Did you know Dracula had his own TV show in 1990? This is the Halloween season, so let’s watch it!
In Dracula the Series episode nine, “What a Pleasant Surprise,” we get to know another vampire. Oh, and we’re going to the movies.
Cemetery plot: Lucard (a.k.a. Dracula) is paying a fortune to buy the local movie theater. Suspecting Lucard is up to something, Uncle Gustav investigates. He finds a classic movie actor named Jonas there, now immortal as a vampire. Meanwhile, young Max places an ad in the local paper, inviting anyone who knows about the theater to their home, accidentally giving Lucard an open invite to attack that night.
King of the vampires: Lucard bought the theater knowing that Jonas was about to wake from a decades-long slumber, and would want revenge. In the end, though, Jonas stakes himself, preferring death over living as a vampire.
Blood brothers: Chris and Max’s mother, Eileen, makes a return appearance, following her brief introduction in the pilot. The episode’s B-story has the kids frantically trying to Dracula-proof the house while Mom is unawares.
The new Mina: After establishing in the last episode that Sophie is a music student, this episode shows her practicing the violin while Chris is trying to watch television.
Stake master: Uncle Gustav complains about back pain at the start of the episode, only for it to slow him down during the finale. (Now that’s screenwriting!) He claims to have friends in town hall who prevent Lucard from buying the theater, but Lucard of course gets to them first.
Slayer’s handbook: This episode firmly establishes the “if you invite a vampire into your home, your weapons lose all their power” rule. Note the slight difference between this and the more well-known “a vampire can’t enter unless invited” rule. In other words, the show plays by Lost Boys rules, not Buffy rules.
Killer quotes: Lucard (to Jonas): “Ah, the old ham. Have a nice nap?”
Trivia time: A girl seen in the movie theater at the start of the episode is played by Brigid Tierney, sister of Jacob Tierney, who plays Max.
Bite me: I really enjoyed this one. It has a great sense of gloomy atmosphere and an over-the-top-but-in-a-good-way performance by Kim Coates, who plays Jonas. The jokes are hokey and the plot doesn’t entirely make sense, but for this series that’s all part of the fun.
Next: Don’t leave me in distress.
Want more? Check out my book, CINE HIGH, now available for the Kindle and the free Kindle app.