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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Vlad Dracula


 Ok, I'm not talking about Castlevania but this Dracula is so cool.

So, I accomplished a great feat last night. I finished reading Bram Stoker's Dracula. I love the story, but I am not a fan of the whole story written in journal form. Besides, who write accents in journals?

Anyway, there are a lot of differences from the book and the movies. The older movies, while keeping with whole Dracula just wants blood thing, are pretty campy. The one with Bela Lugosi has Renfield traveling to the count's home instead of Johnathon Harker. In the book, Renfield only shows up as a inmate in Seward asylum who becomes fascinated with Dracula when he moves in next door.

The movie by Francis Ford Coppola is a different story. Coppola depicts a love between Dracula and Mina that has lasted through lifetimes. In the book, Dracula chooses Mina as revenge for being hunted by her and the others. Despite this, Mina continues to do everything she can to see the creature vanquished. So where did Coppola come up with this?


Vlad Tepes.

Also know as Vlad III, Vlad Dracula, or Vlad the Impaler, he was the historical figure that most believe Stoker based the fictional vampire on. He is known for impaling his victims on stakes to frighten his enemies and warning any transgressors of his strict moral code. He is believed to have killed between 40,000 to 100,000 this way. Quite a lot, but he was in a war with the Ottoman Turks for the Wallachian throne for most of his life. Many Romanians still consider Vlad to be a hero for fending off the Turks.

There is a local legend about Vlad's first wife Jusztina Szilagyi and her death. During a turkesh raid on the castle lead by Vlad's brother Radu (he chose politics over family it seems,) an archer shot an arrow into the bed chamber to warn Vlad of Radu's approach. Jusztina read the warning and threw herself from the tower into a tributary of the ArgeČ™ River flowing below the castle, saying she would rather rot and be eaten by the fish of the ArgeČ™ than be led into captivity by the Turks. This is where Coppola got the inspiration for the romance between Vlad and Mina.

Castle Bran, also known as Castle Dracula.

I think I prefer Dracula more driven by cunning and revenge than romance, but that's how I'm feeling these days. How about you? Do you like the book or one of the movie versions?

Want to read about supernatural hunters? Check out A Prescription for Delirium available now on AmazonBarnes & Noble, and Smashwords

17 comments:

  1. Vlad the impaler, I'm kinda glad I missed his reign, but I'm enjoying your blog, very interesting.

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  2. I think I've seen so many "romantic Dracula" in movies and books that I'd prefer The Impaler myself ;)

    I met someone once who called his car "Vlad the Impala". Still laugh thinking about it!

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    1. Haha! I just had a mental image of Vlad wearing the Dracula cape and sunglasses (at night) rolling in an Impala with rap music blaring out the speakers.

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    2. Hahahaha! That would make for an awesome tourism commercial for the Bran Castle! (they've been more and more embarrassing in the last years, in Romania at least, so this one would be a nice change)

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  3. I always found him more frightening and compelling in the book version. Have you seen the stage play?

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  4. Fun read!

    I am a sucker for all things Dracula, regardless of actual storyline, I must admit. Though campy, I love Lugosi's Dracula, an affection since I first saw him on TV when I was a child. Camp or no camp he scared the bejeesus outta me. And, I find his dark, fangless cpuntenance quite creepy. A REAL sucker. Not bite and suck.

    I don't really remember a Dracula story where the Count wasn't obsessed with a Mina-type so I don't think that's unique to Coppola. Exception is Hammer's Dracula and that unforgettable Hammer blood. Anyway, I am blubbering. Great topic!

    Aurora

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  5. I'm torn, but I think I absolutely prefer the book. But like you said, when books are written in journal or letter form, it really switches my brain off-Jekyll and Hyde was another one, towards the end.

    You should watch 'Nosferatu', it tries to remain pretty close to the book (despite trying to avoid certain things for the sake of copyright back then), it definitely is the most creepy and atmospheric of all vampire movies.

    Great blog and post! :)

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  6. awesome blog! I do have a fond spot for the movie, but more for the old techniques they used and tribute to Jean Cocteau & Beauty and the Beast.

    As far as vampires go, yes I prefer dark and creepy Dracula ;)

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  7. love the blog. makes you think for sure! I gotta say I love the dark Dracula!

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  8. I've read Bram Stoker's Dracula more than a dozen times and will always prefer it to any movie. I found Coppala's movie to be fairly close to the story, but with certain elements highly exaggerated. I've never cared for the campy black and white films and Frank Langella, for me, was sappy.

    If you want an interesting twist in a sequel, read Dracula, the Undead by Daker Stoker (Bram's grand nephew) or a different take on the real Vlad, The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova.

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    1. I'll have to read that one. It sounds interesting. Sorry for taking a while to get back!

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  9. I prefer the dark, evil, soulless Dracula! The modern male vampire as hot, hunky & handsome is silly and certainly not scary. I'd much rather see the vampire as Nosferatu (or as Barlow in Salem's Lot 1979 TV movie)...

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    1. Those are good!. Sorry it took a while to get back to you.

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  10. I love the darker (much darker), blood-drenched portrayal of Dracula, but Stoker's for me was also an incredible read. He delivered line after biting line of incredible poise and relevance and that remains one of my favourite classics to this day. Great post :).

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