“Absinthe is the aphrodisiac of the self. The green fairy who lives in the absinthe wants your soul. But you are safe with me.” – Dracula (Gary Oldman)

Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)

Director: Francis Ford Coppola

Language: English and the strategic use of replacing ‘w’ with ‘v’

 

This exceptional pile of odd accents and Gary Oldman wearing extensive make up was directed by Francis Ford Coppola. You know, the guy who made Apocalypse Now? Oh, and the Godfather. So he also made this film. This film is not quite as good. I have to be honest, it is so wonderfully over the top that it is impossible for me not to find bits of it just completely hilarious. I mean, Keanu Reeves and Winona Ryder both attempt English accents while Gary Oldman and Anthony Hopkins play the titular count and the dutchman Van Helsing, respectively. That is a brilliant fact.  However, and this is an important however, it does have veins of pure fucking excellence running through it. The whole aesthetic is incredible – the costumes in particular are delicious – and I could watch Gary Oldman doing the Dracula thing all damn day. Anthony Hopkins delivers lines like a fucking hero all the way through and Keanu’s inability to act is, to be honest, appropriate for Jonathan Harker who is – as I remember the book – kind of a massive wet face flannel. Not to mention the way Coppola shot Lucy’s coffin scene in reverse to give her whole ‘Vampiric’ movement its own special and creepy quality. So, in short, there are bits of Coppola’s film that are still amazing and stunning to watch. And there are other bits.

So here, oh best beloved, is a number of things (81, to be precise) that I thought while watching Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

