Yep, the whole “every other day” groove of Halloween Scream 2007 is already ruined. But to quote Gene Snitsky… “IT WASN’T MY FAULT!!!” I couldn’t get to the computer in time to finish this post up. Oh well. At least you got some movie schedules yesterday. That’s gotta count for something. On with the show…
When you think of the all-time great actors to portray Dracula, there are a few names that immediately spring to mind: Lugosi, Lee, Chocula (the Unholy Trinity, if you will).
But what about all those actors that made bad Draculas? Those that just didn’t look the part or couldn’t bring the charisma that the role requires? Well look into my eyes, and bear witness to…
THE 7 HORRORS OF DRACULA
(Sounds like a Hammer movie, doesn’t it?)
Movie That He Soiled the Good Name of Dracula In: Dracula (1979)
Why: Okay, we’ve been treated to the suave, distinguished Dracula and we’ve seen savage more vampiric takes on Dracula as well. But this guy? He belongs in a porno with the wide open shirt, chest hair, and poofy ‘do. This looks like some cheesy, 1970’s play of Dracula. Oh wait… He was in that too.
Movie That He Soiled the Good Name of Dracula In: Van Helsing (2004)
Why: Van Helsing was actually a decent movie, it didn’t knock my socks off, but I felt it was an enjoyable update/homage to the Universal Monster movies of yesteryear. A good action/horror popcorn flick. That said, I absolutely hated Richard Roxburgh as the Count. He just doesn’t have the right features to portray Dracula. The most off-putting for me was his nose, which I feel should be a little more angular or pointy. Plus, c’mon, what’s with that one strand of hair constantly in his face? And also, Dracula doesn’t wear a ponytail.
Movie That He Soiled the Good Name of Dracula In: Most notably, House of Frankenstein (1944) and House of Dracula (1945). Later, low-budget slop from the 60s & 70s.
Why: Yeah, yeah, yeah, he’s a legend in the horror genre and without him we wouldn’t have Kung Fu or Revenge of the Nerds, but did he really make a good Dracula? Certainly he brought the sophistication to it, but still… There’s something just not right here. He just wasn’t slick enough and certainly didn’t have the charisma and sense of danger that the role requires. He looked more like a butler in those movies than Dracula. Hey, not that I don’t like House of Frankenstein or House of Dracula, I love’em both. I think House of Frankenstein is one of the best Universal Monster movies, but it just didn’t have the right Dracula. In truth, just as Carradine bragged about, he was indeed closer to the version which Bram Stoker wrote about, but there’s a reason why Bela Lugosi is considered the greatest Dracula of all time.
You call THAT a stare..?
This is a stare!
Movie That He Soiled the Good Name of Dracula In: Dracula vs. Frankenstein (1971)
Why: I remember seeing this movie at the local party store, Party City, a few years back. It was a VHS copy for like, $1. The cover screamed 70s comic bookish cheesy horror to me (it featured a face-off between a Hulk-green Frankenstein and a pale white Dracula). I didn’t pick it up… because I could see the TRUE terror that awaited me. Tsk tsk… such a sloppy, sloppy Dracula Vorkov made. At least he had a name that easily be placed into some 1940s Universal horror movie, but this was 1971 and it ain’t a Universal picture. In this shot, he looks like a deranged Tommy Dreamer, the Innovator of Violence and ECW Original!
Lon Chaney Jr.
Movie That He Soiled the Good Name of Dracula In: Son of Dracula (1943)
Why: Hey, we can’t knock Lon Chaney, Jr. Horror is in his blood. He was the Wolf Man, and he even took a stab at playing Frankenstein and was passable at that. But Dracula? Please. Again, he’s just too sloppy looking to play the role of Dracula. With that thin mustache and slicked back hair he reminds me of my grandpa. And before any Universal freaks point out that the character he played was Count Alucard (spell it backwards), it’s implied during the film that he’s a descendant of the original Dracula (hence the title of the movie).
Movie That He Soiled the Good Name of Dracula In: Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)
Why: The double beehive hairdo. ‘Nuff said.
John Forbes-Robertson (Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires (1974)
Movie That He Soiled the Good Name of Dracula In: Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires (1974)
Why: Ah, Hammer, couldn’t get Lee to sign up one more time? What, was his 213th film as Dracula where he drew the line? Anyway, forgetting the fact that this movie is Dracula vs. a bunch of kung fu fighters, just take a gander at this broken down Drac. Judging by the lipstick and makeup here, I don’t think this Dracula slept in a coffin, I think he slept in the closet. Just another old man who likes dressing up like a woman. I can see it now… Dracula: The Drag Queen of Darkness!
Why did I spotlight only 7? Because 10 would be clichéd.
Oh yeah, the horror movie recommendation for this post?
The aforementioned House of Frankenstein. Movie good, Dracula bad.