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July 28, 2009

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Thanks again for lending me your copy of the DVD. I liked it, but my only criticism is the character of Renfield. I agree that the character was played well, but he seemed to be in the plot more than the story required. Mind you, it's been nearly 40 years since I read the novel, and his increased presence may actually be more faithful to Stoker's novel.

In case you're interested... Some time in the 1990s, I read that, when 1931's Dracula was released, it had also been filmed simultaneously in Spanish, using the same sets but with a different cast. It might be available on DVD.

Susan... give me an eternity of time and an exciting life, and I'd be reasonably content to sleep in a tomb and suck blood too

Dracula enters Susan's room.
She is nowhere to be seen.
He knocks on her coffin.
A muffled voice responds.
He lifts the coffin's cover a crack.

"Are you still in there?"
"My costume isn't ready yet."
"We really have to go. The sun is going to be up soon."
"I am not going out in a half-finished outfit."
She yanks the coffin closed.

Dracula walks away, shaking his head and muttering about how Susan has enough room in there to sew in spite of all the books she also keeps in there.

Serge,
I don't consider this to have been a faithful adaptation, so I wasn't worried about the size of Renfield's part. (A faithful adaptation would probably be pretty dull; it's a very tedious novel in some ways.) And I thought Campbell was fabulous in it.

Susan... it's a very tedious novel in some ways

Not unlike War of the Worlds then. I haven't read either in decades, but I did recently glance at the latter's beginning. The various adaptations have tightened up the famous opening narration to its essential words, making it more efficient than what Wells wrote.

Serge, I believe the Spanish 1931 movie is an extra on the Dracula set from a few years back. I still wouldn't mind getting that.

Susan, it's interesting that the silence of the brides causes the omission of the line from the original that echoed the longest in my mind, "You yourself never loved. You never love!" (I went and checked it, and I had the words right, and only had to fix the punctuation.) I suppose compliant silence is fitting for Stratford Wives.

ps: Some Spanish Dracula. The first appearance of their Count reminded me of Andy Kaufman. More glimpses here.

Kip W... I think you're correct and that the Spanish "Dracula" was an extra on the DVD set. It's interesting that they say it's better than the Lugosi version and not just because of Bela's acting shortcomings.

As for compliant silence being fitting for Stratford Wives... If people are going to start making vampire jokes, I'll have to bring up Marty Gear's about Dracula's meeting with Sherlock Holmes. But I will show the restraint that is lacking in some of Rixo's visitors. Heheheh

Kip:
Well, yes, lots of stuff gets omitted, but that line pretty much had to go if they're working with the premise that Dracula can love and (not entirely clear) that Lucy might be the reincarnation of his lost love.

Serge:
That doesn't need a joke; it's a book by Fred Saberhagen.

Susan... Right. I've never read the book, but I remember seeing it. In fact, the moment I made that earlier comment, I thought that at least one person must have written such a crossover. As for Marty's joke, I'll spare you. It was atrocious even when I first heard it - at the 1983 worldcon's masquerade, I think, unless that's when he made the one about drained corpses falling on a shed. Atrocious, which is why I loved them.

Susan... Have you heard of a novel called "The Dracula Dossier", by James Reese? It's not about Dracula himself, but its premise is that a theatrical tour of America in 1888 that Stoker was involved with gave him the basic inspiration for his novel. It's coming out in paperback on September 8.

Serge,
No, but it sounds interesting.

Speaking of vampires... I just finished the Locus issue that focused on Urban Fantasy. Apparently it doesn't refer to de Lint's stories, or to Emma Bull's War for the Oaks, but to kickass heroines like Laurel K Hamilton's. (Am I the only person who dislikes the word 'kickass' for its connotations of dismissive violence?) When I came Charlaine Harris's comments, I couldn't help but smile. Harris, who writes the Sookie Stackhouse novels, was on a panel with my wife at Boston's worldcon in 2004. After that was over, one woman approached Harris with her daughter so that she'd autograph a book for the latter. The young lady, probably 13, was such an obvious fan of Harris that she was almost bouncing off the floor.

