Wednesday, August 4, 2010

This series sucks!

By Alex Rush

Now here’s an event you can really sink your teeth into.

The Brooklyn Academy of Music will be screening 33 vampire films over the next two months, showing that the famously garlic-averse nightwalker boasts a cinematic history that goes well beyond “Twilight” and “True Blood.”

“Vampire films have always been popular though the ages, as a form of escapism, metaphor and allegory,” said Florence Almozini, the program director for the series. “The 1920s vampire movies had many political allegories, the 1970s were rich with versions dealing with sexual liberation and political issues of the day and major directors have made their own vampire films.”

The series begins tonight with “Nosferatu,” a 1922 silent film that will be screened with live piano accompaniment. This haunting German flick was the first portrayal of Dracula, Bram Stoker’s novel character who is referred to in this film as Count Orlock. The 1979 Werner Herzog interpretation, “Nosferatu the Vampyre,” screens on Aug. 8. A female vampire figure also emerges in the 1936 film “Dracula’s Daughter” (Aug. 10).

Along with the creepy, there’s the quirky, including “Blacula” (Sept. 7), the ridiculously hilarious 1972 horror-meets-blaxploitation flick, and “Innocent Blood” (Sept. 27), a 1992 dark comedy directed by the same guy who made “National Lampoon’s Animal House” and “Coming to America.”

Of course, it wouldn’t be a bloody series without the quintessential vampire film, the original “Dracula,” (Sept. 20), released 1931 and starring Bela Lugosi, whose portrayal remains the epitome of Dracula: the slicked back greaser hair, sheet-white skin, black cape, Transylvanian accent and sharp-as-nail fangs. Take that, Edward Cullen!

“Bela Lugosi’s Dead, Vampires Live Forever” at the Brooklyn Academy of Music [30 Lafayette Ave. between Ashland Place and St. Felix Street in Fort Greene, (718) 636-4129], now through Sept. 30. Tickets $12. For info, visit


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