Count Alucard (read his name backwards) finds his way from Budapest to the swamps of the Deep South; his four nemeses are a medical doctor, a university professor, a jilted fiancé and the woman he loves.
Lon Chaney Jr.,
After Jonathan Harker attacks Dracula at his castle (apparently somewhere in Germany), the vampire travels to a nearby city, where he preys on the family of Harker's fiancée. The only one ... See full summary »
'Dracula in Istanbul' deserves credit for an honest title, at least. This Turkish-made film sticks fairly close to the original plot of Bram Stoker's novel (greatly simplified), apart from moving the action to Istanbul in the present day (1953), presumably as a budget-saving device and in order to make the film more 'relevant' to its target audience ... much as the Hollywood version of H.G. Wells's 'War of the Worlds' moved the action to modern Los Angeles.
Dracula is played here by Atif Kaptan, who was apparently (I'm told) a horror-film veteran in Turkey, somewhat equivalent to Peter Cushing. He plays Count Dracula in impeccable (modern) formal dress: white tie and tails. He is also completely clean-shaven and slap-headed, looking vaguely like a cross between Max Schreck in 'Nosferatu' and Kojak.
The English characters in Stoker's novel are Turkish here, with appropriate name changes. The most significant change in the storyline is the conversion of demure ingenue Mina Seward into a fleshly cabaret dancer named Guzin, erotically depicted by Annie Ball. She gives an intriguing performance, turning me on more than somewhat, but this alteration weakens the story. Much of the horror in Stoker's novel comes from the contrast between the virginal Mina and the profane unholy nature of the undead. In this Turkish film, the Mina character Guzin is already depicted as a 'bad' girl, so somehow it doesn't seem quite so shocking when Dracula threatens to recruit her into the undead's legions.
This film was made on a laughably low budget, only a bare notch above the Ed Wood level. Yet the lighting and photography impressed me, and the Turkish locations are very interesting. I wish I could say I was impressed with the actors' performances: perhaps Turkish cinema audiences actually prefer a more stylised acting technique than I'm accustomed to viewing. I'll rate this Turkish delight 4 points out of 10.
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