Oct 10 , 2022
Today marks the week of the 30th anniversary of 'Bram Stoker's Dracula', a book and film that became legendary.
Although the film deviates quite a bit from the book's plot, Gary Oldman did an excellent job as the legendary Count. But let’s go step by step, first, who is Count Dracula and where does this frightening figure come from?
Well, it can be said that the vampire par excellence is precisely the vampire created by Stoker, but what few people know is that Dracula is inspired by the very first vampire in the history, or Lord Ruthven, the vampire par excellence.
The latter is the result of the doctor-writer John Polidori, who created it and made it the protagonist of his short story 'The Vampire' published in 1819.
But where and when was the vampire character born?
History believes that the first 'real' vampire (Jure Grando) lived in the village of Corradino in 1672; this village is located in the region of Istria, on the border with Austria and the former Republic of Venice (Croatia).
But let’s get back and talk about how the legendary character of Count Dracula was born!
The origins of Dracula
Everything seems to indicate that not only in the book 'Dracula' by Bram Stoker the ruler of Wallachia, Vlad Tepes (in Romanian) III was an immense inspiration for the author, but that the latter is the terrible Dracula, when he was still only a human being. If you are also a book lover you will know that Van Helsing mentions it in the book but does not mention names.
The Stoker's Dracula is highly intelligent and very capable of adapting to new cultures through the centuries. Many films mention the fact that he denied God after his wife was murdered, and thus condemned to a life of loneliness and self-pity; in the original book, on the other hand, it is clarified that the young antagonist was the tenth boy in his group since he attended school in Sciomancy (Sibiu), and legend has it that out of every 9 students, the tenth belongs to the devil. Since then, young Vlad has been damned/sentenced to life.
Let us now move on to the character of the Count in history.
Death of Vlad III
This is a tale where in the records of Romania and the records of Italy come together.
The precise date of his death is unknown; a belief surfaced in the 19th century that the Impaler's body was buried in the Snagov Monastery in Bucharest, however, the 20th century archaeologists proved that the tomb attributed to the emperor was empty. There is a fascinating hypothesis: Vlad would fight, then he would be taken prisoner in Constantinople, redeemed by his daughter, and taken to safety in Italy, where he would lead the last years of his life and buried in the Church of Santa Maria la Nova in Naples.
It is interesting to underline that since 2014 works have been carried out in the church of Santa Maria la Nova in Naples, to give feedback to the hypothesis of a discovery of Vlad's body; in fact, inside the 16th century building there is a monument with a dragon represented. This representation appear to indicate some symbols of Slavic origin and there is an epitaph whose language has not yet been identified.
In any case, it seems most unlikely that Vlad did not die in battle, as some sources show, and fled and died in Naples; but we keep hoping to find his body, remember it is Halloween soon, right? 😊
But now let us move on to the last step: Dracula in the cinema.
Gary Oldman's Dracula
Oldman's Dracula is a perfect mix of evil and eternal despair, although, always with a but, the part in which our antagonist woos Mina (companion of the protagonist and reincarnation of Vlad's deceased wife, played by the beautiful Winona Ryder) gives an eerie drop in pace to the story within the film.
- When Dracula plants his sword in the cross he utters a cry. The cry is not the work of Gary Oldman but the lead singer of the punk band The Cramps;
- Anthony Hopkins in addition to being Van Helsing, is also the priest who condemns Elisabeta (wife of the Count) at the beginning of the film;
- The scene where Gary Oldman licks the razor required several takes. The actor was drunk.
And with that we are at the end of this article, let us know what you think in the comments!
The Popgear Team