Like my okay on Halloween Ends? I don’t care what they say, I know they will make more. When there is money to be made there will always be another sequel or remake.
But enough of that. Here ends another Horrorfest: 31 reviews of films and/or TV episodes that are mysteries, horror, film-noir, suspense, monster movies, thrillers, psycho killers, ghosts, vampires, zombies, mummies, etc.
I only started doing this because I already would watch something for Halloween every day in October (and annoy my friends by doing so); and it was a real easy leap to blog about it. I know some people don’t think I should as it has “nothing” to do with Jane Austen. That may be true, but I do know one character who would enjoy Halloween and Horror films.
I also did my third annual Celebrate Halloween withNorthanger Abbey. And added something new, reading a chapter of Northanger Abbey every day, it’s a perfect countdown to Halloween as it has 31 chapters
And of course our Annual items
A movie or TV episode from every decade from the 1930s-2020s
Jane Austen with Pup Fiction (1997)
Alfred Hitchcock with Marnie (1964)
Animated Film/TV Episode with Over the Garden Wall (2014) & Coco (2017)
Disney with Coco (2017)
Stephen King with Firestarter (2022)
Tim Burton with Beetlejuice (1988)
Vincent Price with The Pit and the Pendulum (1961)
I have never seen this before but I needed a 1970s film and thought it sounded interesting. It’s supposed to be horror comedy version of Dracula, takes Dracula from Victorian themed and sets him in the modern world, and was for many years the the highest-grossing independent film of all time.
This film was inspired by the hit Young Frankenstein spoof by Mel Brooks and aspired to be as good. Let’s see if is worth the hype.
We start off with a rock song and a coffin slowly opening. I really like this music, pretty sweet.
We are in a castle, candles lit and a piano plays while dogs (or werewolves?) howl in the background. Our Dracula (George Hamilton) is playing and drinking alone. He calls to Reinfeild his servant who brings him nude-y magazines. But that’s not what Dracula wants as he tosses them in their trash. He only wants fashion magazines.
On the cover of one of the magazines is a model who is his “true love”, the reincarnation of his one true love he bit back in Warsaw in the 1800s, and in England in the 1930s, etc Looking at the magazine articles that Dracula reads off the cover of the magazine, these are jokes that would no longer hit. That’s something you only to be found in a 70s film.
Dracula’s castle has been taken by eminent domain of the Romanian government and they are going to use it as a training facility. They only have 48 hours to clear out and he can move to government housing or leave the country. He forgoes the apartment (if I was a Count I would too in Soviet Union Romania.)
Dracula calmly leaves, and I’m surprised he didn’t go Vlad the Impaler on them, but I guess it wouldn’t be comedic. When the crowd does try to swarm on them he releases some strange breath and they all move away. One old lady tried to get a shot in by hitting him with a bat but of course it does no damage. Dracula leaves with a parting shot, but the joke falls flat.
The two fly to America with Dracula in his coffin trying to get up to date on American slang and but the book he’s reading is from 1932.
At customs, Reinfeld brings Dracula and goes on about this sob story about his father dying in Africa on safari and being in pieces. It’s so good, the agent starts crying. But it turns out that he accidentally swapped coffins with another family.
Hey Sherman Hemsley is in this movie. He’s the minister at the funeral of the family that they accidentally swapped coffins with. In the middle of the service Dracula wakes up and opens the coffin with everyone taking off frightened.
Now Dracula is lost and alone on the streets of New York looking for the Plaza Hotel or a taxi. He runs into some African American people and doesn’t understand exactly what they are saying to him, but when they try to fight he takes them out and even bends a metal switchblade with his mind, and uses telekinesis to throw one right through the window.
Eventually Dracula finds his way to the plaza. And gets Reinfeld on the job to return the other body, get Dracula’s coffin, and find the model from the magazine, Cindy Sometime.
Reinfeld is dressed in horrible suit (that’s supposed to have him blend in) and heads to the model agency to try and arrange a date with Cindy. When the agency won’t tell him anything, Reinfeld threatens her with his lunch, a King a cobra.
