It’s Saturday night. Twenty years ago, I’d be drunk by this time, or high at least, trying to come up with something to write. Now, I’m sitting staring at a computer screen trying to come up with something to write but I’m sober. Yep, it was all downhill from there.
As of right now, I’m watching Brandon Tenold’s review of Dario Argento’s 3-D take on Dracula. It does not look good. I’ve never been one way or another concerning Argento but I am particular on how the novel of Dracula is adapted to film. I’m big on the book and would love to see a more faithful adaptation rather than some sexed up version with smolder gazes and heaving bosoms.
I mean, I like the 1931 black-&-white version with Bela Lugosi. (As an aside, this movie looks goddamn awful. Dracula turns into a giant mantis.) Okay, back to business. Again, I like the 1932 version but much of that is because of Lugosi’s performance. Then again, Lugosi’s always fun to watch, even in Ed Wood turkeys. I also dig on the Hammer Horror take with Christoper Lee as Dracula, but that’s mainly because of Peter Cushing’s take on Abraham Van Helsing.
Unfortunately, most following adaptations of Dracula take their cue from Lugosi’s smoldering presence, and that really never set well with me. Frankly, I’ve never thought Dracula was after Mina or even Lucy; if you can get past the first part of the book and not be convinced he’s after Jonathan Harker’s pasty English goodies, then I don’t know what to tell you.
I’m also tired of the whole “Dracula is Vlad Tepes” thing when it’s never really established in the book. Van Helsing says that the monster they’re fighting could be the original warrior-prince, or he could just be some weird, crazy black sorcerer who used Dracula’s name. This would solve some of the discrepancies caused by Bram Stoker only doing the most basic amount of research, like the historical Dracula being a prince and never a count, as well as never living anywhere near Transylvania. However, every adaptation just ignores that in favor of “eternal love” and “brooding but sympathetic monsters”.
Now, my favorite adaptation of Dracula isn’t a movie. It’s the take Marvel Comics when they had the license back in the ’70s. Even then, Dracula is an utter bastard who does not give a shit about anyone or anything but himself. He was the King of Vampires, in word and deed, but he did not give two shits about any of them beyond what they could do for him. It also introduced a plethora of great characters, like vampire detective Hannibal King or half-vampire slayer Blade. Tomb Of Dracula, check it out.
Beyond all that, though, I’d like to see an adaptation of Dracula that was geared more towards the “black sorcerer” aspect than the “vampire sex god” side. A twisted madman who used black magic to artificially extend his life. There are no other vampires other than what Dracula and Van Helsing is brought in because he’s an expert on diseases. So vampirism isn’t a euphemism for sex so much as it’s one for sexually transmitted diseases. Use that.
Another thing I’m really tired of is the “immortal love” thing between Dracula and Mina, which is general tied into the “Dracula is Vlad Tepes” thing. Like I said, I always got the impression Dracula wanted Jonathan. He changed Lucy to have a servant in his new land and tried to change Mina as revenge for being spurned by Jonathan.
One thing that Alan Moore used in his otherwise okay League Of Extraordinary Gentleman was the suggestion that the attack on Mina disgusted Jonathan so much he rejected her. Again, that clashes with the book, in which Jonathan tells her if she does change to change him and for their friends to kill both. That is not a man who would spurn his wife for anything, knowing what he knows.
What would make for a fun read is if Jonathan, Mina and the surviving members of their group, experiencing this life-changing brush with the supernatural, now can’t get away from tripping over some sort of evils done by things man was never meant to know. Vampires are rare but there are more. Werewolves that are also black magicians (or Devil worshipers) who, instead of becoming wolf men, are giant wolves who eviscerate who they attack rather than spreading their curse. Man scientists playing God. Meddlers into mind-bending creatures from before the dawn of time fouling nature with their basic wrongness. Jonathan and Mina as husband-and-wife occult detectives and mankind’s protectors against the dark. Someone get on that if I don’t do it first.
In the meantime, do check out Brandon Tenold’s reviews on YouTube. He’s pretty entertaining and keeps the dudebroisms to a rarity. And, as bad as most movie riffers who aren’t former cast members of Mystery Science Theater 3000 are – and most are extremely bad – he might be the least painful to listen to. Anyhow.
I’ve moved onto a video about the Mothman, and though it’s not telling me anything I don’t know, it’s pretty enjoyable. Despite my hardcore philosophical materialism, I have always enjoyed stories and tales of the unknown, the supernatural, the paranormal, the unexplained. I think that fascination with the weird is connected to my taste for mind-altering substances. Actual reality is a crushing bore and no fun at all; it needs something to spice it up and make it worth paying attention to.
Okay. No News tonight, but I’ve had some fun. LSU broke their losing streak against Alabama, winning 46-41 and probably crushing the latter’s hope for another SEC title. Despite the close score, the Crimson Tide was comfortably batted around by the Tigers all day, just outplayed. Trump was at the game, and unlike his appearance in Washington, D.C. for the World Series, he wasn’t booed.
The Nationals went on to win the World Series while Alabama will have to settle for a bowl game. Even worse, they’ve shown they can be beat and that is poison to a program like the one in Tuscaloosa.
Coincidence? Well, that’s not for me to say. Something to think about, though.