Nandor and Bela
There was an homage in the most recent episode of WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS that only the hardcore geeks are likely to have gotten. Did you catch it? Nandor, portrayed by actor Kayvan Novak, is my favorite character on the show, because he is obviously based on the historical Vlad Dracula. (Novak has some mad skills at comedy, but I’d like to see what he could do with a serious vampire role. He might make a good Dracula.) Nandor, upon learning that his homeland had ceased to be back in the 1400s—nobody told him!—suffers a bout of depression. And seeks to become an American citizen. With hilarious results.
He makes this speech, though, bemoaning the fact that he is now a vampire without a home. It sounded a lot like the speech made my Bela Lugosi in BRIDE OF THE MONSTER, which was written, directed, and produced by the legendary Ed Wood. No, Bela isn’t a vampire in that film, he’s a mad scientist. (You all knew that, since you’ve all seen the movie. I have no doubts about this. Right?) Even so, we’re talking about Bela Lugosi. He will *always* be Dracula. The scene in question (the one in the movie) is also a fine example of just how talented Lugosi was. Despite the requisite ridiculousness of the script, a treasure for which Ed Wood is known, Lugosi takes those lines of dialogue and fills them with such pathos, such humanity. He’s incredible.
Watch Lugosi’s scene in BRIDE OF THE MONSTER, then watch Nandor’s scene in that last episode of WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS. Those kinds of similarities aren’t accidental.
WAYNE MILLER is the owner and creative director of EVIL CHEEZ PRODUCTIONS, specializing in theatrical performances and haunted attractions. He has written, produced, and directed (and occasionally acted in) over two dozen plays, most of them in the Horror and True Crime genres. He obtained a doctorate in Occult Studies from Miskatonic University and is an active paranormal investigator. Is frequently told he resembles Anton Lavey. And Ming the Merciless.
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