Valentine's Day is for vampires - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Valentine's Day is for vampires

(KFVS) -

Valentine's day means dinner and a movie for a lot of couples.  So, what about a horror flick. Specifically, a film from the "vault" about a vampire?

It was on this date, February 14, 1931, the original Dracula staring Bela Lugosi was released.

While it's pretty tame to today's standards, 86 years it was quite a shock.
Newspapers reported  women in the audiences fainting at the horror they were seeing on the screen.
 
Universal pictures took quite a gamble with the movie. Studio executives weren't sure audiences would sit through a full length horror film.  But the gamble paid off.  The movie became a hit and led to dozens of versions and takes on the vampire genre.

But to this day, film critics say Lugosi's portrayal is the definitive Dracula.  His slow and deliberate pacing led to classic lines like "I bid you...welcome" and "I never drink....wine."

Despite the movie's success, Lugosi was typecast for life.  Studios were reluctant to hire the actor in any film other than a horror or a "B" grade movie.

Lugosi died of a heart attack in 1956.  He was buried wearing one of the Dracula cape costumes.

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