel I managed to read all the way through at the tender age of 8).

 

The Demeter sections could be seen as a template of sorts for stories like Alien ,

 

 Damn you! I was 9 when I read it, and thought I was so cool.

At 9 I was pissed that Arthur, who seemed like such a good dude, totally ran off and didn't help in the end. And who the hell was Lord Godalming anyway!?!? Where'd he come from!?!

Now that you mention it, imagine a movie all about the Demeter (or another ship with a similar vamp in the hold). It would be awesome, although you'd have to change the ending.

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TheBoost said:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T8RmwCxqbIs

The nine Dracula musical comparison. It's like watching 17 hours worth of movies in 6 minutes!

 

This is sort of what I've been working on but also including various audio dramas and musical sources.

I've been trying to tie in about 50 different video sources too so it will take a very long time but thanks for posting that Boost. 

It proves that it could possibly work.

Watched Drakula Istanbu'da on Friday, fun but utterly bizarre.

Dracula's servant looks like he's wandered straight off the set of The League Of Gentlemen.

Going to try out Zinda Laash in the week which looks fun too.

(Don't know why I'm whispering how do I get they type to go bigger in this post?)

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

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Dracula is a bit like the Bible everyone thinks they know the story because of the films but when you actually read the book it's much more fun, horrific and weird and would make a really good film (or series of films) if shot as written.

Some way into Zinda Laash now and it's a real scream.

Made in Pakistan in the 60's they did away with supernatural elements (it caused a big enough ta'do anyway so upsetting the national religion was right out) so instead our Lollywood Drac starts out as a scientist trying to create an immortality serum.

Other than that it's a contemporary (for the day) reshoot of Horror Of Dracula but with song and dance numbers thrown in.

It even samples the score of the Hammer film now and then.

Drac himself is very good (looking rather like Christopher Lee at times).

Not having a castle (just a very big mansion with some charming paintings of owls and bats) it's surprising how effective it is at times.

The film was almost banned until the distributors pointed out that the original was showing pretty much everywhere anyway.

They cut some of the dances out which was a shame back then because they are really fun and it became a bit of a sensation (the first film which was adults only and it apparently gave some lady a heart attack).

Looking forward to seeing the rest.

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

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I read Dracula last summer. I thought the novel started off strong, but after the Demeter section of the book it started going downhill from there, moving at a painfully slow pace with the countless blood transfusions, Van Helsing's irritating broken English, etc.

Also saw Nosferatu - the original version - last summer. Love, love, love the Orlok makeup. Of course, the plot was all over the place, the vampire book was a deus ex machina, and the ending was lacklustre. And don't get me started on the jazzy score, which more often than not didn't even go with the actions happening on-screen.

Divergent Universes
Dreams of a Randy Git-Fiend

Make Off Topic great again.

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It's a book of four parts.

Harker In The Castle.

Whitby And The Bloofer Lady.

Renfield, Mina And The Carfax Boxes.

Chasing Down The Count.

The first three parts are strong and have turned up in many adaptations.

The last part reads as a bit of an anti-climax but ironically it could play out well on screen, though nobody has yet really achieved this.

The other frequently overlooked aspect of the book is poor Quincey Morris.

When I was a child the idea of throwing in a Texan horse riding, sharpshooting, bowie knife wielding action hero into a gothic horror story was so full of potential and he is the real hero because he gives his life to avenge Lucy and save Mina but other than Coppola's version he never gets much of a look in and even he doesn't know what to do with him.

The last section would make for a bizarre Paprika Hendl Western with Quincey as the hero (which is why I was looking at Tombstone over the weekend).

DuracellEnergizer said:

Also saw Nosferatu - the original version - last summer.... And don't get me started on the jazzy score, which more often than not didn't even go with the actions happening on-screen.

Nosferatu with a Jazz Score? Which version did you watch I have the BFI version with a score by Hammer composer James Bernard, there are many versions available with different scores.

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

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Bingowings said:

Nosferatu with a Jazz Score? Which version did you watch I have the BFI version with a score by Hammer composer James Bernard, there are many versions available with different scores. 

 Well, I guess I should say it wasn't a jazz score, per se, but it had some jazzy elements in places. As for which version it was ... not sure. I saw it on YouTube.

Divergent Universes
Dreams of a Randy Git-Fiend

Make Off Topic great again.

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Of the various versions I've owned over the years the BFI one is in my view the best, restoring the tints makes some sense of the day for night scenes and the reconstructed captions with their exotic typography really adds to the experience.

The score is really good too.

Bernard repeats his trick of spelling out the title in the main theme like he did with his Dracula score.

Drac-Ul-La! It's bloody, Drac-Ul-La!

Nos-Fer-A-Tu!

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

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Never been sure which version of Nosferatu is the most correct, but I've been happy with my original Kino release.

VADER!? WHERE THE HELL IS MY MOCHA LATTE? -Palpy on a very bad day.
“George didn’t think there was any future in dead Han toys.”-Harrison Ford
YT channel:
https://www.youtube.com/c/DamnFoolIdealisticCrusader

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Whichever version I saw at the Chicago Music Box Theatre a couple Halloweens ago with live organ accompaniment seemed to be pretty "correct" to me.  It had all the color-tinted scenes, and I believe the intertitles were in German with English subtitles.  (I could be misremembering that bit, though.)

a trolling bantha

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I finally managed to get hold of the official Drakula Istanbul'da DVD release.

I should explain that up until recently I thought this film had never received one so I was only familiar with the really gray television capture (with annoying pink ident in the corner) version which can be seen on places like Youtube.

But later I found it had got a release but was out of print.

