Updated: Feb 1
Whether you celebrate Valentine’s Day, Anti-Valentine’s Day or Lupercalia; one thing is for sure during this Hallmark holiday…. Love can suck the lifeblood out of you.
Being as I am spending Valentine’s weekend amongst the Vampires at the Los Angeles Endless Night events I wanted to reflect on the one love story that makes my knees shake. The one story that describes my adoration for a classic yet alleged monster.
Francis Ford Coppola’s version of Bram Stoker’s Dracula.
But, before I get in to my deep red burning desires for Gary Oldman’s epic portrayal, let me go over some other honorable yummy Vampire's that make my veins flirt with the undead.
Fright Night 1985 - This film was my first vampire movie. Chris Sarandon is an excellent Vamp. Though he's not very arousing. As a kid ( and as an adult I just realized) I loved how he stole Amy with a simple dance and gaze and Charley couldn't do a Gawd Damn thing about it. Until later of corpse because Dracula unfortunately always loses. Ah, to be stolen and have an affair and say, "Hey it was because I was under a Vampire's spell!" Don't be mad, bro!
Interview with a Vampire - 1994 I mean, yes! What didn't we watch long haired Brad Pitt in? In this flick though, the bond between Lestat and Louie is super homosexual and I love it. I don't care if that was or was not Anne Rice's intention for those two but, nothing screams couple more than the bickering between those two. And can we talk about how the most terrifying thing in the movie is poor Claudia stuck in a child's body for all eternity? Until, she ultimately dies of corpse.
The Lost Boys - 1987 The hottest of the Hot are the vamps of Santa Carla. This vampire favorite never gets old and never dies... see what I did there? The film embodies the 80's in all of its glory. While not necessarily a love story, most of us can agree it's still sexy as it is fun and so entertaining. Have you heard about my Keifer Sutherland story?
Dracula 1931 - I first fell under Bella Lugosi's hypnotic eyes and his inense eyebrows in film class back in high school. Hot damn! And talk about immortal! As he stimulated all of my senses after he had been long gone. Bella Lugosi is NOT Dead! I watch this film at least four to five times a year for I love taking myself back in time and reviving my understanding as to why Dracula was so menacing. But, since I am a sucker for those eyebrows and that stare, oh that stare, I like to attribute my attraction to bad boys to Bella. This rendition is not really a love story but, I still get the giddies when Bella quotes "I bid you....welcome." and "I never drink wine."
Honorable mention before I get into the blood, is the new Netflix Dracula short series. I wanted to be agitated by the twists and spins but, damn it, it was so much fun! I think what bother's me is Draculas wasn't hot. He had Tom Ellis' voice and mannerisms but, not his looks and I think thats what aggravated me. I have no idea why I am bringing this up. But, here we are.
Bram Stoker's Dracula Directed by Francis Ford Coppola
The first time I saw this film it scared me. The cinematography alone is jumpy and so well shot the whole film puts me under a spell. But, its all about Gary Oldman's performance. This Dracula, HIS Dracula has my heart throbbing from the moment he realizes Elisabeta threw herself from the window. I believe his pain. I fear his anger. And the blood. Oh, the amount of blood that is spilled when he offers his soul to the powers of darkness to avenge her death. My. Fucking. Gawd. That is true and literally undying love.
Four hundred something years later. When Dracula see's the picture of Mina Murray on Jonathan Harker's desk he can't help but, shed his tears. Who knew he still had them? But, for her he conjured them. Fast forward to when he ends up in London and finds her on the street. He says, "See me." I begin to wiggle. My heart starts to throb and I often fantasize about being Mina. She almost disregards him! But, then she realizes, once in his embrace she realizes, she knows him. And then he whispers, "I've crossed oceans of time to find you." My heart feels like it explodes every time.
What really does me in is Mina and Dracula's evening alone in some sort of lounge. They sip absinthe and it takes Mina back to when she was Elisabeta. She remembers her long lost love and they dance, they cry. He turns her tears into diamonds. Oh my fuck. My heart is pounding just writing this!
But, reality strikes and Dracula can only do what he can to stay alive and youthful to keep Mina in love with him. He sucks her best friend dry and kills her. Then she turns into the most terrifying Vampire I have ever laid eyes on. And damn is she beautiful! Lucy's scene in the Westenra Mausoleum is one of my favorite horror scene ever! The way she comes down the stairs with the child in her arms is insane! When she barfs the blood on Abraham Van Helsing as he says whatever holy curse is so gross and so exciting! And the way the reverse shot is filmed to give her that eerie look as she lays down in the coffin.....(in my best Keanu Reeve's voice) WHOA!
The pain of love is displayed when Mina conforms to her morals and marries Johnathan instead of pursing her love with Dracula. She knows this is not right but, she does it anyways. Her feelings for Dracula clearly do not abate when she finds him in bed with her. She learns that it was he that
killed Lucy and he is the one Johnthan and Van Helsing and Lucy's people are hunting. She is hurt that he killed her best friend but, it doesn't take her long to submit to her love for him. Jeez! Dracula struggles with offering Mina eternal life. "He loves her too much." And that right there my friends is that fucking true love! Nothing we mortals can match for we have a habit of loving to the point where we confuse love with so many other emotions and other acts of alleged loyalty.
Dracula does end up giving Mina his blood and she begins to turn but, the Vampire hunters use Mina and her struggling to read Dracula's mind. Turning-vampire Mina proves her love for Dracula in the end by ending his suffering by finally killing the once un-killable creature. True love hurts but, also sets us all free.
I've had fantasies and dreams of dancing by myself in one of my beloved Goth clubs and Dracula coming out of the shadows after watching me. Intertwining his cold, long fingered hands in mine and muting the music, putting me under his spell with his intense gaze. He dances with me and then whispering his adorations especially how he crossed ocean’s of time to find me. And I realize how familiar he seems. And I knew it all along, even as a little girl. This love has happened before. Don't let me wake up from that fantasy.
Love is pain.
It's sharp as Dracula's bite.
Love is freeing.
Freed by blood as the saying goes.
Love can kill you.
If you aren't his chosen one.
Love can make you crazy.
Love is Dracula.