Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Who's the Best...Dracula?

Karen: Who's your pick for the best film/TV  Dracula? There have been a lot to choose from....Bela Lugosi, Christopher Lee, John Carradine, Gary Oldman, Frank Langella. Let's hash it out.





















23 comments:

Comicsfan said...

What!? No George Hamilton?? :)

Anonymous said...

Shreck is just hideous as Count Orlock. Never really bettered for just his appearance (though pretty much copied for Mr. Barlow in Salem’s Lot).

I really enjoyed Louis Jordan (and he would have enjoyed me*) in the BBC film. I was allowed to watch the first 35 minutes of that when I was nine, my mother presumably thinking nothing that bad would happen in the first half hour. He fed a live baby to his wives. Still a bit traumatised now, actually.

Jordan’s Dracula, like Langella’s, emphasised the charisma and the sexuality. Gary Oldman’s performance was excellent, but I couldn’t get past the hairdo. Also, if they needed a stake, they could have broken one off Keanu Reeves. Lugosi had a great face for it.

It’s Christopher Lee though, isn’t it? Excellent the first time, even better in ‘Horror’ and I’ve never actually seen that 1970, non-Hammer version, but that supposed to be the best one. Karen...is it good?

Can I also just note: when my gf wants to keep me quiet for five minutes, she gives me a ‘Kevin Bacon’ to do, i.e. connecting two film actors with co-appearances by no more than six other actors. Her best ever challenge was Max Shreck to Herbie (yes, the VW). It can be done !!!

Richard

*that was for you, Karen.

david_b said...

Lugosi was the standard for so many generations, but on a humorous note, always enjoy Joe Flaherty as Count Floyd on Second City.

J.A. Morris said...

I'd say it's Lugosi, with Shreck a close second. Logosi had the benefit of working in the talky era, his "Dracula" voice is the one that everyone still hears in their heads when they think of the Lord of Vampires.

And I'm with david_b on Count Floyd, to this day,brilliant parody of every local "shock horror theater" host.

Doug said...

Since public television and Big Bird specifically are in the news these days, I'll nominate The Count!

Anyone else disturbed that Jim Henson and crew had a vampire on a kiddie show? Of course, most of the rest of the cast were monsters anyway...

Loved Al Lewis as Grandpa on the Munsters, too.

Doug

Doug said...

Bronze Age = the era of Blaxploitation...

Anyone see "Blacula"?

Doug

HannibalCat said...

I rewatched Lugosi's Dracula recently and he remains a giant roast ham. Lee was good but under utilised for the most part, and I can't forgive the obvious rubber dagger he killed one of his brides with rather than the boring Dennis Waterman. My favourite is from the BBC TV production from the 70s; Louis Jordan. Equally courteous and repellant. Never, ever mention Gary Oldman. Bram Stoker's Dracula my arse.

Edo Bosnar said...

Comicsfan may have been joking, but I really liked George Hamilton in "Love at First Bite." In fact, I think it may be my favorite vampire movie...

Edo Bosnar said...

And HannibalCat, it's good to know that someone else shares my utter disdain for that overwrought mess by Coppola. It is indeed anything but Bram Stoker's Dracula.

Anonymous said...

IMHO, in order: Christopher Lee, Louis Jourdan, John Carradine, Bela Lugosi, and Jack Palance. That's sticking to the "official" versions. I did enjoy the parodies, like Count Floyd, Grandpa (The Munsters), and the Count from Sesame Street. Those (and George Hamilton) just show how influential Lugosi's performance was. The 1970 non-Hammer version may have been the first attempt to faithfully adapt the novel. They did what they could with what they had, but it was shot down by a low budget. Some critics have said that the 1931 Spanish version was far better than the one with Lugosi. I've only seen brief clips from it (on Youtube), but it looked to me like the lead actor was overdoing it. His bug-eyed mugging would have been more appropriate for Renfield than Dracula. But maybe it's unfair to judge by a few scenes out of context.

Chuck Wells said...

Lugosi never did much more than translate a stage play version of Dracula onto the big screen, but other than Max Schreck as Orlok who preceded him in films, Bela gets way too much credit as the best Count.

