When Bram Stoker penned his story in 1897 it is unlikely that he realized the far reaching influence it would have. He was writing a scary story with romance and action that would entertain his friends and bring him some cash to live on, not creating a subculture such as has happened from his efforts. Movies about vampires have ranged from the ridiculous to the sublime with stops all through this huge arc of storylines. The scary and unattractive nosferatu of the early movies led to the more urbane Bela Lugosi’s portrayal of the Count and on to the present day vampires of the Twilight world.
The Stoker novel was based on the real life character Vlad II of Wallachia who took the family name of Dracul after being invested in the Order of the Dragon in 1431. It became part of the public domain in the U.S. as soon as it was published because Stoker failed to take the proper steps to copyright his creation, thus when movies started being made this popular story was one of the first to be put into the cinematic form. It has been a success from the beginning because Dracula is inherently charismatic and fascinating.
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