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A 1979 re-imagining of the tale of the thirsty count Dracula (Frank Langella) sees him the only survivor of a ship gone aground off the English coast. His intention is to take over Carfax Abbey and to that end he's brought his own soil with him from Transylvania. Making friends with the locals goes well until a young woman dies through loss of blood and all is suddenly not as it should be. Laurence Olivier plays Dracula's nemesis, the vampire hunter Van Helsing.
Chalk this one up as something that seemed like a good idea at the time. Frank Langella had just taken Broadway by storm in a revival of the play based on Bram Stoker's classic vampire novel. He was tall, elegant, and almost painfully romantic--all qualities that failed to translate to this garish, tarted-up film version. The story remains the same, if told in greater length than in Bela Lugosi's version. The film even offered Laurence Olivier as vampire-hunter Van Helsing (in one of several roles he played during the period that required a middle-European accent) and a young Kate Nelligan as the woman whose love (and blood) Dracula most wants. But director John Badham, working from W.D. Richter's clunky script, makes a hash of most of it, relying on special effects to do the heavy lifting. --Marshall Fine
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Top Customer Reviews
Until I accidentally rewatched Dracula the other day on DVD after nearly three decades (I had no idea this was the version I was about to watch), my memories of it were generally vague, but a few, key aspects had been deeply imprinted on me. The dramatic, ship-in-a-storm arrival of the Count into Whitby in the opening scenes, the horrifying madness of the insect-and-arachnid-eating Renfield and, most terrifying of all, the transformation of the fragile Mina into a grotesque abomination of womanhood!
Once I realized that the film I was watching was the one that had so deeply affected me all those years ago, I steeled myself for the inevitable disappointment that watching it with adult eyes would bring. I was resigned to the fact that the effects would be laughable, that the acting would be hammy, that the pace and atmosphere would be lumbering and tedious... and, worst of all, that it would no longer scare the pants off a flea!
But I was amazed to discover that, not only did it stand up to adult scrutiny, it is actually an incredible work, many of whose subtleties and qualities I had overlooked as a child. Up until the other day, I have felt short-changed by almost all of the Dracula films I have seen.Read more ›
There are no bonus features on the disc which is a bit of a let down, but you do get subtitles, plus the sound is in DTS 2.0 Master Audio which sounds very good, and the Blu-ray quality is very nice, especially with the film mostly being filmed at night, it gets a 4/5.
Frank Langella is excellent as is every other famous actor in the cast. Buy it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have to say that this Blu-ray, and it’s soundtrack are in fine quality for a 1979 film. It also has to be the most atmospheric film version with great sets, cinematography,... Read morePublished 2 days ago by 52ofa1000
Remembering this film as being in full-colour I was confused by the unsaturated look, but this does seem to work in the end. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Janine G.
Brilliant film from the 70s filmed in Cornwall where I'm from .... a very good film.Published 7 months ago by pete