I'm amazed Hamilton's heroines have any time to "kickass" at all, what with how busy they are having hot, kinky encounters with nearly every man they meet.

(ok, maybe I shouldn't judge her entire oeuvre on the single book I read, but still...)

I don't have a problem with the connotations of dismissive violence, but I do have problems with kickass heroines as a total cliche.

AJ... Kickass heroines have become rather cliché. To be fair, I've never read one of those books, but I've seen so many of them advertised that I find myself wishing for something else.

About how people have time for fighting and Other Things... What do they do for a living? They can't all be millionaires like Bruce Wayne. (This reminds me of a Batman story from 1990 where Wayne has been in a really bad accident and is taken to a hospital, where he's thoroughly examined, x-rays and all. The doctors find traces of so many past and recent bone fractures that they wonder how a lazy rich guy got them.)

Serge,
I thought this idea that urban fantasy has been redefined into the paranormal-sexy-vampire-etc. subgenre so interesting I just suggested a discussion on it as a panel idea for Arisia.

Susan... Apparently that transformation took even Tim Powers by surprise. If you want, I'll photocopy the whole thing and mail it to you.

Yes, I would be quite interested to read it.

In that case, Susan... Something will be showing up in your PO Box next week.

About how people have time for fighting and Other Things... What do they do for a living?

Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter ® raises zombies as I recall. And hunts vampires when there's a warrant out for them.

I managed to lose track where I was in the series, but from comments made by other readers it was before they slow to a crawl and generally stop being entertaining.

Neil... Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter ® raises zombies

She literally bought the farm?

"Farmer Blake, she had a farm, hee-hi-hee-hi-ooooooooooo..."

I've read two "Urban (sexual) Fantasy" novels.

In the Laurell K. Hamilton one (not an Anita Blake book), the "kickass heroine" was a private detective with an agency that specialized in matters of faerie. This would have made for an awesome premise, in my eyes, but unfortunately the book had her shipped off to the Unseelie Court where she slept with many unrealistically attractive men while half-heartedly trying to solve some crime.

In the Sherrilyn Kenyon one, the "kickass heroine" was the owner of a lingerie/kinky clothing boutique that catered to strippers and prostitutes, and her employee was a horribly stereotypical drag queen. I could figure out how she had time to hunt daemons, get it on with Roman vampire generals, and run her shop, but not how she found time to *sleep.*

This is also a common problem in roleplaying games set in the modern age... it's hard to hold down a day-job when you're secretly a mage, working for the gods, or a blood-sucking parasite. Most of the players I know go for the independently wealthy route, or the "hoping the GM doesn't ask me how my character is paying for these assault rifles" route.

AJ... it's hard to hold down a day-job when you're secretly a mage, working for the gods, or a blood-sucking parasite

I've never secretly working for a blood-sucking parasite. That has usually been my day-job.

In Tanya Huff's vampire series, the "Blood" books (Blood Price, Blood Trail, etc.) the (male) vampire's "day" job has been as a writer of historical romance novels. I thought that was hilariously perfect. In the TV show they made from the books they turned him into a writer/artist of graphic novels. I guess romance writer wasn't sexy enough for TV.

Susan... Maybe they thought that a male writer of romances couldn't possibly be a REAL man. (Whatever that is.)

Back in the mid-1980s, Marvel published a one-shot graphic novel called "Greenberg the Vampire". He made his living writing horror novels, and he was getting sick of it. Being Jewish, he was, if I remember correctly, quite embarassed at the influence that crosses were now having on him. Oh, and he made sure his mom didn't know that he was now a vampire. Or so he thought, until she said: "A mother notices when her son grows fangs."

I have Greenberg the Vampire. Very funny stuff.

