Cherry Saturday, May 26, 2018

Today is Dracula Day.  The idea of the vampire has been around for thousands of years, but we can thank Bram Stoker in 1897 for this particular bloodsucker.  A German Expressionist filmmaker tried to rip off Stoker by making a Dracula movie about “Count Orlok”  ( (that’s Max Schrek looking a little pale in the photo to the left), but since all they did was change the name of the vampire and the term “vampire” to “nosferatu,” they lost in court and all copies of the movie were ordered destroyed.  Yeah, sure, it was a movie about Dracula.  Did you put a stake through its heart?  No?  You can watch it on Amazon Prime right now. And then, of course, there’s the flood of stage and film bloodsuckers that followed, not to mention tragic romantic heroes, some of whom sparkle.  My favorite vampire hunter is Buffy, of course, and she does meet Dracula and does a fan squee before she stakes him (several times, he’s tough to put down, but she’s persistent, so he eventually gives up and goes away). But for Favorite Bad Dracula movie, you cannot beat:

I can hear “I Love the Night Life” playing now.  Gotta love the seventies.  Plus it’s quotable:

Cindy Sondheim: Can I get you anything?
Count Dracula: [looking around at the mess in Cindy’s apartment] A broom, perhaps?
Cindy Sondheim: Eh? Oh, I hate housework. It killed my mother.

I use that last line all the time.

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42 thoughts on “Cherry Saturday, May 26, 2018

  1. My favourite vampire movie is the homegrown mocumentary ‘What we do in the shadows’ directed by Taika Waititi (Thor: Ragnarok, Hunt for the Wilderpeople) and Jemaine Clement (Flight of the Conchords).

    It’s not appropriate to recommend on a Bad Dracula Movie thread, it’s smart and funny and definitely worth the hour and a half.

    PS No one sparkles in the sun.

    7+
    1. And it has werewolves. And that jerk Nick. I hear Waititi doing a movie about the werewolves: We’re Wolves.
      What We Do In the Shadows is becoming a TV series for FX this year and they’re doing a cop show about the two cops who show up at the house.
      The best trivia is that Stu is just an IT guy named Stu who they put in the movie, telling him he had a bit part so he wouldn’t be self-conscious about not being an actor. According to Wikipedia, he didn’t know he as a major player until the premiere.
      Why yes, I do own that movie.

      7+
      1. I think Stu is also in Thor: Ragnarok. I haven’t seen it but watched the blu ray extras on youtube, because that’s how I roll. And…that is fantastic trivia. I wouldn’t have guessed that at all.

        It’s such a good film, What We Do in the Shadows. Without giving anything away, they managed to make me cry over one bit and sigh over another. And the werewolves are the best werewolves ever.

        Rhys Darby (head werewolf) also has a pod called The Cryptid Factor, which is a lot of fun.

        Another favourite Vampire film was Fright Night (the original, please!)

        And Buffy utterly rules.

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    2. Goddamn you! You got here first. I love, love, love that movie. And it has surprising heart.

      The werewolf movie has been put on hold, but I think they are making a series about the two police officers.

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    3. I really want to see that movie. It’s on my Amazon Prime watch list. Ragnarok was so good I Googled the director to find out what else he did, and What We Do In The Shadows popped up.

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  2. Lord, I love Buffy. Love the Scooby gang. Adore them all. Yup, even Riley. Yes to Spike and Buffy. Spike watching Passions and taking to Joyce about it. I had no issue with the calling all slayers thing at the end. Just loved seeing a powerful female hero protagonist.

    4+
    1. Joyce and Spike bonding over Passions was the best. Everything with Joyce and Spike was awesome. “Have we met before?” “You hit me with an ax once – ‘Get the hell away from my daughter.'”

      4+
      1. I even tried to watch Passions when it arrived here. I guess it just didn’t work for me they way it worked for them. 😀

        1+
          1. OMG!!!! You gotta look it up. It’s crazysauce. It’s actually the kind of crazysauce I might’ve liked except, I LOATHE soap operas. I dislike anything that is “to be continued…” or neverending story arcs that pick up and leave off to keep you hooked. But yeah, check out Passions.

            That’s why Buffy worked so well for me, each episode had a really good “happy for now” without someone in peril or emotional upheaval, even though there was a season long storyline woven in.

            1+
  3. I loved that New Zealand vampire movie!

    I’d forgotten about Love at First Bite. I saw it when it originally came out and thought it was funny.

    I recently saw a restored film of Nosferatu in a theater. They had a live, very modern, one man band doing some very atmospheric music. It was great. That actor was so, so, so creepy.

    2+
  4. And I’m chuckling remembering how George Hamilton said that line about the broom. The notion that Dracula, a bloodsucking fiend, would be tidy and fastidious was so funny to my younger self. And my older self too.

    2+
  5. I remember Love at First Bite. I loved it. 🤫

    The 3rd Librarian movie also had vampires. The Librarian and the Curse of the Judas Chalice.

    1+
  6. Hard agree on Love at First Bite. Also adore The Hunger. Am Gemini, contain multitudes.

    Might have to do a Buffy marathon for my birthday after I get back from acupuncture. Definitely in a “staking things” sort of mood!

    1+
  7. I can’t recall the title but there was a movie in the 90s about making NOSFERATU. The premise was that Count Orlok with a real vampire who actually dispensed with cast members, with the cooperation of the director. Not at all bad, as I recall. Peter Weller was the Count.

    The 1979 DRACULA is worth watching for the incredibly gorgeous young Frank Langella. I used to have the poster hanging over my desk. The biggest problem with the movie is that Lawrence Olivier is so incredibly hammy as Van Helsing that he absolutely destroys the film.

