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Friday, October 29, 2010

Friday Film Buff: Bloodsuckers

There are a lot of movie versions of Bram Stoker's famous Count Dracula, and I like most of them. I like the 1931 black-and-white horror classic starring Bela Lugosi. I like the 1979 version directed by John Badham and starring Frank Langella. I like both the 1922 silent Nosferatu and its 1979 remake directed by Werner Herzog, as both are pretty obviously thinly-veiled versions of the story. I even like the 1992 Francis Ford Coppola version as long as I remember to cover my ears whenever Keanu Reeves has lines.
One version that many people may not have seen is the 1958 Hammer Studios' Dracula. Released in America as Horror of Dracula, writer Jimmy Sangster put a slightly different spin on the classic story and moved the setting to somewhere in Germany.
Christopher Lee is the titular count (and would continue to play the role in several hammer sequels) and Peter Cushing his dogged pursuer, Dr. Van Helsing.
Director Terence Fisher pushed the late 50's envelope for gore and sexuality on film, and the result is a tantalizing little thriller that still holds up today.

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