Michael J. Manacci

Within the vast realms of storytelling, there lies a handful of stories that, thanks to the oversaturation of Hollywood and, to a lesser extent, the media in general, have been told countless times. To the point of the public at large assuming that they already know the story through some weird form of osmosis. Usually, these are stories that walk the borderline of the public domain, such as the Wizard of Oz or Alice in Wonderland. Yet while it seems that these types of stories tend to be whimsical and filled with childlike wonder, one story of this type seems to portray the lesser angels of our nature: Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

To prepare me for this devotion, I not only watched the 1970 film from England’s own Hammer Studios, but I checked out the original 1897 novel from my local library and read it cover to cover. Dear Reader, I must confess; it is both impressive and haunting how on point the accuracy of the faithfulness this movie has to the original source material. Except for a few details that were left out from the novel, this Hammer Studios rendition, like all of Hammer Studios Catalog, is by far the most well done given the shoestring budget the studio always seemed to make diamonds out of charcoal with.

The film opens at a busy train station in Budapest. Our main protagonist, a young lawyer from London named Jonathan Harker, is traveling to a village in the northern mountains of Transylvania to discuss the finalizing of a real estate sale with a client of his law firm that very little is known about him and what little they know is surrounded in mystery. All he knows for a fact is the client’s name: Count Dracula. Along the way, every local from his destination he speaks to about the count is mortified with fear and is of ultimate concern for his safety. While Harker just brushes off their concerns as plain superstitions, Harker realizes that their rumors might have more truth to them upon meeting the count face-to-face.

While walking the halls of Dracula’s castle late in the night, Harker overhears Dracula talking with his three undead vampire brides as they feast upon the flesh of an infant that Dracula has stolen for them from one of the villagers. The count tells them of how many more young, fresh victims await them once they arrive in London. Realizing that Dracula is planning an invasion of vampires to be unleashed upon Britain, Harker narrowly escapes the castle, and he is found floating down the Danube river by Dr. Seward and Professor Van Helsing.

It is a common belief amongst literary scholars that the character of Count Dracula is an allegory for our enemy: Lucifer himself. If the count plays the devil’s role, then Dracula’s brides play the role of representing those who have chosen the path of following the World, rejecting Christ, and wallering in sin. While we as Christians have protection from our enemy via the armor of God, no mortal is immune to desires of the flesh, and all that following the World entices. The Bible in 1 John 2:15-17 tells us:

“Do not love the World or anything in the World. If anyone loves the World, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world-the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life comes not from the Father, but from the World. The World and its desires pass away, but whoever does, the will of God lives forever.”

1 John 2:15-17

Keeping these scriptures in mind, we must always remember that our Lord informed his followers that the World will hate us for rejecting it as it says in John 15:18-21.

“If the World hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the World, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the World, but I have chosen you out of the World. That is why the World hates you. Remember what I told you, ‘A servant is nor greater than his master’. If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also.”

John 15:18-21

I leave you with this, dear Reader. Whether your desires of the flesh be drinking, drug addictions, sexual lusts etc., you are unbound by your sins no more. But remember, beware of the decisions you make today because you will live with them the rest of your life.