TKO asked for my Top 5 Dracula stories, for a BLACK MASS RISING promotional thingy, and I thought I'd share them here too. Stoker's novel is one of the best pieces of literature ever written, so I respectfully left it out, to focus on various adaptations and reimaginings. Here are my picks:
Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992). Scary, sexy, wildly imaginative and stunning in every possible way, Coppola’s all time classic is not only the definitive Dracula story, it’s also my favourite horror film of all time. What’s more, Mignola’s graphic novel adaptation of the film is probably the best Dracula comic ever.
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (1997). I’ve always been a fan of Koji Igarashi’s Castlevania continuity. Basically everything that has illustrator Ayami Kojima involved, I adore. There are many great storylines there too, like the origin story of Lament of Innocence, or Curse of Darkness which heavily influenced Netflix’s excellent anime adaptation, but this Alucard-starring cult classic is the one that started it all.
The Historian (2005). I read Elizabeth Kostova’s novel while doing an Erasmus program in Transylvania, and it was a great, adventurous companion while literally walking in the footsteps of Dracula. It significantly shaped my view of Romania, as this land of mythic, sometimes menacing, otherworldly folklore.
Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust (2000). Japanese have a fascinating way of dealing with the Dracula mythos, and Vampire Hunter D, be it novels, manga, or anime, is probably my favorite reimagining. Yoshiaki Kawajiri’s sequel to the original 1985 film is every gothic horror/romance fan’s absolute fantasy. And its gorgeous animation is yet to be beaten.
In Search Of Dracula: The History of Dracula and Vampires (1972). Not a Dracula story, but a Dracula history, Radu Florescu and Raymond T. McNally’s phenomenal study is a gruesome portrait of one of the most genuinely malevolent men that ever walked this earth. To those interested in Dracula lore, this is the ultimate read. The book is also adapted in a fun 1974 docudrama, where Christopher Lee narrates and stars as Vlad Tepes and Count Dracula.