Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Bram Stoker's Dracula (THE MOVIE!)

I thought this blog was about books!

HA! Joke's on you guys! I write 'bout what I want! Also when I want, since this was supposed to be my Halloween post, but I only started writing it 10 minutes before midnight on Halloween. I think I win the procrastination award tonight. Anyway! Dracula... I think we're all pretty familiar with the premise of the story. There's a guy with fangs who refuses to die and he goes around biting people, sucking their blood. Somehow, losing a great deal of blood turns them into nymphomaniacs— because apparently anemia is nature's most effective aphrodisiac. Sound about right? ... No? But that's what this movie is leading up to!

Didn't this movie come out in the 90s? How is the nymphomaniac thing surprising?
Artemis cleverly conceals herself on my gray sweater.
The nymphomaniac thing is not surprising. I'll give you that one. But it has been years since I've seen this movie. Furthermore, I don't think I ever gave it the attention that it was due! I have a tendency to keep the TV on as background noise, or only listen to it while I crochet— as though movies and shows were actually radio dramas. I don't watch TV. Today, however, something remarkable happened. Today I looked up, and actually watched the shenanigans. Artemis helped this process along by settling herself on my lap and making crochet impossible, of course. It was then that I realized just what I had been missing, by only listening to the poorly delivered dialogue (whether spoken in Neo's monotone or Hannibal's insane outbursts). The visuals are stunning— often stunningly good, though sometimes stunningly bad. However, it's nothing so captivating that I would've sat and watched in fascination (twice). Nope. The thing that really caught me was Anthony Hopkins' bizarre performance of Hannibal Lecter Abraham Van Helsing.

Van Helsing was nothing like Hannibal!
You're right, of course, but I had just "watched" Silence of the Lambs as well, and it was fresh in my mind. Still, his performance was fascinatingly weird! I guess it'd have to be, given some of his lines:
"She is a bitch of the devil! Yeehee!— a whore of darkness![...] She is the devil's concubine!" All of this, gleefully delivered, and followed shortly by, "I'm famished! Feed me!" Whatever the hell that old coot had to drink prior to shooting that scene, I want two.

My favorite part, however, happened shortly after Lucy's death. During the wake, Van Helsing approaches Jack, the doctor who initially summoned him to examine Lucy. Van Helsing requests that Jack meet him at Lucy's grave before sunset with a set of "post-mortem knives." Assuming that the old psycho wishes to autopsy his beloved Lucy, Jack responds with: "An autopsy! On poor Lucy?"
Van Helsing: "Not exactly. I just want to cut off her head and rip out her heart."
At which point even Artemis, who had until that point been dozing on my lap, suddenly looked up in astonishment. Her eyes wide, she stared at me in bewilderment; her gaze clearly stating: "Mommy, what the fuck are we watching?!"

What the fuck indeed. There are many other ridiculous things I could share with you about this movie, if you haven't already experienced it for yourself. The silly effects, the ill-disguised "blood orgasms," or the inexplicable Harker-Mina-Dracula triangle are easy targets to share. Honestly, I really just wanted to tell you about my cat's reaction. 

If you read this before you go to bed: Happy Halloween 2016!

...If, however, you read this after you wake up...
Don't contradict Batman. Bad things will happen.

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