Since today is Halloween, and tradition in our house is limited--we don't wear costumes or decorate or hand out candy--I'll focus on how we do observe this holiday. We watch horror movies. Usually old ones, or comedies set on Halloween, like Spaced Invaders. I've already written about that movie, so today I'll put the ol' spotlight on a short-lived TV series: Dracula (1990).
The series is set in Luxembourg and features a fresh take on the notorious bloodsucker. Dracula (Canadian actor Geordie Johnson), calling himself Alexander Lucard (A. Lucard--spell it backwards), heads an international conglomerate and is considerably better-looking than another power-seeking billionaire bloodsucker (Trump, I'm looking at you). Van Helsing (Bernard Behrens) is a retired professor/vampire hunter living with three kids (Jacob Tierney, Joe Roncetti, Mia Kirshner) who may be related to him--I was never quite sure, though they did call him Uncle Gustav. The kids are a bigger pain in the neck to Lucard than Uncle Gustav could ever be.
When Lucard is about to make his move on a potential meal at his castle and the kids interrupt him, he complains, "Does everyone have a key to this castle?" Then there's Gustav's son, Klaus (Geraint Wyn Davies, who also played a vampire in another TV series, Forever Knight), who must have suffered from some sort of supernatural allergy to becoming a vampire, because his belfry is short more than a few bats. I wonder, is it possible to suck one's brains out with the blood?
In one episode, Lucard puts the bite on the mousy husband of a psychic, who announces to her and the Helsings that he now has a sixth sense. His wife is unconvinced. "You can barely handle five," she tells him.
Gustav's passion for schnitzel is a running joke throughout the series--and puts the family in danger when Lucard turns the schnitzel delivery guy into a vampire. According to legend, you see, a vampire can only enter a home by invitation when it's under the protection of a cross. The kids' attempt to do a good deed--having the family's cross blessed, as must be done from time to time--leaves them vulnerable. Lucard takes advantage, but is foiled at the last minute when a worker from the church arrives with the newly-blessed cross. I suspect the poor man needed a blessing himself when he saw Lucard, fangs bared, and threw the cross to the Helsings and ran away screaming.
One of my favorite moments involves Lucard dictating while on his stationary bike. I'm not sure why a vampire needs exercise, being dead and all, but I did enjoy his snarky comments about having to level a small village for one of his business developments. "It was an ugly little town anyway," he notes. Lucard's lifestyle--expensive suits, limousines, private jets--draws the anger of his fellow vampires as well. Nosferatu (Denis Forest) comes to Luxembourg to sabotage his empire, and nearly succeeds. Why the Helsings come to his rescue, I'm still not sure....
Happy Hallowe'en, everyone!