Thursday, April 7, 2011

Remembering Jess Franco's Dracula

Charles Butler-- a wonderful chronicler of Dracula movies-- turns in an article worth reading that looks at Count Dracula AKA El Conde Dracula, Jess Franco's 1970 film.

I have great affection for Count Dracula. As Butler points out, the movie is terribly paced, insensibly acted, and suffers from some of the least frightenning puppy-dogs-subbbing-for-wolves ever. It makes extensive use of day for night and seems to have been edited with no regard for logic. Christopher Lee himself, lured to the Dracula role by promises of a script that would be "true to the book," appears to think he is performing a one-man show about Dracula into which annoying other actors keep wandering.

Chris Lee, lookin' like Dracula.
And yet, and yet. I love this movie! It was the first film that really did attempt to invest in Dracula the gravitas that Stoker gave the character, and the first I'm aware of that made the character look the way he looks in the novel, with white hair and moustache.  As fodder for still photos this is a fine film-- if Gary Oldman had been made up to look like Christopher Lee looks in this movie, his movie would have been far, far better.

Also, the music from composer Bruno Nicolai is awesome. Here's a great cut of the score.

Here's a trailer for El Conde Dracula. I heartily recommend you regret seeing it soon.

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