Dracula (1979)


Directed by: John Badham

Written by: W.D. Richter
Bram Stoker (Novel)


Frank Langella .... Count Dracula
Laurence Oliver .... Prof. Abraham Van Helsing
Donald Pleasance .... Dr. Jack Seward
.... Lucy Seward
Trevor Eve .... Jonathan Harker
.... Milo Renfield
Jan Francis .... Mina Van Helsing

Special Appearances:

.... Annie
Teddy Turner .... Swales
Sylvester McCoy .... Walter

Release Date:
Theatrical: July 20, 1979





After landing shore and killing people on a ship Count Dracula (Frank Langella) takes refuge to his castle as well as coming to a banquet at a mansion to charmingly find his bride in which causes problems for the people residing there.


There's an interesting cheesy opening in the film with a foggy looking screen and a full moon with a vampire bat flying by as this seems like an impressive start for one of those drive in horror types of flicks. Also we have an interesting beginning with a ship rocking in the stormy ocean as this for sure looked deadly and making you wonder if this boat will crash due to this as well as spotting Dracula's coffin and then a wolf storming out and attacking as well as killing which didn't look too badly done.
Also we spot the crazy Milo Renfield in Dracula's castle with cobwebs surrounding as the setting looked perfect as well as a cheesy shot on a bat attacking him in which this was supposed to have made you jump but misses by a longshot. The effects weren't all that convincing either.
Things looked set in place when Dracula arrives as a guest at a mansion adding a nice charm to how he interacts with others as the timing seemed not too shabbily done. Also we spot a real attention grabber when someone cuts themselves and sucks their finger and Dracula notices this offering a mediocre humoress moment but not really funny.
Nice moments with this title character dancing with some of the women as he comes across as one of those romantic types in which you do get a feeling that later on he will suck their blood later on as well as staring at Mina Van Helsing and she goes in a trance nearly passing out as this draws in your attention and having a fearful moment that she will be Dracula's victim for a bride too. However we've seen situations like this before so it's nothing special at the same time.
Well focused moment with the crazy character Milo Renfield hungry for eating cockroaches which is a paid tribute to the role in the original flick but this time things look darker for this situation but by all means nowhere near as good as the classic one.

A nice shot on fog flowing around Dracula with him crawling down to a window of the mansion which is a nice pointer of the film by saving it from bombing as well as him trying to break a glass of a door to let himself in to come up to see Mina with her fearing as the timing seemed to be well set for all of this.
Perfect intense moment when she is suffering in bed as well as her friend Lucy Seward really being devastated by what happened to her in which is a nice drawing card that she was a victims to that night with Dracula and leaves a good mysterious moment within all of this.
Later on in the scene we spot a shocking moment with a good shot on a dark figure of Mina crashing through a window and running away in the night after killing a baby as this was a new add on to a vampire flick but when these moments happen with the tension that is going on was terribly rushed and not well concentrated for the dark situation as it should have been. Still you wonder about Mina and what became of her and making you watch to find out later on in the story.
Things seem fairly decent when everyone goes to the hunt to the cemetary with some people commenting as vampires not existing and stuff like that which is a nice add on.
Also we have a nice draw in card with Dracula and Lucy adding a nice romantic charm to it all but yet this doesn't seem to go anywhere at the same time. However it makes you watch to see if she will give in to his temptation but yet this looked rather dull while we continue to watch all of this.
Nice situation when Prof. Abraham Van Helsing goes underground to Mina's coffin leading to a passageway which is original for a horror story as we spot rats and a bat as well as cadles. This almost keeps you in suspense and terror wondering on what he will find as well as dropping his crucifix in a puddle as well as a creepy reflection on a pale looking Mina and then a good shot on her looking creepy with red eyes in which this for sure adds a nice terror but yet when we spot her attacking and the struggling moments the film seems to pay a tribute to the old fashioned type of terror as once again doesn't work in well with this flick during that time standard.
We spot alot of lame heroic action moments with people like Abraham and Jonathan Harker battling against Dracula in his castle with crucifix's and Dracula himself acting powerful towards these two as well as Jonathan realising as to what happened to his girlfriend Lucy as this was only mildly impressive to watch along with Dracula turning into a baqt or wolf managing to escape but I was thinking Ho hum to myself! Things seem only worst when it was supposed to be intense when they try to put an end to him in a ship as we've seen better horror style than this. Also at the end we are curious as to what became of Dracula himself as it looks like a kite flying away. But this film is easily forgettable after that.
Bottom line is that this remake tried to make things very different than the first in many way as it does just that but it is a total bore and seen stuff like this. Not scary as they tried so hard to make this one out to be at all. We've seen stuff like this before and can see why this one was obscure. I first saw it on TV when I was about 10 and was a bit scared by it but now as an adult it's laughable and not in a good way.

