Monday, July 11, 2011

Old School Movies: Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992)

Dracula. Vampire. Nosferatu. Also can become a werewolf and fog of various colours. The Bad Guy.

I'm presuming everyone has seen this or some variation on the Dracula story. I remember first seeing Francis Ford Coppola's version many years ago, when I was in a pubescent state. I found the film utterly titillating, mainly because of all the tits. I also remember it had, as he was simply known then, "The dude from Bill and Ted's." It was with great pleasure that I came across a viewing on cable TV and couldn't help but watch.

The first thing that stood out to me was the cast. The dude from Bill and Ted's was of course Keanu Reeves. Anthony Hopkins. Winona Ryder. The dude from The Princess Bride and Saw. Tom Waits was even in there. Monica Bellucci (amazingly hot). And of course:

Gary Fucking Oldman
Gary Fucking Oldman. Gary Fucking Oldman is awesome, and as you can see looks like a total boss in the above image. His costume looks pretty tough, which leads me to the point that this movie looks great. The atmosphere of a decadent, yet grimy Victorian-era London is perfectly captured. The Transylvanian setting also looks suitably creepy and fit for a vampire.

The story is all about Keanu Reeves going to Transylvania to work for Count Dracula (Gary Fucking Oldman). He is, of course, unaware of the Count's true nature, but suspects something suss is going on. Meanwhile, his wife Winona Ryder is going about her business in London. Once Dracula sees Keanu's photo of Winona, he believes she is the reincarnation of his wife Elisabeta (who killed herself). Thus, he decides to head to London to seduce her and generally cause other sorts of weird stuff, usually sexy. Considering the novel was written in 1897, the story is still very compelling to this day.

But the story doesn't stop some parts of this film being bad. Really bad. Namely:
Now I am the first to admit that I kind of like Keanu Reeves. He was in Bill and Ted's, so how can you hate him? He was also in The Matrix which to this day remains one of my favourite films of all time. Keanu is good at saying "woah" and generally having a laconic, almost stupid manner about him. Keanu is not good at doing accents. This rivals Kevin Costner and Christian Slater's effort when they hammed it up with American accents in Medieval England. Winona Ryder also sounds like total shit. Unfortunately, Gary Fucking Oldman turns it too much the other way, and puts the accent on so thick you can't really understand him at times. It sucks, because immediately all I can think about is how terrible the accents are, and it takes you right out of the movie.

Anthony Hopkins, Tom Waits and the supporting cast all do a pretty good job though. And regardless of the accent, Gary Fucking Oldman also captures the character of Dracula as super duper evil, yet also charming and suave. At one stage in the film Gary Fucking Oldman turns Winona's single tear into diamonds. God damn. The film manages to have a weird, strangely seductive and sexual vibe about it. It may help that one of the characters seems to have at least one boob out for the duration of it. Also Keanu has this freaky foursome with Dracula's brides who trap him in his bed, drain him of his strength and do it night after night.

I'm sure that scene was a real struggle for Keanu.

In the end, the film to this day remains engaging and watchable, regardless of the shitty accents and some pretty bad acting. It's got a rich atmosphere, there's some impressive gore and special effects (for 1992), and the cinematography in general is solid. If you don't take it too seriously you're in for a decent ride.

I give this film 5 boobs out of 10. Actually make it 6 boobs for Gary Fucking Oldman.

Jables here.  I just wanted to add that Keanu Reeves is basically one big boob himself.  That is all.

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