September Is BITN By Vampires!
This week we’re taking a look at “Bram Stoker’s Dracula,” the adaptation of the classic novel that gave us a sexed-up and terrifying look into the world’s most famous vampire.
Synopsis: After Vlad Dracula (Gary Oldman), a man who forswore God after his wife’s suicide and became eternally damned as a vampire, discovered that Mina (Winona Ryder), the fiancee of law clerk Jonathan Harker (Keanu Reeves), is the reincarnation of his beloved wife, he travels to London to seduce her. But, after attacking a friend of Mina’s and turning her into a vampire, vampire hunter Van Helsing enlists the help of Mina and Jonathan to destroy the 400-year-old vampire once and for all.
Representation of vampires: It’s the story of Dracula, so of course it’s traditional. In fact, even though this was a modern take on the seminal tale, and many would argue that the earlier adaptation of “Dracula” from 1931 is the classic, this is about as vampire-y as they come. He doesn’t sparkle in the sunlight and definitely won’t drink synthetic blood; this vamp can turn into a bat and beast, needs human blood to retain his youth and is eternally damned. Hell, he even has Van Helsing going after him.
Good or evil: Despite Dracula’s motives being driven mostly by love, I’m still going to have to go with evil. Regardless of the fact that Dracula is unquestionably evil within the context of the film (he’s forsworn God—can he be more literally damned?), the creature that he actually is, beneath all of the glamor he puts on, is evil. He manipulates and kills people for sport, and at his worst is a monster that makes us scared to go to bed with the lights off. Still, the bottom line is that everything Dracula’s done, he’s done for the love of his wife and later Mina, which earns him some redemptive points in our books.
Why we’re BITN: This film is so darn sexy! First of all, any movie that casts Gary Oldman as a hunked-up anti-hero is a win in our books (why do you think “Prisoner of Azkaban” is our favorite “Harry Potter” film? Duh!), but there’s just something especially sultry about this interpretation of vampires that brings us back, despite its campiness. The fact that it’s directed by Francis Ford Coppola is another unquestionable win, and the casting of Anthony Hopkins as Van Helsing (18 years before he basically reprised the role in “Wolfman“) was spot on. Oh, and we actually bought Winona Ryder as a romantic lead, which says a lot about how enjoyable this film is.
Is “Bram Stoker’s Dracula” one of your favorite vampire films?