Dracula by Bram Stoker

  • New to the board or trying to figure out how something works here? Check out the User Guide.
  • New 2019 Hours: The message board is closed between the hours of 4pm ET Thursday and 8:30am ET Tuesday.

    As always, the Board will be open to read and those who have those privileges can still send private messages and post to Profiles.

Gerald

Well-Known Member
Sep 8, 2011
1,888
5,998
The Netherlands
I was watching Jess Franco's version, Count Dracula from 1970 (it also goes by a lot of other titles, as is common with a lot of Euro-horror from back then), and it does a better job than most films at explaining why Dracula went to London - explains it better than the book probably, even though it is about things mentioned in the book.
What it comes down to is that he is the last of a glorious bloodline with a rich history, but basically since that's all in the past now, he feels kind of alone and like a left over. So he's up for going somewhere else and experiencing new things.

The blu-ray from Franco's film from Severin is excellent and has countless (!) extras. There is an audiocommentary with Maria Rohm (Mina), who I found out passed away very recently (last June). She's a typical filmbeauty, the kind of classic beauty you only ever seem to see with certain film actresses. She seemed to have a very lively, even frivolous personality - sleeping with crew when her husband (the producer) was away, winking at the person filming the behind-the-scenes footage. In fact, there is a bonus film, which consists of a combination of filmfootage in front and behind the camera, but showing how the film would play in black & white and as a silent film (there's only music and sound effects). It's interesting to see how things were done, to create fog for example, and there is a kind of machine which basically shoots out cobwebs to decorate scenes. Even though Jess Franco was clearly a low budget filmmaker, it's still interesting to see how surprisingly professional everything is done and it looks more money went into these kind of films than you would think.

I like the film itself and it has quite a cast (Christopher Lee, Herbert Lom, Klaus Kinski), but clearly it rather falls apart towards the end. It's either a question of money, or Franco just not being able to put on a good finale, or a combination of these probably. According to Rohm, Franco was 'on' or 'off', he could do good work but he could just as easily lose his interest in a film.

Actually concerning the book, another thing also bothers me: why did Dracula keep Jonathan Harker prison and not just kill him? There was basically no need to keep him alive - he had the papers of his new home in London - but he keeps Harker imprisoned for some reason, and even goes to great lengths to protect him from his three 'brides'. Why?
 

Gerald

Well-Known Member
Sep 8, 2011
1,888
5,998
The Netherlands
What's interesting is that we now always think of vampires as people who were once normal and mortal, but got bitten by existing vampires and thus gained the supernatural abilities of a vampire. But basically they remain the same people they were in life, only now their life is extended and they constantly need fresh blood.

But not all vampires in classic vampirestories are like that. For example in the story Mrs. Amworth (from 1923) by E.F. Benson the vampire is like a malignant spirit that possesses the body of a person, both in the life and death of that person.
Two men discover that one of their neighbours and friends in a small town is a vampire. Before they can destroy it, the woman that is possessed by the evil spirit that is called the vampire by one of the men who is an expert in the occult, is killed in an accident. Relieved they resume their lives, but after two months they see her walking the street again. What they see however is an astral body of the buried woman, that still goes out to feed on blood - it's lair is the body itself which doesn't leave the grave, but is still sustained by the blood.
When they go to the cemetery to destroy her once and for all, she is described floating over the graveyard back to her grave in time for dawn, more like a spirit than the vampire as we think of it now. She disappears into the earth of the grave, and when the two men dig her coffin up the story ends in the traditional way with a staking and the subsequent decomposition of the body.
It's an interesting variation.
 

Gerald

Well-Known Member
Sep 8, 2011
1,888
5,998
The Netherlands
Mrs. Amworth was filmed as a pilot for an unmade tv series. You can see it here:


It's too bad they completely take away the explanation of the possession by vampire, although it's still filmed that way visually. They change a lot of other things around too, although the main events are there (in changed form). But a lot of the details are identical and some dialogue lines are exactly the same.
 

DiO'Bolic

Not completely obtuse
Nov 14, 2013
21,148
117,835
Poconos, PA
I read Dracula in high school… 45 years ago. Don’t recall much of the novel as movies and time have clouded the written story. I saw the movie Nosferatu last year on TV. Nosferatu (1922) was made only 25 years after Bram Stoker wrote Dracula. The movie was considered to be an unauthorized adaptation of Dracula, as all the main characters remained intact. Stoker's family sued over the adaptation, bankrupted the film company, and a court ruling ordered that all copies of the film be destroyed. But one purported print of the film had already been distributed, and that print was duplicated over the years.
 

fljoe0

Cantre Member
Apr 5, 2008
14,928
64,486
58
120 miles S of the Pancake/Waffle line
I read Dracula in high school… 45 years ago. Don’t recall much of the novel as movies and time have clouded the written story. I saw the movie Nosferatu last year on TV. Nosferatu (1922) was made only 25 years after Bram Stoker wrote Dracula. The movie was considered to be an unauthorized adaptation of Dracula, as all the main characters remained intact. Stoker's family sued over the adaptation, bankrupted the film company, and a court ruling ordered that all copies of the film be destroyed. But one purported print of the film had already been distributed, and that print was duplicated over the years.

