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Journal of Dracula Studies

Abstract

Since the publication of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, the vampire has always been our long lost twin, always held our gaze because we found ourselves translated there. Whether represented as demonized monopolist, stereotyped Jew, feudal aristocrat, or iconoclastic youth,1 what remains in all manifestations of the vampire is its ability to become what the culture both desires and reviles, to seduce in the act of producing fear. Wes Craven Presents: Dracula 2000, a film directed by Patrick Lussier, portrays the notorious vampire reveling in a world not only of blood but also of images. This rewriting of Dracula’s legend engages anxieties about the place and nature of simulacra in postmodern culture. Translating Dracula from the cobblestone paths of the Old World to the asphalt streets of the New, Dracula 2000 depicts Americans as vampiric consumers feeding on a culture drenched in postmodern iconography. The power and spectacle of these depictions, however, stem not only from a postmodern sensibility, but also from a counter discourse that undercuts a postmodern understanding of the image. In the film’s climax, Dracula sees through the “falseness” of the image to the truth that it merely represents, arguably turning the film’s use of spectacle from a Baudrillardian celebration of simulacra to a didactic lesson on the difference between essence and the ephemeral. Ultimately, Craven’s film questions the image’s cultural supremacy by attempting to teach its American audience to read through the image’s seductive power.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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