Monday, October 01, 2012
31 Days of Dracula | Max Schreck (1922)
It's October 1 and the first day of the Official Countdown to Halloween. I started early with Casper and the 50 Horror Classics movies, but my original plan was to follow up last year's countdown with a similar theme. Frankenstein is my favorite monster, but Dracula runs a close second place. I identify with Frank, but Dracula is who - in darker moments - I wish I could be. Maybe not the blood sucking part, but his charisma and power are qualities I'm tempted to envy.
So all this month I'll be focusing on a different interpretation of the world's most famous vampire. Some of the entries will be more inspired by Dracula than direct adaptations of him, but I'm sticking to vampires with obvious connections to the original Count and his unique sense of style.
Like last year, we'll do this in chronological order, so the natural place to start is Max Schreck's classic performance in F.W. Murnau's Nosferatu. Technically, Schreck is playing Count Orlok, not Dracula, because Nosferatu changes all the characters' names. But it's a faithful adaptation of Bram Stoker's plot and Orlok is undeniably Dracula at heart if not in appearance.
Schreck is the most frightening version of Dracula ever. He and Murnau gave up charisma for sheer power and horror, and some of the images in Nosferatu are scarier than anything in the last 90 years.