31 Days of Halloween – Day 30 – In Search of Dracula
Who is Dracula? What’s the history of Dracula on film and in media? That’s what this documentary tries to answer, starting with the secrets behind Bram Stoker. This film is narrated by Christopher Lee, one of the best Draculas on film.
Unfortunately, this movie is really terrible and boring. Christopher Lee sounds like he doesn’t want to be there. Most of the movie covers the real life inspiration for Dracula, a guy called Vlad the Impaler, who pretty much everyone has heard of. This familiar vibe continues for most of the movie and I can’t help but feel it covers Dracula in the most superficial way possible.
The movie includes interviews and snippets of comments from people living in Transylvania, which is interesting I guess, but that’s not saying much. It was produced in the 70s and was based on a book from 1972 written by Raymond T. McNally and Radu Florescu. I’d rather read the book.
The documentary also briefly covers Countess Dracula in the same, superficial fashion. After a few minutes, the movie returns to covering Vlad the Impaler’s life and his military battles. The development of the legend of Vlad becoming Dracula is really where the interest lies. Christopher Lee narrates the story of Vlad’s death and how his body disappeared from his tomb, although he explains that it could have been moved by monks who didn’t want attention drawn to their church.
In all, this is not an exciting documentary and lacks the depth for fans of Dracula like me. A general audience might like it, but it glosses over a lot of things and goes through a LOT of topics, even silent films and plays about Dracula. The background of Bela Lugosi is briefly covered, which is not interesting. There are a few clips of Nosferatu and Lugosi’s early films, which work well, but it’s a shame Christopher Lee himself didn’t recount some of his own memories of becoming Dracula.