Bram Stoker's Dracula - Yea or Nay?

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Brandonv, Sep 9, 2009.

  1. Thrall

    Thrall Commodore Commodore

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    Actually it was a story about parallels. Old Europe vs New Europe. Technology vs Mysticism. Science vs Superstition. Purity vs Sin. Faith vs Doubt. Feminism vs Female Oppression. Good vs Evil. The Enlightenment vs The Dark Ages. Love vs Lust. Death vs Life. The chase was only at the end of the book. And it was to point out what a truly cowardly being Dracula really was, once you aren't scared of him any more.

    Considering he was more or less presented as BEING Vlad The Impaler in the film, I'd say it is.

    I still fail to see how a character who is supposed to represent The Bubonic Plague could be sympathetic. I mean, the guy's a mass murdering, baby killing, rapist. Not exactly the guy you want to have a beer with.

    It's probably the most popular currently. Mostly because of the sex. And chicks dig evil guys with a heart of gold.
     
  2. USS KG5

    USS KG5 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I could make some comment about the female psyche here but would probably get the female posters very upset.

    Suffice it to say that women like dangerous men, they get them hot, and while if Mina was a real woman she would probably settle and have kiddies with John Harker (the "nice guy") it's the "bad boy" she wants between her legs.

    So, yeah, evil mass murdering rapists get women hot - well maybe not quite THAT bad, but Mina's behaviour is quite believable IMHO.
     
  3. Brandonv

    Brandonv Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I think a lot of it can be explained by vampires having some kind of supernatural seductive ability. Dracula's brides and Lucy appear to have this effect on men, and even Mina briefly starts to seduce Van Helsing.

    I agree that he was over the top, but I actually found him very entertaining.
     
  4. Peter the Younger

    Peter the Younger Commodore Commodore

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    I like the film a lot despite it's flaws. Keanu and Rider were horribly cast (seriously, what were we thinking in the nineties, that these two were considered rising stars?) but Hopkins and Oldman make up for it. Yeah, there's a lot of over-the-top stuff, but the movie embraces it with both arms, so I can roll with it.
     
  5. JustKate

    JustKate Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'm so happy I'm not the only one!

    Yep. Looked great but it was just shallow.
     
  6. Lapis Exilis

    Lapis Exilis Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    No offense, but I could give an equally unflattering portrait of men, as in, suffice it to say men like slutty women, they get them hot, and while if John Doe was a real man he would probably settle and have kiddies with Jane (the "nice girl") it's the slut he wants between his legs.

    I.e. - you're not describing "women", you're describing immature, shallow women, just as my paragraph is describing immature, shallow men. People don't "settle" for the nice one, they actually achieve mature love. While women may enjoy a fantasy of a bad boy and men may enjoy a fantasy of a slut - it's just fantasy. Thus why there are tons of stories about bad boys and sluts. In the end stories about bad boys get women hot and stories about sluts get men hot, and real women and men take that hotness to bed to enjoy their down-to-earth good partner.

    As for Bram Stoker's Dracula, more style than substance. Oldman is charismatic and sells the love story. Ryder is terrible and undercuts it (seriously, the woman has one expression for all emotions and that expression looks like someone is stepping on her foot). Hopkins is fun going for the whacko Van Helsing. Reeves is so awful he's best forgotten. The movie tries for creepiness and barely achieves it in small bursts, tries for romance and barely achieves it in small bursts, tries for sexy and fails completely. I'll agree that it's atmospheric though, and does capture some moments from the book fairly accurately.
     
  7. john titor

    john titor Captain

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    Any story can be good if you read into it. I read Moby Dick, its 100 pages of establishing the setting, 300 pages of a whale manual and 100 pages where Melville thinks, oh shit I forgot about the plot, better resolve it quickly. Thats why it tanked and then the literary critics come round to reading it and say that the descriptions of whaling and the whiteness of the whale are meant to represent the meaningless of life and the universe staring back at Ahab on his essentially pointless quest. Still doesn't detract from the fact that the book is a hokey whale quest story with most of it being a whaling manual. Its been 7 years since I've read it but the characterization was stiltled, it was full of Victorian preachiness and it was just meh, anyone could have pulled the plot out of the proverbial backside of plot ideas, this is Dracula I'm talking about. However I'll qualify it by saying that he successfully integrated this contrived plot with the vampire mythos which up until then was largely unknown. Its as to the vampire genre as Doom is to Wolfenstein. Doom wasn't that original but it got the ingredients just right on the first go and popularized the fps genre. Same with Dracula, he fashioned something iconic and perfectly brought plot and concept together, what I'm saying is that the plot was very conventional and the concept wasn't really his to begin with, he just personified it wisely through Dracula.


