It begins with a bat – yes, this is probably the first ever example of Crap Bat Syndrome – and the bat turns into Mephistopheles (Georges Méliès). Now Mephistopheles is a demon, often declared as the devil, and appears in the Faust legend. It is interesting to note that Paul Féval, in his novel the Vampire Countess (1855), suggests “What is Goethe’s masterpiece, after all, if not a splendid exposition of the eternal fact of vampirism – which, since the beginning of the world, has emptied and dried up the heart of so many families?”
|challenging with a cross|
Did Méliès inspire Stoker at all, even in the smallest of ways? The book was researched for some seven years but it is nice to think that Stoker did see the film – after all he was business manager of the Lyceum Theatre and clearly enamoured with technology (Dracula is brimming with the latest technology). We will never know, however the film as stands is clearly Not Vamp. It does, however, have a definite genre interest as the bat and the cross scenes are forerunners of tropes that are inextricably linked with the vampire genre. The imdb page is here.