MMM Day 5: #338 -- Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992)
Rating: 3 / 5
I wanted to include Dracula in this week's monster madness, but I already reviewed the 1931 movie a while ago. I found this on demand, and I jumped on it. I've gone against everything I believe in. I have now seen two Dracula movies, and I haven't read the book. The shame!
I love Bela Lugosi as Dracula. To me, he is Dracula, and he always will be. This variation on the Count was interesting, to say the least. I thought Gary Oldman did a good job with the role, and the character was definitely creepy and different. But I just couldn't let myself believe that it was Dracula. He was a monster out of a child's nightmare. He could transform his looks at the blink of an eye -- from young to old, from human-like to werewolf to giant bat-creature. I'm familiar with vampires being able to transform into other beasts, but...the way I like it, they turn into regular bats and wolves. It seems more natural that way, if that makes any sense. The reason that I love Bela's Dracula is because he is natural. He was a monster disguised as a human; very sophisticated and romantic. This Dracula tried to be those things, but I just didn't feel it like I did with Bela. He lived in an enormous castle in Transylvania, he wore extravagant clothing, and he spoke with eloquence. But it just wasn't the same.
Visually, the movie was great. I loved the atmosphere at work, and the cinematography looked good. The special effects were also striking, and it felt like a gothic fairy tale. A low budget movie with no effects or fancy camera work can still be a great movie if it has a great story to back it up. But a movie with all the technology to its disposal will still fail if the story is lacking that special something. That is the case with Bram Stoker's Dracula. Again, I haven't read the book; but those who have say that this is an awful adaptation. I'm not sure how the 1931 movie holds up for those people. But for me, sixty years, a lot of money and fancy equipment did not make a better movie.