In honor of Halloween Eve, the festival premiered the new curved Samsung last night and it was incredible. Hats off to The House of Stuff’s amazing technical support guy for finding the new equipment and getting it installed at light speed. The dude is a one of a kind talent. and the festival couldn’t exist without him. Job well done gear head!
Bram Stoker’s Dracula was the featured film and it looked great on the new equipment. The novel Dracula was written in 1897 and the first film version, the unauthorized Nosferatu came out in 1922. Since then there have been dozens of Dracula movies, all of them based on a highly abridged and modified version of the novel. Bram Stoker’s Dracula is the first Dracula movie to attempt to remain faithful to the Bram Stoker book and it’s a major production. The film stars (of all people) Keneau Reeves as Jonathan Harker, Winona Ryder as Mina, Anthony Hopkins as Van Helsing and Gary Oldman as Dracula. Academy Award winner Francis Ford Coppola directs.
Bram Stoker’s Dracula is as much a romance as it is a horror story. Dracula sees a photo of Mina and decides he must have her and much of the movie concerns his attempt to woo her. At times it seems a little slow and at other times the film is spellbinding. Coppola had the writers add “the origin of Dracula” at the beginning and it not only works, it’s fresh material that makes Dracula an almost sympathetic character. Unlike every other Dracula movie I’ve ever seen, the ending to Bram Stoker’s Dracula feels tragic.
There’s a lot to like about Bram Stoker’s Dracula. When Harker gets dropped off at Borgo pass at midnight it is one scary place, even after the coach to Dracula’s Castle arrives. Gary Oldman as the old count gives a stunning performance clearly inspired by Bela Lugosi then morphs into his younger charismatic self, then into a giant bat like monster. The special effects still hold up well 25 years later. My favorite has to be when the guys confront Dracula with knives and crosses and the Dr Seward character is extending a smoking vial of chemicals and holding his nose. A stink bomb perhaps? Not this film!