joi, 4 mai 2017

Bram Stoker’s Dracula, based on the book by Bram Stoker

Bram Stoker’s Dracula, based on the book by Bram Stoker

A different version of this note and thoughts on other books are available at:

For about fifteen years of my life I had to speak about this damned count almost every other week and so I am not fond of the subject.
Not anymore.

Having worked in what they call today ‘the Hospitality Industry”, one of the most popular products on offer was:

-          The Dracula Tour

There is a fortress that suffered a makeover, about ninety miles from where I live, which is called Dracula’s Castle.
Notwithstanding, it has little, most likely nothing to do with a vampire count that exists only in fiction and little if anything in common with the inspiration for the famous personage.

Vlad the Impaler seems to have been there and considering that he is thought to have been the prince behind the myth, we follow in his footsteps.
Actually, if you want to visit and perhaps meet the guy, who might be haunting those places, give me a buzz…

I have stopped offering these packages about 15 years ago, but nevertheless, I took some Americans to the castle, in 2015.
There are some superstitions and gruesome aspects and legends that offer plenty of material for horror stories.

Take Vlad the Impaler, the one that many feel is the source of inspiration and his many outrageous, terrifying acts;

-          When envoys that came with messages from abroad stood in front of him with religious or just customary covers on their heads the prince asked:
-          Why are you covered in my presence?
-          It is our tradition – or religion, custom, etc.
-          Well I will reinforce it!

And he used nails to better attach the hats, covers whatever the diplomats had on their heads that suffered terribly now.
And the list is long:

-           beggars and homeless people were  gathered together, offered a good, plentiful meal and then asked:
-          Do you want to end this life of misery and destitution?
-          Yes your Highness
-          And he took them at their word (?) and set the dining room with them inside on fire

His name comes from his preferred means of disposing with enemies, traitors, dishonest or just people he probably disliked.
Vlad the Impaler placed those unfortunates on top of a stick and then dragged them down, with the wood perforating their entrails.

This adaptation has the famous Francis Ford Coppola, the man behind some of the best movies in the world:

-          Godfather I, II, The Conversation and Apocalypse Now

Indeed, The Godfather I and II are considered by many to be the very best, not just on the list with others.
The cast of this version of Dracula is also excellent:

-          Anthony Hopkins, Gary Oldman, Winona Ryder, Richard E. Grant, Keanu Reeves and others act with professionalism

I must confess that after all those years wherein I had to talk so much about the character, I feel I had just about enough.

So this new version did not thrill me.
But I am very likely biased and know too much about the vampire count to be happy with what they offered on screen.

I had to know all the stories, legends, Transylvanian superstitions because this was the subject in which most of my clients were interested.
And they had questions, wanted to be informed about all the aspects of the Impaler’s life, which made for interesting narratives…

-          Hey, by the way, call me if you want to know all the details…

-          I failed to mention I am a distant relative and…I fly around at night…

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