More virtual tourism: Take a tour of beautiful Bran Castle in Romania

The gorgeous and enchanting Bran Castle in Bran, Romania has long been associated with Bram Stoker's Dracula. There is no evidence to support any association with the novel and the castle has no real connection to Vlad Tepes, either, the historical Wallachian ruler that Stoker used as inspiration. But the connections have persisted because Bran Castle just looks like it should be Drac's crib (and it's fabulous for tourism).

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Netflix's CASTLEVANIA show is so much better than it has any right to be

Netflix just released the third season of its anime Castlevania adaptation, and I certainly never expected to be so excited such a thing. Sure, I played the games a little bit as a kid. But I don't usually go in for that much anime, or that many video games adaptations.

This one, however, is written by Warren Ellis and directed by Adi Shankar, and it was been a consistently enjoyable ride. Ellis himself acknowledges that he's never played the "vampire jump game" at all, and just used Wikipedia to figure out the relationships worth mining to tell a good story. And at that, he succeeded. The dialogue is hilarious and crass; the bloody, brutal action sequences often make me squee with delight; and the characters are all complex enough to make you want to spend time with them, even when they're absolutely awful people. Hell, this show might have the most empathetic and sympathetic depiction of Dracula I've ever seen — which is impressive for a dude who starts a global war to feast on humans.

I'm only halfway through season 3 — which adds Bill Nighy and Lance Reddick to an already-excellent cast that includes Richard Armitage, James Callis, Alejandra Reynoso, and Jamie Murray — and I'm eager to finish the rest.

If you're looking for something to keep you occupied during your self-quarantine, and you don't mind a lot of blood and cursing, I highly recommend it. If the plot-based trailer above doesn't intrigue you, then perhaps this will: Read the rest

Warrior nuns and body horror in the trailer for the BBC's "reinvention" of Dracula

The upcoming Dracula miniseries is written by Sherlock’s Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat and sounds like it'll have us rooting for the sexy villain:

They’ve made him the hero of the show, the protagonist – though still just as nasty. He has no moral dilemmas, he just wants to eat people. A creature who has seen empires rise and fall, who has seen it all before and who likes humanity – they are his food source after all. And by now he’s become quite a connoisseur of humanity.

Here's the first trailer:

Dracula will premiere on BBC One in the UK and on Netflix outside of the UK and Ireland. "Episodes will be directed by Jonny Campbell, Damon Thomas and Paul McGuigan, whose impressive list of credits include Westworld, Killing Eve and Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool, respectively." Read the rest

Returning to the Return of Dracula

I was born in 1958, a tail-end Baby Boomer, and as a young boy—evidently like a lot of others—I faithfully read Famous Monsters of Filmland every month and spent an inordinate amount of time watching horror movies on WPIX channel 11, WNEW channel 5, and WOR channel 9—all local channels out of New York City. Read the rest