Those who know me know that I have a soft spot for Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Some folks think Keanu Reeves somehow diminishes it (and I will say that when you have Cary Elwes, Gary Oldman and Anthony Hopkins surrounding him, he does seem a bit small and wee), but I still adore the film and don’t know that anyone else has done it better. You can keep your exceedingly gory Christopher Lee flicks, or your bad “Transylvanian” accents on your Bela Lugosi. Give me Gary Oldman’s malicious laugh or the – still incredibly sexy – scene where he decrees his love to Mina and she begs him to make her like him. It may not necessarily follow the book exactly – but really, have any of them? – but it tells a very good story, hits all the high points of the plot, and makes it work.
I recently had occasion to re-read the book – Kindle sales, yay! As I was doing so, I realized how much of the detail, how many little things I’d forgotten. Of course, you have to remember, it’s been at least 25 years since last I traveled to Carfax in the company of Drs. Seward, Van Helsing and Co., so perhaps I can be forgiven, but there are just so many layers, so much going on in that book that I don’t think a movie could ever get it 100% on the nail.
The language used, the way it flows, the different voices present in the characters – never once did I have to go back and double check, even if interrupted for a prolonged period, to see who’s diary I was currently reading, as each had tones and vocabulary that identified them – and the interesting portrait that emerges of the Dark Lord as his poor, pathetic rivals scurry about London in a race to dispose of him before he can claim Mina’s soul. All of it adds up to a monumental tale.
I’m really just rambling, now. But if anyone out there hasn’t stopped in for a visit with the dear old Count in a while really should go back. Especially if they enjoy any of the derivatives of his adventures – my love for ‘Salem’s Lot is also well known, and seeing some of the detail-based things, such as the description of the teeth of the pre-vampires, the effect the vampires have on their victims, the way the light bends around them, the hordes of rats, etc, as being so strong in Stoker’s piece de resistance pleased me immensely – a quick peek back can’t hurt.
Oh, and one last thing. If you haven’t yet watched the trailer for Dracula Untold, you need to. Like, right now. Do it. Or else.