With the address in hand and the sun having gone down, Dracula heads to the photo shoot to meet his Cindy…but first a man has gotta eat.
Dracula turns into a bat and roams the city. First he tried to feed on a woman who is in the middle of making love, but is scared off by the guy who thinks the bat is his first wife. The second family is hungry and try to capture and eat him. The third is a drunk homeless man who gives the bat alcohol. I think these scenes are supposed to be funny but they all fall flat. While I’m not really into the film I do think the makeup of Dracula is good. They actually had the same make-up artist as Dracula (1931), William Tuttle.
So Dracula is sad as he is lonely, can’t eat real food, and unable to be a part of any holiday. Imagine if Stephanie Meyer saw this, in this version being a vampire absolutely sucks. Reinfeld tried to cheer Dracula up and gives him the address of where Cindy would be, a discotheque.
Dracula sees Cindy and tries to talk to her, but she thinks he is a waiter and ignores him. Dracula uses his vampire magic to end Cindy’s phone call and tries to make his move, but she’s not really into it.
The two dance and I really like this scene. Cindy enjoys the dance so much that she invited Dracula home to her apartment which is a mess. The two make are together with Dracula biting her neck.
Later, Cindy is talking to her therapist and boyfriend Jeff Rosenberg.
Yeah Cindy is dating someone and she picked up another guy. When she tries to explain it to her boyfriend/therapist…
I know, I can’t believe she is dating her therapist, he should totally lose his license. Anyways Cindy sounds super crazy trying to explain her cheating. Like seriously Jeff, you shouldn’t be dating her, but I’m sure you’ve guessed how he rolls.
Jeff thinks that Cindy might be making it up but Cindy shows him the hickey and Jerry recognizes the teeth. Turns out his grandfather was Fritz Van Helsing-the Van Helsing. Jeff warns her that she shouldn’t dare Dracula again as if she gets bit two more times she will become a vampire as well. Cindy walks out as she thinks he’s crazy! I’m sorry, Jeff is crazy? You’re the one who said your low blood sugar made you cheat. That the FBI is adding things to your feminine hygiene products that make you cheat. You’re crazy!
That night tbe Count crashes Cindy and Jeff’s date. Jeff gives Cindy a garlic necklace but she tosses it. Jeff reveals his true identity, and Cindy is trying to figure out what is going on. Jeff tried to use a Jewish Star of David on Dracula but it has no effect. The two men try and hyponitize each other, but that also doesn’t work. Cindy gets mad and leaves, Dracula later following her and going through her balcony.
I fell asleep twice during this movie. It was really boring and I’m not sure why it was such a big hit and helped make George Hamilton a star. After the second time I was done and ended up just looking up the ending online.
So how it ends is Dr. Jeff tried to kill Dracula but is thwarted, and Cindy and Dracula run off to Jamaica. I was very disappointed as I was hoping Dracula in modern times would be more funny, like in Hotel Transylvania when they run into the humans at the end. Definitely give it a miss.
Well, Valentine’s Day is coming up, and you all know what that means: 14 posts on some of my favorite romantic moments from some of my favorite films. To review the top 14 romantic moments from last year, go here. Otherwise get ready for the romance and love headed your way.
Dracula is one of the best horror films ever made. This version with Bela Lugosi is my favorite; as I feel other versions either have subpar acting, a distortion of the story, or just fall flat in their presentation.
Bela Lugosi was never intended for the part of Dracula. Originally Lon Chaney was going to play him, but he died the year before. As much as I love Lon Chaney, I can’t see Dracula as anyone but Bela Lugosi.
