01st Oct2014

Ten Best: Unforgettable Dracula Performances

by Phil Wheat

Horror cinema has a long tradition of creating iconic characters and none more so than those borne in the early days of the genre: characters such as Frankenstein’s monster, the Mummy, the Creature from the Black Lagoon and, of course, Dracula – the king of horror. A character who, despite his many cinematic deaths, always returns to the silver screen for one more bite of flesh… As he does this week in Dracula Untold, which features Luke Evans as the evil Vlad Tepes.

With that in mind we thought we’d rundown the ten best unforgettable Dracula performances in cinema. Check them out below and let us know in the comments if you agree or disagree!

Christopher Lee – Dracula (1958)


Dracula (1958) is the first in the series of Hammer Horror films. Directed by Terence Fisher, Dracula (1958) stars Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Melissa Stribling, Carol Marsh and Michael Gough. Retitled Horror of Dracula in the US to avoid any mix-up with Dracula (1931).

Luke Evans – Dracula Untold (2014)


Dracula Untold explores the origin of Dracula, weaving vampire mythology with the true history of Prince Vlad the Impaler, depicting Dracula as a flawed hero in a tragic love story set in a dark age of magic and war. Gary Shore directs and Michael De Luca produces the epic action-adventure that co-stars Dominic Cooper, Sarah Gadon and Charles Dance.

Gerard Butler – Dracula 2000 (2000)


Directed and written by Patrick Lussier, Dracula 2000, alternatively known as Dracula 2001 internationally, is an American action-horror film. The film stars Gerard Butler, Omar Epps, Colleen Fitzpatrick, Jonny Lee Miller, Justine Waddell, Jeri Ryan, Jennifer Esposito and Christopher Plummer.

Dominic Purcell – Blade: Trinity (2004)


Written, produced and directed by David S. Goyer, Blade: Trinity (2004) is a American vampire superhero action film starring Wesley Snipes in the title role. Blade: Trinity is the third and final film in the Blade film series, which is loosely based on the character Blade from Marvel Comics. At the US box office, the film grossed over $128 million.

Gary Oldman – Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)


Bram Stoker’s Dracula is a American horror drama film released in 1992, produced and directed by Francis Ford Coppola. Starring an acclaimed cast of Gary Oldman, Winona Ryder, Anthony Hopkins and Keanu Reeves.

Bela Lugosi – Dracula (1931)


Dracula is a horror film directed by Tod Browning in 1931, starring Bela Lugosi in the title role. The film, produced by Universal, is based on the 1924 stage play Dracula by John L. Balderston and Hamilton Deane.

Frank Langella – Dracula (1979)


Winner of the 1979 Saturn Award for Best Horror Film, Dracula (1979) is a American/British horror film starring Frank Langella , Laurence Olivier, Kate Nelligan, Trevor Eve, Donald Pleasence, Jan Francis and Tony Haygarth. Dracula (1979) was directed by John Badham and the original music score was produced by John Williams.

Richard Roxburgh – Van Helsing (2004)


Produced and directed by Stephen Sommers, Van Helsing (2004) is a American horror action film, starring Hugh Jackman, Kate Beckinsale, Richard Roxburgh and David Wenham. Van Helsing successfully grossed over $300 million around the world and was subsequently one of 2004’s biggest blockbusters.

Leslie Nielsen – Dracula: Dead and Loving It (1995)


Dracula: Dead and Loving It (1995) is a comedy horror film that parodies Bram Stocker’s novel Dracula and the films inspired by the novel. This satirical movie was directed by Mel Brooks and stars Leslie Nielsen, Mel Brooks and Peter MacNicol.

Jack Palance – Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1973)


Directed by Dan Curtis and written by Richard Matheson, Dracula is a 1973 television adaptation of Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel Dracula in which Jack Palance plays the title role. This adaptation also stars Simon Ward, Nigel Davenport and Fiona Lewis.

Dracula Untold is on at Empire Cinemas from Friday 3rd October. Book at www.empirecinemas.co.uk


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