Horror Movie Podcast Ep. 085: The Invitation (2016) and Dracula (1931) vs. Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)

HMP The Invitation DraculaIn Episode 085 of HORROR MOVIE PODCAST, we bring you another Frankensteinian episode. First, Wolfman and Dr. Shock bring you another Universal Monsters VERSUS segment, when they Feature Review Dracula (1931) and Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992). Jay of the Dead and Wolfman Josh also bring you a Feature Review of a very effective, must-see Horror Thriller called The Invitation (2016) that hits theaters soon. Don’t miss it!

Horror Movie Podcast is a bi-weekly show that’s released every other Friday. If you’d like to support our show, please subscribe to our podcast free in iTunes, and leave us a review! And remember, we love getting your voicemails, so call in with more recommendations and comments at this number: (801) 382-8789 Thanks for listening to Horror Movie Podcast!


I. Introduction

[ 0:01:43 ] II. Feature Review: DRACULA (1931)
Jay of the Dead = 8 ( Must-See / Buy it! )
Wolfman Josh = 10 ( Buy it! )
Dr. Shock = 10 ( Buy it! )

[ 0:29:27 ] III. Feature Review: BRAM STOKER’S DRACULA (1992)
Wolfman Josh = 9.5 ( Buy it! / In Top 5 All-Time Best Vampire Movies )
Dr. Shock = 8.5 ( Buy it! )

[ 1:00:09 ] IV. Feature Review: THE INVITATION (2016)
Jay of the Dead = 9 ( Theater / Buy it! )
Wolfman Josh = 8 ( Theater / Buy it! )

V. Wrap-Up / Plugs / Ending

JOIN US IN TWO WEEKS ON HMP: Episode 086: Horror Comedy

NOTE FOR NEWCOMERS: If you love this podcast, there are 36 episodes of two other great podcasts that precede this one. Just scroll back through our archives, or use the links in the sidebar on the right.

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Jay of the Dead’s links:
Jay of the Dead and Horror Movie Podcast Official Twitter: @HorrorMovieCast
Jay of the Dead covers new releases in theaters on: Movie Podcast Weekly
And if you’d like to e-mail Jay of the Dead with a good Beastly Freaks recommendation: BeastlyFreaks@gmail.com

Wolfman Josh’s links:
Follow Josh on Twitter: @IcarusArts
Josh covers streaming online movies on: Movie Stream Cast
Follow MSC on Twitter: @MovieStreamCast
Like MSC on: Facebook

Dr. Shock’s links:
Dave’s daily movie review website: DVD Infatuation.com
Follow Dave on Twitter: @DVDinfatuation
Like Dave’s DVD Infatuation, now on: Facebook
Dr. Shock also appears on this horror podcast: Land of the Creeps

Dr. Walking Dead’s links:
Pre-order Kyle’s new book! How Zombies Conquered Popular Culture: The Multifarious Walking Dead in the 21st Century
Order Kyle’s previous books American Zombie Gothic and Triumph of The Walking Dead
Follow Kyle on Twitter: @DrWalkingDead

You can always contact us by e-mailing HorrorMoviePodcast@gmail.com. Or you can call and leave us a voice mail at: (801) 382-8789. And you can leave us a comment in the show notes for this episode.

Special thanks goes out to singer-songwriter Frederick Ingram for the use of his music for Horror Movie Podcast.

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69 thoughts on “Horror Movie Podcast Ep. 085: The Invitation (2016) and Dracula (1931) vs. Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)

  1. Best of thoughts to “Rob from Belgium” and any of our other Belgian listeners. Hope you and your loved ones are safe and sound. I lived in Belgium for about 6 months and have been to Brussels many times. I love those people and hate to hear about the pain they are going through. All the best!

  2. Coppola’s Dracula is by far the superior version. One of my favourite scenes in Shadow of the Vampire is where Willem Dafoe talks about the chapter in the book where Harker spies on Dracula polishing his own dishes and laments about how sad is was that he didn’t have any servants to do that for him. The Coppola version captures that tragic monster.

    • I’ve missed the hype because this is the first time I’m hearing about it! It sounds like it’s right up my alley, though, so I’ll be checking it out.

      I’m also looking forward to Hush dropping on Netflix next week.

      • Hush sounds great and reminds me of a different take on Wait Until Dark.

        I’m also looking forward to checking out The Girl in the Photographs next week. I believe that’s just a VOD and not on Netflix though. The plot is creepy, it has a decent cast, and I believe it’s the final film that Wes Craven had anything to do with prior to his death.

