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We couldn’t do a Vampire season without talking about pop culture’s most enduring bloodsucker Bram Stoker’s Dracula. The Transylvanian Count has appeared in countless films and TV shows over the years, but Francis Ford Coppola’s 1992 movie probably remains the most faithful and cinematic adaptations of the original story.
The film stars reliable screen ham Gary Oldman in the title role, often buried beneath layers of prosthetics due to the film’s impressive reliance on practical effects. Winona Ryder plays his love interest Mina Harker, while Keanu Reeves is iconically miscast as her fiancé Jonathan, complete with stilted, ever-wandering British accent and a range of facial expressions that run the gamut from mildly confused to constipated.
Reeves’ performance is probably the most notorious element of the film in 2019, but in fairness he’s not in enough of the movie to entirely ruin it. That said, it’s an easier film to admire than it is to love. The costumes and production design are undeniably splendid, but something about the transition from page to screen never quite allows the story to become truly compelling. There are too many characters competing for attention – the sub plot with Lucy Westenra and her three suitors is an almost total waste of Cary Elwes and Richard E. Grant – and the chemistry between Ryder and Oldman never particularly convinces.
In this week’s episode, we discuss our favourite scenes from the movie – most of which involve Sir Anthony Hopkins as the brilliantly deadpan Van Helsing – create some drinking games and imagine our own fantasy sequel ideas, which this week include an all-undead ensemble movie inspired by a classic British rom-com, and a look at where Winona and Keanu’s character might have ended up after their run-in with Dracula.
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Next week, Harry gets revenge for having this film inflicted on him with a truly horrifying Brit-com that practically everybody involved regrets making. Will we regret watching it? Tune in next week to find out. Until then, happy listening!