8 More Days To Halloween, Goblins! Silver Shamrock!

Growing up in Southern Ontario Canada in the 70s was an interesting time. Overshadowed by American Radio and Television, our fearless government under the CRTC — our regulatory agency for broadcasting and telecommunications; formally known as the  Canadian Radio-Television Commission, had implemented rules, known as CanCon.

This rule mandated all broadcasters to have a percentage content be Canadian made. I won’t go into the full details of what was required but it affected pretty much everything we watched and heard over the airwaves.

Hell Bob & Doug McKenzie’s “Great White North” was SCTV’s ongoing joke about the rule as they were instructed to create two-minute segments that were “distinctively Canadian content” for the show they aired on CBC.

Take Off, Hoser!

Not only do we have the CBC, our wonderful national broadcasting network, we also have a provincial network TVOntario. It’s kind of like the CBC’s kid brother, focusing in on educational programming. In other words, the channel is a snore fest.

One bright spot in the 70’s was Elwy Yost, he hosted two shows, Magic Shadows and Saturday Night At The Movies.

Magic Shadows featured classic films in a serialized format from Monday to Friday. He would provide the history of the film and sometimes he would have interviews with people involved in the movie of the week.

Saturday Night At The Movies was the real treat, however. It was a double bill that had a theme. One night it would be Sherlock Holmes, next week it could be a couple of Bogart flicks or Frankenstein. In between the films he would have extensive interviews with film historians, directors, films critics, actors, composers, f/x people, etc.

Thus began my love of films in general and the history behind them

The best was of course horror and sci-fi films and that is where I was introduced to Nosferatu: A Symphony Of Horror

BTW, his son Graham wrote Speed, Broken Arrow, Hard Rain, and was the creator of FX’s Justified.

“Now it’s time to turn those lights down a wee bit low”

1922’s Nosferatu: A Symphony Of Horror, was in fact not the first vampire film based on Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel. It was a Hungarian film Dracula’s Death made the previous year. Apparently, there are no surviving copies of this film, all that remains are some photos and reviews.

Dracula’s Death

Producers Albin Grau and Enrico Dieckmann created a company named Prana-Film in 1921. Grau wanted to make a film about a vampire after meeting a Serbian farmer that claimed he was a son of a vampire.

Grau thought that an adaptation on Stoker’s novel would make a great film. There was only one slight problem, they didn’t have the rights to the story.

Determined to still make the film, Grau figured that by changing a few things, like moving the story from London to 17th century Germany, omitting Van Helsing, changing the ending of the story and of course Count Dracula became Count Orlok played by Max Schreck.

Florence Stoker, Bram’s widow received a copy of the films promotional poster that claimed on it “Freely adapted from Bram Stoker’s Dracula.” She promptly sued Prana-Film for copyright infringement but due to issues with Grau’s company, they were already bankrupt.

Mrs. Stoker was then determined to have every copy of the film destroyed. In 1925, the German courts agreed with her and ordered every copy in Germany be burned.

Up until her death in 1937, she worked on burning every copy she could get her hands on.

You can watch the film for free here:

As the film is now in Public Domain in the US, enjoy it for free on YouTube!

How many of you Goblins have seen this? Discuss below!

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