Vampires are not supposed to be vegetarians or sparkle in the daylight. They are not supposed to fall in love or drive an Aston Martin. Vampires are supposed to be scary blood sucking murderers that die if they are caught out in the sunlight. In 2009 lots of tweenage girls (and their mothers) are swooning over Edward Cullen from Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight series, but these books and films have more in common with the works of Jane Austin and the Bronte sisters than they do with Bram Stoker.

Of course for the first film version of the greatest of all vampires, Count Dracula, we have to go back nearly 90 years to Germany, and F.W. Murnau’s Nosferatu. Whilst this is perhaps the most honest of the Dracula films and the one that was most true to Stoker’s vision, the names of the characters had to be chagened due to copyright restrictions. This seems kind of ironic when you consider that the Dracula character is now public domain. At the time the Stoker Estate sued Murnau and all prints of this film were ordered to be destroyed but fortunately they weren’t.

The casting of Max Schreck as Count Orlok (Dracula) is superb and he is particularly frightening. Rumour has it that he sold his soul to the devil to perfect the role or that he was a real vampire.

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