For starters, I just want to make it perfectly clear that I have nothing against Winona Ryder. Veronica Sawyer will remain as one of my favorite characters of all time, and her Bjork on Rock N' Roll Jeopardy has yet to be matched. But, let's be honest, period pieces were never her thing (maybe with one exception ... but that's a big maybe). In 1992 Francis Ford Coppola released Bram Stoker's Dracula, and I've never been able to look at her the same way again.
Dracula is hardly a perfect movie, and by no means am I dumping all the blame on Winona's doorstep. But all the beautiful costumes and references to La Belle et la Bête couldn't save what was once described as a "fruitcake of a movie"; and the cherry on that fruitcake is this scene between Gary Oldman (as the bloodsucking Prince of Wallachia) and Ryder as Mina Harker. What should have been romantic and emotional (not to mention hot) is for me the cinematic equivalent of watching an amateur lightweight get into the ring with Muhammad Ali (and can you guess who the lightweight is?). Ryder's delivery is stilted and awkward, Oldman is hamming it up for all it's worth, and I will forever be cringing in my seat.
Dracula Fun Facts (Courtesy of IMDB):
- In an attempt to elicit more emotion, director Francis Ford Coppola shouted "whore" and "slut" at Winona Ryder while filming the scene when Van Helsing catches Mina with Dracula.
- Prince Vlad's scream after he drives his sword into the cross is not the voice of Gary Oldman. Lux Interior, lead singer of punk band The Cramps, recorded the scream and it was dubbed in.
- Earnings from the film was enough to save Zoetrope (Francis Ford Coppola's studio) from bankruptcy after suffering from financial difficulties and liabilities of $27 million over the past 3 years.