Dracula


Bram Stoker?s Dracula
Lords of the darkness, Darkling Dancers, Nosferatu, Vrikolakas. And the list goes on like this. The vampire concept is thought by the most to be a myth that has crept into almost every culture. It has influenced many writers to write novels on them and many directors to shoot films on. Vampire myths go back way into the times of first recorded history. Many different legends are known about them varying from the Chinese belief of the glowing red eyed monsters with green or pink hair to the Greek Lamia who has the upper body of a woman and the lower body of a winged serpent and the Japanese belief in the vampire foxes. The most commonly known legend which is widely used in filming is the blood drinking man who can transform into a bat or mist, wearing a black cape with a suit and with fangs in his mouth. This significant type is the one that is been explained widely in the eastern European myths. This vampire preys on human victims which are chosen at random by biting and sucking blood from the veins in the side of the neck at night time. The prey also becomes a vampire and joins the world of the undead. These specific vampires are the ones who cannot stand the sunlight which will burn them and they usually sleep in a coffin during the daytime. It is believed that these vampires are most active during full moon. They are immortal and they can only be killed if a wooden stake is run through the heart or when they are beheaded.

In the year of 1879 an Irish writer, Bram Stoker, unheard with his previous novels and short stories gets inspired on this and writes the most famous books of all times. Here we are at the close of 1998, looking back and seeing the over two hundred theatrical performances and movies made on it. What?s more is that it is the second best seller book after The Bible in Western communities. This cult figure created by the crazy Irishman has effected us in our actions or emotions in some way. Crudely every single person on earth must have heard his name. But why?

Looking onto the novel, there is a perfect gothic look presented to us with its every aspect. Infact every single concept covered comes deep from mythology. It talks about blood and fire, death and love, good and bad, fantasy and magic. And the Count; who sometimes happens to be an atrocital monster, a romantic lover? No doubt, these make the novel even more interesting. But, these things are only the small, tiny bits of a greater picture. This is not just the story of the mystic blood sucker, one feels that it tells us much more than that.

In the essence we see Bram Stoker?s character search for his gothic novel and he makes the perfect choice: Vlad III, the prince of Wallachia, an area now within the borders of Romania, the southern part to be specific. Vlad III, known as Vlad the Impaler, had fought with the Ottoman Turks in the name of the church, who were expanding into the Balkans. During his fights with the Turks, he lost his throne several times but each time managing to get back onto it. It is mostly believed that he had fallen dead in a fight with the Ottoman army, beheaded and his head taken back to Istanbul, to the Sultan as a proof that the "impaler" was dead. He was also known with his atrocities and impalement where the victim was impaled between the legs with a large, sharpened but not too much stake that was the width of a man?s arm. He especially enjoyed mass impalements where many victims were impaled at once. As the people to be impaled were hung above the ground, their body weight would slowly drag them down and the sharpened stake would slowly run into them, piercing their internal organs. To enjoy this spectacular moments more, he would have a supper with the visions and the sounds of the dying which would take from hours to days.

Instead of going on with the novel, I would like to move on to the best Dracula film that was made until the concept emerged: Francis Ford Coppola?s B. S. Dracula. This movie, unlike many of