Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Dracula Meets Wanda

The online artifact that I chose was a video I found on YouTube called Jim Carrey – Dracula meets Wanda. All I did was type in Dracula and this was one of the videos that came up. I chose to do a video for my online artifact because I am a visual person and being a film student, I enjoy watching other peoples work. I chose this video in particular because I often tend to lead towards humor and comedy. What I've read of Bram Stoker's Dracula so far isn't funny at all, its serious so I thought this video would be a nice contrast.

In this sketch from the show In Living Color, Jim Carrey portrays Dracula, while Jamie Foxx plays Dracula's victim. The video starts out with dramatic music in the background which misleads the viewer. But as soon as the blanket is pulled off of Wanda, the comedy aspect is revealed. The whole time the two of them are talking, Wanda does not react as though she is in the midst of a blood sucking vampire that could kill her at any moment. She's actually concerned and maybe even a little embarrassed that her 'face' isn't on. But even though she is aware of what he is, she is willing to be his eternal partner.

More comedy ensues when Wanda turns the lights in the room on and Dracula sees who he has been pining for. He is then very anxious to get away from the situation he put himself in. Here the roles have almost been reversed; the vampire wants to leave, while the 'victim' is trying to convince the monster to stay. Dracula then tries to kill himself with a stake to the heart so he can avoid a life with Wanda. Wanda stops this and tells him to kill her instead. Dracula sees this as his chance to get away and lets the sunlight in so he ultimately burns up. Still oblivious, Wanda assumes she was just too hot for Dracula who in turn burned up at the sight of her.

Jonathan Harker, the victim from Stoker's Dracula reacts very differently to the situation he is put in, being trapped with some kind of evil creature. Where Wanda may have acted embarrassed and concerned about her appearance, Jonathan “think[s he] must have been mad” because “[he] behaved much as a rat does in a trap” (Stoker 32).

In the YouTube clip, Jim Carrey's Dracula does not try to hid the fact that he is a vampire. Stoker's Dracula, on the other hand, tries very hard to keep this a secret and Jonathan is in the dark for quite some time, not realizing exactly who it is he's been staying with. He's still not sure why “all the people at Bistritz and on the coach had some terrible fear for [him]” (Stoker 32). He doesn't know why they gave him “the crucifix,... the garlic,... the wild rose,... and the mountain ash” (Stoker 32-33). He hasn't figured that out yet but he's scared.

The video clip and the book show very different interactions between the vampire and his 'victim'. In Jim Carrey – Dracula Meets Wanda, Dracula comes to Wanda because he loves her. He has traveled many many miles just to be with her forever. In the book Dracula, Dracula is just out for blood; he needs it to survive. But both Draculas want their 'victims' to themselves. When three young women attempt to 'kiss' Jonathan before Dracula gets to him, the vampire becomes angry and possessive of his guest. He shouts to the women, “How dare you touch him, any of you? How dare you cast eyes on him when I had forbidden it? Back, I tell you all! This man belongs to me!” (Stoker 43).

It is very soon after this incident that Jonathan is given a clue as to his future life. He was told to write three letters, “'the first should be June 12, the second June 19, and the third June 29.'” It was this that told him what “the span of [his] life” was going to be (Stoker 45). He feared for his life unlike Wanda who didn't seem to care what happened to hers.

I like the contrast between these to works; Jim Carrey – Dracula Meets Wanda is comedic while Dracula is dramatic and serious. The two are completely different from each other but display two different perceptions of a famous tale.

Stoker, Bram. Dracula. New York: Norton & Company, 1996. Print.

"Jim Carrey - Dracula Meets Wanda." YouTube. Web. 10 Oct 2010. .

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