Sunday, October 17, 2010

31 Days of Halloween - Day 17

I've decided to include a theme week once again during my Halloween countdown. This year I'll be tackling "Dracula." I've never been a particularly big fan of vampires, and while I'm a big fan of Bram Stoker's novel, with the exception of "Nosferatu"(1922) I've found almost every single cinematic adaptation to be a mixed bag. They're usually pretty great on atmosphere, but I've always found that once the story shifted from Transylvania to London, that the movies lose quite a bit of momentum.

For this reason, it's been some time since I watched a "Dracula" movie. I've seen "Nosferatu" on the big screen twice in the past six years, and watched Universal's Spanish language version of "Dracula" for this countdown back in 2006, but nothing else. I thought it was time again to revisit some of these movies to see if they're better than I remember them being, or to find out if I've been justified in my aversion to them.

Unlike "Frankenstein," with the exception of the Hammer series, "Dracula," while being one of the most adapted novels of all time, has not produced a lot of direct cinematic sequels. Even the Universal movies acting as sequels to "Dracula," seem to have little to do with one another, or the 1931 movie that launched Universal's successful horror cycle of the 1930s and 1940s. "Dracula's Daughter" is the only one that can really be called a continuation of the story and Dracula himself only appears as a corpse on a funeral pyre. So there's going to be a little less variety this year as many of the films I'll be watching will be direct adaptations of Stoker's novel, or the play that served as the basis for Universal's 1931 "Dracula." Comparing these adaptations should be an interesting exercise in itself.

Besides the movies, there will be some visual treats throughout the week as well.


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