Directed by: Francis Ford Cappola
Starring: Gary Oldman, Winona Ryder, Anthony Hopkins
" I have crossed oceans of time to find you."
If you're looking for the definitive Dracula movie, then forget Bela Lugosi or Christopher Lee as Dracula. All you need is this BEAST of a movie!.
Francis Ford Cappola may be known mostly for The Godfather, but to me, his true masterpiece was Dracula. The film is heavily based on the original novel by Bram Stoker, and it features the best portrayel of Dracula on screen, thanks to Gary Oldman in the title role. Before we get into that though, here's what Dracula is about....
In 14th century Romania, Prince Dracula [Gary Oldman] leaves his beloved Elizabeta [ha!] to fight against the crazy Turks invading his land. During Dracula's absence, Elizabeta hears false news of Dracula's death, and kills herself. On Dracula's return, he learns of his loves "bye bye" and goes a little nuts. In a fit of rage, Dracula renounces God and the Church for taking his lovers soul, and gives into his heartbreak and anger, which in turn makes him lose his soul, becoming the immortal walking undead FOREVERRRRRR!!!!!!
Fast forward to 18th century England, and Jonathan Harker must travel to Romania [the spooky Transylvania to be exact] to meet Dracula over some properties he has bought in England [ Dracula loves real estate! ha]. One night, Dracula catches a look at Jonathan's soon to be wife Mina in a photograph. She bares a striking resemblance to his beloved long lost Elizabeta, which sends Dracula into "obsessed ex" mode, forcing him to hold Jonathan captive in his spooky castle as Dracula sets off to England to woo the panties off Mina!.
Once Dracula arrives, he morphs into a younger version of himself and sets out to win Mina's heart. Dracula is a bit of a naughty boy though, so when he isn't taking Mina out on dates, he's drinking her best friend Lucy's blood and killing anyone else in his path.
Once Mina falls under his spell, it's up to Jonathan [who escapes his castle prison], and Dracula hunter, Van Helsing [Anthony Hopkins] to rescue her from becoming Dracula's undead bride!
The first thing you'll notice about this movie are the visuals. The movie looks BEAUTIFUL. The makers of the film wanted the movie to be very stylish and unique. A lot of work went into all the visual effects and iconic costumes [Dracula's titty wig anyone?]. They went for an OLD SKOOL style of effects shots that works really well in giving the movie a specific look and feel. At times, a few scenes may look a little "fake" [backgrounds ect], but that was the point. It all works anyway, so it's not something that will stick out a lot.My favourite thing about the Dracula story, is that on the surface, it's a basic vampire horror tale. But underneath it all, it's an incredibly erotic and powerful love story. Think about it, this guy loses the love of his life, and would rather GIVE UP HIS SOUL and wait for his one true love to return one day, then to die. He turns himself into an evil monster, all in the name of love. And when Mina realizes who he is, when she remembers him from her past life, even as a monster, she still wants to be with him. In the end, it's Mina who is the only one who can release him from his endless existence. It's powerful stuff. It's one of the most romantic films i've ever seen.
Romantic undertones aside, there is some serious vampire fuckery in this movie. Most notably involving Mina's best friend Lucy. Poor Lucy. She really gets fucked over and becomes a she devil!. Dracula feeds off her every night, causing her to crave blood and be horny 24/7. When he pays her visits, he appears to her as a werewolf creature and fucks her outside. That's some serious beastiality shit right there!. Then, he finally makes her one of his "brides" [there are 3 others, Dracula is a pimp, ha], only to have Lucy staked to death on her fist night out as a fresh new vampire!. Lucy can't ever seem to get a break, lol. She does look cool as a vampire though.
As i mentioned before, Gary Oldman is THA MAN as Dracula. He REALLY plays this role with a lot conviction. He acts his ass off!. He seemed to really drown himself in the role from what i saw during behind the scenes documentaries. He's incredible to watch.
Winona does a good job tooth whistling her way through her role as Mina. Anthony Hopkins plays Van Helsing as a bit of a mental case, but it works, and he provides some humor. Sadi Frost as Lucy is creepy as fuck, and looks like she's having a ball, very memorable character. The only wobbly casting comes from Keanu Reeves, who's a bit hit and miss throughout the movie with his stiff neck and stupid floppy hairdo. Oh and Monica Bellucci gets her titties out as another of Dracula's brides..................in case any guys would like to know.
I keep revisiting this movie over and over. I watch it nearly every year, and i never get bored of it. I've never met anyone who didn't enjoy it either, it's just too well put together. Some say it's a bit style over substance, but with some of the performances in it, you can;t say the movie is ONLY nice to look at. It's so much more. I love it.