Bram Stoker’s influence on cinema is unrivaled. 2023 saw the release of The Last Voyage of the Demeter, which earned the praise of renowned novelist Stephen King. The writer behind The Shining and vampire-inspired ‘Salem’s Lot called the film a “throat-ripping good time” that recalled the “best of the Hammer movies from the Sixties and Seventies.”
The year also saw the release of the horror-comedy Renfield, in which Nicolas Cage plays Count Dracula. This came hot on the heels of director Neil LaBute’s House of Darkness, a reimagining of Stoker’s bloodsucking creation starring Justin Long and Kate Bosworth. It’s clear movie audiences aren’t growing tired of the Transylvanian villain, and 2024 will see the release of yet another screen adaptation of the fanged Count in Dracula: Rise of the Vampire.
Dean Meadows, the writer-director behind Scarlett Cross: Agents of D.E.A.T.H, brings the infamous gothic horror character to contemporary Britain for a new interpretation of the legendary story. When Count Dracula is reincarnated by a satanic cult, it is left to a disgraced former detective to lead the battle against various foes to avoid an apocalypse. The film is described by its makers as being a heartfelt homage to the Christopher Lee/Peter Cushing Hammer classics.
The Eternal Monster: Dracula is Well Entrenched in Pop Culture
Ever since Bram Stoker created Count Dracula, the character has been a source of inspiration for other forms of entertainment outside of literature, entrenching the legendary vampire in popular culture. The first stage adaptation, for example, is believed to be Hamilton Deane’s play Dracula which was first performed in 1924.
Since then, numerous plays have been written and performed, as well as ballets, operas, and even musicals such as the Neptune Theatre’s Dracula: A Chamber Musical, which was performed at Canada’s Stratford Festival in 1999 and ran for six months. The Count has also appeared in TV shows, radio plays, animation, and comics.
There have been countless games made about the malevolent vampire too. The Fury of Dracula was released in 1987 before being updated and re-issued in 2006, while Hasbro created a Dracula version of its much-loved Cluedo in 2019. Elsewhere, Red Tiger developed Transylvania Night of Blood, a slots game that’s available at popular online platforms like MrQ Casino which features the Prince of Darkness joining his fellow vampires to do battle with a bunch of werewolves.
Of course, that’s not to mention his continuing presence in books. Dracula even managed to appear in a Sherlock Holmes story. In Loren D. Estleman’s pastiche, the writer revised Stoker’s original tale by positioning Holmes as the hero in 1978’s Sherlock Holmes vs. Dracula or The Adventures of the Sanguinary Count. More recently, horror film critic Kim Newman began a series of novels beginning with Anno Dracula in 1992, in which the Prince of Darkness triumphs over the heroes leading to a world where vampires are commonplace. Elsewhere, Dacre Stoker, the great-grandnephew of Bram Stoker, published the first official prequel called Dracul in 2018.
It’s clear the Count and his vampiric minions are here to stay. It’s one of the reasons why British filmmaker Dean Meadows is confident his upcoming Dracula-inspired film will attract cinemagoers. Fittingly, Dracula: Rise of the Vampire is expected to be released on Halloween 2024.