Television being a visual medium, maybe they thought having lots of artwork scattered about the place would make better visuals than sitting in front of a computer typing, surrounded by reference books. To generalise unfairly, television people believe TV watchers have a bias towards pictures and against writing, hence making a writer/artist more interesting and therefore sexier.

Without actually reading or watching that particular series, obviously.

Neil.... The bias is probably even more pronounced today, considering that computers are so much quieter than typewriters were. No more manly hammering of keys.

Susan... Did Greenberg ever show up in other comics? It's like Michael Morbius, another Marvel vampire but biological. I liked his stories that were published in one of their B&W horror mags, but he never caught on. Last time I saw Morbius, it was a walkon bit in a Fantastic Four story in the early 1980s, and he appeared to have been cured of his vampirism.

We got True Blood's first 2 episodes thru NetFlix some time ago, but we finally watched them tonight. The fangs look a bit silly, but we like it enough that we'll probably get the rest. My wife especially likes Sookie's boyfriend because she prefers vampires to be dark-haired and brooding. Alas, my locks stopped being dark a long time ago, but she did say I brood a bit.

Where the heck did this post go? It's not appearing on the front page anymore, not for me anyway.

Oh, wait, there it is. Nevermind. (But it Moved!)

Mary Aileen... What post is it that came and went? Such behavior is appropriate for this thread, I guess.

The original post itself. First it disappeared off the sidebar, then it seemed to vanish altogether. But it's just farther down than it was. (Or maybe I'm just going crazy--always a short trip.)

Mary Aileen... maybe I'm just going crazy

It's more likely that the site's underlying code is acting up. Remember that Susan has expressed some of her displeasure to them in the recent past.

Frank Langella's Dracula is on TV right now.
The hair.
The hair!!!

I liked that Dracula! I even videotaped it way back when -- probably still have the videotape, though it's probably disintegrated by now.

Susan... You should meet local fan Patricia Rogers, who gave a pre-Halloween party this weekend. One of her rooms is the 'horror' one, and one wall has autographed photos of actors who played in vampire movies. There's even one of Vincent price, because he was in The Last Man on Earth.

Serge,
If her main interest is movies and actors we probably won't have much to talk about. I see more vampire movies than other sorts, but that isn't saying much! Most of my vampire collection is books, with a small batch of comic books and graphic novels as well.

Come to think of it, Susan, her interest in horror seems to involve mostly movies. As far as I know, she is also a reader of F/SF, but there were no books in that room. There are other parts of the house that I didn't explore though.

I saw this Dracula THREE TIMES when it originally opened in Halifax. There was a different actor playing Dracula at the time, but this was by far my favourite play I've ever attended at Neptune. (Apparently, as I felt the need to return again and again!) I think I still have the wonderful message left on my phone from Marek Norman, regarding a letter of appreciation I left at the theater for him, Richard, and the cast. Unfortunately I never got to see the TV version. Great memories though, I still find The Blood Is The Life, and Last Light Of The Sun playing in my mental soundtrack, on occasion!

Darlene,
You can get it on DVD from the Stratford Festival -- try calling their main store.

Can anyone help me I'm trying to get a copy of this for myself and have contacted the Stratford festival theatre store and they told me they are no longer selling it. I'd be happy with it in either vhs or dvd format. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks

Hi Trisha,
I have a VHS copy I could sell you if you like -- I don't need it now that I have the DVDs. It's a wonderful production and I'm very sorry they've stopped selling it. Let me know if you want my videotape.

Thanks to the spam one of the Recent Comments begins "Women Sexy Lingerie on Dracula..."

That would be reference to Rocky Horror, right?

A lot of the spams, like "Supra Shoes on A Clockwork Werewulf: ", do that. I think she needs a backup spamkiller.

This version sounds hugely entertaining... or perhaps it´s those promo pics with gorgeous red roses...

I mentioned to the festival's manager last week when I was there that it would be nice if they got that DVD back in print.

Is there any way to loan a dvd copy of this. My wife has been looking for a copy for a very long time.

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