  1. Ha. I totally forgot the opening puppet silhouette battle thing.
  2. Gary Oldman’s Dracula having a massive temper tantrum in a church is a little reminiscent of 5 year old me being forced to do culture.
  3. Only, you know, WAY more blood drinking/ sacrilege/ muscle armour.
  4. Ok. For reals. Keanu Harker and his earnest middle parting should really get the fuck out of there as soon as Dracula smiles.
  5. HE HAS HAIRY PALMS, SIGN THE THING AND FUCK THE FUCK OUT OF THERE YOU DUMB ASS FOOL.
  6. Fun fact: Winona Ryder’s bustle has its own credit in this movie.
  7. “Like a wild stallion between my legs”, “Lucy, you’re positively indecent”. I mean, for the time, isn’t that just actually indecent?
  8. “Lucy is a pure and virtuous girl”. Good one, Mina.
  9. RICHARD E GRANT I TOTALLY FORGOT YOU WERE IN THIS MOVIE HI HI HI COME ON IN YOU’RE EXCELLENT.
  10. But your braces/suspenders appear to have been made from a Chamber of Horrors torture device/cart horse harness.
  11. HE IS GLIDING ACROSS THE FLOOR AND THEN SMASHES YOUR MIRROR AND SUGGESTS YOU GROW A BEARD. MATE. COME THE FUCK ON.
  12. “Bloody wolves chasing me through some blue inferno” and yet you still went to castle Dracula despite everyone being like “dude, no”.
  13. EPIC CAPE SHOT THO. YES. RUSTLE THAT RED SATIN AND LET IT SLITHER OUT THE DOOR.
  14. Defintely directly disregard the creepy skin bag’s advice about not wandering around the castle. What could go wrong?
  15. OH YEAH, VAMPIRE SKANKS.
  16. Keanu Reeves’ hair in this film is as smooth and buoyant as his character is clinically and dangerously dim.
  17. Very classy bare thigh shot. Followed by writhing snake hair and nipple blood. This movie is exceptional.
  18. “I’m so terribly worried about Jonathan, this letter I received is not like him at all … almost like he was nipple bitten by vampires”.
  19. Ok. Somebody explain the weird wolfman thing that Dracula decides to be sometimes. Is he also Teen Wolf? Is that what’s happening?
  20. Oh but some of these filming techniques are BALLER.
  21. The curtains are chiffon and blowing. Shit is going DOWN.
  22. What is Lucy’s orange nightgown? It appears to be a corset and then just capery and drapery. It is definitely not comfortable to sleep in.
  23. I would like my whole wardrobe to be just “capery and drapery”.
  24. Mina’s million buttons on hers seem super easy to deal with though, so that’s cool.
  25. Gary Oldman, that ‘young dracula’ look with the dapper suit is fly as fuck. You are killing this shit.
  26. I want his pince nez. I do. They’re a cross between Ozzy Osbourne’s and Django’s.
  27. I want his pince nez. I do. They’re a cross between Ozzy Osbourne and Django.
  28. Lucy appears to be getting married in a dress that was inspired equally by Queen Elizabeth 1, a doily, and leaf gelatine.
  29. “Miss Lucy is hotter than a June bride riding bareback bucknaked in the middle of the Sahara” WHAT? WHAT? QUINCY? WHAT?
  30. Also he prefaced that sentence with “may I say” and I think it is safe to say “no”. No, Quincy, you may not say.
  31. Also that doesn’t even sound like an idiom. It just sounds like garbage mouth time. No.
  32. HOLY FUCKING DAMN THAT’S CARY ELWES. WITH HIS VOICE. FROM THE PRINCESS BRIDE.
  33. ” Abraham Van Helsing, the metaphysician and philosopher” “Sounds like a goddamn witch doctor”. No, Quincy, no he doesn’t. Hush.
  34. Fun Fact, Winona Ryder’s mint green silk hat has its own credit in this movie.
  35. Is this sensual wolf stroking vampire foreplay?
  36. “sensual wolf stroking” – my new favourite phrase. Well done, me. Have another glass of wine.
  37. Anthony Hopkins and Gary Oldman just nail this film.
  38. Van Helsing’s pashmina is on point. It looks like a Whistles display.
  39. If you just watched this one 30 second clip it would look like this was a film about a lot of men who had never seen an orgasm before.
  40. Cary Elwes is back. He sputters “Good god” and “What in god’s name” periodically. He does it wonderfully.
  41. Quincy, don’t act like you know how much blood is in the human body. You have spent this whole movie being a giant dicktool.
  42. We can tell these men are all on down time because they are down to their waistcoats. Casual chic.
  43. “What is happening to Lucy, and to me?” Mina, your friend is dying. All you did was stroke a wolf and chat to a stranger.
  44. Mina’s hair has been ‘uptight crinoline’ for this whole film, but one date with Dracula and it goes suspiciously ‘full on vampire wench’.
  45. There are a lot of silken locks in this film, many of them in middle partings.
  46. “The princess … she’s a river filled with tears of sadness and heartbreak’. Ok, you have just given up on making any fucking sense now, Mina.
  47. I’m loving Dracula’s leaf patterned gilt doublet though.
  48. I feel  like Gary Oldman’s entire wardrobe for this film could also have appeared in a number of Kanye West music videos.
  49. Oh Keanu, forgot about you. Hi again. Oh, you fell into a river? Fine.
  50. WHERE ARE MINA AND DRACULA DANCING? THE FLOATING CANDLE AND OTHERWISE TOTAL DARKNESS EMPORIUM?
  51. Jonathan is now in trouble. Time for the over-buttoned crinoline hair look to return, Mina.
  52. Abraham Van Helsing has never met Mina and he’s just like ‘you are one of the lights in the darkness of life.’ Poss a bit full on, Abe.
  53. Lucy, not going to lie, you look like shit. You need some vitamins, bud.
  54. Lucy, you are once again dressed in a fabric last used for a seahorse costume for a child’s dance performance.
  55. I kinda wish she had just bitten Quincy, the cockweasel
  56. Ah, it is time for a character to crack out the dusty tome in gothic lettering. Excellent.
  57. Don’t worry Dracula, this is exactly my crying face too. Let it out, hun. Screen Shot 2016-07-21 at 00.08.39.png
  58. Van Helsing just shouted words like ‘Concubine’ while laughing maniacally and making noises not dissimilar to Boris Johnson startled by a wild animal.
  59. Quincy’s aesthetic in this movie appears to be a Steps video. That tasseled jacket is fetch.
  60.  Lucy’s death/wedding turban is on POINT.
  61. “an autopsy?” “No not exactly, I just want to cut off her head and take out her heart” HA VAN HELSING/ ANTHONY HOPKINS YOU FUCKING HERO.
  62. That particular shot of Dracula through the London crowds is pretty close to promotional pictures of Slash …
  63. I just keep expecting the next sentence out of Cary Elwes/ Arthur Holmwood’s mouth to be ‘Rodents of Unusual Size? I don’t believe they exist.’
  64. “Ja she was in great pain then we cut her head off, drove a stake through her heart and then she found peace” ANTHONY HOPKINS. STILL A HERO.
  65. Renfield’s straightjacket looks like a performance art piece by a group of angsty GCSE students.
  66. Is he attached to the ceiling by his sleeves? That seems a bit not how straightjackets were supposed to work.
  67. I mean, am I wrong? I haven’t, say, done extensive research on the restraining practices of 19th century asylums. It just seems … not correct.
  68. Now Dracula is a weird naked manbat thing? Cool. Ok. Fine.
  69. That is a SATISIFYING bone crunch sound when he neck bites her. Thumbs up.
  70. I love how Mina is like ‘now I am married, I understand what I feel for my prince’. So … you get that you want to bone him? Cool beans.
  71. I TOTALLY forgot that bit where he turns into a pile of rats. Fucking awesome.
  72. Apparently becoming a Vampire just makes those of the female persuasion horny?
  73. How did he make a circle of fire? He had a torch and they were in sand. Fire doesn’t burn sand. How did Van Helsing manage this?
  74. IT’S NOT EVEN SAND – IT IS SNOW. HOW DID HE SET IT ON FIRE??
  75. I think that sunset shot is also in Apocalypse Now. That is a MUCH better movie than this one.
  76. Imagine if there was a mash up where Dennis Hopper from Apocalypse Now was actually filming this film while fangirling over Marlon Brando.
  77. That would be excellent. And fucking terrifying.
  78. This movie gets very strange at the end.
  79. That bejewelled mosaic coat was DEFINITELY in a Kanye video. Or if not, should have been. DracuSwag.
  80. Ok and now Mina is following Dracula into the castle because ‘her work has just begun’ WHAT WORK GUY??
  81. THE ANSWER WAS MINA’S LOVE? WHAT IS THIS? HARRY POTTER?

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