Bram Stoker's Dracula- Horror Movie Review- (Day 8 of 31)- October Massacre

Bram Stoker's Dracula- Horror Movie Review- (Day 8 of 31)- October Massacre
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PLOT: Since the world really lacks Dracula stories, back in 1992 super director Francis Ford Coppola brought together a hell of a cast and went all out with the sets, strongly focusing on the original Bram Stoker novel. The film starts with the great Anthony Hopkins narrating as we begin back in 1492 with Gary Oldman doing battle…until he loses his faith. We then time warp to 1897 where an overmatched Keanu Reeves (playing the lawyer Jonathan) travels to Transylvania to do business with the mysterious Count Dracula, leaving his woman at home. Turns out Jonathan’s woman (that’s Winona Ryder) looks just like Dracula’s woman from 400 years ago, so he travels to London to find her. And guess what, nothing works out the way any thinks it will. 

REVIEW: Bram Stoker’s Dracula isn’t a usual horror movie. Product is top notch on every element: from the sets, to the music, to the lighting, to the visual effects. It’s high quality shit on all ends, and everyone brings it. Watching Gary Oldman play the ultimate villain makes me wish that he’d take another role as a bad, bad man. It’s been too long, and now he seems stuck in the "Jim Gordon" role.

Anyway, this is a beautiful film with damn good performances from everyone. Oldman and Anthony Hopkins obviously dominate every scene that they happen to breathe in. They know how to steal a freakin' scene, leaving the rest of the cast slightly overshadowed, but not for a lack of trying. I give Reeves credit for avoiding typecast back then, and he does a decent job as the young, kinda dumb lawyer. Winona Ryder, Cary Elwes, Richard E. Grant, Billy Campbell, Sadie Frost, and Tom Waits round out the cast, all holding their own. While each do more than well, Tom Waits steals every second as the batshit crazy Renfield. He loves him some bugs. 

Obviously, Coppola knows how to a make a grand scale production. The guy has lived and breathed the Hollywood epic. Everything in Dracula appears authentic yet it still feels like old school Hollywood magic, which is difficult to pull off. Simple things like shadows not matching up to action or subtle changes in lighting all add to the looming atmosphere. Everything is dark, but that's the way the old count would want it. 

Not many horror films get this fancy of a treatment, and it makes me wish a few more would. It's hard R  with plenty of blood, gore, boobs, and people talking funny. At times things play a little slow, even dragging in spots, but overall the story moves along nicely as we wait for Oldman to strike again. And boy does he love to strike.

BEST TNA SCENE: There's plenty of good stuff here. While the Keanu sandwich is quite nice, it's good old Lucy who gets to put on the real show. 

BEST GORE BIT: Lots of quality gore, but for my money the opening sequence when Dracula is still human and kills many, many poor suckers. A lot is done in contrasted lighting, but damn does it look cool.

HALLOWEEN DRINKING GAME: Take a shot of something red whenever Oldman gets his fill for blood. 




Extra Tidbit: Even Francis Ford Coppola questions his hiring of Keanu Reeves here. He was the hot, young star he needed.



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