Dracula: The Vampire and the Voivode (2011) Separates Fact from Fiction
Vampires may not have always sparkled, but since Bram Stoker wrote Dracula the world has been fascinated by them. It's been widely reported that Stoker based that character on the historic figure Vlad Tepes, and many confuse the two, thinking that they are one. A documentary unearthing the “never-before-told true story of Bram Stoker and his legendary…novel,” Dracula: The Vampire and the Voivode, visits Eastern and Western European locations (Transylvania, Whitby, London, Dublin) to set the record straight.
Beginning with a biography of Stoker, the film provides a history of the famous vampire-creator and of the voivode (“one who leads warriors”) Vlad the Impaler. There are archival photos from the past 150 years of Stoker and his contemporaries, home, and world, and bits and pieces of famous vampire films. Events that influenced Stoker in his writing are also detailed. Despite firmly establishing a relationship between Transylvania and vampires that would survive changing centuries, Stoker never visited Transylvania.
In tracing the history of Vlad Tepes, the film serves as both a travelogue and brief history of Transylvania as well as a biography. The examination of the voivode’s heinous deeds does not cover new territory, however they are relayed with relish.
Dracula: The Vampire and the Voivode was “produced in association with the Transylvanian Society of Dracula and features interviews with leading international Dracula experts.” It is a mildly entertaining and informative—although somewhat dry—journey through history. DVD release date: October 4, 2011.