    3+
    1. Shadow of the Vampire? That’s Malkovich and Dafoe as the vampire. Eddie Izzard’s in it, too.

      2+
  8. I remember being terrified by Christopher Lee in the Hammer films as a child (classic movies), watching parodies or comedies of Vampire movies (some of them so bad they’re good)

    Anyone remember Amy Yasbeck spinning in midair by herself in the mirror (Dracula: Dead and Loving it) or the contemporary take Dracula 2000 (promising start, not that bad, not that good) The Anne Rice film Queen of the Damned (a whole new level of bad)

    In the sci-fi fantasy genre, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen clunky storyline, excellent library scene where Mina Hawker points out she doesn’t need saving

    Also Van Helsing, where I can’t help feeling the last survivor of a family of vampire hunters, would have a better chance of surviving if she didn’t go hunting in a corset & high heeled boots and take more then one silver bullet with her when fighting werewolves. Still despite its faults worth watching for the lab, Hugh Jackman, David Wenham and the awesome Summer palace scene

    My favourite is obviously Buffy, but Terry Pratchett’s Carpe Diem is excellent too.
    When he showed us how much worse vampires could get and that Granny Weatherwax
    is in a League of her own

    2+
    1. The only thing I liked about League was the library; I stole it and made it the library in the Zo White stories.

      1+
  9. Today might be a good day to rewatch Lost Boys. I love that movie. And the soundtrack.

    4+
  10. Just hopped on YouTube and that “I Love the Night Life” dance was as controlled and elegant as I remembered.

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    1. And I read somewhere that when the movie was released in DVD the rights for “I Love the Night Life” were not obtained, so they dumbed in some other random song.

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  11. Commonly quoted from Love at First Bite around here: “I do not drink…wine. I do not smoke…shit.”

    1+
  12. I had forgotten for much I loved that movie! Thank you . Now I just have to find it on Amazon.

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  13. My first theatrical performance at the age of 6 was a colligate production of Dracula. My Dad was the director.
    The week before rehearsals started, he got a letter from the script’s publishing company revoking their permission to perform the script, it had been selected for a production heading to Broadway.
    Since the book is in public domain, on the first day of rehearsal, Dad passed out a stack of books and the cast worked to develop the script during the rehearsals. It was a really neat production. I still remember being mesmerized by the guy playing Renfield.

    3+
  14. Buffy remains my favorite vampire story. That Dracula episode was pretty funny, if I remember right. Xander being in thrall was entertaining.

    Keep meaning to read Stoker’s Dracula, but have yet to get around to it.

    Vampires should not sparkle. They are dangerous blood sucking fiends. There’s an episode of Supernatural that takes some shots the Twilight craze while portraying vampires as lethal and scary. Dean gets turned and goes to say goodbye to his girlfriend, not realizing there’s a cure. He’s having trouble controlling the impulse to feed from her, and he says “I’m Pattinson” in this horrified whisper. It was great. A friend made me watch the first couple of Twilight movies. I managed to dodge the last two because they split that final book into two movies, and I told her if I had to suffer it would be through both of them at once; she hasn’t gotten around to making me watch them yet. If she ever insists, I’m going to demand that we get drunk. That’s the only way I’ll enjoy it.

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    1. When I watched the second one I just kept finding myself thinking how it was the plot of a really bad porn movie. The scenarios but the really bad dialogue actually fit without any modification. So I started taking notes during the movie and then for fun wrote that porn short story. It was very entertaining and therapeutic. (Although not enough to make me watch any more of them.) Depending on if you’re a writer… something else that might make you enjoy it. 😉

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    2. That episode has one of my favourite Dean lines ever: Look at this. He’s watching he sleep. How is that not rape-y?

      I’ve always said that if Edward was a 40-year-old accountant who seduced a high school student people would not be buying/watching/defending Twilight. When I threw that argument at my friend who said it was okay for her tween daughter to love the books/movies because she knew the difference between fantasy and reality she shut up pretty quickly.

      2+
      1. The age difference weirds me out a little, but since I was cool with Buffy/Angel when I was in high school I feel like I don’t have much room to criticize that aspect of it. The difference is in the execution of that premise. Buffy was a superhero and had difficulty connecting with the average human on that level because of her life experience. Bella was just emo. My only clear memory of the movies I saw is (spoiler alert I guess) when she jumps in the ocean and almost drowns just to hallucinate Edward. Which is incredibly stupid. The friend who made me watch said there are lots of Romeo and Juliet references in the books, which makes sense to me based on my impressions of the movies. When we read that play in ninth grade, I thought Romeo and Juliet were idiots, too.

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    3. Someone did a mashup of Buffy meets Edward on Youtube. It was really very clever and the ending was perfect.

      0
  15. Mum and Dad took my friends and I to see ‘Dracula’ starring John Waters, directed by Sir Robert Helpmann at Her Majesty’s Theatre for my 10th birthday. I was gutted. I wanted to go and see ‘Grease.’

    1+
  16. Vampires at the end of May? LOL, I feel seasonal disorientation. I’d like a reminder to go back to this post on October 1, because there are a lot of good ones I want to see!

    My favorite fictional vampire story is probably Betsy, Queen of the Vampires. It’s like Sophie Kinsella meets . . . nobody. Just goes on a vampire binge for some reason. I should look up Mary Janice Davidson, and see if she’s got any more. It’s been quite awhile since I visited that universe.

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  17. The one I remember liking and being surprised I liked was Innocent Blood with Anthony LaPaglia.

    I saw the original Nosferatu with an organist back in the 1970s. My memory was that it was so much scarier than Dracula.

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