Dracula In Visual Media Review

 Dracula in Visual Media – Film, Television, Comic Book and Electronic Game Appearances, 1321–2010 by John Edgar Browning and Caroline Joan (Kay) Picart

I wrote my dissertation on Dracula (‘Three interpretations of the vampire myth: Carmilla by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu, Bram’s Stoker’s Dracula and The Vampire Diaries by Anne Rice’). Despite me only getting a Desmond, I’m still pretty proud of it. The internet wasn’t as full then as it is now so I actually had to do research. In books. And I can honestly say that if the library had had a copy of Dracula in Visual Media it would’ve been a darn sight easier.

The book starts off with a slightly whiny introduction from Dacre Stoker (Bram Stoker’s great grand-nephew – nope, I don’t know what that means either) about how Bram was too busy writing his novel to file the copyright paperwork properly. This meant that the book, and therefore the character, fell into the public domain in the 1930s. Hence the proliferation of Dracula films and books. Stoker Jr grudgingly admits that, despite the unimaginable royalties his family have missed out on over the years, this is no bad thing. Then he shoehorns is an advert for his own ‘Stoker family-sanctioned’ sequel.

That slight quibble aside, Dracula in the Visual Media is a fairly awesome achievement – a listing of (apparently) every appearance Dracula has made in film, TV, video games, comic books and (rather amusingly in a very immature way) porn (there are some wicked film titles – my personal favourites include Spermula, Suckula, Ejacula and From Dusk til Porn).

Each section is prefaced by a short, and in the main interesting, essay about Dracula’s influence over that particular medium. The film section is particularly impressive –film entries (over 700) generally list cast and crew, along with a short plot synopsis. There’s even about six pages devoted to Sesame Street and Count von Count. All together now… “One… AH AH AH!”

There’s a lot you know, a lot you don’t, and a lot you’ll probably never need to. I’m sure that this exhaustive guide will prove massively popular amongst Dracula scholars and fans of the Count. But it’s probably not for fair weather vampire fans. Or Twihards.

Emma Wilkin

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