Horror Movie Marathon of the Day: Dracula

Blade Trinity Dracula Halloween Horror Movie Marathon

Every weekday until the end of October, CraveOnline will present an all-new Horror Movie Marathon to help you avoid showing the same old movies at your Halloween parties. Keep coming back every day for new schedules and party ideas!


The Prince of Darkness

There are so many themes you can choose for your Halloween Horror Movie Marathon, it sometimes helps to narrow it down. Vampire movies? There’s more than you can probably count. So you may want to shrink the pool (of blood) down to a more focused subject, and since practically ever vampire movie owes a debt to Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel Dracula, you might as well start there.

Dracula, the most famous of the vampires, is also the source of a lot of the vampire lore we now take for granted. Vampire myths were wide and varied before Dracula was published, and now its tropes are considered the gold standard: no reflection, transforming into a bat, these are all in the original book. Nowadays, if a vampire story doesn’t include these elements, the storytellers still have to acknowledge that they exist and aren’t “true.”

There are have been dozens of official and semi-official adaptations of Dracula over the past century, and hundreds of films that reference the character, include him as a supporting character, or owe him a very specific debt of gratitude. You have no shortage of films to choose from. But how do you pick the right ones?


Related: The 50 Greatest Vampire Movies Ever Made


The Problem with Dracula Movies

Planning a movie marathon around a specific character can be problematic, since the films can quickly get repetitive. You don’t want to watch more than a couple movies that actually adapt the original novel, for example. There are a lot of fascinating and distinctive movies that use Bram Stoker’s book as a framework, but they all have to follow the same bullet points and it gets old really, really quick if you don’t mix it up a bit.

The trick to planning a movie marathon around a subject this singular is contrast. You’ll want to pick films that play off of each other. Two films that adapt the novel closely, for example, but do so in a different way. Two films that pit Dracula against other monsters, two films that put him into a different genre (like action, comedy, etc.) might also be a good way to go.

There’s no way to watch a bunch of Dracula movies in a row that don’t feel at least somewhat similar, but if you plan accordingly – and yes, we’ll help you with that – you can program films that play off of each other well, and make you and your guests feel like you’ve seen an entertaining overview of all the versions of the character to date.


Andy Warhol's Dracula Udo Kier


I Never Drink… Wine

But you should. If you’re old enough to imbibe alcohol, red wine is an absolute must for a Dracula party. You’ll feel impossibly decadent and besides, it’s loaded with antioxidants. If you’re not old enough, load up on cranberry juice. It does wonders for your urinary tract, although it’s something of an acquired taste unless you mix it with something. (Try the cran-apple, or “crapple,” it’s delicious.)

You’ll also want to load up on vampire bats to hang around the apartment – they’re readily available at even the crappiest Halloween store – and you’ll want to load up on candelabras and cobwebs. Again, cliches might be annoying in a movie, but when it comes to party decor, you can’t go wrong with the classics.


You might also want to consider dressing up as Dracula, either the Gary Oldman or Bela Lugosi version, to welcome your guests into your humble abode. Put on a thick accent and stick with it all evening. Be a total dork. It may seem silly but your friends will admire your commitment and quite possibly question your sanity, which may not do much for your street cred but certainly makes for an entertaining party.

Now… to the movies!


Let’s Plan Your Dracula Movie Marathon!


William Bibbiani is the editor of CraveOnline’s Film Channel and the host of The B-Movies Podcast and The Blue Movies Podcast. Follow him on Twitter at @WilliamBibbiani.