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Creature Most Foul

February 09, 1992

Immortality, not libidinosity, is the key theme of "Dracula" Its enduring popularity derives from probing man's deepest fear, that of death. Francis Ford Coppola has the perverted notion, like so many other contemporary filmmakers, that every cinematic classic from the past has to be resculpted into a modern R-rated abomination.

Sixty-one years ago, Bela Lugosi more than ably conveyed the core idea of a man in quest of a life eternal while, paradoxically, still cutting a romantic image on the screen. No remakes are needed, especially those liberally laced with salacious elements.

With regard to fidelity to the novel, it should be noted that Christopher Lee, in a 1969 Spanish version, "Count Dracula" ("El Conde Dracula"), in a departure from his Hammer renditions, followed the original quite closely by portraying the vampire as an old man who grows progressively younger as the movie plays.

Coppola should do his homework!

FRANKLIN R. RUEHL

Glendale

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