You read it when it first came out. :) You stood in line for hours to get Bram to autograph it. :)
 

DiO'Bolic

Not completely obtuse
Nov 14, 2013
21,148
117,835
Poconos, PA
You read it when it first came out. :) You stood in line for hours to get Bram to autograph it. :)
LOL. I was already old by then. Cousin Vlad made me go to the book signing cause it was during the daytime. Unfortunately Stoker's personal assistant Marshia gave me the wrong address and I ended in in Transylvania, Louisiana. :)
 

Gerald

Well-Known Member
Sep 8, 2011
1,888
5,998
The Netherlands
It was reported in July 2015 that Murnau's (who directed Nosferatu) grave was disturbed and the skull was taken. Candle wax was found, so it could have been related to occult practices. I wonder if they found who did it. It was not an isolated case.

I think Nosferatu is still one of the best adaptations. Although based on Dracula, physically Count Orlok doesn't resemble him. Orlok is also closely linked to the plague or Black Death, bringing rats with him where he goes.
I wonder why in Salem's Lot they went back to the look of Orlok rather than stay with Barlow's book description. On the commentary of the bu-ray Tobe Hooper doesn't talk about it.
 

Gerald

Well-Known Member
Sep 8, 2011
1,888
5,998
The Netherlands
It's striking that the remake of Nosferatu from Werner Herzog came out in the same year as Salem's Lot, 1979. It came out in October in the US, but already in January in Europe. It's possible the producers of Salem's Lot or Tobe Hooper saw it and decided to base the look of Barlow on Orlok. It just seems too much of a coincidence.

Does anyone here have the book by Tony Earnshaw about the making of Salem's Lot? Is it mentioned in that?
 

Dana Jean

Moderator
Moderator
Apr 11, 2006
51,040
222,320
Thornfield
It's striking that the remake of Nosferatu from Werner Herzog came out in the same year as Salem's Lot. It came out in October in the US, but already in January in Europe. It's possible the producers of Salem's Lot or Tobe Hooper saw it and decided to base the look of Barlow on Orlok. It just seems too much of a coincidence.

Does anyone here have the book by Tony Earnshaw about the making of Salem's Lot? Is it mentioned in that?
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Dana Jean

Moderator
Moderator
Apr 11, 2006
51,040
222,320
Thornfield
I don't see a reply.
Oh, it was there I wonder what I did with it?

I have the book which I haven't read yet so I scanned it looking for your question. It is packed with a lot of information and didn't see it with a quick look/see. I wouldn't be at all surprised to find your answer in there. Sorry I'm not more helpful and maybe someone else has read it and will come along with what you are looking for.
 

Gerald

Well-Known Member
Sep 8, 2011
1,888
5,998
The Netherlands
Oh, it was there I wonder what I did with it?

I have the book which I haven't read yet so I scanned it looking for your question. It is packed with a lot of information and didn't see it with a quick look/see. I wouldn't be at all surprised to find your answer in there. Sorry I'm not more helpful and maybe someone else has read it and will come along with what you are looking for.
I would get the book if it was affordable, since Salem's Lot is one of my most favourite out of all adaptations. For some reason however bizarrely high prices are asked for it:

I can only hope there will be a new edition at some point so it will be at regular price again. I assume you bought it when it was just out and had a regular price? I don't know what the regular price is, and why it's so extremely high now.
 

Dana Jean

Moderator
Moderator
Apr 11, 2006
51,040
222,320
Thornfield
I would get the book if it was affordable, since Salem's Lot is one of my most favourite out of all adaptations. For some reason however bizarrely high prices are asked for it:

I can only hope there will be a new edition at some point so it will be at regular price again. I assume you bought it when it was just out and had a regular price? I don't know what the regular price is, and why it's so extremely high now.
Yes, I bought it when it came out. Because you brought it to my attention, I have moved it up to the top of my TBR pile.
 

Gerald

Well-Known Member
Sep 8, 2011
1,888
5,998
The Netherlands
Yes, I bought it when it came out. Because you brought it to my attention, I have moved it up to the top of my TBR pile.
What was the original price? Was it expensive to begin with?
Books that are out of print always tend to become more expensive, but I wonder what it is about this book especially that it's so extremely expensive now.
 

Dana Jean

Moderator
Moderator
Apr 11, 2006
51,040
222,320
Thornfield
What was the original price? Was it expensive to begin with?
Books that are out of print always tend to become more expensive, but I wonder what it is about this book especially that it's so extremely expensive now.
I honestly couldn't tell you. I can't remember. I bought it because I like that behind-the-scenes look at things whether it be movies, TV, writing. The process and the trivia are fascinating.
 

kingricefan

All-being, keeper of Space, Time & Dimension.
Jul 11, 2006
29,449
123,623
Spokane, WA
What was the original price? Was it expensive to begin with?
Books that are out of print always tend to become more expensive, but I wonder what it is about this book especially that it's so extremely expensive now.
Original price was $50.00. These titles (there's also one on The Shining and Carrie) cost a lot now because there were only so many copies printed and they're out of print with no further printings in the works.
 

Gerald

Well-Known Member
Sep 8, 2011
1,888
5,998
The Netherlands
Original price was $50.00. These titles (there's also one on The Shining and Carrie) cost a lot now because there were only so many copies printed and they're out of print with no further printings in the works.
Out of print books often are sold for high prices. But these prices are just crazy. Here's one for over 2000 euro:

 
The Institute - Coming September 10th, 2019 IT - Now Available in Trade Paperback! Flight or Fright - Now Available in Trade Paperback! The Outsider - Now Available in Trade Paperback!