Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)

bram stokers dracula poster 1992 movie
8.5 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 10/10

Great looking movie

Over-blown stylized look may turn off some

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Bram Stoker’s Dracula

Studio:  American Zoetrope/Columbia Pictures/Osiris Films

Genre(s):  Horror/Romance

Release Date(s):  November 10, 1992 (Premiere)/November 13, 1992 (US)

MPAA Rating:  R

bram stokers dracula gary oldman makeup

I bet Dracula works a long time on his man-buns, and everyone laughed at them…that’s why he’s a killer

Jonathan Harker (Keanu Reeves) has been sent to Transylvania to broker a deal with Count Dracula (Gary Oldman).  Trapped by Dracula, Harker finds himself battling Dracula’s succubus women while Dracula travels to England to establish himself in a new land.  Once in England, Dracula becomes infatuated with Harker’s love Mina (Winona Ryder) who resembles his wife Elisabeta who was taken before Vlad III the Impaler was cursed.  When Dracula’s true nature exposed, a doctor named Abraham Van Helsing (Anthony Hopkins), Quincey P. Morris (Billy Campbell), and Harker must stop Dracula forever to save Mina.

Directed by Frances Ford Coppola, Bram Stoker’s Dracula (sometimes just called Dracula) is a horror romance.  The film adapts the classic 1897 Bram Stoker vampire novel and received positive reviews for the relatively faithful adaptation of the story.  The movie won Academy Awards for Best Costume Design, Best Sound Effects Editing, and Best Makeup with nominations for Best Art Direction-Set Decoration.

bram stokers dracula werewolf rape scene gary oldman

Mina…sure I raped your friend in the form of a werewolf and turned her into a vampire…but our love is eternal

Dracula is a tough story to adapt, but Coppola does a great job making it horrific enough to entertain fans of horror but still captures the romance and grandeur of the gothic novel.  Stoker wrote Dracula as an epistolary novel, and Coppola makes a great attempt to tie the writing into his presentation.

With version upon version of Dracula, the story is often lost.  It is a horror tale, but it is also steeped in romance and passion.  Coppola brings that sexual tension to the story and it feels like something that has been missing from so many of the other versions…I cannot imagine Bela Lugosi in this version of Dracula.

Dracula is aided by a great cast.  Oldman is amazing as the hypnotic young Dracula and very creepy in the bun-haired old Dracula.  This was during the peak of Winona’s popularity and she is good as the enthralled Mina.  She actually gave the script to Coppola as a means to mend the differences between them after backing out of The Godfather III.  Sadie Frost is fun as the seduced then seductive Lucy Westenra.  I’m not a fan of Keanu in period pieces like this or Dangerous Liaisons, and he still doesn’t work in this (but he also isn’t much of a distraction).  Hopkins was still hot off of his Silence of the Lambs appearance and gets to play his character overblown.  I always love a crazed R. M. Renfield and here it is played by the fun Tom Waits (originally Steve Buscemi was wanted).

bram stokers dracula lucy vampire sadie frost

Yes…but I’m a hot vampire!

Bram Stoker’s Dracula however isn’t really about the actors, but about the lush scenery that Coppola presents through the cinematography.  The movie has a lot of oversaturated scenes like a Dario Argento film and tons of clever shots with very simple classic styles of special effects (at Coppola’s request).

See Bram Stoker’s Dracula after you’ve seen the classic Bela Lugosi film.  It is fun to compare and contrast how both films were made and how they adapt the story.  This is one of the better adaptation of the story…with lots of creepy creatures, but maintaining the fact that it is a romance also.  Coppola’s film is lush and rich and though it is a bit long, well worth the investment for fans of classic horror.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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