It's my personal opinion that today's vampires are simply too wimpy, to sensitive, and too compassionate. Butler reminds us that Dracula was the original, true vampire by bringing to our attention his treatment of his brides:
“The three brides in his castle are generally half-starved ingenues, held at bay with promises of half-forgotten travelers, having to survive on rations of two-month old babies for their diet. When they steal from his plate, the Count simply hurls them to the floor like a depraved stepfather. They tell him that he never loved and reveal an impotency to his nature that is shocking in its revelation while accounting for and attesting to his many and constant bad mood swings.”
When Dracula bites Lucy, she doesn't go into a love-sick swoon, she feels bitter, ill, and begins to suffer horrible nightmares. When she's eventually "turned" she doesn't accompany the Count to his lace-draped boudoir for a night of wine and romance. She becomes a wretch, with no conscience, who tempts and nibbles on children. And when Lucy is finally staked, Dracula barely registers the loss.
Butler begins his reviews with the 1922 version of Stoker's book, Nosferatu, and gives a detailed synopsis of each film. But it's the little facts and bits of history surrounding the actors and the films that are the most entertaining.
One of the most quoted lines from any Dracula movie is this, spoken by Dracula to the recently arrived Jonathan Harker: “Listen to them. The children of the night. What music they make!”
And in each movie review Butler makes sure to include the version of this line. It's interesting to see the different interpretations.
It's also interesting to note that in the 1931 Universal Pictures version of Dracula, it's not Jonathan Harker who first arrives at the castle, but Renfield who steps out of the carriage. See? Did you catch that when YOU saw this version? Add that to your list of things to watch for!