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.