Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Dan Curtis' DRACULA streaming on Hulu Plus

Dan Curtis' 1973-ish adaption of DRACULA is now streaming on Hulu Plus.

Originally scheduled to air on CBS for the Halloween season in 1973, the film was preempted by President Richard Nixon, who felt one of his inexplicable compulsions to remind the public that he was an asshole. And also that his accomplice in crime, Vice President Spiro Agnew, was resigning. The film was pushed back to the following year, and even received a theatrical release in Europe.

Originally titled BRAM STOKER'S DRACULA, the story goes that Columbia struck a deal with Curtis for the exclusive rights to the title. Frankly, DAN CURTIS' DRACULA is a more apt title for the film, anyway. It's actually less faithful to the source material than Francis Ford Coppola's film.

MPI Home Video recently released a remastered version of Curtis' adaption on DVD and Blu-ray. The new release features the theatrical cut of the film, which include a few additional seconds of gore. While I haven't had time to inspect the version streaming on Hulu Plus, it's most likely the bloodier version that was screened in Europe.

I've got mixed feelings about the film. Despite a screenplay by Richard Matheson, DRACULA is a bit of a slog. It's gorgeously shot and showcases some great location work in England and Yugoslavia, but much of the cast goes to waste. The story just meanders around, occasionally stopping to shoehorn a flashback into the narrative to include scenes and plot points brazenly lifted from DARK SHADOWS. It's not a terrible film, but it's not especially good, either. You're better off watching HOUSE OF DARK SHADOWS, which is a nastier take on the same tale.

If you want to give it a look, you can find it on Hulu Plus HERE.

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