Francis Ford Coppola's 1992 version of Bram Stoker's Dracula is a biggie. And I don't mean just a Horror Movie Nerd -- I mean an all-around Nerd About The Movies, of any and all genres. As a 14-year-old at the time it came out I wasn't allowed to see anything R-rated in the theater due to my religious upbringing -- I kicked a hole in my mother's bedroom door throwing a fit when she refused to take me, proving yes it's true, I have always been a little bitch. It's probably for the best she said no though -- Keanu getting his dick bitten by three topless vampire concubines would've been a real awkward watch with my mother sitting beside me.
the companion book about the making of the film that came out alongside it, a copy of which I managed to snag at the bookstore at the mall while on my own. I studied that book like the bible, reading it back to front several times, and what a smashing introductory film education it proved for a kid who didn't know jack-shit about The Movies.
Coppola (who by the way is celebrating his 81st birthday today) utilizes all sorts of classic techniques over the course of the film -- I learned about rear-projection, about running the film backwards, about playing with exposures and matte paintings and forced perspective. The section about Eiko Ishioka's astonishing and over-the-top costumes was also real formative -- hearing what went into the choices she and Coppola made, the way they were referencing not just film history but all sorts of outside arts, and why they were making those choices, gave me an understanding of the film crafts, the reach of them, for the very first time. This film is a treasure trove for cinema home-schooling.
Anyway for today's "Great Moments in Horror Actressing" over at The Film Experience I wrote up my thoughts on probably my favorite performance in the film, that of Sadie Frost as Mina's tragic friend Lucy, and how her work alongside Ishioka's specifically walks the perfect line -- the film flies highest, if you ask me, where the twain meet. The overheated tone, the gothic posturing, the big swings towards silent cinema and kabuki theater, they all come together like nothing else ever put on screen with Frost's work, a fireball for the ages.
THIS MOVIE IS TOO MUCH pic.twitter.com/vHBVEu6Bix— Jason Adams (@JAMNPP) April 7, 2020