Sunday, November 10, 2013

Dracula: The Vampire and the Voivode (2011)

Director: Michael Bayley Hughes

Writer: ???

Composer: ???

Starring:Jason Walford-Davies, Vaughan Prytherch, Elizabeth Miller, Dennis McIntyre, Tina Rath

More info: Amazon

Tagline: The first documentary ever to reveal the true story of Bram Stoker and his legendary novel.

Plot: Shot in Transylvania, Whitby, London and Dublin, this documentary tells the true story of Bram Stoker and his gothic novel Dracula. The film is produced in association with the Transylvanian Society of Dracula and features interviews with leading international Dracula experts. Over the years there has been much confusion between Vlad Tepes (The Voivode) and Count Dracula (The Vampire). This film separates fact from fiction and looks at both characters in depth.Script consultant Elizabeth Miller describes Vlad's reign of terror and debunks the association between any Dracula and the iconic Castle Bran. Dennis McIntyre (The Bram Stoker Society) takes us to key locations in the author's home town of Dublin and Tina Rath (The Dracula Society, London) visits Stoker's (and Dracula's) haunts in the capital city. In Whitby, Harry Collett gives a vivid account of Dracula's association with the Yorkshire seaside town where the Count arrived in England on a stormy night aboard the Demeter.Romania takes center stage in the film and through the expertise of pioneer Dracula expert Nicolae Paduraru, we follow in both Vlad Tepes and Count Dracula's footsteps and explain why Stoker never left any of his own footprints in Transylvania but instead left an indelible impression of the Romanian region on the Western mind.

My rating: 8.5/10

Will I watch it again? Yes.

I was getting a little cheesed with this documentary because the first half is all about Bram Stoker's life and his possible inspirations for and writing Dracula. And then it's all about Vlad the Impaler and a nice little travelogue of Romania (then Transylvania), it's history, people and the current Dracula tourism.  Now I'm not only OK with the first half but I'm floored at how informative, well-rounded and entertaining this is.  This is fantastic.  Did you know that Stoker never traveled to Transylvania?  That's just the tip of the information iceberg.  It's currently on Netflix instant.

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