DraculaFest: The Wrap-Up

I am the vinner!

I am the vinner!

Finis! Three months and thirty-seven films later, DraculaFest draws to a close. Yes, if I really wanted to draw this out I could likely squeak out at least a dozen more films. (Ever seen Ringo Starr’s Dracula musical? No? With good reason!) But I’m convinced I’ve found the gems, and I’m not enough of a masochist to sit through a dozen terrible movies on purpose. Savaging awful monster movies gets old, and we already have MST3K for that.

Here they are, all the films of DraculaFest in order of my own personal preference. Note that this order is not a strict reflection of the ratings I handed out as I watched. As time wore on and I gained more context, I decided I’d been a bit strict or lenient with a few of these flicks. None of the scores were way off base, but a few got bumped accordingly in either direction. And I left the original posts as-is, because hey, this is not Star Wars.

A few random discoveries and surprises:

– That’s a shitload of Dracula! I knew going in the character was popular, but I didn’t quite realize the extent to which this story had invaded pop culture for the past century. Every era boasts on-screen versions of the legend, from the 20’s into the 2010s. Residing in the public domain no doubt accounts for a lot of the activity. But the Count is also the quintessential Western villain: an exotic immigrant come to corrupt and destroy post-industrial culture, and a sensual creature preying upon one’s own desires and spreading his sickness through an unchaste exchange of bodily fluids. Tell me those fears are irrelevant to our times!

– Like disco, Dracula dominated the ’70s. 38% of the films in this list are from that decade. Over a third! Why? I have no idea. But the burnout was so severe that no one touched the Count again until Coppola’s ’90s revival, other than a low-budget misfire or two. Just as well. No one needs to see Dracula with a pink Izod or a skinny necktie.

– Avoid movies with increments of 1000 in the title. You have been warned.

– Congratulations to the Germans, who have proven they know their way around a monster movie. I suppose my preference for the Nosferatu films means I prefer a sinister count to the fanged Lothario of many other versions. Or maybe they’re just that damned good at filmmaking and have been since the silent era.

And now, a rest. Until I decide to start reviewing HK wuxia films or bildungsromans or something. (Is that how you pluralize bildungsroman?) Enjoy!

1 Nosferatu, the Vampyre
2 Nosferatu
3 Universal’s Dracula
4 Horror of Dracula
5 Dracula ’79
6 Drácula
7 Blacula
8 House of Frankenstein
9 Franco’s Count Dracula
10 Dracula, Prince of Darkness
11 Dan Curtis’ Dracula
12 Bram Stoker’s Dracula
13 NBC’s Dracula
14 BBC’s Dracula
15 Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein
16 Dracula: Pages from a Virgin’s Diary
17 The Legend of the Seven Golden Vampires
18 Dracula’s Daughter
19 Dracula Has Risen from the Grave
20 The Brides of Dracula
21 BBC’s Count Dracula
22 Dracula A.D. 1972
23 Love at First Bite
24 Taste the Blood of Dracula
25 House of Dracula
26 Young Dracula
27 Blood for Dracula
28 Dracula Untold
29 Dracula: Dead and Loving It
30 Scars of Dracula
31 Argento’s Dracula 3D
32 The Satanic Rites of Dracula
33 Son of Dracula
34 The Return of Dracula
35 Old Dracula
36 Dracula 2000
37 Dracula 3000