In Search of Dracula (1975)

aka Vem var Dracula?
Article 4557 by Dave Sindelar
Date: 6-9-2014
Directed by Calvin Floyd
Featuring Tor Isedal, Christopher Lee
Country: Sweden / France /USA
What it is: Documentary

The various historical and legendary aspects of the story of Dracula are discussed.

This movie overall is only so-so, but at least it’s nice to see a documentary for this series that doesn’t have the ulterior motive of trying to get me to believe in the actual existence of its fantastic aspects. The first part of the movie emphasizes the various aspects of the vampire legend. The second part tells the history of Vlad Tepes, who was one of the primary inspirations for Dracula. The third part covers the history of the book and its popularity. There are a few side issues here and there; for example, there’s a short section about a man who possessed several real-life qualities of a vampire. Much of the footage is authentic location footage of the various places discussed in the movie; I’m particularly taken with the Transylvania footage. Most of the other footage seems to consist of footage from movies, though there may be some historical re-enactment footage as well; Christopher Lee wanders around as Vlad Tepes in several scenes which may be original to this movie. The vampire legend section could be very interesting to those attempting to write their own vampire stories, as they discuss rarely-used aspects of the vampire legends that could serve as very interesting starting points. I also found the Vald Tepes section worth catching. The movie’s biggest problem is that it overuses movie footage, often without compelling reasons to do so; the use of extensive footage from a Theda Bara film and one of the silent Lugosi films in particular seems to be poorly motivated. It also wanders off into the history of the writing of “Frankenstein” for no really good reason. Nevertheless, the movie does have its moments.

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