Dracula Unleashed! @ SIFF

How'd Dracula get so sexy? 🧛‍♂️

Published October 14, 2022

A photo from Dracula's Daughter, carrying a cross
Too Late — You Missed It!

Wednesday, October 19 • 7 pm

He’s the man with the fangs. The ghoul with the cool. The lover undercover. I’m talking about Dracula.

SIFF Film Talks has a spooktacular entry with “Dracula Unleashed!: A Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Film Talk” from Seattle University film and visual culture professor John Trafton and genre film event host Heather Marie Bartels.

“This talk looks at portrayals of Dracula on film from the silent era to the present,” they explained in a joint statement. “It’s not going to be lecture, but rather it is going to be participatory, free-flowing, and loaded with high energy. We’re not just recycling things that you can find online or in a Dracula book; we’re synthesizing a vast range of media, finding connections across time and cultures.”

The event comes with some homework. One selection has already passed—the centennial screening of F.W. Murnau’s Nosferatu with live score by Austin-based The Invincible Czars—but you can still watch that 1922 creepfest wherever you stream your bloodsucking movies. The others will screen at the SIFF Cinema Egyptian on October 16, including 1936’s Dracula’s Daughter and 1931’s Drácula (the Spanish-language version shot on the same sets as the more well-known Tod Browning classic).

“We suggested Drácula to SIFF because there is an important story behind its creation,” Trafton and Bartels said, “one that bridges two nations and film cultures together. And it’s a much better film than the Bela Lugosi version.”

As for the choose-your-own-adventure angle, the two explained that it “allows the audience to determine the direction of the talk. There is never one chosen outcome, and you’ll never get the same experience twice in a row. It’s a very unique and theatrical experience.”

When asked what ruled about Dracula, I assume they suggestively raised an eyebrow as they replied, “Come to the talk and find out why he went from being scary to sexy.”

Full disclosure: I program for the annual Seattle International Film Festival but am not involved with SIFF’s year-round operations.

📸: Still from Dracula’s Daughter

Headshot for Marcus Gorman

Marcus Gorman is a Seattle-based playwright and film programmer. He once raised money for a synagogue by marathoning 15 Adam Sandler movies in one weekend. You can find him on Instagram and Twitter @marcus_gorman.

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