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|“||There is no life in this body. I am nothing, lifeless, soulless, hated and feared. I am dead to all the world. Hear me! I am the monster that breathing men would kill. I am Dracula!||„|
|~ Count Dracula revealing his true nature to Mina.|
Vlad Drăculea, later known as Count Dracula, is the titular main antagonist of Francis Ford Coppola's 1992 romantic horror fantasy film Bram Stoker's Dracula. He was primarily based on the character of the same name and the real life Vlad Tepes III.
He was portrayed by Gary Oldman, who also portrayed Ruber in Quest for Camelot, Drexl Spivey in True Romance, Mason Verger in Hannibal, Norman Stansfield in Léon: The Professional, Egor Korshunov in Air Force One, Lord Shen in Kung Fu Panda 2, Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg in The Fifth Element, Carnegie in The Book of Eli, Dr. Zachary Smith in Lost in Space, Daniel Clarke in Call of Duty: Black Ops, Vladislav Dukhovich in The Hitman's Bodyguard, General Grawl in Planet 51 and Dreyfus in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.
|“||"Sângele este viața." ... și sângele... ...și ar trebui să fie al meu! (translated in English: The blood is the life." ...and the blood... ...it shall be mine!)||„|
|~ Dracula moments before his curse.|
Vlad Drăculea was a Romanian Knight from Transylvania of the sacred Order of the Dragon and the Voivode of the province. He was also married to a woman named Elisabeta, whom he treasured above all things.
On one fateful day in 1462, he helped lead the Catholic Armies of Europe comprising of knights, archers, and footsoldiers, into a massive battle, against the Ottoman Empire's Muslims. After a long battle, the Christian forces were victorious. However, the vengeful Ottomans shot an arrow with false news of Vlad’s death into the castle. Being the first to find it, his wife Elisabeta was unable to come to terms with her beloved's death and jumped into the river near the castle, falling to her death. After winning the battle, Vlad senses something wrong and rides back to Castle Dracula. When he arrives, he immediately enters the Castle Chapel, where he comes across somber priests looking over Elisabeta's body.
One of the priests, Cesare, hands the confused prince his beloved's last words, so he could mourn her death. As Vlad begins to cry in utter desperation, Cesare points out that Elisabeta is damned to Hell for committing suicide. This both shocks and enrages Vlad, who knocks over the baptismal font. While Cesare calls his action a sacrilege, Vlad anguishly asks him if that was his reward for defending the church. Cesare replies saying he is chosen to defend God’s people, but is interrupted by a furious Vlad who screams that he will "renounce Him" and that he will "rise from his death to avenge hers" with all the powers of darkness". Drawing his sword he plunges it into the Chapel’s stone cross, causing blood to spill. Vlad proceeds to grab the Holy Chalice resting on the altar and lets it fill with the blood, claiming that "The blood is true life!", "and it shall be mine". After drinking the blood, he roars demonically before collapsing dead. After his defilement of the cross, he rose from the grave and became a vampire.
Over the centuries, he eventually tried to deal with his loneliness in the castle by siring three vampire brides, but none could replace his lost love.
|“||I have crossed oceans of time to find you.||„|
|~ Count Dracula|
In 1897 he went by the alias of "Count Dracula". Eager to see the wonders of the new world and to expand his hunting grounds beyond Transylvania, Dracula eventually purchased property in London, Carfax Abbey. Thomas Renfield, the first solicitor that was sent to Castle Dracula was enthralled by the sinister Count, sent back to London and declared insane. Given the setback, the young solicitor Jonathan Harker ended up being sent in Renfield's place.
When Harker visited Castle Dracula, he met the Count who had the appearance of an old man. Dracula saw a picture of Jonathan's fiancee, Mina, who resembled Elisabeta and believed that she was her reincarnation. Dracula then forced Johnathan to write more letters to Mina for her to belive that he will stay for another month and that he would not take no for an answer. Over the course of the month, Dracula keeps Harker as a prisoner in his castle, on one instance saves him from his vampire brides (feeding them a baby), but eventually sails for London in the Demeter and leaves Harker's fate in the hands of his brides.
In his way to London, Dracula rejuvenates himself by drinking the blood of the entire crew of the ship by murdering everyone who was on it. The Demeter's arrival to London was marked by a massive storm and Dracula was already on the move; he hynotized Lucy Westenra to lure her outside her home so that he could rape her and drink her blood in the cementary. It was not until Mina saw them that he suddently stopped and commanded her to not see him in his bestial form. Dracula attacks Lucy repeatedly and she begins to change as a result, becoming like him. Lucy's deteriorating health and behavioral changes prompt her former suitors Quincey Morris and Dr. Seward, along with her fiancé Arthur Holmwood to summon Dr. Abraham Van Helsing who recognizes Lucy as the victim of a vampire; he eventually discovers that the creature is Dracula. Dracula, appearing young and handsome during daylight, meets and charms Mina under the alias of "Prince Vlad of Szekely". When Mina receives word from Jonathan who has escaped Castle Dracula and recovered at a convent, she travels to Romania to marry him. Maddened by grief and heartbreak, Dracula brutally attacks Lucy once more and turns her into a vampire. Van Helsing, Holmwood, Seward and Morris kill the undead Lucy the following night.
