Review: Dracula: The Vampire and the Voivode
Recently I watched a new documentary that delves into not only the history of one of the most influential horror novels in history and its Irish author, but dispels the myths and focuses on the truths of the "real" Dracula, Vlad Tepes. Produced in association with the Transylvanian Society of Dracula, any fan of the original book will be intrigued by the film, which finally separates fact from fiction regarding the author's compelling anti-hero and the real-life historical count.
The first part of this 98 minute feature begins by examining the life of writer Bram Stoker. After a sickly childhood in Dublin, he went on to become extremely interested in theater, writing reviews of plays and eventually moving on to short stories and non-fiction. While a manager at the Lyceum Theatre in London, he wrote several other horror novels before his never-out-of-print vampiric tale. Originally wanting to pen a play called The Un-Dead, the film details his exhaustive research into the folklore of Eastern Europe and vampires in general. Though he'd never actually been to Romania, you'd never know by reading the novel. Here, we get to travel to these places and see the inspirations for his work. We also visit Dublin, London, Whitby, and other locations where Stoker lived out his days.
Weaving these two subjects makes for an engrossing documentary, examining all the parts that came together as a whole to become a book outsold only by the Bible. An appealing film for any fan of Dracula, Vlad the Impaler, or history in general. Available Tuesday, October 4, 2011.