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Dracula: Asylum (2006)
Fiction Review by The Gravedigger

Dracula: Asylum (2006) Author: Paul Witcover

ASYLUM is a direct sequel to the first Universal DRACULA movie which starred Bela Lugosi as The Count.

Towards the end of World War I, Dr. Lisa Watson goes to work at Carfax War Hospital to help restore the memory of her fiance', Denis. He is convinced that his name is Sherlock Holmes and has no memory of his life or what he did in the war. Lisa believes he encountered an event so terrible that he's blocked it - and his life - out. Carfax Hospital was previously known as Seward's Sanitorium.

But deep beneath the grounds of the building Dracula restores to life, twenty-years after his defeat by Van Helsing and Seward (as depicted in the first Universal DRACULA movie with Bela Lugosi). The vampire regains his strength and gets Renfield to help him get victims. Dracula also has his eye on Lisa and wants to make her one of his vampire brides. Although Renfield has seemed to recover over the years from the vampire's influence, now known as Renny, it turns out that he has a split personality - and when Dracula starts exerting his power he reverts back to the sinister Renfield.

The origins of Dracula is also revealed, though it's a premise previously seen in the movie DRACULA 2000, in which the king of vampires turns out to be Judas. Yet, at the same time this is very much the Dracula depicted by Bela Lugosi, so he lacks the hokiness of John Carradine's interpretation seen in the last few Universal Monster-fests.

As with SHADOW OF FRANKENSTEIN this is a well-written novel, superior to the book sequels that were written in the 90's.

Available from www.dhpressbooks.com

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