Friday, 17 October 2014

Dracula (1958)

Terence Fisher and Jimmy Sangster's pass at Dracula stresses the otherworldly sexiness of the Count, comparing his animal magnetism, and any attendant vampirism, to a drug addiction. Dracula's wives know he's wrong for them but they just can't help themselves. Although primarily set in Germany, the cast have the prim disposition of Victorian gentry. They're all buttoned-up and sexually desperate.

Despite having a fiancée, ill-fated vampire hunter Jonathan Harker can't resist falling under the spell of the brunette he meets in Dracula's castle. She flounces around in a nighty and pleads with him to help her, she's being held against her will. Harker is all too willing to play the hero. Her weakness is a ploy though. The second Harker takes her in his arms to smother away her worries, she clamps down on his neck.

Dracula has similar success with the woman in Harker's life. Straight-laced German fraus are no match for Christopher Lee hurriedly running his lips all over their faces. This Dracula isn't a superhuman monster that can transform into a bat, he's a mysterious stranger in complete command of his sexuality. He lures woman from their marital bed and makes them his. He ensnares them with his piercing stare and won't let them go. He awakens things inside them they didn't even know existed. He's the other man.

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