        • I agree. There’s so much horror coming our way, it’s ridiculous. I don’t like promoting other sites on here, but this one’s too good to pass on. If you want to stay on top of new horror, check out modernhorrors.com. It’s a great looking site with quality writing and lots of information on everything horror. Their podcast is aight, but it’s growing on me. It’s light years away from HMP. But to be fair, everything’s light years away from HMP.

  3. Wow, that was bizarre hearing “Wilderness” for the first time. I kind of wish I hadn’t, though I thank Mr. Ingram for the use of his mysterious music. It’s funny that in all this time, it just took Jay mentioning the track name for me to actually check out the songs.

    • Wolfman Josh,
      I’m so genuinely impressed that you checked out Fred Ingram’s site and “Wilderness.” His best tune (by far) is “Snake Girl,” which is a very chilling account of his experiences searching for Elizabeth Smart…

      • I just ran into Elizabeth Smart last week. It was weird. She was an adult and had a baby.

        Honestly, I’m more surprised I didn’t listen to his music sooner. It just took the mention of the track name.

    • Whoa you’re right. It’s really weird hearing this in context! His guitar layering is pretty cool though.

      Jay, did you personally pick that song? It fits the show, but is there any reason you picked that over something else?

      hahaha. I’m listening to it now, the specific HMP riff just started, and I have this missing feeling of resolve because I’m still waiting for…. Hi! Welcome to horror movie podcast where we’re … etc.

      Man, can I just say… your show just gives me the warm fuzzys. I don’t know what it is, but I just feel so at home listening. I love it!

      • Great question, Kagan.

        Here’s the answer: The theme music for The Weekly Horror Movie Podcast (my first horror podcast) was taken from Fred Ingram’s song “Snake Girl” (the one about Elizabeth Smart). And I loved that theme.

        Horror Metropolis was my second attempt at a horror podcast. It was similar format-wise to TWHMP. But I went with a Toad the Wet Sprocket Song (“Little Buddha”), and Sony charged me a ridiculous amount of money to use it for 10 episodes…

        So, for my third incarnation of a horror podcast (Horror Movie Podcast, which is a blend of my first two shows), I wanted to return to the royalty-free music of my good friend, Fred Ingram again… But it didn’t feel right to just reassume the music from TWHMP again, so I picked a similar-sounding, potentially creepy guitar track from Fred, which is the section I use from “Wilderness” for HMP’s theme.

        Fred lets me use his music for free (though, I have sent him some money before). So, it’s a little bit of tradition; it’s a little bit homage; it’s a little bit of promoting my friend’s music; and it’s a little bit of not wanting to pay crooks like Sony. (And I’m an acoustic music man; heavy metal — which many horror shows use — was never my thing.)


        • Cool thanks for the answer Jay! It’s weird, that riff in wilderness does really have some vaguely horror inspiring quality. When I hear it, I almost feel like I’m walking in to some smokey grind house theatre in the 1970s haha. I’ll have to check out Snake Girl next.

          Every now and then you mention that you’re a musician, and I wonder some times why you didn’t compose your own podcast themes. That would be interesting!

          • I’ve wondered that too, Kagan. But, I do like the Wilderness sample.

            I think Jay did write the MPW intro, although he credits the band.

            The music on The Sci Fi Podcast is performed by two of the hosts, just FYI.

          • If memory serves, the MPW theme is part of a Fred Ingram song that came to fruition during a jam session (or, at least that guitar solo came to be during a jam session).

            I’m not a huge fan of the MPW theme song, but the guitar solo sounds pretty cool in context with the actual song.

  4. While not my favorite of the Universal Monsters (As far as the originals go, it’s below Frankenstein, The Invisible Man, and The Wolf Man), Dracula ended up being a pretty memorable one for me over the years.

    I believe Dracula: Dead and Loving It was the first adultish spooky film I had saw in the theaters. The only other horror-like film I had been to at the theaters prior was Hocus Pocus.

    The very first classic Universal Monster movie I had watched was Dracula back in the day on AMC. I’m sure I still have the blank tape with the recording of it in my giant box of old VHS tapes in my basement.

    Thus far the only classic Universal Monster movie I have seen in the theaters was Dracula thanks to last year’s TCM double bill of both versions of Dracula.

    Back in high school, I took some sort of theater arts class and at one point, we had to give a monologue on stage in front of the rest of the class (That’s torture for kids, yo) and I ended up choosing Dracula’s legendary monologue from when we first meet him (“Listen to them. Children of the night. What music *they* make.”)

    One of my more memorable Halloween costumes from my childhood was of a Bela Lugosi inspired vampire with the slick back hair, fake teeth, and blood dripping from my mouth.

