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Showing posts tagged: Dracula click to see more stuff tagged with Dracula
Oct 5 2017 2:00pm

Review: In the Footsteps of Dracula: Tales of the Un-Dead Count, Edited by Stephen Jones

In the Footsteps of Dracula: Tales of the Un-Dead Count, edited by Stephen Jones, is a vampire anthology with more than thirty chilling stories and novellas featuring Bram Stoker’s King of the Vampires: Count Dracula, Prince of Darkness! 

It’s October, which means it’s Halloween season. And what better way to celebrate the season than by putting aside that pumpkin-spice latte and dipping into an anthology inspired by the Prince of Darkness himself, Count Dracula? 

This hefty compendium collects nearly 700 pages worth of vampire goodness, including poems, short stories, novellas, and one play—a theatrical version of Dracula’s prologue, written by Bram Stoker himself. There are more than 30 separate entries and something for everyone’s reading taste.

Where to start? The table of contents is overstuffed with tempting treats, and you won’t have to skim very far down before you’ll find something by a favorite author—like Christopher Fowler’s “Dracula’s Library,” which is told in the voice of Jonathan Harker:

[Read Katherine Tomlinson's review of In the Footsteps of Dracula...]

Oct 26 2016 10:00am

Review: Dracula vs. Hitler by Patrick Sheane Duncan

Dracula vs. Hitler by Patrick Sheane Duncan is a thrilling action adventure featuring one of the world's greatest fictional monsters facing off against an historical monster in 1941 Romania. 

In the spring of 1941, Hitler's war machine is moving steadily across Europe, crushing any resistance it encounters beneath its fascist boots. Countries fall like dominos beneath the awesome might and horrific violence of the Nazi party. 

Then, the Germans reach Romania, the adopted homeland of one Dr. Abraham Van Helsing...

It has, of course, been decades since the doctor's infamous battle against the greatest evil the world had ever known—the greatest evil prior to Hitler's ascent, that is. Now an old man, Van Helsing recognizes the warning signs and knows that Hitler and his cruel, barbaric forces must be stopped. Sadly, they will not be stopped by the small (if hardy) guerrilla rebels he and his wild daughter Lucy lead.

[Read Angie Barry's review of Dracula vs. Hitler...]

Oct 4 2016 2:00pm

Which Halloween Movie Monster Is the Scariest?

October is a month that we celebrate with spooks and specters, frights and fears. As the dogs days of summer turn into the cool chill of fall, we embrace the darkness (literally if you still live in a region that recognizes the time change) of the season fully by subjecting ourselves to monster movies and horror flicks—hoping that our screams turn into laughter, our tricks to treats. 

But with so many monsters of lore, which classic scare is the most frightening? Could man’s power over science and creation truly spawn a monster? Does the pale light of the full moon stir something in all of us?

Vote for the classic monster that YOU think is the scariest!

[Vote below...]

Oct 24 2014 8:30am

(Brain) Food for Worms: Halloween at Criminal Element

Don’t look now, but Halloween is just around the corner, and with it comes the one time each year where our morbid obsession with all things scary is celebrated! If you’re looking to get that heart rate thumping, look no further; here are the links that will send even the biggest adrenaline junkie running for his mummy.

Are you simply looking for some reading recommendations? We’ve got you covered. Head over here for a list of books guaranteed to be chock full of thrills, chills, and kills! If you’re one of those people who have a hard time deciding on which book to read, we’ve got a convenient flow chart that will make choosing your next scare easier than fighting Dracula at daybreak.

Michael Nethercott wants to take this opportunity to scare with you a gothic whatdunit from Henry JamesThe Turn of the Screw. Roger Clarke has been studying ghosts since his days at Eton College, where there just happens to be an inn that played host to both one of England’s best ghost story writers, M.R. James, as well as a famous ghost sighting from the 17th Century! Comment on Clarke’s post for a chance to win a copy of his updated book Ghosts: A Natural History! And if that’s not enough ghosts for you, check out the true story of the haunted house where Peter James lived.

When it comes to screaming at the top of your voice, is television your medium of choice? If so, you’re in luck. Join Jake Hinkson for his Twin Peaks rewatch as he visits David Lynch’s eerie small town with big secrets. Oh, and did you hear? Twin Peaks will be returning in 2015! (We’re not trying to take credit or anything…) If monsters are more your thing, you’ll want to check out our Hemlock Grove coverage, where Meghan Schuler not only provided a primer to catch you up, but also complete Season 2 episodic recaps, all from one brutal weekend of binge! Monsters and Meghan seem to go well together, as she is currently covering American Horror Story: Freak Show too! If you like monsters, chances are you’ve seen Grimm. But you may have missed The Mythology of Grimm, a book dedicated to breaking down the fairy tale and folklore roots of the show!