    The ethics of Vlads portrayal are almost parallel to the historical accuracy of Inglorious Basterds, both are using reality as a springboard for the phantastical. Its not the real Vlad of historical antiquity, its a characterization in a totally made up world. Just to play devils advocate, the Russians consider him to be a strict but fair ruler (although he was mass murdering insanely cruel psychopath).

    As regards the characterization in the film, yes he is the villain, yes he eats babies and spreads nosferatu plague like its bubonic cousin, but wait, here we have a film where a contemptible character is explored and we are shown that while he is undoubtedly evil he is not a one dimensional evil figure but a character in a private hell who curses god and is subsequently compelled towards these acts as a vampire. He doesn't choose some of these acts, his transformation has occured due to his on the spur reaction to the unfathomable cruelty of life which has beget a further cruelty on his self, in that by cursing this he has cursed himself to an eternity of damnation. He is a victim of his own passion and christian idealism and as a result he can be read as a representation of the dangers of assuming that ones actions can be justified through fundamentalism in the vein perhaps of such groups like the Spanish Inquisition. Coppolas interpretation is an improvement to my mind of Bram Stokers original. I'm just not convinced that the book must always be better than the filmic adaptation. Fight Club is another example where I thought the film version was just far superior in a multitude of respects.
     
  8. USS KG5

    USS KG5 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Agreed completely - except for the legs part, not sure it would work. ;)

    But seriously guys don't like SLUTTY women, we like DIRTY women, that is the correct analogy.

    It is a generalisation to be sure, but honestly I disagree with you there. A lot of people never achieve mature love, a lot of people DO settle, and a lot of people try to live that fantasy their whole lives, I'd love to say everyone grows up and looks for mature, sustainable loving relationships, but a lot of people don't.

    There are also other personality issues to consider which lead women to be far more prone to becoming part of abusive relationships than men, but again of course many men are abused by their female partners.

    It is quite a fascinating issue really.

    You seen the Family Guy piss-take of her acting ("Can we get a topless shot in this?....We can?..Heck we got a movie here!")
     
  9. Dr. Drake Ramoray

    Dr. Drake Ramoray Commodore Commodore

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    Thirded. Make your Dracula flick if you want, but don't call it Bram Stoker's Dracula if those viewing it are left seriously wondering if the director has even read the damned book!
    :lol:

    Of all the different versions of the novel I've seen on film, for my money, the BBC version of Count Dracula from the '70s starring Louis Jordan as the count comes the closest to the book. Coppla does earn points for including the character of Quincy Morris though.
     
  10. Josan

    Josan Commodore Commodore

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    As adaptations go, it's one of the better ones, even with Keanu Reeves.

    It's certainly a hell of a lot better than Kenneth Branagh's version of Frankenstein which is possibly the worst movie adaptation I've ever seen.
     
  11. USS KG5

    USS KG5 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yes that is probably the best version IMHO.
     
  12. barnaclelapse

    barnaclelapse Commodore Commodore

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    It's worth watching for the atmosphere and the performances (especially Hopkins and Oldman), but I still prefer Lugosi's Dracula or the first one Hammer did.
     
  13. Gaith

    Gaith Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Director Francis Ford Coppola claims that Bram Stoker's name was included in the title because he has a tradition of putting the author's names in the titles of his movies that are adapted from novels, such as "Mario Puzo's The Godfather" and "John Grisham's The Rainmaker." Others have claimed, however, that Stoker's name was included in the title to avoid legal action from Univeral Studios, who claimed to own the rights to the simple title "Dracula."
     
  14. USS KG5

    USS KG5 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I actually like the second one Hammer did best - "Dracula: Prince Of Darkness" I believe.
     
  15. Dorian Thompson

    Dorian Thompson Admiral Admiral

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  16. Allyn Gibson

    Allyn Gibson Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I'll take Bram Stoker's Dracula any day over the recent BBC Dracula that starred Marc Warren. I'm not sure what, if anything, that film had to do with anything Bram Stoker wrote. It looked fantastic, but as much as I adore Sophia Myles, I couldn't take it and I had to shut it off.

    One interesting thing about Bram Stoker's Dracula -- the film got a novelization by Fred Saberhagen. I thought that was a bit pointless; surely, wouldn't it have made more sense for someone to read Stoker's original? :)
     
  17. DonIago

    DonIago Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^Don't be silly. :)
     
  18. caisson2delta

    caisson2delta Captain Captain

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    Since some of you are comparing other adaptations, I was wondering if anyone here has seen "Shadow of the Vampire"? Although not an adaptation of Dracula, it is sort of a remake of "Nosferatu". I thought this was a very interesting movie and Willem Dafoe was awesome in it. It also had a fairly decent cast of other actors at well. Anyone interested in something a bit different, in this genre, might check it out.
     
  19. KB24

    KB24 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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  20. USS KG5

    USS KG5 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Same as - they dropped a right clanger there.
     

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