  5. Hey Jay,

    If you get a chance, really really check out Dracula with the Philip Glass score. Many DVDs have it on there as a bonus feature to watch it with the score.

    Those early Universal monster movies didn’t always have scores, in fact, I believe both Frankenstein and Dracual are void underscore completely with exception of the Swan Lake prelude that plays during the opening credits.

    The Philip Glass score makes Dracula more compelling. It helps the pacing, and actually makes the film more exciting. The Kronos Quartet gives an amazing performance.

    Don’t believe me? Listen to this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JlNeB54lmyw

  6. Slow paced?! How dare you Jay!!! Lol I understand that, it is fairly slow but that’s one thing I love about it. It has that eerie vibe throughout the whole thing. Almost like someone creeping up on you. Can anyone explain why the little bug has its own coffin? But i digress.

    Seriously though while many consider the Spanish version to be technically superior, I disagree. It just feels like a movie to me. The way the camera pans up at Dracula standing in front of the spider web has nowhere near the creepy unearthly feeling that’s accomplished by the static shot of Bela descending the staircase. When Van Helsing shows him the mirror in the Spanish version and he smashes it with a cane, yeah it’s very dramatic, but when Bela simply smacks it out of Edward Van Sloan’s hand just feels more real. I’m not sure if I’m articulating my point well but hopefully y’all will understand.

    It’s very hard for me to pick a favorite Universal Monster. They all have their strong points. The Monster is misunderstood, Gill Man is simply an animal, Wolf Man is so tragic and heartbreaking, the Mummy has but one love and will stop at nothing to get her back, the invisible man is so unhinged and flat out insane you can’t help but fear him. They all may be “monsters” in their actions but if I has to pick just ONE who is actually “evil”….its Dracula.

    Nobody embodies the Count quite like Bela. I think he was a hugely underrated as an actor and honestly prefer him to Karloff, although I’m a huge fan of both. The Island of Lost Souls, White Zombie, The Raven, The Black Cat, and the one in which I think he played his greatest role other than Dracula, Son of Frankenstein.

    This movie is just over an hour long and you HAVE to own it. I watch it regularly and it just might be my favorite of the Universal Monsters franchise. It’s hard to pick between this, The Wolf Man, and The Invisible Man but I believe Dracula has the edge. I own the legacy Collection box set, 75th anniversary, and the Universal Studios Monsters Classic Collection VHS.

    Something must also be said of Dwight Frye. As y’all know by my screen name I’m a fan. I figured everybody has screen names referencing Freddy, Jason, Michael etc, so I thought I’d give a throwback in mine. Not just the scene in the ship is unnerving to me. When they are discussing Dracula and he has escaped again and is listening….”isn’t this a strange conversation for men who ARENT crazy?” Watch closely when Van Helsing asks him about Dracula and he says “I never heard the name before”, his whole body shutters. When Dracula is simply staring at Renfield and he has a full conversation with him, Renfield looks completely terrifying.

    I could go on all night about Renfield, Van Helsing, and Dracula.

    As far as Coppolas Dracula, I have one thing to say…Gary Oldman!!!!
    I love the visuals I’m this film, and enjoy watching Winona Ryder and Keanu Reeves in most movies,but NOBODY could hold a candle to Gary. He’s absolutely spellbinding. Hard to believe this is the same guy from The Fifth Element and the Chris Nolan Batman trilogy. He’s an amazing actor who blows me away every time he’s on screen. Every shot in the film looks like it could be put in a frame. I say 8/10 for this one. I have the VHS and really need to upgrade, but this movie is fantastic!!!!

    • Yes it does and you should be ashamed! Lol I’m kidding of course, but in all seriousness check them out.
      The original films are the best but several of the sequels and mashups are very good!

      It all depends on your taste in movies as to whether or not you’ll enjoy these old black and white films. There’s a lot of single shots with virtually no cutaways (which I love) a lot of quiet moments and really no jump scares.
      Best way to view these films is by yourself, in a dark room, sound turned up, and preferably on a bigger screen (I watch all my movies like this because it helps get into it),

      You may not find them “scary” like you would newer films but I think you’ll be surprised at some of the more disturbing things.

      In the words of the great Edward Van Sloan…”I think it will thrill you. It may shock you. It might even horrify you. So if any of you do not care to subject your nerves to such a strain, now is your chance to uh….well…..we’ve warned you”

  7. I was kind of surprised you guys would take on Dracula in cinema without including Hammer’s The Horror of Dracula (1958). Coming almost at a midpoint between Dracula (’31) and BS’s Dracula (’92), it is a faithful, exciting and bloody take on Stoker’s tale. And I would hold Peter Cushing up as the definitive Van Helsing. Lee’s take on the Count is elegantly vicious. And the final confrontation between the two is a brilliantly exciting set piece. Highly recommended.

