October Takeover: Dracula Part One

~ posted by Lindsay S.

When people hear the word ‘vampire,’ often the first thing that comes to mind is Dracula. In fact, for some people ‘Dracula’ and ‘vampire’ mean the very same thing (at least they do if you’re Deadpool). But where did this obsession begin, and what’s it all about? Over the next couple posts, we’re going to be delving into all things Dracula; the stories, the movies, and even the man behind the myth.

First, and arguably most important, is the novel Dracula by Bram Stoker. Stoker was an Irishman living in Victorian London when he wrote the story, and he found his inspiration in other vampire novels like Sheridan Le Fanu’s Carmilla (The Library only has a Spanish Language version) and John Polidari’s The Vampyre (for more information about these books, check out this Wikipedia page). Famously, the character of Dracula was based on a real life Transylvanian – Vlad III of Wallachia, but more on him later. The important thing to remember about Bram Stoker’s novel is that it was written in 1897 and in the nearly 120 years since, vampire fiction (and Dracula himself) has been increasing in popularity and evolving into what we know today.

If you want to know the basic story that Bram Stoker wrote but you aren’t too keen on the whole idea of reading, you have several options. First, we have the book in audio, hurray! If even that requires too much effort, there are a wide array of movies that have been made, some of which are actually pretty good. My personal favorite stars Bella Lugosi as the titular vampire. The Library has this legendary addition that also has a couple follow up movies including Dracula’s Daughter, Son of Dracula, and House of Dracula. You could marathon them and then you’d know more about Dracula than even Bram Stoker did, since he only ever wrote the one novel.

There’s also this version with Gary Oldman and Keanu Reeves. Anything with Keanu Reeves guarantees the highest cinematic experience. For those who wish for films with a bit more action and a bit less Keanu, there’s the 2015 release Dracula Untold, though I admit, I have not viewed that one myself. I’m eager to though, because in the picture on the cover it looks like Dracula has wings… a flying Dracula. I mean, come on, add in Keanu somehow and we’ll be in business.

I’d also like to draw your attention to Dracula; the Un-dead by Dacre Stoker. This Stoker is a descendent of the original vampire-maker and the novel is a sequel to the original tale and takes place about 20 years later. It’s not the original story, but it’s still a pretty good treat.

Oh, and last but not least, episode 1 from season 5 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. That’s right, the greatest vampire hunter to ever live faced off against the greatest vampire to ever not live and the result is hilarious fun.

That’s all I’ve got to say on Dracula fiction for the moment. Not that this is all there is, but if I wrote everything, this post could go on for days. As it is, stay tuned for tomorrow’s post about the man behind the legend (probably): Vlad the Tepes of Wallachia!

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