The acting is fairly decent surprisingly as Frank Langella (Count Dracula) was unique in his role as he doesn't overdo it at all coming across as a perfectly charming type and adds a deceiving likeable type and showed great timing within his temptation and shows off a good mellow type of attitude. Plus does well when stalking someone while trying to get into their room and offering good energy within this. WHen he acts vicious though with his attacks it needed a bit more improvements by getting intot all of this a little better than what we'd expect. He does well suffering and screaming in pain when he is tied up and the sunlight hits him in the end which was impressive.
Laurence Oliver (Prof. Abraham Van Helsing) draws in his role terrifically with his seriousness and warm type of attitude and was perfectly dramatic with energy by all that he does here. Also shows off a perfect struggling aggression too when the terror strikes him. He also does well with his brief and emtional crying after a sacrifice of his onscreen daughter. He was a decent character actor.
Donald Pleasance
(Dr. Jack Seward) of course knew his craft as usual and shows off a niceness to his part as a single father along with having a good bluntness to when he needed to be this was. Shows off some nice aggressions for the suspenseful moments. He also does well with his energy during a struggling situation adding a nice intensity within all of this.
(Lucy Seward) shows off some nice spunk to her role as someone whom is outgoing and intelligent as well as really getting into her romantic mode which comes off pretty well. She also does well with her intense crying after she finds out a terrifying incident which she brings up her energy terrifically here. Plus does well with her vicious behavior too when she is a vampiress as well as showing good wicked expressions too. Also had the perfect nice girl looks too.
Trevor Eve (Jonathan Harker) had the perfect guy next door looks as he was fun to watch in his performance and seems decent within his characteristics as well as adding a nice charm to his role. Plus does okay with his energy when he is battling away Dracula which was also enjoyable for him doing all of this.
(Milo Renfield) added perfection with whatever he did into this supporting role and can be well remembered for this as he offers a terrific scared and freaked out behavior when he is confrotned or attacking someone else drawing a nice intensity within this. Also does well with his cold speaking too when he is about to eat an insect and was dead on by doing this.
Jan Francis
(Mina Van Helsing) seeme dto offer a nice timid and innocent behavior in her role as she offers all of this nicely onto the camera. Plus she does well reacting while nearly passing out. Was great getting spooked in her bedroom when Dracula enters which she made this believeable. Plus does well choking and gasping later on in her performance. Was great while speaking coldly and softly when she is the creature of the night adding a terrific horror with this as well as her energy attacking but at times it looked a bit much.

Some necks are bitten.
Dead bloodied baby is revealed in a dark room.
A stake is impaled in someone on a ship.
Dracula's face is scarred by the sun while tied to a ship but it's nothing too gruesome.

We have the typical classical muysic score trying to sound mainstream but this was too common with the violin and trombone playing but at times it can work in with the high violin screeching for the suspenseful situations and other times doesn't just fit. Yet the romantic situations is not too shabby. It's outdated alot of the times trying to have the old fashioned feel to it all but doesn't fit the picture at all. This was all put together by John Williams.

Milo Renfield: Please master. Hurt me, torture me, I deserve it. But please... don't kill me.
Count Dracula: Ah, Renfield... you disappoint me so.

Milo Renfield: I've been bitten by a bat.
Count Dracula: [sarcastically] Yes, I know.