I’m definitely stoked about the new Dracula series in the works over at NBC.
One of my favorite shows growing up was the short-lived Cliffhangers, created by Ken Johnson, who also gave us The Incredible Hulk with Bill Bixby, and one of the weekly episodes on Cliffhangers was The Curse of Dracula.
The Curse of Dracula was the only episode out of the weekly three that completely ended, and I’d be happy to see a new Dracula series on TV. Just as Twilight has spawned vampire mania these days, 1979 was quite a year for vampires as well with Salem’s Lot, the Frank Langella remake of Dracula, and more. (Big zombie year with Dawn of the Dead too).
It’s also nice to see horror come back to television, because there was a lot of it on TV back in the ’70s, and as the news of the Dracula series hit, it reminded me the importance of good vampire fangs. Moviemorlocks, a retro site that’s a division of Turner Classic Movies, just did a story on vampire fangs, and you usually assume they’re the cheap plastic ones you buy on Halloween, and now you can just CGI ’em in, but good vampire fangs are important.
As Richard Harland Smith wrote on Morlocks, he would often see “good fang work” in TV Guide reviews of movies, and he’s not happy about the Twilight films where the fangs pop in and out like a flip phone. One of the greatest make-up artists in horror, Tom Savini, would make fangs for actors out of dental modes, so they fit your teeth, and so you could also talk with them in your mouth, which the cheap Halloween ones won’t let you do.
As Morlcoks also points out, and it’s something I often forget myself, Bela Lugosi never wore fangs in Dracula, and in an age where you couldn’t show blood or violence in horror films, the power of suggestion definitely went a long way.
Having loved the fangs Savini made for the films Death Dream and Martin, I definitely understand the importance of good fang work, but vampires don’t have to flesh them all the time of course, just enough to know they mean business, because the measure of a vampire’s not just fangs alone.