This morning I was once again immersed in the great, soothing warm bath that is the New York Times Arts and Leisure section when the following caught my eye.
Count Dracula is poised for a comeback...That Transylvanian bloodsucker will return in a new novel whose authors include the great-grandnephew of Bram Stoker, the author of the original Dracula. The new book, Dracula: The Un-Dead, by Dacre Stoker and Ian Holt, a Dracula historian, was acquired for US publication by Dutton books and is scheduled for an October 2009 release.
Okay, sounds cool. Until I read this little bit at the end.
Film rights were also acquired by a group of producers that includes Jan de Bont, the director of Speed and Twister
I'm sorry -- Jan de Bont? The guy who made the appalling Speed sequel Speed 2: Cruise Control, which star Sandra Bullock accurately (if ungratefully) described as "the biggest piece of crap ever made"? A film in which said speed is provided by a cruise ship, i.e., a type of boat designed for languor? And whose most memorable scene involves Willem DaFoe slathering leeches across his chest and then looking into the camera and referring to the bloodsuckers as his "nurses"?
That Jan de Bont?
Which got me to thinking -- just what might a de Bont Dracula movie look like? And thanks to YouTube I was able to find out.
For what it's worth, that's actually a scene from the never to be forgotten Dracula's Dog (a/k/a Zoltan: Hound of Dracula), a 1978 classic in which the good Count, furious that a local pooch has saved a woman from being bitten by a bat (thus depriving him of a meal) sinks his fangs into the hapless canine, who (now vampirized) bites the hand (actually the neck) that feeds him (an innkeeper played by Reggie Nalder). There's more, including some very bad acting by Jose Ferrer, but the next time it shows up on TV, you might want to check it out to see toothsome co-star Arlene Martel, best known as Mr. Spock's betrothed from the classic Star Trek episode "Amok Time."
As for the forthcoming de Bont Dracula adaptation, you will perhaps forgive me for wishing for a stake to be driven thru its heart sometime during pre-production.