The Dracula or Count Dracula is the archetypal vampire created by the Irish writer Bram Stoker. The mythical creature had the power to turn other people into vampires by biting them. This creature has been the subject of many cult classics.
As summer transitions into autumn, here are the best Dracula films for horror-supernatural fans to enjoy:
Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)
Francis Ford Coppola’s classic film boasted of a glorious cast including Gary Oldman as the eponymous character with Winona Ryder, Keanu Reeves, Anthony Hopkins, Sadie Frost and Monica Belucci. A tribute to the book, the film tells the story of Vlad Dracula (Oldman), who after his return from battle realises his wife Elisabeta has died by suicide, as his enemies had told her that he had died. He swears vengeance and denounces God. Centuries later, he sights upon another girl Mina (Ryder) and believes she is Elisabeta’s reincarnation. This film also gives us a glimpse in Dracula turning into a werewolf.
Hammer Dracula Series (1958 – 1974)
Hammer Productions’ Dracula series is a nine film series inspired by the original novel by Bram Stoker. It consists of Horror of Dracula (1958) starring Christopher Lee who rose to success playing the mythical character and Peter Cushing as Doctor Van Helsing. The series also includes The Brides of Dracula (1960), Dracula: Prince of Darkness (1966), Dracula Has Risen From the Grave (1968), Taste the Blood of Dracula (1970), Scars of Dracula (1970), Dracula AD 1972 (1972), The Satanic Rites of Dracula (1973) and The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires (1974).
While the first movie follows a similar storyline as Bram Stoker’s novel, the rest of the films deals with various citizens in Transylvania coming face to face with Count Dracula.
Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror (1922)
This highly acclaimed spine-chilling silent movie directed by FW Murnau, deserves a place on any such list. Even though the film is an adaptation of the book, it was unauthorised and hence many details were changed. Even the name of Count Dracula was changed to Count Orlok.
A German property Thomas Hutter agent goes to Transylvania to meet his new client Count Orlok, but a series of mysterious events makes him think that there is more to his client than what appears.
Directed by John Badham, this adaptation leaned into the romantic side of the mythical creature. Starring Frank Langella, Jan Francis, Kate Nelligen and Laurence Olivier, the 1979 film tells the story of Mina Van Helsing, who rescues a man washed ashore, who introduces himself as Count Dracula. The kind woman and her friend Lucy Seward help him nurse back to health. However, Mina soon turns up dead. Her father Professor Van Helsing thinks that there is a supernatural entity responsible for her death, and fears for Lucy’s life, who might be the next target.
Nosferatu the Vampyre (1979)
Released the same year as Dracula, Nosferatu the Vampyre directed by Werner Herzog, is a multi-lingual adaptation of the 1922 horror film. As most films are inspired by the origin story, here too Jonathan Harker meets Count Dracula to sell him a house, but the latter comes to Virna as he takes a liking towards Harker’s wife Lucy.
However, this film is a more brooding version of Dracula, who instead of enjoying his immortality, carries the burden of not being able to grow old and die.
House of Dracula (1945)
A sequel to super-successful House of Frankenstein, House of Dracula is a chaotic adaptation directed by Earle C Kenton. Starring John Carradine, Lon Chaney Jr, Onslow Stevens and Martha O’Driscoll, the film tells the story of Count Dracula and Werewolf Lawrence Talbot, who are tired of their supernatural abilities and want a cure. They go to Dr Franz Edelmann, a madman who claims to have a cure for the curses. However, the doctor himself has lots of secrets buried which eventually lead to mayhem. The film also features Frankenstein’s monster and is one of the four films where the three mythical creatures are together.