Blood money

Dracula: the immortal Hollywood cash count

Culture  

Max Schreck in Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens, F. W. Murnau, 1922

(akg-images/Prana-Film)

Bela Lugosi in Dracula, Tod Browning, 1931

(AFP/Kobal collection)

Gloria Holden in Dracula's Daughter, Lambert Hillyer, 1936

(AFP/Archives du7ème Art)

The Return of Dracula, Paul Landres, 1958

(AFP/Kobal collection)

Bram Stoker's Dracula, Francis Ford Coppola, 1992

Blood of Dracula, Herbert L. Strock, 1957

(AFP/Kobal collection)

Hotel Transsylvania, Genndy Tartakovsky, 2012

(AFP)

Christopher Lee in Horror of Dracula, Terence Fisher, 1958

(AFP/Archives du 7ème art)

The Vampire Lovers, Roy Ward Baker, 1970

(akg-images/AIP)

Planet of the Vampires, Mario Bava, 1965

(akg-images)

The Fearless Vampire Killers, Roman Polanski, 1967

(akg-images)

Blacula, William Crane, 1972

(akg-images/AIP)

 

 

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Once upon a time, vampires were portrayed as rotting corpses more animal than human. All that changed just over 100 years ago with Count Dracula, the charismatic and sophisticated nobleman who has been creeping across cinema screens ever since.

Bram Stoker’s creation soon became loved by cinema audiences – and especially by film producers, who moved quickly to get a bite of the vampire cherry.

Since FW Murnau’s influential horror Nosferatu in 1922 – subsequently staked over a rights issue with Stoker’s heirs – Dracula has risen again in various revamped forms, from the iconic Bela Lugosi (model for Sesame Street’s Count von Count) to Christopher Lee’s seductive turn in the nudity-filled Hammer Horror films of the 1960s and 1970s.

Dracula has cast a long cinematic shadow (or would if he had one), appearing in more than 200 films across all genres: from animation (Count Duckula, The Simpsons) and parody (Love at First Bite, to name just one of many) to 1970s blaxploitation (Count Blacula).

The work involved in the films’ poster art is no less creative and visually striking, reflecting influences such as German expressionism and pulp fiction.

 
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