Taking the plunge . . .

Count Dracula in his castle.

If you are on my blog, you see a new background theme and a web badge for 2010 NaNoWriMo Participant.  Yes, I’m going to grit my teeth, swallow my self-inflicted fear, bite the bullet, take the plunge (and, hopefully, avoid clichés) by participating in a 30-day writing free-for-all.  At the end of the month of November, I hope to have a viable draft for my first novel.  It may never see the light of day, but I plan on owning the title of “writer” thereafter.  It certainly sounds a lot better than under-employed, even though the pay is potentially the same.

In the meantime, a quick note on the 1992 movie version of Bram Stoker’s Dracula that I watched a couple of nights ago.  It has been many years since I saw this movie. I vaguely recall that I saw it when it was in the theaters, but that very well could be a false memory.  Although I have flashes of remembered scenes and impressions from the movie (such as thinking “Where the heck did the hairdo in the picture above come from?”), I was able to look at the movie with relatively fresh eyes.  I am always amazed at the liberties that screen writers and directors take with the content of a book.

The movie opens with a young Count heading off to defeat the Turks in battle, his weeping love Elizabet begging him not to go and eventually flinging herself off the castle tower because she believe the Count to have died in battle.  The victorious Count returns and is devastated by her death, renounces the church, and somehow becomes a vampire . . . the specifics are unclear except that he drinks blood that pours forth from a stone crucifix that he ran through with his sword.  Fast forward a few hundred years, and Miss Mina Murray looks exactly like the old Count’s love creating the basis for his move to England and pursuit of Jonathan Harker‘s fiance.  Considering that this love story is, in large part, the basis for the movie and the genesis of the vampire’s curse, it is completely without foundation in Bram Stoker‘s classic novel.  In the book, Dracula has no knowledge of Mina until after he has come to England and killed Miss Lucy and the band of gentlemen set out for his destruction. 

Much of the rest of the story follows the book, although large portions were left out due to the manufactured love story and the constraints of a two-hour film.  I wasn’t so much opposed to the love story being inserted into the plot, but it did bother me that the final death-blow to Dracula was delivered by Mina in the movie, rather than her husband Jonathan.

By the way, have I mentioned what a horrible actor Keanu Reeves is?  Ugh!  Beyond Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventures and The Matrix movies, there is no excuse for him to speak on film.  But that’s just my opinion.