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In Search of Dracula

4.0 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Christopher Lee, who portrayed Dracula on film more than any other actor, hosts a blood-curdling search through myth and fact to uncover the truth regarding the infamous count. Based on the best-selling 1972 book by Raymond T. McNally and Radu Florescu, this fascinating documentary studies the historical Dracula and then follows the evolution of his mythical counterpart in literature, film and popular culture.

The cameras travel to the Carpathian mountains in the Transylvanian region of Romania, to the castle fortress of the fifteenth century prince Vlad Dracula. Known as Vlad The Impaler, for his nasty habit of impaling his captured enemies on sharpened wooden posts, the real-life count was a savage ruler responsible for tens of thousands of deaths, who clearly displayed an unholy delight in the shedding of blood. The film explores the vampire folklore still extant in the region, showing contemporary exorcism rites for the undead, and hideous footage of actual vampire bats gorging themselves. Laced with shocking surprises, this film is a must-see for all devotees of the monstrous Count Vlad.


Product Details

  • Actors: Christopher Lee
  • Directors: Calvin Floyd
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    PG
    Parental Guidance Suggested
  • Studio: Alpha Video
  • DVD Release Date: December 28, 2012
  • Run Time: 85 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00ARKYT8M
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #86,734 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
The fascination for vampires and the mythical character of Dracula has resulted in many cinematic outings over the last century. Ever since the creation of Bram Stoker's original novel, DRACULA, published in 1897, audiences have loved the experience of being frightened by this diabolical figure. Not many know however that Bram Stoker based his vampire lord on a historical figure: Vlad "Tepes" (pronounced Tseppesh) Drakula who lived in 15th Century Romania. Born in Sighisoara in 1431, he grew up in a very hostile environment. His father Vlad II had become a member of the Order of the Dragon, an equivalent to Knighthood, which was to serve the population and protect them from their enemies, the Turks. The title of Dragon, Drakul in Romanian, was hereditary; hence Drakula, meaning Son of the Dragon. When Vlad II was Prince of the Province of Wallachia, the Turkish Sultan invited him to his court for the purpose of peace talks. However, once there Vlad and his son found themselves trapped and ambushed. Vlad II saw his son being taken hostage while he himself would become a virtual pon to the Sultan's whims. After a number of years of torturous imprisonment, Vlad Drakula managed to escape. Subsequent to his father, he crowned himself Prince of Wallachia and began crusading cruelly against the Turks. His favorite method of torturing and killing them was to impale them on large wooden poles and watch them writhe in agony until they died. Hence the nickname "Tepes" which means Impaler. Drakula headed many campaigns against the Turks and in 1476 he fell in battle during one of these campaigns. His head was taken to the Sultan in Constantinopel as a trophy while his body was buried by monks on the isle of Snagov.Read more ›
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Format: DVD
Among the many, and often duplicative, Dracula documentaries, this was probably the first and among the best. Although it is a bit dated now, it offers higher production values and more drama than most of the others, not to mention narration by Christopher Lee, who gets to play both Dracula and his historic inspriation, Vlad the Impaler. The DVD adds a number of scenes that were deleted when this film was aired by PBS some decades ago. Most of these, however, seem peripheral to the central theme and are somewhat repulsive, dealing mostly with disturbed individuals who imagine themselves to be vampires and who drink either their own blood or that of others. On the other hand, for some mind-boggling reason, other bits that were shown on national television have been cut from this print, including a brief bit of nudity. The DVD production team seems to have been far more sensitive about that than the antics of the blood-drinking individuals who are included. Still, a good overview of the Vlad/Dracula history
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Format: DVD
"In Search of Dracula" is based on one of the most important books on vampires ever written. The groundbreaking, "In Search of Dracula" released in 1973, was one of the most talked about books that year and set into motion the parallels that still exist with the vampire created by Bram Stoker and his REAL LIFE sixteenth century counterpart, Vlad Tepes.
The international success of the book meant a movie was not far behind and director Calvin Floyd was up to the task.

Originally, the film was supposed to be a drive-in feature but due to poor publicity and the con-currency of the "In Search Of" television show with Leonard Nimoy, the film died at the box-office, along with any hopes of creating a series out of this. A Frankenstein follow-up was planned but was subsequently changed towards a more direct adaption of the Mary Shelly original story, which would prove to be the most faithful adaption in 1976 under the title, "Terror of Frankenstein".

"In Search of Dracula" was relatively unseen for many years before being released to DVD uncut and in it's original glory.

The documentary may seem quaint now but carries with it a sense of dread and creepiness that only films of this vintage can truly pull off. Hosted by the great Christopher Lee, himself one of the great Draculas and whom many of his own film clips are utilized for this documentary. Lee goes through the plot of the Stoker novel and through the legends of vampires in ancient and popular culture. The film details several historical events of "real" vampires often with creepy and odd re-enactments and of course, details the history of Vlad the Impaler.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Expectations? I'm fairly certain that I expected a documentary focused largely on Vlad Tepes, the historic Dracula... with, perhaps, a side trip into vampire legends and lore.

Instead, the movie seems to be mostly about vampires; vampires in literature, vampires in the movies, vampire legends, vampires in pop culture.... Poor ol' Vlad gets no more screen time than anything else under discussion.

On the plus side, the presence of Christopher Lee can add twenty points to any rating.
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