Christopher Lee owns the role ... OWNS IT ... accept this and you'll be happier in life, and not the least bit undead!

Steve Does Comics said...

@HannibalCat; Dennis Waterman was in a Dracula movie? Please tell me he didn't insist on singing the theme tune.

Inkstained Wretch said...

I gotta go with Max Shreck. He deviates from the way Dracula is described in the book, but damn is he creepy.

I also gotta give it up for Klaus Kinski (who aped Shreck's performance in the 1979 Werner Herzog remake) and Willem Dafoe, who played Shreck in the clever "making of" fantasy Shadow of the Vampire. Check it out if you haven't seen it.

Mike said...

I always lean towards comedy so - what about Leslie Nielsen??? Ok ... not one of Mel's better movies, but anytime I can nominate Leslie Nielsen for anything, I'm gonna do it.

On the serious side of things I concur and vote for Christopher Lee on this one. Although, the look of Schreck in Nosferatu still creeps the heck outta me. Just goes to prove that you don't need blood and gore to be scary.

And double thumbs up on the Shadow of the Vampire mention. I enjoyed that one.

Garett said...

I'll go with Count Floyd as well! You guys have me looking at SCTV clips now..."The Five Neat Guys"! : D

Dougie said...

For me it has to be Lee: a towering presence and when the dialogue is absolutely minimal, more like a force than a character. The Hammer Dracula is the embodiment of a disease that brings insanity and death to anyone who comes into contact.

My favourite Hammer is Brides of Dracula in which the Lord of Vampires doesn't even appear. It's twisted and decadent because vampirism has to be attractive on some level to be effective. Also, the insane devotion of the nanny/servant is really disturbing.

Karen said...

Lugosi is the icon, one that sadly has become fairly comedic and cartoonish over the years. I watched the new blu-ray edition of Dracula this weekend, and while Dracula has never been a favorite Universal horror film of mine, it is vastly improved in both image and sound. Well worth a look.

We'll have a little more talk on Nosferatu later this week. Certainly the scariest vampire to me, although Lee's furious presence comes in a close second.

Anonymous said...

Christopher Lee is the Count for me, with three of the Nosferatu(s)(Shreck, Reggie Nader, and Willem Defoe) flapping right behind.

Cory Hinman said...

Francis Lederer in the "Night Gallery" episode "The Devil is not mocked". the final close-up of Lederer beaming at his young grandson, having just related how grandpa helped the resistance during WW2, is genuinely chilling.

Anonymous said...

Without a doubt the incomparable Bela Lugosi is tops on my list of the best Draculas. Why? His interpretation of the sanguinary Count is the inspiration for all subsequent versions of the Lord of the Vampires. In Bram Stoker's novel, Dracula is a very old man. Lugosi's suave well dressed continental version complete with the exotic accent has been copied by virtually every actor to play the Count up to this day.

Come to think of it, there would probably have been no Twilight books or movies if Bela Lugosi had not given us his take on Dracula. (I personally think that's not a bad thing, but that's a topic for another discussion! :) ) Lugosi certainly single handedly invented the modern 'sexy vampire'. I've heard (don't know the veracity of this story) that he received a lot of marriage proposals after the film Dracula was released!

Second on my list would be Christopher Lee's chilling portrayal. Even though Bela set the mould for later actors, Lee's Dracula was perhaps scarier due to his imposing onscreen presence. I'll never forget the still pics of Lee with blood dripping from his fake fangs in those famous Hammer horror posters.


- Mike 'is Halloween here already?' from Trinidad & Tobago

Doug said...

Mike --

Your comments are always a welcome smile before bedtime. Thanks for your great sense of humor!

And to everyone -- these are the sorts of days Karen and I love. Just great conversation throughout the life of the post. Take a bow, friends.

Doug

Rip Jagger said...

When I think about it Lugosi is the definitive Dracula. His arcane performance changed the way people thought about the character.

But I have to admit when someone says Dracula the image that flashes in my mind is the ferocious leering face of Christopher Lee.

William Marshall's Blacula is oddly effective, I must admit.

My favorite spoof of the character is Count Chocula!

Rip Off

Tony said...

I'll have to go with Joe Flaherty from SCTV as "Count Floyd"

Related Posts with Thumbnails