Guillermo del Toro is a master of the horror genre, whether it be on television or at the movies. Luckily, we have a resident del Toro expert on call—Angie Barry! Angie put del Toro’s films under the knife as she vivisected his entire filmography. Then it was onto TV and The Strain, where Angie not only covered each episode of Season 1, but also interviewed two regular cast members: Sean Astin and Kevin Durand. Angie's love for the paranormal transcends del Toro, which explains her attendance at the 13th Annual Mothman Festival in West Virginia!

Movies can be bloodcurdling too, for both good and bad reasons. Sometimes, writes Michael Nethercott, Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, and everything comes out the perfect level of campy-creepy. And sometimes, as Brian Greene notes, the perfect mix of Gothicism, eroticism, and vampirism come together into something great, like in Daughters of Darkness. But every once in a while, a clunker comes along, bringing out the terrible, awful, and very worst of movies. May we present our awesomely bad Crimes Against Film series.

Now of course, to assume everyone is as infatuated with morbidity would be witchful thinking. Halloween can be fun too, as proven by Dixie Lyle’s To Die Fur and Leigh Perry’s The Skeleton Takes a Bow. You can head on over to all of our cozy coverage, if you’d like. But be careful where you click…you never know where you’ll find yourself at Criminal Element.

Oct 18 2014 11:00am

Horrific Hijinks: When Abbott and Costello Met Frankenstein

It was recess in St. Mary’s schoolyard. A handful of us boys, all eleven-ish, were discussing the merits of an old film recently re-broadcast on TV. The discussion soon took on the form of a confession, a mutual one, albeit different than the kind we were expected to make in the confines of the church confession booth. The film: Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein. The confession: the fact that, despite the movie being a comedy, it still scared the shenanigans out of us (or words to that effect.) One after another of us came clean; each admission delivered in a semi-hushed tone like you might expect to hear in the confessional. Maybe we were afraid that one of our girl classmates would wander by and learn of our collective unmanliness.

Well, I’m now many years—many years—beyond my schoolboy days. I can finally raise my voice without shame to declare that, yes, numerous shenanigans were scared out of me when I first saw that movie. And that’s the beauty of it. Having recently re-watched the 1948 classic, I can testify that it still offers a lovely blend of chills and chortles. (Forgive me, Father, for I have alliterated.)


Apr 3 2014 1:30pm

Vivisect the Director: Guillermo del Toro and Cronos (1993)

Over the past two decades, Guillermo del Toro has more than proven himself as a master of his craft. I’ve long been an outspoken fan of his and have made it a mission to introduce as many people as possible to his work. And while most know him for his action blockbusters, I wanted to shine a light on his earlier works as well.

It was 1993 when a then unknown Mexican filmmaker burst onto the scene with a low budget and most unusual take on the vampire mythos. Cronos enjoyed quite a lot of buzz at Cannes and won several critics’ choice awards but had a minimal release in the States. Even now, while many recognize del Toro’s name, it seems that few are familiar with his feature debut.

Cronos is a film that defies convention and expectations. Gone are the typical trappings of vampires. There are no castles or Victorian houses, no mysterious gentlemen in fancy evening wear or nubile ladies in revealing nightgowns. Rather, del Toro indulges in his uniquely distinctive aesthetics.

At the heart of the story is a mystical object created by an ancient alchemist, a golden scarab that houses delicate clockwork and a strange insect. When the device is activated and attached to a living person, the transformation into an immortal—and bloodthirsty—creature of the night begins…

[There's always a price to pay for immortality...]

Sep 17 2013 8:30am

Fresh Meat: Anno Dracula: Johnny Alucard by Kim Newman

Anno Dracula: Johnny Alucard by Kim NewmanAnno Dracula: Johnny Alucard (Anno Dracula 1976-1991) by Kim Newman is the fourth in an alt-history fantasy series following Dracula's fictional legacy, now including his son, would-be drug lord Johnny Alucard (available September 17, 2013).

The Anno Dracula series has always been a favorite of mine because of its radical reimagining of world history. What if Dracula had really existed? What if he hadn’t met his end at the hands of Van Helsing and Co.? Kim Newman has explored the impact this would have had on the Victorian, World War II, and mid-century eras in previous books: now he sets his sights on what could arguably be called the Cocaine Era of 1976-1991.

As 1976 dawns, the legendary Count Dracula is dead. One of his get, an undernourished young vampire named Ion Popescu, attaches himself to Francis Ford Coppola’s movie production of Dracula being filmed in Transylvania. A sympathetic Kate Reed, hired as consultant to the filming, befriends Ion and is warmed by his seemingly puppy-like determination to change his name to John and migrate to America. She muses:

Was this how Dracula had been when he first thought of moving to Great Britain, then the liveliest country in the world just as America was now? The Count had practised his English pronunciation in conversations with Jonathan [Harker], and memorised railway timetables, relishing the exotic names of St Pancras, King’s Cross and Euston. Had he rolled his anglicised name—Count DeVille—around his mouth, pleased with himself?

