Any good movies featuring gothic horror icons such as frankenstein, werewolves, aristocratic vampires like Dracula?

Delandel

First Post
Not sure if this is the best place to ask, but I'm looking for visual inspiration on these classic horror icons. Movies or tv shows would be best. I like having them in the background while I work.

I want to write up a module that is a mashup of classic gothic horror, with aristocratic vampires in reclusive mansions, mad scientists creating new life, tormented spirits wandering the world, and savage werewolves prowling the forests.

I know I should be reading Bram Stoker's Dracula and Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, and I read them when I was little, but I can't get into them now. Trying to get into their writing styles is painful for me. I'd be open to more modern writing styles, however, if there are books that you folks can suggest as well!

Thanks for reading!
 

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WayneLigon

Adventurer
Take a look at the 'Carrion Crown' adventure path for Pathfinder. Each module features a classic horror creature or theme: ghosts/zombies, Frankenstein's Monster, Werewolves, Cthulhian monstrosities, vampires, etc.

Obviously, you want the classic Universal monster films. I'd recommend: Frankenstein, Dracula, The Wolfman, The Mummy, Bride of Frankenstein, Phantom of the Opera, She-Wolf of London.
Then: The Gary Oldman Dracula. Many of the other classic Dracula movies, esp the Cushing/Lee movies, have the Count as little more than a monster instead of the suave nobleman. With this interpretation, you get a lot of that back.
 

gamerprinter

Mapper/Publisher
Well if you had access to Ravenloft material, you could take Castle Ravenloft, keeping Vlad as the aristocratic vampire, then borrow the darklords of a few other domains - say Dr. Markov (Doctor Moreau) or other Ravenloft mad scientist domain ruler and give him an office, laboratory and bed chamber in Castle Ravenloft. Since a lot of mummy movies involve some Egyptian artifact that summons a mummy, you could place any old Egyptian knick-knack to serve as a lead in to bringing a mummy in your game. Ideally, Ravenloft modules and domains are designed to feature a single darklord, but since you want a mash-up, as stated, I'd borrow the dark lords from several Ravenloft domains and host some kind of public event, where all are present at a single location. While such an occurence wouldn't happen in Ravenloft, there's no reason such could not happen in a home brew adventure.

If you don't have the appropriate Ravenloft materials for the edition you are playing this adventure, you might visit the Fraternity of Shadows (Ravenloft fan site) for some information. They've got some netbooks there that might fit your needs.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Supporter
Last night, I happened to see Benedict Cumberbatch in Frankenstein, in which he played the monster.

I dearly wish it was available on DVD, but it isn't. Keep your eyes peeled, though, because if you get a chance, it is a remarkable performance.
 

TGryph

Explorer
I refer you to some old Classic Universal Movies "House of Frankenstein" and "House of Dracula", which features Dracula, The Wolfman AND the Frankenstein monster. HOF is much more entertaining.

TGryph
 


Herobizkit

Adventurer
I'm more a fan of the "wacky" horror/adventure movies, so I watch stuff like:

  • The Mummy ft. Brendan Fraser. It had a bunch of terrible sequels; watch them at your own peril.
  • Van Helsing ft. Hugh Jackman. It's pretty campy but many classic monsters are in there.
  • Underworld Trilogy ft. Kate Beckinsale. Werewolves vs. Vampires. All 3 movies are quite good.
  • Dracula 2000 ft. a pretty eclectic cast. It's a good romp, plus some surprising (?) nudity.

Interview With The Vampire (1994) ft. Tom Cruise is pretty much the go-to standard for 'modern' vampire movies as it tells the story of a vampire who lives through several generations to survive in modern times. Also a hella good performance by (then child actress) Kirsten Dunst.
 

Jhaelen

First Post
[*]Van Helsing ft. Hugh Jackman. It's pretty campy but many classic monsters are in there.
Uh, didn't the OP ask for _good_ movies? This one is just awful. While not as bad, I don't think any of your suggestions (excepting Interview with the Vampire) are examples of Gothic horror.

Unfortunately, I cannot think of any recent good Gothic horror movies featuring one of the iconic characters, except for 'Bram Stoker's Dracula', which has already been mentioned. I suppose the 2010 Wolfman might qualify.
The, imho best recent vampire movie was definitely Let Me In a remake of Let the Right One In, but of course it doesn't feature Dracula.

A somewhat older favorite of mine is The Hunger.

I'd also like to mention Gothic. It's definitely Gothic horror, and while it doesn't feature Frankenstein's monster, it's _about_ it, or rather about the origins of the novel.
 


Sir Brennen

Legend
What, no mention of Showtime's Penny Dreadful? This one has Frankenstein and his monster, Dorian Grey, and a
American
werewolf
in London
. Van Helsing was in a couple of episodes, but Dracula hasn't made an appearance (or been named) yet, but he's coming. There's also spirits and demons, and Egyptian mythology. The vampires are interesting in that they have almost a carapace-like skin, and underneath they're covered in hieroglyphs on their hard flesh.

The performances of former James Bond Timothy Dalton and former Bond Girl Eva Green are just fantastic. Especially watch the episode "Seance" for a jaw-dropping performance during the titular scene. During Vanessa's (Eva Green) first encounter with Ethan (Channing Tatum), an American gun-for-hire, there's a great bit that mirrors her character Vespa's first meeting with Daniel Craig's James Bond where they size each other up.

As a series, you can have several hours of creepy inspiration playing in background while you work.

For gaming inspiration, I'd recommend Unhallowed Metropolis, if you can find it. The setting has a zombie apocalypse occur in 1905 during the beginning decline of the Victorian era. Two hundred years later, humanity has fought its way back, though the zombie plague still exists, and much of the world's arable land and wilderness has been overcome with a strange blight, making resources scarce. London is the over-crowded, walled metropolis in the title, where the inhabitants still cling to the Victorian lifestyle, which in their minds was the height of civilization and culture before the plague. Due to the nature of the world-wide disaster, medical science and research advanced much more rapidly than most others, with many investigating the tantalizing hints of possible immortality presented by the existence of zombies. Mad scientists (and their creations) abound going down many, dark, forbidden paths of research. Vampires, ghosts (including a diving suit for containment/physical interaction, like the one in the second Hellboy movie), serial killers and there's even a stand in for werewolves that have their origins more in a Jekyll/Hyde scenario (a failed super-soldier serum to help fight zombies). And of course, the power hungry, back-stabbing aristocracy are always throwing a wrench in things.

Unfortunately, this game has suffered a lack of support the last couple of years. However, I'm always hoping it will rise again from the dead.
 
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