I just finished reading The Romance of Dracula: a Personal Journey of the Count on Celluloid and now I've really got my work cut out for me. Because, being the vampire lover that I am, now I'm going to have to go back and watch all of those old Dracula movies again so I can look for all the things I missed the first time around.
If you're a fan of the old-time vampires, the really scary vampires who knew how to use their fangs, as opposed to today's sparkly, perfectly coiffed, love-struck, wimpy vampires, then you'll love this book by Dracula aficionado, Charles E. Butler. Beware, though. Once you read it you're going to be in the same boat I'm in. You're going to want to get a copy of all of these movies and spend the weekend watching a Dracula movie marathon.
Butler completely disregards modern vampires like LeStat and Edward Cullen and goes straight for the throat, concentrating on 14 movies, each based on the original, Bram Stoker's Dracula. What a treat for traditionalists who remember the days when vampires were to be feared, not pitied.
Butler first gives us a little of the history regarding Stoker's creation. Stoker (1847-1912), had already written several other novels and short stories before he wrote Dracula. Most are long-forgotten and not even worth mentioning. And even though Stoker died without ever seeing the success of Dracula he must have known he'd finally hit on something because it was the only one of his works for which he obtained a copyright.
The author rushes quickly over the standard-issue Stoker facts, such as how Stoker settled on the name of Transylvania and the fact that he used a certain blood-thirsty tyrant named Vlad Dracula as a model for the Count. These are facts that any true Dracula lover already knows. Worth mentioning, for sure, but there are so many other things to discuss.
For example, according to Butler, Dracula was actually written over a period of many years and Stoker apparently pulled pieces out of the book and put new pieces in whenever a new idea came to mind. In fact, Butler even suggests that Stoker plagiarized a couple of scenes at the beginning of the novel from a short story titled "The Mysterious Stranger," written by an anonymous author, a book he'd read as a young adult.