“I’ve come here to feed. There is so much life to spare here and blood to spill. I think I shall have yours before this night is through…old man.”
My first exposure to the classic tale of Count Dracula was on a late Friday night in the 1970s as my local ABC station aired the 1931 version from Universal Pictures starring Bela Lugosi. Through the years, I’ve watched countless versions of the legendary vampire, from Christopher Lee to Frank Langella to Anthony DP Mann. I also have very fond memories of the Orson Welles Mercury Theater radio presentation from 1938. Now, a new audio production from Fangoria Musick and Bleak December Inc. is being released upon the Earth, and it is simply amazing.
I have loved audio drama both old and new since I was about 10 years old. Now, Fangoria Magazine has launched Fangoria Musick, a new digital-download only service offering up the latest and best in audio horror presentations. They’ve started a new working relationship with Bleak December Inc. and my first experience was hearing Anthony DP Mann’s adaptation of The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe, which featured music from Goblin’s Maurizio Guarini. Now, I’ve had the pleasure to listen to a full production as they’ve tackled the tale of Bram Stoker’s Dracula.
At a brisk 30-minutes, Dracula weaves the tale we all know quite well. Tony Todd (Candyman, Star Trek: The Next Generation) is in the starring role as the iconic Count Dracula. Before I touch upon the main actor of this production, I must say that the supporting cast is truly entertaining. Anthony DP Mann’s performance as Professor Van Helsing is incredibly enjoyable to hear. Having heard Anthony for many years on the Horror Etc. podcast, I know he has a passion for audio and music. That passion is on display in this production as you can practically hear the joy in his voice. While I have greatly enjoyed his ventures into film, especially his turn as the Count in Terror of Dracula (2012), Anthony was made for audio productions and I hope to hear much more from him in the future.
Tony Todd is simply amazing in the role of Count Dracula. He is used sparingly and every time his voice oozes out of the speakers, it is dripping with a chilling presence. His screams are especially horrific. While it would have been pleasurable to hear more of Todd, it was a masterful decision to tease his full appearance until the climax of the tale.
I must also praise the original score by Brent Holland. It was quite atmospheric and greatly enhances the presentation. While you don’t always need a score for an entertaining audio tale, a truly good one moves the story to a new level and Holland succeeds in that here.
Dracula will be available digitally from Fangoria Musick on September 30. I highly recommend you add this to your Halloween 2016 viewing and listening list. You will not regret it!
Bleak December – The New Sound in Horror…indeed!