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‘Bram Stoker’s Dracula’, Classic Horror Starring Gary Oldman, Ends 30; See curiosities!

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Dracula is, by far, one of the most iconic characters in the popular imagination, and since his conception in the 19th century, he has been revisited and reshaped in many ways. One of the most well-known and beloved adaptations in its history is the classic 1992 feature “Bram Stoker’s Dracula.”

In the plot, young English lawyer Jonathan Harker takes a job in a dark village in the mists of Transylvania, Romania. He is captured and imprisoned by the vampire Dracula, who travels to London inspired by a photograph of Harker’s fiancée, Mina Murray. In Britain, Dracula begins a reign of seduction and horror, exhausting the life of Mina’s closest friend, Lucy Westenra. Lucy’s friends join forces with Professor Abraham Van Helsing in an attempt to fend off Dracula once and for all.

Bringing in names like Gary Oldman, Winona Ryder, Anthony Hopkins and Keanu Reeves, the film won multiple accolades from specialist critics, in addition to raising over US$215 million worldwide and winning three Oscar statuettes – Best Costume Design, Best Film Editing Sound and Best Makeup.

To celebrate its 30th anniversary and its legacy, CinePOP has prepared a short list bringing some behind-the-scenes curiosities, which you can see below:

Take the time to watch:

Prince Vlad’s cry after plunging his sword into the cross is not Oldman’s voice. Lux Interior, lead singer of punk band The Cramps, voiced Oldman and recorded the scream. During the first cast meeting, director and producer Francis Ford Coppola asked all the main actors and actresses to read Bram Stoker’s entire novel aloud to get a feel for the story. According to Hopkins, the reading session lasted two full days.

Oldman hired a voice coach to help him lower his voice an octave, to give Dracula a more sinister quality. Coppola reveals in the DVD’s audio commentary that during the shaving scene, the walls of the set gradually move inward to create an underlying and growing sense of claustrophobia. When Mina (Ryder) reminisces about her old life as Elisabeth, she says she remembers a land beyond a great forest. “Land beyond the forest” is the literal meaning of Transylvania, where the story takes place.

Oldman said that when he first read the script, he decided the movie was worth making just to feel what it would be like to say “I’ve traveled oceans of time to find you ” to someone. Coppola and the special effects team consulted a professional magician to achieve the effect of Dracula’s wives rising from bed. Coppola has been openly critical of his own motives for casting Reeves as Jonathan Harker. According to the director, he needed a young, hot star who would connect with female audiences.

The blue flame is the only optical effect in this film. All other effects were done entirely “in camera” on set, without any post-production work. Liam Neeson was considered and highly sought after for the role of Professor Abraham Van Helsing, but after Hopkins, still enjoying the success of ‘The Silence of the Lambs’, expressed interest in the role, Neeson ended up being turned down.

Be sure to watch:

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