Friday, October 2, 2015

Countdown to Halloween 2015 - Counting Down the Monsters #2 - Dracula (Universal)

As much as the Universal machine likes to put the Frankenstein Monster front and center on nearly all of their merchandise featuring the classic monsters, Dracula (dir. Tod Browning) seems to me to be the "more important" of the films. This isn't a commentary on its quality (or Frankenstein's (dir. James Whale)). Simply, Dracula was the first of what we now recognize of the Universal classic monster movie cycle (a few earlier silent films notwithstanding). Without the success of Dracula, we simply wouldn't have all these resulting wonderful monster movies (and I don't want to think about a world without these films . . . and what they ushered into the world!).

A big part of the success of Dracula is undeniably Bela Lugosi. Hands/fangs down, no question. The man is charismatic, charming, scary, alluring . . . everything Dracula needed to be (in that movie). While this was not the first film in which I saw Bela Lugosi, it certainly left a massive impact on me.

Apparently Dracula also made an impact on my friend Bobby who lived across the street from me when we lived in Montana (I would have been between eight- and ten-years-old). One Halloween night, we went trick or treating and he was dressed up as Dracula. I was a pirate that year. (What? Not a monster?!?) When people answered their door for us, he would say, "I vant to suck your blood."

I'd quickly follow that up with, "Don't mind him. He's just a pain in the neck."

We thought we were hilarious (for kids somewhere between eight- and ten-years-old).

I don't think I ever dressed up as Dracula myself for Halloween, or even as a vampire at all. If I did, it had to have been when I was very young. As I got older and started doing my own make-up and creating my own costumes, I never attempted Dracula or any vampire at all, really. I don't have the straightest teeth, and the plastic vampire fangs didn't fit comfortably in my mouth. I always kind of wanted to be a vampire for Halloween, though, but even with more advanced vampire fang make-up/costume supplies, I still can't make them look right in my mouth.


Stephen D. Sullivan said...

I pretty much always do a vampire on Halloween. I have a couple of capes (one of which I hand-sewed ages ago) and some simple costume pieces that say "Dracula" even without the fangs.

Lately, though, I've gone to the Inverness coat and donned the Barnabas ring (and occasionally wig). Still can't find a decent price on the cane, though. :-(

Generally, I don't do the teeth; scares the kids coming to the door for treats.

Derek M. Koch said...

Oh, I know NOW I could pull off a vampire sans fangs, but back when I was a kid, it never occurred to me that Bela didn't have fangs in Dracula!