Dir: Tod Browning (1931)
Happy Halloween! Ah-ah-ah! To celebrate the season I am examining the classic Dracula starring Bela Lugosi, a man whose cupid's bow could put Clara Bow's to shame, also known for being scary, also known for drinking milk at society functions (seriously). I'll be up front with you, I'm knocking this Halloween stuff out but quick. Movies like this often defy my particular brand of analysis (high-waisted pants? song and dance numbers? Hays-era dirty jokes? none of those? REALLY??) and I feel the critiquing of anything pre-1935 is better left to Film Students. **TBH, I could sort of throw in the towel on the whole blog with that kind of reasoning, but I don't. I feel highly qualified to discuss the hotness of men relative to the height of their pants; yes, there will be an illustrated post on that hotness spectrum coming at some point. Someday. Be patient.**
BUT. To the task at hand.
I should confess before we begin that it was in fact kind of thrilling to watch Dracula and realize that this guy was not doing a parody of himself, he was the real deal. The original talking Count Dracula! Apparently back in the day moviegoers could be scared quite effectively by slow-talking, slow-moving villains who smiled primly in their closeups. For a modern-day viewer, there are quite a few things to adjust to with this brand of horror. "Not being scared" may be high on that list.
We open with a beautiful painted backdrop of the mountains of Transylvania. I will be including lots of screencaps in this post in lieu of any meaningful commentary or plot summary because I'm lazy. Look how pretty this painted backdrop is! Here:
|They know not that they near their doom.|
Future minion has some scary ~*realtor business*~ at Castle Dracula and all the people in town are like "ARE YOU STUPID OR WHAT" but he insists on going, so they give him a cross and some advice like "Don't get eaten" and he goes off to meet his special carriage that will take him to the castle doors. The guy driving his carriage looks like this and is obviously Dracula the vampire.
Apparently before they had fancy special-effects red contacts for vampires you just had to open your eyes really wide.
|Enduring symbols of death, weeble-wobbling on their tiny feet as your heart constricts in fear!|
|Also: How are you supposed to tell vampires apart from regular folks in this movie when everyone wears the same white pancake makeup?|
Here are some stairs. Aren't you glad I take pictures of everything?
|Cool shot of gross spidery stairs.|
|These eyes say "SAFETY" and "ROMANCE."|
|"It's half in English, half in... squiggly."|
|Dude has a janky manicure, though.|
|"No thank you. I am a teetotaller, much like my role model, Benjamin Fangklin."|
|Ahhhh best use of a mirrored cigar box ever!|
|Hugh Jackman is old in this movie!|
|Very cool shot. Also this maid just did an awesome fake faint.|
|Death by angry hug!|
|Dracula probably thinks that if he closes his eyes no-one can see him?|