After Jonathan and Mina return to London, Jonathan and Van Helsing lead the others to Carfax Abbey, where they destroy the vampire's boxes of soil. Dracula enters the asylum, where he kills Renfield for warning Mina of his presence. He visits Mina who is staying in Seward's quarters while the others hunt Dracula, and confesses that he murdered Lucy and has been terrorizing Mina's friends, and that he is indeed Count Dracula the monster that they hunt. Confused and angry, Mina admits that she still loves him and remembers Elisabeta's previous life. At her insistence, Dracula begins transforming her into a vampire. The hunters burst into the bedroom, and Dracula claims Mina as his bride before escaping. As Mina changes, Van Helsing hypnotizes her and learns via her connection with Dracula that he is sailing home in his last remaining box. The hunters depart for Varna to intercept him, but Dracula reads Mina's mind and evades them. The hunters split up; Van Helsing and Mina travel to the Borgo Pass and the castle, while the others try to stop the gypsies transporting the Count.
|“||Give me peace.||„|
|~ Dracula pleads Mina to put him out of his misery.|
At night, Van Helsing and Mina are approached by Dracula's brides. Initially, they frighten Mina, but she eventually succumbs to their chanting and attempts to seduce Van Helsing. Before Mina can feed on his blood, Van Helsing places a communion wafer on her forehead, leaving a mark. He surrounds them with a ring of fire to protect them from the brides, then infiltrates the castle and decapitates them the following morning. As sunset approaches, Dracula's carriage arrives at the castle, pursued by the hunters. A fight between the hunters and gypsies ensues. Morris is stabbed in the back during the fight and Dracula bursts from his coffin at sunset. Jonathan slits his throat while the wounded Morris stabs him in the heart with a Bowie knife. As Dracula staggers, Mina rushes to his defense. Holmwood tries to attack, but Van Helsing and Jonathan allow her to retreat with the Count. Morris dies of his wound, surrounded by his friends.
In the chapel where he renounced God, Dracula lies dying in an ancient demonic form. He and Mina share a kiss as the candles adorning the chapel light up and the cross repairs itself. Dracula turns back to his younger self and asks Mina to give him peace. Mina thrusts the knife through his heart and as he finally dies, the mark on her forehead disappears, as Dracula's curse is lifted. She decapitates him and gazes up at a fresco of Vlad and Elisabeta ascending to Heaven together, reunited at long last..
Powers and Abilities
- Immortality: The Count's true identity is that of Vlad Drăculea, meaning that he has lived for more than 400 years.
- Superhuman Strength: Van Helsing notes that Dracula is so powerful, that he possesses the strength of 20 men. This is seen when he effortlessly tosses Quincey away from him.
- Superhuman Speed: Dracula can move so fast that it’s sometimes difficult for mortals to even perceive him. This is shown at various points in the film, such as when he suddenly appears in front of Jonathan when he was just behind him. In another scene, Mina is walking away from him and he appears in front of her out of nowhere, with no one but Mina noticing that something is wrong.
- Wall-crawling: Dracula is shown to effortlessly crawl in the walls of his Castle.
- Shapeshifting: The Count takes many forms during the film. His forms include a wolf-like humanoid covered with black fur, a regular wolf, a man-sized bat creature, the shape of a green mist that is the which he uses to enter Mina's room and finally a swarm of rats, the way he leaves that room.
- Shadow Manipulation: When inside the Castle, the Count's shadow does not seem to be natural but rather conjured and manipulated by him, as it constantly does gestures or moves in certain ways that do not synchronize with what Dracula is doing. At one point in the film, Dracula's shadow causes the plants to decay.
- Psychic Powers: Similarly to Bram Stoker's novel, Dracula shares a psychic link with Mina after the latter drank from his cursed blood.
- Hypnosis: It is clear that Lucy's sleepwalking was beyond something natural and that she was under Dracula's spell.
- Telekinesis: Similarly to Count Orlok in the German film Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens, Dracula is able to open doors with no need to physically interact with them.
- Weather Manipulation: Dracula conjures a massive storm when he arrives to London and has control over the winds. Also, when he offers to turn Mina, he says that his Power will grant her the "power to control of the storm".
- Control over his Thralls: His gypsies are shown to be completely devoted to him. Renfield is also this at first but later betrays him.
- Control over the beasts: The Count is shown to be able to impose his will over wolves and when he offers his blood to Mina, he says that she will gain the power to control "the beasts of the wild".
- Resistance to vampiric weakness: While certainly bothered by the sight of crucifixes, he is not always repelled by them; evidenced at when he caused Van Helsing's crucifix to burst into flames with sheer force of will, declaring that he could not be destroyed by their "idols".
- Vampirism: In this movie, Dracula can sire vampires just like in the novel by sharing his cursed blood with his victims. When the person who tasted Dracula's blood dies, they rise from the grave as a vampire
- Fighting prowess: Prince Drăculea is seen to be fighting personally against Ottoman soldiers with great skill; impaling and even lifting a fully grown man at one point in the battle.
- Genius-Level Intellect: Van Helsing notes that Dracula possesses a mind that is "vast and powerful".