Oscar Wilde and the Ring of Death (Gyles Brandreth)

Oscar Wilde and the Ring of Death is the second novel in the Oscar Wilde Murder Mysteries, a series of books about Oscar Wilde as a Sherlock-Holmesian detective by Gyles Brandreth.
[Here’s my review of the first book.]
Finished on: 6.8.2015

Plot:
Robert Sherard tells the story of how Oscar Wilde invites a bunch of people to a dinner (among them  Arthur Conan Doyle, Bram Stoker, E.W. Hornung, Alfred Douglas aka Bosie, his brother Francis Douglas, and Charles Brookfield), where they play a game of “murder”: every person should name one person they would murder if they got the chance. After the dinner, the people on the list start dying one by one in the exact same sequence. That gives Oscar Wilde a tight time frame to find the murderer among his guests – before his own name comes up.

Oscar Wilde and the Ring of Death was an entertaining read and a definite improvement on the first novel. I enjoyed it.

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Dracula Untold (2014)

Dracula Untold
Director: Gary Shore
Writer: Matt Sazama, Burk Sharpless
Based on: Bram Stoker‘s novel (in the loosest sense of “based”)
Cast: Luke Evans, Sarah Gadon, Dominic Cooper, Art Parkinson, Charles Dance, Diarmaid Murtagh, Thor Kristjansson

Plot:
When Vlad (Luke Evans) was a child he was enslaved by the Turks, despite being a prince, to ensure his father’s allegiance. He was raised to be a soldier and became such a good one that people nicknamed him The Impaler and he is finally allowed to return home. But when the Turks call for slave soldiers again, Vlad cannot consent – which means war. To be able to defend his family and his country better, Vlad makes a deal with a monster (Charles Dance) in a cave: for three days he will have the strength and abilities of a vampire while still alive. If he can resist the temptation to drink human blood in that time, he’ll even return to being human. But will three days be enough to defet the Turks?

I know going in that Dracula Untold was going to be the kind of film where I’d need vodka, so I wisely packed it. Rarely have I been so glad about my foresight because I needed every damn drop of it. In short, the film was really, really bad.

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Cuadecuc, vampir (1971)

Cuadecuc, vampir
Director: Pere Portabella
Writer: Pere Portabella, Joan Brossa
Based on: Count Dracula, which is in turn based on Bram Stoker‘s Dracula
Cast: Christopher Lee, Herbert Lom, Soledad Miranda

Plot:
Cuadecuc, vampir [literal translation: Worm Tail, Vampire] tells the well-known story of Count Dracula but with behind the scenes footage and scenes that where filmed along the actual shoot of Count Dracula.

The film provides a sometimes fascinating look behind the scenes, but I think that an actual behind the scenes documentary would have been nicer – clandestinely shooting the same film with the same actors for a second time might sound cool on paper, but doesn’t really work in the execution. (Or at least not in this execution of it.)

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Dracula 3D (2012)

Dracula 3D
Director: Dario Argento
Writer: Dario Argento, Enrique Cerezo, Stefano Piani, Antonio Tentori
Based on: Bram Stoker‘s novel
Cast: Thomas Kretschmann, Marta Gastini, Asia Argento, Unax Ugalde, Miriam Giovanelli, Giovanni Franzoni, Rutger Hauer
Part of: /slash Filmfestival

Plot:
Jonathan Harker (Unax Ugalde) just arrived in a small town in the middle of nowhere where his old friend Lucy Kisslinger (Asia Argento) managed to get him a job as a librarian with the local Count Dracula (Thomas Kretschmann). As Jonathan nervously starts his job while waiting for his wife Mina (Marta Gastini) to arrive as well, it becomes quickly clear that not all is right with the Count and the village.

Ever since the film was shown in Cannes a couple of years back, the /slash Filmfestival has been trying to get this film to Vienna. And finally they succeeded, and even managed to bring Dario Argento as well which is pretty damn awesome. Unfortunately I missed about half the program with him and only saw the rest of his audience talk and this film.

And while I understand Argento’s status as a living legend, Dracula really didn’t prove that it’s justified. In fact, the film was rather horrible.

dracula3d

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