The Origins of Dracula

From the pages of gothic literature to modern day blockbusters, vampires have infiltrated our culture and frightened us from the shadows. The most famous fiend of all began terrorizing mankind in the classic novel Dracula by Bram Stoker. By no means the first incarnation of a nefarious vampire, Dracula was and is the most notable. Up until his creation, vampires had typically been portrayed as horrifying corpses returned from the dead to haunt the living, not unlike zombies. The count however is a graceful gentleman of noble blood, who plots to settle in England and turn its citizens into legions of the undead. Join WatchMojo.com as we hunting down the Origin’s of the most famous bloodsucker of all time, Dracula. Special thanks to our user viliguns, lalaxbo and theendlightenedone for submitting the idea on our WatchMojo.comsuggest page!
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*Written by Max Lett


Dracula Origins


Cross? Check. Crucifix? Check. Stake? Only if it’s extra pointy. Welcome to WatchMojo and today we’ll be hunting down the Origin’s of the most famous bloodsucker of all time, Dracula.

From the pages of gothic literature to modern day blockbusters, vampires have infiltrated our culture and frightened us from the shadows. The most famous fiend of all began terrorizing mankind in the classic novel Dracula by Bram Stoker. By no means the first incarnation a nefarious vampire, Dracula was and is the most notable. Up until his creation, vampires had typically been portrayed as horrifying corpses returned from the dead to haunt the living, not unlike zombies. The count however is a graceful gentleman of noble blood, who plots to settle in England and turn its citizens into legions of the undead.

Dracula, as we have come to know and love him, has many of the powers attributed to classic vampires: he is immortal, feeds off the blood of the living to keep himself alive and is vulnerable to a whole slew of superstitious defences. As time passed, however, these superstitions evolved and focused themselves into a definite list of remedies: holy water, crucifixes, garlic, sunlight and, for the coup de grace, a stake to the heart could all be Dracula’s downfall.

Other weaknesses have also been attributed to vampires such as the inability to cross running water, silver, fire, decapitation and drowning (as if that wouldn’t kill just about anyone).

But let’s look at Dracula’s abilities before we dismiss him with a clove of garlic. He is immortal, psychic, has the ability to heal himself and travel at superhuman speeds. He has super strength, super senses and on top of that he can shape shift and fly. No we aren’t describing some omnipotent comic book super-hero, Dracula is just that powerful. And with all of that power, it seems unlikely that mortal men could ever best him.

Well hold on to your hats ladies and gentlemen because the one thing that Dracula couldn’t do was stay awake long enough not to be murdered in his coffin.

After a harrowing race, the protagonists from Bram Stoker’s classic are able to catch up with the gypsy carriage carrying Dracula’s coffin, pry it open and slit his throat while he’s snoozing. The sun rises and the count disappears in a puff of vengeful dust.

It’s no surprise that Dracula became a popular figure in film and TV and the character was shared prominently between Universal Studios and Hammer Films between the nineteen thirties and seventies, and it was in the latter’s roster that he was portrayed by Christopher Lee. From “Dracula” (1958) to “The Satanic Rites of Dracula” (1973) Lee would play the character in at least half a dozen films.

In one of the latest more faithful adaptations “Bram Stoker’s Dracula” (1992) Francis Ford Coppola helms a starring cast that includes Anthony Hopkins, Gary Oldman, Keanu Reeves and Winona Ryder. In it, the original story is very much preserved and despite some acting flaws, it manages to deliver a few gory scares.

In 2000 Director E. Elias Merhige directed ‘Shadow of the Vampire”, which was retelling of the making of “Nosferatu” in which character actor Max Shreck actually turned out to be a fiendish blood sucker.

In recent years there has been a spattering of Dracula-centric media in which the vampire is given cartoon form.

“The Batman vs. Dracula” as its title might suggest, pits the caped crusader against the immortal count. In “Hotel Transylvania” (2012), Dracula, voiced by Adam Sandler, is the owner of a hotel for monsters.

More recently, Dracula is portrayed by Jonathan Rhys Myers in NBC’s aptly titled “Dracula” (2013-2014) where he seeks revenge on the descendants of those who have wronged him.

Burn him, behead him or stab him through the heart, Dracula will come back every time to deliver more terrifying goodness.

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