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My Life with Count Dracula (2003)

Many years ago in a small house in South Central Los Angeles, a childlike little man with a wobbling gait and a high pitched voice abandoned his law books to dedicate his life to giving ... See full summary »

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Donald A. Reed ...
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Alan White ...
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Many years ago in a small house in South Central Los Angeles, a childlike little man with a wobbling gait and a high pitched voice abandoned his law books to dedicate his life to giving Sci-Fi and Horror films, "a little bit of dignity." In 1962, Dr. Donald A. Reed created The Count Dracula Society, and soon thereafter was named the world's authority on Count Dracula. From Fritz Lange to Rock Hudson, Elsa Lanchester to Ray Bradbury, Hollywood's glitterati all showed up (many wearing fake fangs). Within the decade, his campy Count Dracula Society evolved into the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Films. The capes and fangs morphed into tuxedos and golden Saturn Awards, and by the late 70's his award show was on every TV set in the United States. Today, genre filmmakers such as James Cameron, Dean Devlin, and Bryan Singer dominate the box office, each never failing to recognize the importance of this eccentric little man's undying support for their films and their careers.... Written by Anonymous

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15 June 2003 (USA)  »

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Swan Song for Fandom's Man-Child
8 July 2006 | by (Vegas) – See all my reviews

I met Dr. Reed in 1963 and quickly became Vice President of the Count Dracula Society; an odd amalgam of monster fans and literary sorts also frequented by the likes of Robert Bloch, Ray Bradbury, Christopher Lee and many others. These were the days before horror and science fiction entered the mainstream and Don was the genius who pulled it off. Clearly, Don had the enthusiasm and energy to maintain and operate his gaggle of social lepers and monster kids and while he had his share of detractors he in the end, had the last laugh.

On many levels he was an amazing man and yet, that which made him successful, would serve to crumble his world about him. There was his childish charm, enthusiasm and clear love of the genre, yet there was also nasty vindictiveness, inability to cope with the world around him and his own mortality coupled with an immense, all consuming ego.

On a kitchen table in his cluttered home he and I drew plans for what would become The Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films. It was a masterstroke that could eventually lead to great and wonderful things, yet as the Academy became more famous, more lustrous, televised, reported on and about, his ego and sense of self importance exploded and when that final moment came where he had the choice of moving the Academy to the next level, he said simply "no" to the powers that be and thus began the downfall from which the Academy never recovered.

Dustin Lance Black has done an incredible unflinching job capturing this eccentric little man and the world in which he lived, serving as proof that "Absolute power" does in fact, "corrupt absolutely". This film is a must-see on so many levels.

My sole gripe is the Universal "Dracula" footage used (I suppose) to parallel aspects of Don's life. It only serves to slow down the film and I'll wager, using this footage is why the film isn't widely available.

Seeing myself in this film shows how much water has flowed under the bridge and that for a brief moment there were wonderful things afoot that turned alas, into time lost that can never be recovered.


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