It was really difficult to track down an affordable copy (sometimes it trades for forty quid and there is no way I was going to pay that much for a pristine version of what was essentially a video curio).

Thank the gods I didn't.

First they seemed to have tracked down the worst print in existence, the cracks and scratches were much more clear than the image itself.

There are so many thick scan lines it looks like it was filmed off a 1930's Pye television screen and for large chunks of the film it looks like whoever was scanning the film had nipped out for a Turkish cigarette (used in great numbers to produce the mist and fog effects in the film) and let the film jump rails so the top of the picture ends up down at the bottom of the screen.

It almost looks deliberate.

Add on top of that the worst case of digital artifact block fog and you have my candidate for the worst official DVD release ever.

While the film isn't our favourite space saga, it is of some cultural importance especially to Drac film fans.

It has so many firsts like the first time that Dracula is seen with his classic fang shape, the first adaptation to carry the baby in the bag over from the novel, the first to show Dracula climbing down the Castle wall...it also has the fore-mentioned servant, which while clashing with the novel (to the point of rendering key scenes reasonably faithfully carried over from the book nonsensical) it did preempt the Hammer series doing much the same thing by many years.

The next two films on my to do list are the Paul Landres films The Vampire and The Return Of Dracula.

Hopefully they will be better served than their Turkish cousin.

 

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

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Posted this inthe Re-Casting counch thread, but I thought maybe we could debate it out here a bit.

DRACULA: TheBoost's fantasy cast for 2012

Count Dracula: Jonathon Rhys Myers (The Tudors)
 A good mix of menace and sex appeal. In fact, so much sex appeal that the film wont have to waste any time on the "Dracula is sexy" trope all other adaptations have done. Just his presense will cover that, and he can go about being evil.

Jonathon Harker: Garrett Hedlund (Tron 2)
 A real leading man, action hero type. This heightens his character's brokenness after his escape from the castle.

Mina Murray: Laura Carmichael (Downton Abbey)
 Carmichale, from "Downton Abbey" is elegant, lovely, and has a great smile that hints at layers beneath her proper veneer, without having to slap you in the face with it like the talentless Winona Rider.

Abraham Van Helsing: Rutger Hauer
 The man was born for it. He's even Dutch... I think. Didn't bother to look it up.

Mr. Renfield: Christopher Eccelston (Doctor Who)
 I think Eccelston's intensity and energy could make Renfield scary, not just funny, and be contrasted strongly with his gentleness later in the tale.

Lucy Westenra: Erica Durance (Smallville)
 Lucy needs to be two things: instantly loveable and later, scary sexy. I think TV's Lois Lane, with her adorable dimples, could pull it off nicely.

The Suitors: With so many characters it's important to make sure each is very distinct in appearance and manners. That guided my choices.

Arthur Holmwood/Lord Godalming: Ben Barnes (Prince Caspian)
 Pretty to the point of being almost girly, Barnes contrasts nicely with Harker and we can see why Lucy picks him.
Dr. Seward: Matt Smith (Doctor Who)
 A Doctor playing a Doctor, Smith is charismatic and charming, while not being good looking.
Quincy Morris: Jason Segel (The Muppets)
 While Segal has very little serious drama to his credit, I think he'd be a natural for the rangy Texan. And he's huge, which is nice.

 

RUNNERS UP:

Dracula: Michael Fassbender
Van Helsing: Phillip Quast
Renfield: Andy Serkis

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Let's see.

Dracula : I've long wished Charles Dance would play him, he could still play old Drac but it's difficult to tell what make up and a bit of digital trickery would do to make him into his rejuvenated form. Christopher Eccleston could do the job well I think, he has the cheek bones. Maybe Jason Issacs too.

Harker : Guy Flanagan

Mina : Jessica Brown Findlay.

Lucy : Carey Mulligan.

Van Helsing : Stellan Skarsgard

Arthur : Dan Stevens.

Jack : Benedict Cumberbatch

Quincey : Kevin Alejandro

Renfield : Rafe Spall.

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

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Ooh, Michael Fassbender as Dracula...now there's an idea...

And I love the idea of Rutger Hauer as Van Helsing.

a trolling bantha

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Bingowings said:

Let's see.

Dracula : I've long wished Charles Dance would play him, he could still play old Drac but it's difficult to tell what make up and a bit of digital trickery would do to make him into his rejuvenated form. Christopher Eccleston could do the job well I think, he has the cheek bones. Maybe Jason Issacs too.

Mina : Jessica Brown Findlay.

Arthur : Dan Stevens.

Jack : Benedict Cumberbatch

I considered but passed on Dan Stevens as Arthur, almost because he's a little too "on the nose" from his role on "Downton Abbey." (and I just now learned he already played Arthur! I didn't know that!)

Charles Dance as the Count could work. My first thought of him is always as The Phantom of the Opera... so you get a little "horror icon" cache, although he is a bit long in the tooth (no pun intended).

I like that we both picked supporting sister's from "Downton Abbey" as Mina.

Cumberpatch would be a swell Seward.

As for Rutger being too physical... give him a cane! Solved!!

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He was a very dodgy Arthur in the very dodgy Marc Warren version.

He was good though and a few years extra on him and a remotely faithful script would work wonders.

The thing about Quincey for me is he has to be physically attractive.

Lucy is given a variation on the judgement of Paris.

Jack represents wisdom.

Quincey represent masculine beauty and physical strength.

Arthur represents wealth and social position, it's clear what Lucy is interested in most (but a Count always trumps a Lord).

The Count is like Lucy's soppy girl dream come true.

With him she gets all three at once but with a terrible price. 

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