SPOILER ALERT- CONTAINS HEAVY SPOILERS OF “THE LAST BROADCAST”. SERIOUSLY, DON’T READ ANYMORE IF YOU HAVEN’T WATCHED IT YET!
As the fifth series began to air in February, the BBC announced that it would be the last. The departures of the original cast caused inevitable anxiety among fans. But during the fourth series, new vampire and werewolf Hal and Tom settled in well at Honolulu Heights, and were joined by new ghost Alex in time to take over from Annie. Her exit to eternal bliss involved blowing up baby Eve to save the world. That was a daring plot choice, and one that a less brave show might have shied away from and found a loop hole for. Now, the final episode “The Last Broadcast” has aired and the series is over. And I have to say I think the final episode was one of its finest.
The series explored a grand plot line. The devil – played by Phil Davies Continue reading →
While some current horror films like 30 Days of Night show vampires as monsters who will rip your throat out and massacre entire towns, “ensouled” or other “good” vampires have taken to hanging round with high school girls and sulkily seducing them.
In the early 1990s The Vampire Diaries appeared. These novels by L J Smith featured an American teenager, Elena, who falls for the new boy at school, Stefan. He turns out to be a 162 Continue reading →
SPOILER ALERT: Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Dir: Dan Curtis, 1973, Dracula, Dir: John Badham, 1979, Bram Stoker’s Dracula Dir: Francis Ford Coppola, 1992
Impaling. Just nasty
Everyone knows that Dracula was really Vlad the Impaler right? Well no, probably not. Stoker may have used the title Dracula, which also applied to Vlad Tepes or Vlad III or Vlad the Impaler) but “Dracula” was a title rather than the specific name of that historic figure. “Dracula” means “child of the dragon” or “devil”. Stoker had made notes that “Dracula in WALLACHIAN language means DEVIL”. But he may not have known much of the legends of Vlad the Impaler.
In 1972 Raymond McNally and Radu Florescu wrote In Search of Dracula, claiming that Stoker’s Count Dracula and Vlad the Impaler were one and the same, lending historical weight Continue reading →
The post-war years saw a shift in vampire fiction – with women beginning to take more active roles than previously. The emerging women’s movement and the sexual liberation the pill brought had something to do with this. Though vampire fiction was still a long way from the point when Joss Whedon would decide to have the blonde girl in the alley fight back, it wasn’t really enough for women to be waiting around to get bitten anymore. One of the earliest examples of can be seen in the first Hammer Horror film about Dracula, directed by Terence Fisher in 1958.
In Horror of Dracula Christopher Lee’s performance as Dracula brings glamour to the role. The Count is well spoken, well dressed and his home is luxurious. Continue reading →
SPOILER ALERT:Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror, Dir: F W Murnau 1922, Eclipse (movie and book), BtVS (Seasons One and Five), Dracula, Dir: Tod Browning, 1931
Max Shreck as Nosferatu in 1922
Ken Gelder observes of Dracula (and James Bond) movies that “these films each bear only a nominal relationship(s) to their literary source(s). Moreover as they begin to comprise a distinct genre, these films speak to themselves … much more than they to speak to any ‘original’ novel(s)”. Each appearance of the iconic figure of Dracula in the cinema has seen a departure from Stoker’s novel. Each time this creates new sources of reference for what a vampire or Dracula should be.
Nosferatu and the heroines willing sacrifice
Dracula’s first appearance in film in the 1922 German production Nosferatu, directed by F W Murnau, retained the monstrous characterisation of the count. He appears as a Continue reading →
Because we have become accustomed to the established model of romantic vampires in contemporary vampire fiction it may come as a shock to many to discover that Count Dracula (as Bram Stoker originally wrote him) was not at all romantic. Modern conceptions of the Count, created by the many representations of him in film and TV, usually show him being driven by emotional desires to connect with a female victim. Even in BtVS, Dracula is represented as needing to Continue reading →