    • The basic idea here was to cover the Universal Monsters films and then find the most notable and/or recent, modern adaptation.

      That said, we could have at least mentioned Hammer. There’s just so much content there.

      For you Hammer Horror fans, we’ve discussed doing a full-blown Hammer episode. It might actually warrant a few episodes, as I think about it. Almost the way we’ve done franchise reviews.

        • Definitely. We’re doing them all. It was idea Dave had for themed eps I I suggested doing them on the Frankensteinian episodes to make it more fun for me and him (who don’t watch as many of the new releases as Jay).

          • Sounds awesome to me. Yeah I don’t keep up with as many new releases either, hard to find time. But I can’t wait to hear the rest of the Monsters reviewed…..you’re not gonna include that Chevy Chase “Invisible Man” movie tho are u??? Lol

            • I’d say if you’re going to cover a modern day Invisible Man, the one to go with is Hollow Man.

              The plots are pretty different, but they both contain some sinister elements that aren’t all that different.

      • I’m a huge fan of the Hammer films… some of my favorites. And there are so many to cover- both a blessing and a curse, of course. There’s so much that I doubt one episode would really do it justice and yet I’m not sure it would really suit the tastes of Jay and Josh- I could be wrong and they might both be huge fans of the Hammer films, but for some reason I just don’t know.

        • Well … I’m not a fan of Hammer in that I don’t know the films by heart, but I enjoy them and I especially love the Dracula and Frankenstein films that I’ve seen. I own about a half dozen Hammer films. One of my favorite films of all time is the Hammer film The Abominable Snowman.

          • color me kind of surprised… not shocked, as I just didn’t think those films would appeal to your tastes in general. For me, Cushing ranks as both the definitive Van Helsing and Dr. Frankenstein. Out of curiosity, did you catch the nod to those Hammer films at the end of the most recent “Victor Frankenstein”?

  8. Good point, I never even thought of the Hammer Films but it would’ve been nice to hear now that you mention it.

  9. Great show, fellas! Wolfman, like you, I wish to see a faithful film adaptation of Stoker’s novel. I think that if such a thing were ever made, it would be a stellar movie. I love the ’31 Dracula, of course, and when I was in third grade, Coppola’s version was a gory affair that had me pretty disturbed. What a film!

    Still, I’m waiting for the day the novel gets brought to life with great care on the silver screen. I mean… I think the love story between the Count and Mina/Elisabeta worked in Coppola’s film, but I really yearn for that true adaptation of the novel that throws the Hollywood love angle aside in favor of an emphasis on Dracula’s purely predatory approach to his victims. No love. No romance. No modern spin on the character of the Count that adds some type of post-Interview With the Vampire internal regret or a Twilight-esque love subplot. I’m talking about Dracula the way Stoker wrote it. In any case, I rate both Dracula films reviewed on this episode super high.

    Regarding your conversation about horror movies that have won or been nominated for Oscars… I believe every single film you mentioned was adapted from a novel. I can’t recall offhand all the films you named in this episode that have won Oscars… The Exorcist, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Silence of the Lambs (if you call that horror)… but these are all adaptations. I wonder if the Academy is only willing to award horror with such high honors if said horror film was adapted from well respected literature. Anyone else notice that correlation and think there’s something to that?

    • Fascinating point about the adaptations. Two of the other most well-respected horror films, The Shining and Jaws, were novels too, of course.

      It might not be a prejudice, though.

      Maybe a good novel attracts higher quality filmmakers. Or maybe the writing is just on a higher level so it makes for a stronger script and that script attracts the best in directors, actors and craftspeople.

      • I love adapting material because almost all of the hard work is done already- the plotting, the characters, and thematic elements are already there and the only real challenge is in changing the medium (Which is a challenge).

        • True, to a point. Had Spielberg not been involved however I don’t believe Jaws would’ve been as great. Honestly I don’t think it would’ve been as great if the shark had worked either but that’s a whole other topic. Some times material just doesn’t work on film (I’m talking to YOU Super Mario Bros. !!). Sometimes it works out better than expected (marvel cinematic universe). It think the more epic the tale, the more interesting the film has potential to be. I wouldn’t mind watching The Legend of Zelda: The Movie (mattroid if you’re reading this back me up), but I honestly think Ridley Scott’s “Legend” might as well be the adaptation of that lol. But I digress, back to horror, I’m done chasing that rabbit lol

  10. The talk of Hammer films gave me a fun idea for an episode. How about “Oddball Beastly Freaks.” I can’t think of a better way to describe some of my favorite “monster” movies. Here are some entries to prime the pump, but I’m hoping others have favorites that I haven’t heard of.

