I know someone, somewhere, will be shocked that I have Francis Ford Coppola’s “Bram Stoker’s Dracula” at the top of the list, but I stand by this choice, damn it! Coppola’s 1992 vampirr extravaganza is a symphony of horrors; a big, bold, bloody, erotic, gothic, over-the-top spookshow full of mind-blowing practical visual effects (no digital trickery here; all the special effects are done in-camera). 

Coppola and screenwriter James V. Hart take Bram Stoker’s text and rework it into a sprawling romantic epic, where Dracula (as played by Gary Oldman wearing various forms of make-up) is a tragic figure looking for his long-lost love. He’s still a monster, mind you, but you sort of understand where he’s coming from. This sympathetic take on the character is far removed from Stoker’s book, and yet, the film also stays closer to its source material than most other “Dracula” adaptations. A stacked cast (including a scene-stealing Anthony Hopkins as Van Helsing), gorgeous costumes courtesy of Eiko Ishioka, and a killer, bombastic musical score via Wojciech Kilar, all come together to create the ultimate vampire movie. Hollywood hasn’t churned out anything even remotely close to this since its release. 

We spoke more about Dracula and our favorite vampire movies on today’s episode of the /Film Daily podcast, which you can listen to below:

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