The past year or two have seen the resurgence of Dracula on the screen, both big and small. We’ve had Argento’s Dracula, which made me feel bad for Rutger Hauer; NBC’s attempted reboot of the Dracula story, which had some merits; a horrible Romanian production distributed by Lionsgate called Dracula: the Dark Prince, which may have killed John Voight’s career, and almost seems like an Asylum attempt to come straight to video before this fall’s big movie, Dracula: Untold. These three outings weren’t readily available when I wrote my article for IndieJudge last October.
This last movie, the big budget Dracula: Untold, starring Luke Evans of X-Men: First Class, is another attempt of matching Vlad the Impaler with the vampire Dracula. Coppola’s film was one of the first mainstream films of the last 30 years to do this, and it has caught on in several other versions. Dan Curtis’ 1973 television adaptation of Dracula starring Jack Palance also made the connection, as did a few other films in the early 1970s. Even in the USA Network Movie The Dark Prince, which is really a bio-pic of Vlad, he still becomes a vampire at the end. I’m sure that Dracula: Untold will probably be a good film for what it is: total fiction.
This has led me to plan my next set of lectures for this fall, that will happen the week of the movie’s release here in Texas. It’s titled: The Real Dracula: Separating Vlad the Impaler from the Fictional Count. I will be describing the life of Vlad Tepes, as well as the fictional character of Count Dracula. We have some English classes here this fall that will be studying Stoker’s book, so this will tie in nicely.
This is the fourth distinct vampire-related lecture that I have put together since 2010, although I have given them several times. The other lectures are:
From Vlad the Impaler to Edward Cullen: Origins of the 21st Century Vampire in Myth, Literature, Television, and Film.
Vampires in 19th Century British Literature.
Killing the Dead: Burial Practices in Eastern Europe from the 1500s to Today