'Dracula Untold' is a fictionalized biography of Vlad the Impaler, the inspiration for Dracula. Most Dracula movies, of course, are based on Bram Stoker's 1897 novel. Here are some of the famous – and infamous – takes on the character.
The producers of this silent classic didn't have the rights to Stoker's book, so they changed Dracula's name to "Count Orlok," and Max Schreck's ghoulish vampire veers far from Stoker's description. The author's widow still sued – and won.
The first authorized version of Stoker's novel was actually a hit Broadway play. When the play was adapted for the screen, its star -- Hungarian actor Bela Lugosi -- made the transition as well. His elegant Count remains the definitive Dracula.
House of Dracula (1945)
There were no immediate sequels to the 1931 hit, but Universal brought back the Dracula character for several features in the '40s, two of them starring John Carradine (father of actors David, Keith and Robert).
Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948)
Lugosi himself played the character for laughs in this slapstick comedy that, as the title suggests, also stars Frankenstein's monster as well as the Wolf Man. This was Universal Studios' last Dracula movie until 1979.
Horror of Dracula (1958)
Christopher Lee has played the Count no fewer than nine times, primarily for British horror studio Hammer Films. This was his first Dracula outing; the rest came out in the late '60s and early '70s, with three installments in 1970 alone.
In this blaxploitation flick, Dracula only puts in a cameo appearance when, in 1780, he turns an African prince (William Marshall) into a vampire, then seals him up in a coffin. The coffin is finally opened up in the funkiest 1972 imaginable.
Three, count 'em, three Dracula films came out in 1979. This one marked Universal's own revival of the character. Frank Langella plays Dracula as a handsome romantic; Laurence Olivier costars as his nemesis Van Helsing.
Nosferatu the Vampyre (1979)
German cult director Werner Herzog remakes the 1922 classic, though his version is hardly more commercial. Klaus Kinski, copying Max Schreck's rodentlike looks, still makes this Dracula (no longer "Count Orlok") his own.
Love at First Bite (1979)
This campy, disco-loving satire stars George Hamilton as the tannest vampire of all time. Ironically, it was a bigger hit than the two serious Dracula films released that year.
Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992)
After sitting out much of the 1980s, Dracula returned with a vengeance in Francis Ford Coppola's star-studded hit. Gary Oldman's long-haired bohemian Count reflects early '90s trends.
Dracula: Dead and Loving It (1995)
The Coppola film was sure to invite parody, and Mel Brooks responded with this silly spin on the original story. Like George Hamilton before him, Leslie Nielsen hams it up in the standard Lugosi-Dracula tux and cape.
Dracula 2000 (2000)
Gerard Butler is an uncharacteristically brawny Dracula in this actioner, set in contemporary New Orleans. The storyline posits that the centuries-old vampire is none other than the Biblical Judas – hence his fear of crosses.
Blade: Trinity (2004)
Naturally, this franchise about a half-human vampire hunter (Wesley Snipes) had to include the granddaddy of all vamps. 'Prison Break' star Dominic Purcell out-muscles even Gerard Butler as a pumped-up Dracula, known here as "Drake."
Van Helsing (2004)
This highly revisionist blockbuster depicts Van Helsing (Hugh Jackman) as an action hero and combines characters from 'Dracula,' 'Frankenstein' and even 'Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.' That's Richard Roxburgh as the Count.