Of course, Dracula saw himself as a conqueror, the rightful ruler of all lands he rode over. Ion-John was more like the Irish and Italian emigrants who poured through Ellis Island at the beginning of the century, certain America was the land of opportunity and that each potato-picker or barber could become a self-made plutocrat.

[As innocent and bright-eyed as a Creature of the Night can be...]

Sep 14 2013 6:00pm

Set Your DVRs: Five New Crime TV Shows to Watch

According to TV Guide, there are fifty-seven new shows premiering this fall. Fifty-seven. That’s a lot of shows. Clearly, not all of them will succeed, but there are five new shows with criminal elements (ha) that I am excited about. So, I thought I’d share a bit about each one.

Here are my top five, in reverse order of interest (trailers included!):

5) Ironside

This is a remake of the late '60s, early seventies show starring Raymond Burr as Robert Ironside, a paraplegic chief of detectives who doesn’t mess around.  This version has been updated and features Blair Underwood (L.A. Law) as Ironside.  There has been some controversy, because a paraplegic actor was not given the Ironside role. Other stars include Brent Sexton (former Sheriff Hunter Mosely on Justified), Spenser Grammer, and Kenneth Choi.

Ironside premieres on NBC on October 2 at 10/9c.

[Rolling on...]

Oct 5 2012 12:00pm

Dracula Cha Cha Cha: New Excerpt

Kim Newman

Dracula Cha Cha Cha by Kim NewmanAn excerpt of Dracula Cha Cha Cha, the third book in the Anno Dracula historical thriller series by Kim Newman (available October 9, 2012).

Rome. 1959. Count Dracula is about to marry the Moldavian Princess Asa Vajda—his sixth wife. Journalist Kate Reed flies into the city to visit the ailing Charles Beauregard and his vampire companion Geneviève. Finding herself caught up in the mystery of the Crimson Executioner who is bloodily dispatching vampire elders in the city, Kate discovers that she is not the only one on his trail.

Chapter 1

Alitalia offered a special class for vampires, at the front of the aeroplane. The windows were shrouded against the sun with black curtains. It added to the cost. The warm could pay a supplement and share the space—none did on this flight—but Kate couldn’t be seated in the main cabin at the lower fare. The airline assumed the undead were all too wealthy to care, which was not in her case true.

The flight departed an overcast Heathrow Airport in mid-afternoon and was scheduled to arrive in Rome at sunset. In the air, she read well into Saturday Night and Sunday Morning. She didn’t take personally the motto, ‘don’t let the bloodsuckers grind you down,’ and identified more with Arthur Seaton than with the vampires who ran the bicycle factory where he worked. Alan Sillitoe was using a metaphor, not stirring up hatred against her kind. That said, England had pockets of real intolerance: she’d been caught in the Notting Hill blood riots last year, and was fed up with the crucifix-waving teddy boys who hounded her in the launderette.

[Read the full excerpt of Dracula Cha Cha Cha by Kim Newman]

Apr 19 2012 9:30am

My First Undead Love: How I Fell for the Horror Genre

Edgar Allan Poe’s The Tell-Tale HeartEven as a very young child, I had a morbid sensibility.  This may have had something to do with my granddad on my father’s side; his idea of a good bedtime story for me and my sister at ages three and six (respectively) was The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe.  Grandpa read with great flair, building up the tension of the story to a hair-raising degree.  I loved every minute of it. 

My cousins Mark and Amy (on my mom’s side of the family) were also expert storytellers, most notably ghost stories. I’d get Mark in trouble by begging him to tell me a spooky story and then have nightmares after the fact.  I loved every minute of it, even the nightmares.  My guilt over getting Cousin Mark in trouble was never strong enough to stop me from repeating the process. I had great persuasive powers as Mark never refused to tell me a scary story. Er . . . sorry, Cousin Mark! Amy, for some reason, never got in trouble for telling me tales like The Hookman, Squish-Thump, Bloody Mary, or the Scythe Killer. Go figure.

[Squish-Thump, squish-thump, squish-thump...]

Dec 15 2011 12:05pm

To Die By Your Side: A Sweet Afternoon Treat

Mourir Aupres de ToiThis is just a little movie to bring a bit of joy to your day. It’s a handmade homage to books and love and death in felt and embroidery stop-motion animation by Spike Jonze, Simon Cahn and Olympia Le-Tan. It’s called Mourir Auprès de Toi (To Die By Your Side), and we dare you not to enjoy it. You can find more information about the film on the Nowness website. And, if you want, you can even buy a special edition of the Bram Stoker Dracula from Olympia Le-Tan’s shop, created with the movie’s heroine on the front.