HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Raya and the Last Dragon
Letter from Paris
Behind the Mask
Lucky
Matrix, The
Undergods
Betrayed
Fried Barry
Once Upon a River
Cowboys
Atlantis
We Still Say Grace
Enfant Terrible
Nomadland
Playboy of the Western World, The
Bike Thief, The
Threshold
Virtuoso, The
Here are the Young Men
Beast Beast
Labyrinth of Cinema
Justice Society: World War II
Artist's Wife, The
Truman & Tennessee: An Intimate Conversation
Pusher III
Palm Springs
Devil Commands, The
Oak Room, The
Pusher II
Forget Everything and Run
Secrets & Lies
Red Moon Tide
Man with Nine Lives, The
Pusher
Pot Carriers, The
Black Bear
Don't Cry, Pretty Girls!
Portal
Me You Madness
Reckoning, The
   
 
Newest Articles
Let Us Play: Play for Today Volume 2 on Blu-ray
Before The Matrix, There was Johnny Mnemonic: on Digital
More Than Mad Science: Karloff at Columbia on Blu-ray
Indian Summer: The Darjeeling Limited on Blu-ray
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
Network Double Bills: Some Girls Do and Deadlier Than the Male
Absolutely Bananas: Link on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
   
 
  Bram Stoker's Dracula Vampires Do Exist
Year: 1992
Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Stars: Gary Oldman, Winona Ryder, Anthony Hopkins, Keanu Reeves, Richard E. Grant, Cary Elwes, Bill Campbell, Sadie Frost, Tom Waits, Monica Bellucci, Michaela Bercu, Florina Kendrick, Jay Robinson, I.M. Hobson, Laurie Franks
Genre: Horror, RomanceBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 3 votes)
Review: Way, way back in the fifteenth century, in the land of Transylvania, there was a warrior king called Dracula (Gary Oldman) who commanded firece loyalty among his subjects - at pain of death. His one true love was his bride, Elisabeta (Winona Ryder), so when he was away from their castle home fighting a holy war, she stayed put and fretted that he might not return. So when Dracula won his battles and did indeed get home, he was horrified to discover Elisabeta had committed suicide when she was told by his enemies that he had died. This is why he renounced God. This is why he embraced the dark arts. This is why he was damned to be a vampire for the rest of time...

If there's one word for Francis Ford Coppola's rendering of Bram Stoker's famous horror novel, it would be opulent. It's a rare shot that does not display the strenuous efforts of production designers and costumers on this evidence whipped to within an inch of their lives by the director so his vision could be as intense as it was possible to be. But for all these lavish qualities, the result is akin to being yelled the Victorian classic at full volume rather than curling up next to a roaring hearth on a winter's eve and cosily turning the pages to lose yourself in the atmosphere.

It doesn't help that the actors are, by and large, all at sea here, lost amongst the noise of the visuals. Oldman in the title role is swamped in makeup, from an ancient, elaborately-coiffed version of himself to a wolfman, from a long haired lover from Transylvania to a, well, "batman" (foreshadowing for his Commissioner Gordon in the next decade?), and he is among too many members of the cast putting on a comedy accent that hinders their performance. He is a man of a thousand voices compared to Keanu Reeves, however, whose Jonathan Harker makes one wince every time he tries and fails with that English inflection.

Harker, as in the book, travels to see Dracula, although his reasons for doing so are apparently simply to be captured by the Count's vampire brides (who include Monica Bellucci before she got really famous) and alert his host to the presence of his fiancée Mina, played by Ryder. This is because it's yet another vampire movie which appropriates the reincarnation of lost love plot of the Boris Karloff classic The Mummy, something nowhere to be seen in Stoker's tale, owing more to the Frank Langella version than many care to admit. By bolting on a romance, Coppola and screenwriter James V. Hart presumably hoped for a depth of yearning to be brought out in his vampire's plight, but he is scuppered by the lack of chemistry between his leads.

That's right, Dracula here is not the bad guy, but the hero, and all those living chaps are spoiling his fun with the ladies. One of those ladies is Mina's best friend Lucy, played with cartoon relish by Sadie Frost, and if you're hoping to see her quickly succumb to the bloodsucking you'll have a long wait: what should be a punchy shocker is dragged out far too long. The most fun to be had here is from Anthony Hopkins as Van Helsing, sounding like Dr Ruth as he discusses sexual diseases and the only actor in this to match the blare of over the top silliness that Coppola works up. At times this Dracula resembles a mega-budget Carry On Screaming with its overripe playing and lewdness, which would be fine if it were not intent on having you take its love story so leadenly seriously. It does look great, but loses the thread of what should be a simple plot. Music by Wojciech Kilar.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 5729 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (2)


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 probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
   

 

Last Updated: