57 thoughts I had while watching Bram Stoker's Dracula

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Oct 26, 2017

Let’s pour one out for one of the most important anniversaries of 2017. It was November 13, 1992. George H.W. Bush was president. Cartoon Network had just been launched. A crop of young future stars—including Daisy Ridley, Cara Delevingne, Ezra Miller, and Cole and Dylan Sprouse were yet to turn a year old. (Side note: I feel ancient.) And, lo, the “ass bun head” look was born.

OK, OK, and the movie the “ass bun head” hairdo came from hit theatres: Bram Stoker’s Dracula, directed by Francis Ford Coppola and starring Gary Oldman, Winona Ryder, Keanu Reeves and Anthony Hopkins. Stylish and Capital-D dramatic in a Hot Topic goth sort of way, Bram Stoker's Dracula gave us Gary Oldman gnawing on scenery and Keanu Reeves—bless him—turning in one of the worst accents in the history of film. Oh, and capes. Naturally, with the 25th anniversary approaching, we at SYFY Fangrrls thought it only right to give the movie a proper—and snarky—revisit. 


1. Bram Stoker’s Dracula starts with a shot of a stone cross falling to the ground and shattering, in case you had any doubts that things are about to get mall goth as hell up in here.

2. We open the movie in 1492, as a human Dracula sets off to do battle against the Turks. I’d have spend the night before battle resting up and not painstaking setting my hair in rag rollers, but that’s why Vlad’s a member of the Order of the Dragon and I’m not.

3. Dracula’s weird beetle (?) muscle (?) armor marks the first of many times during this movie I will stop and light a candle in honor of the brilliance of costume designer Eiko Ishioka, who is great with capes.

4. When does Drac go full Attack on Titan?

5. Francis Ford Coppola coming through on those interior decorating ideas.

6. Co-starring Anthony Hopkins as Bishop Needs-a-Comb. I appreciate that the clergymen of Transylvania get some sweet-ass gilded robes, but does the seminary not have a conditioner budget?

7. A snarling, Romanian-speaking Gary Oldman after discovering that his beloved wife Elisabeta (Winona Ryder), thinking he’s dead, has committed suicide: “Is this my reward for defending God’s church? I renounce God! I renounce God! I shall rise from my own death to avenge hers with all the power of darkness!” Then he stabs a giant stone cross. It’s me every time the MTA makes me late for work.

8. Playing Renfield, we have the legendary Tom Waits, who has apparently attended the Bishop Anthony Hopkins school of not combing your damn hair. You know, it’s always presented as weird that Enfield eats bugs, but all it means is that he’s a Brooklyn raw food vegan who’s way ahead of his time.

9. I’m ready for Keanu Reeves’ awful English accent.

10. No, really… I’m prepared.

11. I have emotionally steeled myself.

12. I WAS NOT READY.

13. Everyone in this movie is extremely Extra. Jonathan Harker (Reeves) and fiancée Mina (Ryder) prepare for Jonathan’s imminent business trip to Transylvania by schtupping in a garden, shielded from prying eyes by a peacock’s plume. That peacock’s a perv.

14. What a tiny train.

15. “The district I am to enter is in the extreme east of the country, just on the border of three states: Transylvania, Moldavia, and Bukovina, in the midst of the Carpathian Mountains, one of the wildest and least known portions of Europe.” Vigo the Carpathian, where are you?!

16. “Does…. does anyone else see the creepy floating eyes? Just me? OK.”

17. Dracula’s letter to Jonathan ends “Your friend, D,” despite Dracula predating Tinder by over a century.

18. Keanu Reeves gets a lot of guff for his awful attempt at an English accent in this movie—rightfully so—but Winona Ryder doesn’t fare much better. I think she and Keanu entered a sort of actorly suicide pact. “The only way we’re going to draw any attention away from a foaming-at-the-mouth Gary Oldman is if we just sound awful.”

19. Cape number one!

20. LONG LIVE THE ASS HAIR. THE ASS HAIR HAS AWOKEN. And the World Market lantern is a nice touch.

21. Honestly, Gary Oldman is great in this movie, but him acting alongside Keanu’s awful English accent without bursting into peals of laughter is his greatest achievement. He should’ve gotten an Oscar for it.

22. “I never drink………. wine.” OK, so Dracula’s a dork.

23. Keanu Reeves and Gary Oldman are in completely different movies. In terms of acting style, yes, but also in terms of how they’re styled. Oldman’s all funkydelic otherworldly drama, and Reeves is rocking the ‘90s JTT floppy center part. Though actually, Gary’s fishtail braid wouldn’t be out of place at a music festival in the early 2000s.

24. Draculas has hairy palms. So… he’s been masturbating a lot? We were all thinking it.

25. “Jonathan measures up, doesn’t he? You can tell Lucy.” Just getting a second opinion here…. Lucy is asking Mina about the size of her husband-to-be’s penis, right? 

26. “We’ve kissed, that’s all.” MINA, YOU LIAR, YOU BONED BEHIND THE PEACOCK.

27. TOM WAITS HUG ATTACK.

28. Back in Transylvania, Jonathan Harker is wandering around at night in a creepy old castle—like you do—when he stumbles upon the lair of Dracula’s wives (Monica Bellucci, Michaela Bercu, Florina Kendrick). I get that these women are gorgeous, but I am not humping anyone in a room that needs a Swiffer this badly.

29. A bit of trivia for you all: This is just how Monica Bellucci enters a room.

30. Leaving the club like:

31. Keanu Reeves watching Dracula’s wives eat a baby, AKA 2017: A Gif Series.

32. “Ever faithful, Jonathan.” Johnny boy, you had a vampire orgy like two hours after writing that.

33. I sleep in a grubby old t-shirt, and here Dracula is with a gilded nightgown.

34. One of the weirdest alterations of vampire mythology Bram Stoker’s Dracula partakes in is that, in this movie, vampires are also werewolves? Or they can turn into wolves. And have power over wolves. Is this cultural appropriation?

35. Swanning through a hedge maze in a strapless nightgown with a matching orange cape during a storm is 100% my aesthetic.

36. A young, shirtless Dracula pops out of his travel coffin like a demented jack-in-the-box screaming "Eat me, Edward Cullen!"

37. Gary Oldman’s Dracula vs Tom Cruise’s Lestat: Who would win in a Zoolander-style walk-off?

38. A message to the girl eyeing Dracula’s ass: ogle and move on. He is so high maintenance, and also he might kill you. You want to get with a guy with a tiny soul patch like that? I don’t think so.

39. That is quite a neck ruff Lucy has. What stations do you think she can pick up with that thing?

40. Cary Elwes is here as Lord Arthur Holmwood, Lucy’s intended. “Unlike some other actors in Bram Stoker's DraculaI can speak with an English accent.”

41. Dracula seducing Mina through some suggestive dog petting is the best part of this movie.

42. Anthony Hopkins is back—with his hair combed this time!—as Professor Van Helsing. “Diseases of the blood, such as syphilis, they concern us here… especially you, Chad. Oh, I've heard. We've all heard.”

43. It is hilarious A) how little screentime Mina and Jonathan share and B) how little chemistry Winona Ryder and Keanu Reeves have. They’re not separated for 48 hours before Mina’s off flirting with Drac while Jonathan takes the midnight train to Bonetown with Dracula’s wives. “Oh, no, I was under the vampyr’s thrall!” Puh-leez. At least Lucy’s honest about what she wants.

44. “Boo. I pulled diamonds out of your ear.” That’s not as classy as you think it is, Drac.

45. The neon lighting makes me think that Mina and Jonathan got married in the 19th century’s only bona fide Church of the Holy Rave.

46. Mina literally does not even ask Jonathan what happened to him to make him run away to the Disco Church. It’s ridiculous how little these two care about each other. I bet she calls him “Jim” sometimes by accident.

47. “I starve. Feed me!” Same, Van Helsing. Same.

48. Pink velvet. Why didn’t Eiko Ishioka put out a nightgown line?

49. Lucy’s death is depicted as a bed exploding in blood. Is a menstruation joke too on the nose here?

50. “An autopsy? Lucy?” “No, not exactly. I just want to cut off her head and take out her heart.” Gary Oldman chews scenery left and right here, but Anthony Hopkins is also having an awful lot of fun.

51. “My best friend is dead, and it’s sad and all… I wonder if my f*ckprince is back in London?” Mina is a terrible friend.

52. If I’m not buried in exactly this outfit, I’m going to come back from the dead and haunt everyone I know.

53. Vampires are way too easy to kill in this movie. Van Helsing just… what? Hypnotized Lucy into lying down quietly, then got Cary Elwes to stab her heart? Doesn’t even need to be a stake. No wonder all your kind are extinct, Drac! You gotta enroll your new recruits in some martial arts classes!

54. Anthony Hopkins repels Dracula’s wives by screaming at them: “Leave this ground! I command you in the name of Christ!” This is their house, asshole.

55. The wives, as with Mina, are far too easy to kill. Helsing just sneaks up on them when they’re sleeping and cuts their heads off. Girls, you need to watch some Buffy. Have some self-respect.

56. Winona Ryder’s love can “release us all from the powers of darkness”…. sounds fake, but OK.

57. I am really glad this movie ends with Mina killing Dracula instead of trying to convince me that Mina and Jonathan get back together. The two have just about as much sexual chemistry as moldy dish towels.