Sunday, 23 February 2014


  Dracula – Tod Browning – After Murnuau’s unauthorised adaptation of Dracula, in the chilling, shadow strewn Nosferatu (1922), Browning’s film – despite becoming the iconic success to launch Universal’s string of horrors – seems a comparatively dull version of Stoker’s tale. Although Bela Lugosi has subsequently become enshrined as the classic Dracula, now visually canonized in his suave intensity, he was never originally Browning’s ideal choice for the role. This would have been the physically expressive silent star: Lon Chaney. Bela Lugosi’s Dracula meanwhile looms with a stiffly poised drama, each considered and minimal movement ponderously pregnant with elitist decorum. Max Schreck, as the vampire Count Orlock in Nosferatu, was a crazed and clawed, scampering Grinch; Bela Lugosi returns to a postured sense of exotic sophistication – Dracula as aristocrat, gulping the blood of peasants. Unfortunately the film has very little to recommend it, having gotten over the brief enjoyment of witnessing Lugosi’s famous gothic incarnation in action (albeit very slow and stunted action) we are left with an essentially dull film. Perhaps the only high points arrive in Renfield’s occasionally entertaining lunacy and the amusing use of goofy fake bats, hastily made props that flap with amateurish charm befitting of the film’s poorly edited clunk-factor. 5/10


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