To be completely honest, I’m not a fan of many vampire films. Well, let me re-phrase that; I’m not a fan of sappy vampire movies with little to no action. Bigger, nastier vampire films like John Carpenter’s Vampires or From Dusk Till Dawn tickle my fancy. Needless to say I wasn’t exactly overly excited to see yet another take on Bram Stoker’s Dracula. At least until I saw that Jack Palance was cast as Dracula himself.
I can’t say enough great things about how well acted this film is. Palance takes great pleasure in being the prince of darkness and manipulating Jonathan Harker (Murray Brown). While this film is beautiful and well acted, it just doesn’t excite me the way that traditional horror usually does. This is a wonderful telling of the Dracula story with many interesting techniques employed in the cinematography and directing, and looks beautiful with its new transfer to blu-ray. With that being said, as breath-taking as the visuals and acting are, Dracula is just not exciting enough for me.
The story tends to flesh out and stay pretty slow throughout. I’m not sure if it’s because it was a made-for-TV film or if it was just the director’s intention to make Dracula creep along at a snail’s pace. Perhaps it was intended to air in multiple pieces… someone might have to look into that for me.
If you are big into the classic monsters, you will dig this one for sure. Jack Palance is enough of a reason to see this tale re-told and I stand by that. I hope a few of you check this one out and let me know what you liked and disliked about it.
Even if this film wasn’t for me, I’m sure it will be for some of you. You can officially pick up a blu-ray copy of Dan Curtis’ Dracula on May 27 from MPI.
I give this film 2 wooden stakes out of 5.