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Winona Pining for Johnny

I never was a fan of the 1992 version of ‘Bram Stoker’s Dracula‘, but I watched it nonetheless because it was there. Further, it starred pretty much anyone who was anyone in Hollywood at that time. – Sure, it’s surprising that Keanu Reeves was in it because of his tremendous lack of acting talent, but I guess Johnny Depp must have been too busy for the role (it did occur in the middle of their relationship, which was kind of the Brad Pitt / Jennifer Aniston of its day). Maybe Depp lost a rock-paper-scissors match to Reeves or was too caught up channeling Buster Keaton for his Benny & Joon character to shift gears into the Jonathan Harker role.

It doesn’t matter, he wouldn’t have saved it.

The earlier, Bela Lugosi film can be good and I certainly look on it as a classic – but I have as much interest in watching that as I do in shoveling snow (I’ll do it – and maybe even enjoy it, but only if you make me).

I have a special fondness for the Hammer Horror Dracula films with Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee. Lee is a perfect Dracula and it doesn’t bother me at all that Dr. Frankenstein is playing the part of Van Helsing.

But my first exposure to the Dracula story came as a kid with my view master. We had the 1976 version of Dracula and it was as good as any film for me. I’d sit in a room for hours with our wooden box of view master reels and watch this one once, then again, then sit and read the booklet that came with it for a while. I know we had a lot of reels, but many of them were national park photos that I looked at only pro forma. this is the only actual story disk I can recall. Luckily, you can enjoy it in its entirety right now at View-Master World. It’s not in 3D there, but the images are still beautifully clean.


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