Dracula in Istanbul (1953)

aka Drakula Istanbul’da
Article 2400 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 10-22-2007
Posting Date: 3-8-2008
Directed by Mehmet Muhtar
Featuring Atif Kaptan, Annie Ball, Bulent Oran

Dracula leaves his castle in Romania to seek new blood in Istanbul.

This being the first horror movie from Turkey that I’ve seen, it has an enormous amount of novelty value. As a result, several aspects of the movie that might ordinarily be turn-offs ended up adding to the ambiance of the whole experience, such as a general creakiness to the proceedings, sloppy and bizarre use of music, and the fact that I’m watching it both undubbed and unsubtitled. Fortunately, the story more or less follows the Bram Stoker novel, so a working familiarity with the latter will help you along. Some of the differences between the movie and the novel are striking; it takes place in the present, so we often get motor cars and trains in place of stagecoaches. For me, the oddest difference is the omission of Renfield; however, in its place, we have lots of exotic dancing and a bath scene. My print is far from the best, but the ambiance puts this over, though the lack of subtitles did make things a little dull on occasion. Still, it does make for an interesting variation on the story.


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