When a ship is wrecked off Whitby, the only survivor, Count Dracula, is discovered lying on the beach by the sickly young Mina Van Helsing, who is visiting her dear friend Lucy Seward. Lucy, her fiancé Jonathan Harker (a solicitor), and her father Dr. Jack Seward (who runs the local asylum) try to make the Count feel welcome to England. The Count quickly takes the life of Mina, and proceeds to romance Lucy, with the intention of making her his greatest bride. Soon after the death of Mina, the Sewards call her father Dr. Abraham Van Helsing to come to their home. As Lucy falls deeper under the spell of the Count, Dr. Van Helsing almost immediately comes to understand that his daughter fell prey to a vampire and discovers the culprit to be none other than the Count himself. Dr. Van Helsing, Dr. Seward, and Harker work together to foil the Count's plans to take Lucy away to his native Transylvania.Written by
Hillary Glendinning (firstname.lastname@example.org)
VanHelsing (surrounded by the men) prepares to "purify" his now 'undead' Mina As Seward and Harker question her actual state, VanHelsing holds up a small mirror for them, insisting Mina casts no reflection. As Jonathan takes the mirror and looks, you can catch a glimpse of her hair and some skin showing. (Original release only.) See more »
An erotic and eerie re-telling of the timeless story
It's Halloween as I write, and all the little ghouls are making their annual rounds. What better time to re-view and review my collection of vampire flicks? This version is one of the best so far in my opinion. You don't need to be Freud to understand the attraction of the vampire, and in particular Dracula. The powerful combination of sex and death (or un-death if you will) is irresistable to the human psyche. And let's admit it, who wouldn't like to live forever?
Frank Langella's take on the Count is expertly performed. His tall, dark, good looks are ideal here. Langella's astigmatism, which causes his eyes to quiver when staring, provide an eerie effect which the special effects of 1979 couldn't have achieved. As another reviewer noted, Mr. Langella had performed this role on stage before making this film, so his Dracula is smooth and well polished. His subtle spider-like hand movements are perfect here.
The beauteous Kate Nelligan provides an able foil as the strong and intelligent Lucy and Dracula's love/death interest. Note that the Lucy and Mina roles are reversed in this version, but no apparent harm is done to the story.
Olivier and Pleasence are solid but not exceptional in their roles as Drs. Van Helsing and Seward. The sets are very good, and some are wonderful (the graveyard scene with the white horse and the Count's dining room stand out).
All in all, a great way to spend a couple of hours in the presence of a sensuous and strangely attractive evil. 7/10 stars.
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