Sunday, February 10, 2013

My Favorite Fangs

Ok, ladies and gentleman, we have seen them all and watched them go from horrid, to human, to ghastly to gorgeous now sexy and sparkle.  The latter really irritates me.  However, I am going to showcase my own personal favorites and my experience when I first saw them on the big screen.

Frank Langella - Dracula

Oh my gosh. Even though I was a tender 12 year old, this was the Dracula that awakened me to the horror genre.  Sure, I had seen some of the old black and white films but this one was pure magic for me.  Frank was extremely sexy and theatrical in his performance.  His tone of voice was very smooth, but there was always of undertone of something wicked.  After I grew up and was able to purchase the movie, that was when I discovered that he put a lot of effort into the part by helping with the designs of the cape and the height of the collars.  He had also been playing Dracula in the theatre and that was how he was selected for the part.  I still watch this version and even though they have the characters backward from the book, it is still a joy and I get that little girl giddy feeling watching Frank and yes I realize that is he is old and grey, but he is my original vampire. 

Thank You Frank

Gary Oldman - Francis Ford Coppola's Dracula

Ok, you see how hard I fell for Frank, well I was twice as angry about this new guy taking over my favorite fang's part.  Watching the previews, I was pissed.  I was determined not to like this "Gary" person.  Well I caught the movie late one night when nothing else was on and I was hooked.  The depth of his loss of his beloved wife, with whom he replaced with Mina was breathtaking.  In addition the costumes, the romance, the cinematography were amazing.  I especially like the scenes with the misplaced shadow and Keeanu Reeves' character.  Gary also brought a theatrical approach, but the big difference here was that he was doing it all for love.  Frank's character was more in need of someone to do his bidding and be by his side.  Gary's Dracula was in love from the beginning, fell to a curse at the loss of that love and redeemed by the belief in his love.  The costumes were fabulous and Gary's movements were fluid and poetic.  I fell in love all over again and cheated on my original with Gary Oldman in Francis Ford Coppola's Dracula.

Thank You Gary

Gerard Butler - Dracula 2000

Ok, I brought this one up, not because he was a great actor, or because he brought a steamy kinda punk feeling to the role, but because of the storyline.  For the first time Dracula was portrayed as the traitor of Jesus.  This storyline was quite far from the norm and the Prince Vlad character.  This story was invoked by a new thought process.  It took the things that he loved so much and turned them against him.  They even threw in silver, which is commonly a werewolf item.  But nevertheless, Gerard delivered a performance that was worthy of the young crowd who needed to see this kind of Dracula at the time. Dracula 2000 was meant for the crowd of that age. The young handsome Butler, with the chiseled frame and in search of his innocent Mary was quite a different take than the others.  Every generation has one and this one was meant for that time period.  Not as strong of a story as the others but it's originality caught my eye.

Interview with the Vampire

Well dressed, exotic, fierce and with a story to tell that can last ten lifetimes, Anne Rice brought us the tale of a vampire family.  Lestat, unwilling to be alone creates a beautiful but tortured vampire companion in Luis.  Although Cruise's character was the lead, Pitt stole the show.  His refusal to take human life and dine on rats gave him a human component that made you beg for more of him.  Then Lestat creates Claudia, Kirsten Dunst.  Remarkable youg lady and wonderful performance.  She carried the role with the desire and passion of older actor even though she was quite young when she did this movie.  Her tantrums and murderous plots were awesome and her Luis was there as her protector.  I loved the stories and read all three.  Even though I am not in love with Cruise as Lestat, he potrayed the character well and gave a new breath to the series.  All thanks to Anne Rice of course.

Dark Prince:  The True Story of Dracula

I caught this movie on the SYFY channel and fell in love with it.  Starring Rudolph Martin and Jane March, this story chronicles the story of Prince Vlad as he grows up to become the bloodthirsty legend that we all know.  This story is of the human and how he crawled up the ranks, fell in love out of his ranks and exceeded his ranks only to be murdered by those he trusted.  The kicker is that his brand of evil did not stay in the grave and thus closer to the end of the film you see the birth of the vampire that we know and love.  It's a good movie, an interesting story and good way to spend the afternoon.  Will you walk with me?

Underworld Evolution
Underworld Rise of the Lycans
Underworld Awakening

Kate Beckinsale is the first kick ass female vampire, that I like.  Unlike other female counterparts in the franchise, she took the main role and was not the helpless dame waiting to be rescued.  She was created by her "father" victor as a replacement for his own daughter that had betrayed him by falling in love with a Lycan.  Selene discovers that Victor is a treacherous being and that he will stop at nothing to destroy any race that is not a vampire.  Throughout the movie, Beckinsale, Selene, kicks ass.  She is tough and vulnerable at the same time.  Let's not forget the skin tight suit she had to peel on and off at times that go so well with the film.  Another great story line for the vampire of the new generation.

The Lost Boys

The 80s were a wonderful time, especially if you were watching Keifer Sutherland in the Lost Boys.  A beautiful gang of biker boys along with a beautiful girl and small boy are the characters for a story based on peer pressure and following the wrong crowd.  Loved this movie and watched it over and over.  I know the lines, I owned the soundtrack.  Corey Haim was at his best and Corey Feldman was at his side.  The follow up movies were ok, but nothing is like the original.  Cry little sister.  All hail the Lost Boys.

As I stated these were my personal favorites.  Sure, I am aware of the Twilights and such, but when you're old school, you're old school.  Oh and a shout out to 30 Days of Night, those vamps took everything back to the original meaning of the vampire.  The need to feed.