Halloween approaches and we start thinking about the creatures of the night. Dracula has been haunting our nightmares or dreams since Bram Stoker’s novel was published in 1897 and there have been many interpretations of him since then. Dracula’s origins have been based on everyone from the historical figure Vlad Tepes to even Judas Iscariot. Media has taken this mythic figure and transformed him in a variety of ways. I’ve chosen my favorite Dracula portrayals from movies, anime, television, books, and games.
1. Gary Oldman/Bela Lugosi (Bram Stoker’s Dracula and Dracula)
This has to be a tie. I fell in love with Gary Oldman’s portrayal of a Dracula you could sympathize with. I wanted to be Mina Harker because of him. Then we have Bela Lugosi’s classic black and white performance that is still lauded to this day. It made Dracula a figure of terror that people couldn’t see in the books. He is shown in every monster movie marathon on television.
2. Gabriel Belmont (Castlevania: Lord of Shadows 1 & 2, Mirror of Fate)
I really like this version of Dracula because it’s about a good guy who turns evil. Gabriel was fighting evil vampires when he got transformed into one. He took the name Dracula, while his descendants became hunters intent on killing him. Fate was not kind to Gabriel.
3. Jonathan Rhys-Meyers (NBC’s Dracula)
The show was really wacky but Jonathan’s performance as the evil prince of darkness was great. He was cunning and vicious, but you felt for Dracula anyway. He did a good job playing both sides of Dracula: the sympathetic lovelorn man and the diabolical puppet master.
4. Vlad (Night Prince Series by Jeaniene Frost)
Maybe this should a be subsection called “The Hottest Book Portrayal of Dracula”. Frost’s Dracula does the fit the bill. Vlad is a lean, mean fighting machine and has a brilliant mind to boot. He doesn’t sit around and brood. He takes action and will do anything in his power to protect Leila and his people. I like this version of him because he isn’t lovelorn or miserable. He’s a Dracula for the modern times.
5. Alucard (Hellsing)
Alucard may have reversed his name to protect his original identity but he has no problem letting folks know what he is. From his early days of being Dracula to working as Alucard for the Hellsing organization, he has always been a ruthless warrior against his enemies. He enjoys his vampiric powers and snuffing out lesser beings. He drinks blood and is proud of it.
Feel free to share your favorite Dracula portrayals!