I have to say that this film probably has the most remakes of all time. There’s House of Dracula, Dracula (1958), The Return of Dracula, Dracula: Prince of Darkness, Dracula Has Risen From the Grave, Billy the Kid vs. Dracula, Taste the Blood of Dracula, Scars of Dracula, Blood of Dracula’s Castle, Count Dracula, Dracula vs. Frankenstein, Count Dracula’s Great Love, Dracula AD 1972, The Satanic Rites of Dracula, Dracula (1979), Love at First Bite, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Dracula: Dead and Loving It, Dracula 2000, Dracula II: Ascension, Dracula III: Legacy, Dracula’s Curse, Dracula 3000, The Batman vs. Dracula, Dracula (2006), Dracula 3D, Hotel Transylvania, Scooby-Doo & the Ghoul School, and Scooby-Doo and the Reluctant Werewolf. Not to mention all sequels or films that Dracula has a part in; this guy sure gets around.
Of course even with all of these, Lugosi’s version still stands the test of time. It is the one we quote, the one we mimic Lugosi’s voice from, the one that we copy the cape movements from; etc-the one that inspires us to pretend that we too are a vampire.
The film starts out with Renfield, a lawyer, going to Dracula’s castle. All the villagers warn him that there are vampires there, but Renfield doesn’t listen.
“Innkeeper: Castle Dracula? Renfield: Yes. That’s where I’m going. Innkeeper: To the castle? Renfield: Yes. Innkeeper: No. You musn’t go there. We people of the mountains believe in the castle there are vampires. Dracula and his wives – they take the form of wolves and bats. They leave their coffins at night and they feed on the blood of the living.”
Renfield ignores them and enters the castle, where he is greeted by Dracula and those famous lines! Some of my favorite.
“Count Dracula: I am Dracula. Renfield: Oh, it’s really good to see you. I don’t know what happened to the driver and my luggage and… Well, and with all this, I thought I was in the wrong place. Count Dracula: I bid you welcome. [Dracula goes up the stairs. Renfield starts to follow him. Suddenly, Dracula hears wolves howling] Listen to them. Children of the night. What music they make.
[Dracula goes up the steps and waits for Renfield, who, without difficulty, cuts open a hole in a huge spider’s web using his walking stick] Count Dracula: The spider spinning his web for the unwary fly. The blood is the life, Mr. Renfield. Renfield: Why, er… yes.”
Renfield doesn’t make it out alive as Dracula ends up attacking him and turning him into his personal valet/assistant. Renfield becomes crazed as the slave of Dracula. The two travel to England, and when the ship docks only Renfield is left on the boat; everyone else is dead with their blood sucked out of them. Renfield is super looney, so he is taken to Dr. Seward’s sanitorium.
Martin: Aren’t you ashamed now? Aren’t you? Spiders now, is it? Flies ain’t good enough! Renfield: Flies? Flies? Poor puny things! Who wants to eat flies? Martin: You do, you loony! Renfield: Not when I can get nice fat spiders! Martin: All right, have it your own way
Later Dracula runs into Dr. Seward, his daughter Mina, Mina’s fiancé John Harker, and family friend Lucy Weston. Afterwards, Lucy becomes enamored of Dracula. And of course, that night Dracula visits her in her sleep and drinks out all her blood.
The next day Lucy is dead as no transfusion is able to save her.
Renfield is acting even crazier, and crazier; Professor Van Helsing is called to speak to him to try and help him work through his problems. As Van Helsing is the expert in vampires, and believes there is a vampire involved in this.
“Renfield: He came and stood below my window in the moonlight. And he promised me things, not in words, but by doing them. Van Helsing: Doing them? Renfield: By making them happen. A red mist spread over the lawn, coming on like a flame of fire! And then he parted it, and I could see that there were thousands of rats, with their eyes blazing red,l ike his, only smaller. Then he held up his hand, and they all stopped, and I thought he seemed to be saying: “Rats! Rats! Rats! Thousands! Millions of them! All red-blood! All these will I give you! If you will obey me!” Van Helsing: What did he want you to do? Renfield: That which has already been done! [giggles sinisterly] “
Renfield further proves Van Helsing’s theory correct as he doesn’t like it when Van Helsing shows him wolfsbane; something that is able to stop vampires.