    • The Blob (1958) (1988) Killer snot from outer space!
    • X the Unknown (1956) Killer mud from inner space!
    • The Monolith Monsters (1957) Medusafying towers of killer rocks!
    • Island of Terror (1966) Bone sucking ambulatory cancer cells!
    • Quatermass and the Pit (1968) Rampaging telepathic grasshoppers from Mars!

    These are all incredibly fun movies. My wiseass descriptions notwithstanding. And they deserve to be seen by anyone that fancies themselves a connoisseur of horror. These take the outsider to the extreme and present beasts that are genuinely alien.

        • Oh if y’all do this episode you have to talk about one of the stupidest monsters I’ve ever seen…The Giant Claw. That movie is so bad it’s AWESOME!!! That got me thinking, would you consider any of the Godzilla films to be any genre of horror?

          • I would consider them all to be horror, though not all equally in the same sub-genre of horror. The original Godzilla is purely a horror film- no two ways about it. It’s a giant monster rising from the depths of nuclear fall out to destroy an entire city. The first few sequels follow the same formula until Godzilla inevitably becomes the “savior” character, at which point the films become more action oriented with a bit of a monster-horror back drop.

      • Agreed, the original “Gojira” was a great metaphor for the atomic bomb. They did become more of a “Godzilla’s a good guy” soon after, especially with Godzilla vs Megalon…..ugh Jet Jaguar. But as far as the newer ones Toho did in the early 2000s, I would definitely recommend “Godzilla, Mothra, and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All Out Attack”.(rolls right off your tongue don’t it). Godzilla’s actually pretty scary in it and he is NOT a hero AT ALL! Believe it or not (SPOILER ALERT) the savior in this one is none other than King Ghidorah. If you’re a fan of Godzilla then you know that is not something we’re used to at ALL.

    • Sadly I missed 10 Cloverfield Lane in the theater (I live in a small town, our one theater already pushed it out to make way for 10 screens of Batman V Superman). The fact that Movie Podcast Weekly gave it unanimous praise combined with it being a (very loose) sequel to one of the greatest horror movies of the last decade, and throw in John Goodman into the mix, I can not wait till this hits home media.

  11. An FYI – The Invitation is now available for VOD purchase.

    I saw it yesterday and thought it was more than worth checking out. I’d call it more of a thriller than horror, but that’s just so that prospective viewers aren’t going into the movie expecting something in your face for the full ninety minutes. Instead, from the very beginning, there’s this effective sense of dread looming over the film. You’re expecting the horror to kick in at any time. You just don’t know when or even if it will happen. That makes it easy to identify with the main character who is feeling that same sort of paranoia. It’s a creepy flick that isn’t in a rush to get to where it’s going.

    I fully expect to see The Invitation on a lot of people’s end of the year top ten horror lists.

    I gave it a 9/10 rating.


    In hindsight, The Invitation reminds me of Ti West’s The Sacrament. It’s not found footage, but it’s still a story of meeting up with someone from your past who is now in this “Peaceful” cult. Most of the movie sees the leads getting to know the cult, feeling as if something isn’t right, but the cult isn’t doing anything wrong. Then in the final act is when all hell breaks loose and it becomes more of a traditional horror.

    • I just watched THE INVITATION last night. I enjoyed it, despite it not necessarily being horror. I’m with you, though, when you talk about the sense of dread that looms throughout. The filmmakers did a great job giving us the main protagonist’s paranoid perspective of this mysterious party. I’m a big fan of slow burns, so this movie was super effective in what it wanted to do. Sal, are you a fan of slow burn films?

      • As long as things are kept interesting and there’s a payoff to the slow burn, I’m fine with them.

        Slow burn should never be an excuse to be boring though.

  12. While watching The Invitation, I could only wonder what Luis Bunuel would have thought of it.

    I’d give it a solid 8/10….though predictability, regarding most of the outcome, felt stapled to my eyes about half way through.

    Hush was absolutely amazing.

  13. Finally saw The Invitation last night : I loved it. Apart from it being suspenseful from start to finish, it also struck an emotional chord with me (being a father of a boy).

    Logan Marshall-Green still looks like a budget version of Tom Hardy though.

  14. Pingback: 31 Days of Halloween — Day 22: The Invitation (2016) — by Dr. Shock |

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