There’s a movie coming out called Dracula: Untold. You know what my reaction to that is? There’s nothing about Dracula left untold! That fucking vampire has had pretty much every damn moment of his life told, retold, revised, refurbished, re-spun, regurgitated, and re-imagined more often than Jesus Christ. You know how you can tell when an original vampire book series, TV show, comic book, or movie has started to lose its originality?
Count Dracula shows up.
Seriously, when did the Blade movie series fall on its face? The one where Blade fights Dracula. Now, I know that Blade fought Dracula in his original comic series, but c’mon, Marvel comics is not known for the originality of their villains. Half of them are gods and monsters stolen from world mythology. Buffy was doing fine redefining the vampire genre on television, but then they decided that she had to fight Dracula just because … well, fuck it, everybody has to fight Dracula eventually, right? Batman fought Dracula, Billy the Kid fought Dracula, Frankenstein fought Dracula, the Wolf Man fought Dracula, Abbott & Costello fought Dracula, even Bonnie and Clyde have fought Dracula … hell, I’m sure Santa Claus and Dracula have duked it out on some memorable occasion!
These days, Dracula is a fucking cop-out!
That’s right, I said it! Dracula is where you turn when you have no original ideas. After literally hundreds of films, books, comics, and TV shows, I truly believe that there is nothing that has not already been done with the character of Count Dracula. Am I saying that all Dracula stories are bad? Of course not. There are plenty of great novelists out there who have some new slant on Dracula, but honestly, as a reader in the vampire genre and lover of the vampire movie, seeing Dracula’s name on something makes me want to move onto something else. I know he’s got built-in cache and name recognition, but I’m going to beg all the film-maker’s and novelists out there: If your story really doesn’t need Dracula, then for goodness’ sake, put someone else in there!
Get your own damn vampire!
Most especially egregious to me (and something that I think should be illegal), is when movies throw Dracula into the title of their shitty straight-to-video vampire movie just to get someone to watch it and motherfucking Dracula isn’t even in it!
Seriously, nothing pisses me off like a bait-and-switch! I’m looking at you, Dracula’s Dog!
Just for fun, I took a pop over to IMDB and looked at how many damn Dracula movies they had. 200 TITLES! And that’s just the ones with Dracula in the title. Think about that, people! Does Larry Talbot show up in every werewolf movie? Does Hitler show up in every war/spy movie? Does Sherlock Holmes show up in every…scratch that, the over-use of Sherlock Holmes is another worthwhile rant. You get my point!
Also, why is Dracula always credited as the first goddamn vampire? Sure, he’s the first that most people ever heard of, but he’s not the first! Never was! Dr. John Polidori gave us Lord Ruthven almost a hundred years earlier, and then we’ve got James Malcolm Rhymer’s Varney the Vampire, and everybody’s favorite lesbian vampire Carmilla Karnstein all in line to claim that title. When you make Dracula the first vampire ever—especially when you connect him to Vlad II of Wallachia—you’re saying that vampires have only been around since the 1500s and that’s an insult to all the wonderful vampire folklore that has existed for centuries before!
Why not give Lord Ruthven and Varney some love? Those guys deserve a revival! Dracula’s had his time in the sun, pun intended.
Here are some especially cringe-worthy titles from the IMDB list to help illustrate my point: Dear Dracula, Dracula’s Dog, Dracula’s Widow, Die Hard Dracula (and you thought the Die Hard series couldn’t get worse!), Airship Dracula, Waiting for Dracula (not to be confused with Waiting for Godot), Batman Dracula, Mama Dracula, Countess Dracula’s Orgy of Blood, Dracula and Son, Dr. Dracula, Bonnie & Clyde vs. Dracula, Lake of Dracula, Christmas at Draculas, Billy the Kidd vs. Dracula, Dracula’s Sorority Sisters, Killer Barby’s vs. Dracula, Dracula in Vegas, Dracula’s Daughters vs. the Space Brains, and Dracula 3000.
I can only hope that some of those movies are as funny as their titles suggest, but I doubt it. Hate mail and death threats can be posted below in the comments section!