Later that evening Dracula attacks Mina; he doesn’t fully drain all her blood, but chooses to do it a little at a time as he doesn’t want to kill her hit make her his new bride (the previous wives didn’t come in the move).
Van Helsing also notices that Count Dracula doesn’t have a reflection and concludes he must be the main vampire and Reinfeld’s master.
Van Helsing puts a wreath of wolfsbane around Mina’s neck and tells her nurse not to remove it. He also gives Harker a cross and tells him to hold onto it; that it will protect him from harm of the vampires and to not to give it away under any circumstances.
Immediately Harker tries to give it to Mina and it doesn’t work.
DID YOU JUST NOT HEAR THE MAN? HE SAID IT WILL WORK ONLY FOR YOU! YOU KEEP IT!
I mean this is such a classic mistake made by men in these horror films. In The Mummy, he just has to give the girl the charm that is supposed to protect only him, and then gets knocked out and is unable to keep her from being kidnapped. In The Wolf Man, he gives the girl the charm to protect him, and it doesn’t work for her. Instead he manifests into being a werewolf and almost kills her. MORAL OF THESE STORIES, KEEP THE DANG CHARM!!! DON’T GIVE IT AWAY!!!
Van Helsing confronts Dracula and tells him to leave Mina alone. Dracula tells him that it is too late, he has given Mina some of his blood and that she belongs to him. Van Helsing tells Dracula that he will hunt down his coffin and drive a stake through his heart no matter what.
“Count Dracula: Van Helsing.
[Van Helsing turns to face Count Dracula] Count Dracula: Now that you have learned what you have learned, it would be well for you to return to your own country. Van Helsing: I prefer to remain and protect those whom you would destroy. Count Dracula: You are too late. My blood now flows through her veins. She will live through the centuries to come, as I have lived. Van Helsing: Should you escape us, Dracula. We know how to save Miss Mina’s soul if not her life. Count Dracula: If she dies by day. But I shall see that she dies by night. Van Helsing: And I will have Carfax Abbey torn down, stone by stone, excavated a mile around. I will find your earth-box and drive that stake through your heart. Count Dracula: Come here.
[Dracula raises his hand to hypnotise Van Helsing] Count Dracula: Come here.
[Van Helsing takes three hypnotised steps towards Dracula but soon steps back, resisting Dracula’s hypnotic power over him] Count Dracula: Your will is strong, Van Helsing.
[Van Helsing reaches out for his crucifix as Dracula looms toward him] Count Dracula: More wolfsbane? Van Helsing: More effective than wolfsbane, Count. Count Dracula: Indeed. [Dracula lunges towards Van Helsing. Van Helsing holds up the crucifix. Dracula snarls and turns away. Van Helsing, in triumph, puts away the crucifix]”
Harker still hasn’t realized what is happening to Mina. He takes her out in the night, where she attacks him. Luckily, he is saved by Van Helsing who puts Mina in her room with wolfsbane. He tells the nurse to make sure that she does not remove it.
He and Harker leave to look for the coffin. They know it must be in the area as Dracula would never travel too far from it.
While they are gone, Dracula hypnotizes the nurse and has her remove the wolfsbane.
Dracula takes off with Mina, bringing her to his lair.
Harker and Van Helsing see him and follow; Harker wanting to save Mina while Van Helsing wants to destroy Dracula. Renfield manages to escape from his cell and follows them as well. But Renfield isn’t in the picture king as Dracula kills Renfield; thinking that he lead everyone to his lair. Eventually, Dracula is forced to return to his coffin as the sun is rising. When he does Van Helsing drives a stake through his heart and Harker goes to get Mina.
This film is truly amazing and I think you should check it out. It has influenced countless generations and really became the face and substance of who Dracula is.
This was one of Bela Lugosi’s favorite films and when he died he was buried wearing the black silk cape he wore for this film.
So that’s today’s fearsome tale. More on the way.
Here’s poster I made for my cover page on facebook in honor or Halloween. Hope ya love it.