A Different Avenue

Almost everyone with whom I have had the privilege of discussing my fiction writing tends to ask me similar questions about my influences. Why did I write a vampire series? Why do I love Gothic horror? Who are my favorite writers? What are my favorite books?

I recently volunteered to write a review of my favorite horror novel for a fantastic UK-based website called Kendall Reviews. I thought it would be a great way to contribute to a groovy site and get my name out to a new audience.

I could tell you more about the site and its founder, but it’s easier to just link you there and have you check it out for yourself. If you like horror and you are looking for new material or you are looking to re-discover old frights, this is a great site to do all that and more.

I chose Dracula by Bram Stoker for my review project. I took the time to re-read the book and I was pleasantly surprised by what I found. Dracula has influenced me in so many ways over the years. The character and the novel helped form much of my entertainment tastes from an early age and served as a gateway book to many more delectable horrors over the years.

Head over to Kendall Reviews and check out my take on my favorite horror novel.

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A Different Avenue

The Film Adaptation that Started it All

maxresdefaultSince I became a novelist, many people have asked me how I “got into vampires.” My typical response is that I have been a fan of Gothic Horror since I was very young, that I read Bram Stoker’s Dracula when I was nine years old or so and that I have just been drawn to the genre.

While all of that is true, there is one film that started it all – Dan Curtis’ Dracula starring Jack Palance as Stoker’s titular vampire king. This 1974 made-for-TV movie scared the living daylights out of a then-four-year-old me. Now, I have no idea why my mother had this on the 19-inch Zenith when I was at that tender age. But, I was quite taken with Palance and of course, the character of Dracula.

Dracula_palanceThe digitally remastered film is now available on Amazon Prime video and I just watched it in its entirety for the first time in 45 years. Palance, although uneven, is commanding as Dracula. The great Richard Matheson, author of I Am Legend, penned the screenplay for this version. Liberties were taken and characters were omitted but several elements that many adaptations remove from the source material were included.

Dr. Jack Seward, Renfield and Quincey P. Morris are omitted, Lucy Westenra is now the Count’s long-lost love interest, and Jonathan Harker … well, you’ll just have to watch the film. Mina and Van Helsing remain, along with Arthur Holmwood.

The lavish set pieces and countryside scenery add to the richness of the production and they are reminiscent of the many Hammer Gothic Horror productions. There is a fair amount of fangs and blood, especially for a made-for-TV production.

If you are a fan of the genre and Dracula in particular, this is a more than acceptable entry in the canon. Check it out on Amazon Prime.

And the fact that I first saw this film when I was four years old certainly explains quite a bit.

The Film Adaptation that Started it All