HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
To the Stars
Lady Godiva Rides Again
Angelfish
Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ
Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, A
This is a Hijack
Loved One, The
Jumanji: The Next Level
Krabi 2562
Call of the Wild, The
Diary of a Country Priest
Sea Fever
Throw Down
Grudge, The
Green Man, The
Specialists, The
Convoy
Romantic Comedy
Going Ape!
Rabid
Infinite Football
Little Women
Camino Skies
Ema
Another Shore
Cry Havoc
Legend of the Stardust Brothers, The
Mystery Team
Westward the Women
Demonwarp
Man Who Killed Don Quixote, The
Chloe
Jojo's Bizarre Adventure
Murder Inferno
Extraction
Overlanders, The
Can You Keep a Secret?
Women in Revolt
Astronaut
Peanut Butter Falcon, The
   
 
Newest Articles
The Golden Age of Colonic Irrigation: Monty Python Series 4 on Blu-ray
Lady of Pleasure: Lola Montes on Blu-ray
Take You to the Gay Bar: Funeral Parade of Roses on Blu-ray
Hit for Ms: Mark Cousins' Women Make Film on Blu-ray
Look Sinister: The 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse on Blu-ray
Star Wars Triple Threat: The Tricky Third Prequel and Sequel
I Can See for Miles: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes on Blu-ray
Too Much Pressure: The Family Way on Blu-ray
The Alan Key: Alan Klein and What a Crazy World on Blu-ray
A Japanese Ghost Story: Kwaidan on Blu-ray
The Zu Gang: Zu Warriors from the Magic Mountain on Blu-ray
Reality TV: The Year of the Sex Olympics on DVD
The Young and the Damned: They Live By Night on Blu-ray
Mind How You Go: The Best of COI on Blu-ray
Der Kommissar's in Town: Babylon Berlin Series 3 on DVD
The End of Civilisation as We Know It: The 50th Anniversary
The Whalebone Box: The Andrew Kotting Interview
Being Human: The Elephant Man on 4K UHD Blu-ray
It's! Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 3 on Blu-ray
Put the Boot In: Villain on Blu-ray
The Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 2: Vic Pratt Interview
All the Lonely People: Sunday Bloody Sunday on Blu-ray
Desperate Characters: Beat the Devil on Blu-ray
Chansons d'Amour: Alfie Darling on Blu-ray
Ozploitation Icon: Interview with Roger Ward
   
 
  Dracula Love Bites
Year: 1979
Director: John Badham
Stars: Frank Langella, Laurence Olivier, Donald Pleasence, Kate Nelligan, Trevor Eve, Jan Francis, Janine Duvitski, Tony Haygarth, Teddy Turner, Sylvester McCoy, Kristine Howarth, Joe Belcher, Ted Carroll, Frank Birch, Gabor Vernon, Frank Henson, Peter Wallis
Genre: Horror, RomanceBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: It is a dark and stormy night, and the seas off the coast of Whitby are churning in the gales and lashing rain. It's not a fit night out for sailors, yet there is one ship coming into view and heading towards the rocks; onboard, the crew are panicking. Not because they might be wrecked, but because there is a ghastly presence there, killing off the men trying to dump the crate that contains it overboard. They fail and the Captain, the only one left alive, struggles to get away but he has been bound with ropes to the ships's wheel, so before long the craft has been run aground... with what looks like a wolf jumping off it onto the shore.

And that animal is Frank Langella as Dracula, here repeating the role he won awards for on the Broadway stage when the old hit play was revived there, to great success as it turned out. It was natural, therefore, that he should be cast as the Count in this film version, but unlike Bela Lugosi who the play had also made a star of in America, Langella did not have an East European accent, and more than his predecessor emphasised the romantic side of things, with his villain looking more like the dashing hero than the affront to decent society he might otherwise have been.

Events and details are repeated from the celebrated Bram Stoker novel, but others are changed: not really for the purists, then, this version. Here, Mina (Jan Francis) is a sickly young woman marked out as victim from her first appearance, and she is the daughter of Van Helsing (Laurence Olivier) as well. Dr Seward (Donald Pleasence) is head of the local lunatic asylum, and his daughter Lucy (Kate Nelligan) this time is the love interest for the Count, though she has to wait her turn so that Mina can be vampirised with some speed.

Indeed, Francis has barely welcomed Dracula into her boudoir than she is gasping for breath and quickly expiring. Van Helsing is called for, yet the expected battle of wills between him and his adversary is somewhat hampered by the fact that the Count has already turned his daughter into a bloodsucker, so whatever victory the Professor wins will only be a Pyrrhic one (that's without mentioning what happens to Van Helsing at the end, talk about getting a taste of your own medicine). So what W.D. Richter's screenplay is more engrossed in is the love story.

Compared with Lucy's ostensible boyfriend Jonathan Harker (Trevor Eve), the sensual and exotic Dracula looks like the far better bet. In fact, during the big love scene between him and Lucy, it uses so many special effects to suggest that she is being transported out of her body with desire that the John Williams soundtrack makes it sound as if this is a sequence from Superman. After all, Drac has special powers too, does he not? And that's the essential flaw in this incarnation: overstatement in every department. Therefore the horror moments are over the top, the lusts are highlighted and the whole production is dead set on shocking the viewer out of its preconceptions about the old tale. Look, it says, we can be modern with this! On the plus side, director John Badham manages to avoid outright camp, but there's more than a touch of the Mills and Boon about his Dracula.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3688 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

John Badham  (1939 - )

British-born, American-raised director of mostly medium-sized hits. He progressed from television in the 1970s to direct The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars and Motor Kings, but his second film was the blockbuster Saturday Night Fever. After that came a remake of Dracula, Blue Thunder, classic Cold War sci-fi WarGames, Short Circuit, Stakeout, the underrated The Hard Way, Nick of Time and Drop Zone, amongst others. He moved back into TV in the 2000s.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
  Hannah Prosser
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Butch Elliot
  Rachel Franke
Paul Smith
   

 

Last Updated: