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"The Mark of the Vampyr" II by tranimation-art "The Mark of the Vampyr" II by tranimation-art
"We must all die. There's nothing terrible about death, but to live on after death, a soul earth-bound, a vampire. You don't wish any such fate for your beloved..."

I haven't posted anything for months because I'm having trouble writing the descriptions; these descriptions take a lot of time and, without them, it doesn't feel right for me to post any deviations. But I've been meaning to post this piece for over a year and now I can — just in time for Halloween!

In 1935, Tod Browning, the "Master of the Macabre," scripted, directed, and produced a new, eagerly awaited film, The Vampires of Prague, starring Béla Lugosi as the "Dracula-with-another-name" Count Mora, and Carroll Borland as his daughter, Luna Mora (the Bat-Woman), for MGM in 1935, which was essentially a remake of two Browning films — the immortal 1931 Dracula with Lugosi and the lost and most sought-after vampyre movie of all-time, the 1927 London After Midnight with Lon Chaney. Unfortunately, due to the "immoral" content of the film, MGM heavily edited and cut many essential parts for censorship, added a terrible and silly ending where it reveals the vampyres as "fake" — oye!, and renamed it Mark of the Vampire. MGM censors deleted every scene or dialogue that would portray the so-called "obscene" references of the angst-ridden, psychoanalytic underpinnings of the incestuous relationship between the two vampyres and any references to the bloody murder-suicide "mark," which the title referred to, on Mora's right temple made no sense whatsoever in the film when it was released. Nevertheless, despite thick Gothic theatrics, the film was now squeaky-clean. And yet, apart from my complaints, it remains a cult classic.

If anything, Mark of the Vampire would have been one of the first vampyre film in Hollywood that portrayed vampyres as sensitive, fallible creatures in tune to their own emotions — if it was not for the "angry villagers" who removed all the sex and suicide on the cutting-room floor! This incident must has been terribly unhappy for the Master of the Macabre, who was given trite for his genius, so I shall here "re-vamp" this film and set things right, making it more loyal to the original idea where it is unsettling and horrific — but also pitiful. This is an old pastiche idea I did years ago — for this Tod Browning-Diane N. Tran "uncensored" version of The Mark of the Vampyr:

The Hungarian-Transylvanian Count Vlacheslav Mora was a lonely, gentlemanly widower affronts his own shame as he pulls the cock of a pistol down and fingers the tiny trigger in his hand. Flashbacking, long ago, Mora's wife, Izabela, had fell victim to an ancient vampyre who has plagued to family for centuries in Hungary and Transylvania. And he was forced to kill his beloved in order to prevent her from murdering their daughter who was but an infant at the time. This incident left him traumatised.

Fifteen years later, Lady Luna Mora had blossomed, raven-haired and resplendent, so alike her mother, but her idyllic life came to tragedy when the vampyre returned for her. To see his daughter go through the same fate as her own mother tortured Mora, but vowed that he would not repeat his mistake and have his sole companion on Earth to suffer and be damned to Hell. He sought the world for a "cure" for his daughter. From potions to counter-curses, nothing; Mora even destroyed the vampyre who cursed her, but to no avail. Despite his noble labourings, to his regret, he became more an accomplice than a saviour. He scoured for animals, pigs and cattle and horses, for her to feed upon but did not slated her lust and he kidnapped "undesirables" to repress any suspicions; yet when the temptation for blood became too much the vampyress, Mora would offer his wrists to ease her pain. He had sacrificed and surrendered anything and everything in his power for her, but there was no "cure" and Mora, overwrought with blame, knew there was but one other choice left — he would have to kill her.

In opposition, however, Luna had adjusted contentedly to her "undead" existence — its pains, its pleasures, its power, and its death. To save her life, and to save her father more grief, she met her father in the solitude of his study, clothed in her mother's fineries. Indistinguishable to his late wife, Luna impassioned her own father, forlorn and heartsick, undraping before his eyes and awakening him with kisses. She beguiled and bedded his father and he awoke a chained prisoner. And, for the next two years, Luna reigned supremacy over Mora, ravishing his body and draining him into weakness and susceptibility, so he could pose no threat against her. He was father, lover, and slave to her, reluctantly — yet willingly! With one another, they found deathless companionship and intimacy, a type of peace, but the incestuous depravity of their affair consumed Mora's conscience more and more. Is peace worth the corruption of a soul? How much blood will satisfy?

Besieged with his remorse, the price of peace for one mind was too high and Count Mora knew what to do. Mora seduced his daughter near the river one night and forced Luna's head into the water to drown. He pulled a pistol to his hand and fires into his right temple; falling backward, he was sprawled upon the castle floor, as his nerves twitching and the room fell into blackness. Luna, however, was not killed as she stormed out of the water in rage and vengeance for his treachery, but was stunned to find him in a pool of his blood — barely alive. She quickly fed upon him and ministered her own blood to him. Mora, unwittingly, awoke with his own terrible fate sealed for an eternity as a vampyr. He would bear the devilish "mark" upon his right temple — and forever be hers...


I know I really need to write this story down...

Models - Béla Lugosi

Medium - 8B graphite.

The Mark of the Vampyr © Diane N. Tran (and Tod Browning).
Mark of the Vampire (1935) © MGM.
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:iconbloodandredroses:
BloodAndRedRoses Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2011
Favorited! Mark of the vampire has impressive Gothic trappings, but I think it´s pity they censored the story.
Reply
:icontranimation-art:
tranimation-art Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2011  Professional Filmographer
Thank you! I'm sad that the story was censored as well. It would have been interesting to see it uncensored. Same as the 1934 film THE BLACK CAT and that's a film about torture, mass murder, Satanism, and necrophilia!
Reply
:iconjayweccent:
JayWEccent Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
Awesome job! Very classic look:)
Reply
:icontranimation-art:
tranimation-art Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2010  Professional Filmographer
Gotta love Lugosi! He's was the original vampire badass!
Reply
:iconjayweccent:
JayWEccent Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
Bela Lugosi, Classic good actor all around, I must say:D
Reply
:icontranimation-art:
tranimation-art Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2010  Professional Filmographer
It's particularly weird seeing Lugosi as a good guy and Dwight Frye as the villain in a Charlie Chan film. :XD:
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:iconjayweccent:
JayWEccent Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
WHAT:O???Must have missed that one:P
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:icontranimation-art:
tranimation-art Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2010  Professional Filmographer
Check out Charlie Chan in the Black Camel (1931): [link]
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:iconjayweccent:
JayWEccent Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank youX)
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:iconemaciate:
emaciate Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2008  Professional Filmographer
brilliant!
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:icontranimation-art:
tranimation-art Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2008  Professional Filmographer
Thank you!
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:iconherrenmedia:
herrenmedia Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2008  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Nice classic Drac!
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:icontranimation-art:
tranimation-art Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2008  Professional Filmographer
Thanks! :furious:
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:icontonygcampagna:
TonyGCampagna Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2008  Professional General Artist
Perfect.
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:icontranimation-art:
tranimation-art Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2008  Professional Filmographer
Thank you! :furious:
Reply
:iconanebrd:
Anebrd Featured By Owner Oct 8, 2008
Wonderful both the picture and the comments. Sounds like that movie would be very very edgy even in today's standards. Was there ever a original one made without the cuts?
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:icontranimation-art:
tranimation-art Featured By Owner Oct 8, 2008  Professional Filmographer
Well, there is one what is called the "uneditted" version; it's technically should be considered "the less editted" version. It says nothing about hot topics -- the sex, the incest, the murder, and the suicide -- so, no, there isn't a "untouched" version of the film. It was all snipped off, dropped on the floor, tossed away and probably rotting in a landfill somewhere as dust now. Unfortunate, isn't it?

It's one of those films we'll never be seen in original form. Same with films like The Penalty and Metropolis — although, luckily, I heard that 17 minutes of unseen footage has been discovered in Brazil. So that's another less an hour total of 2 1/2 missing footage found. So there may be SOME hope.
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:iconsfalchionromantic:
SFalchionRomantic Featured By Owner Oct 8, 2008
Dammit...
This is why censorship must be stopped.
Because of the crap they pulled back in the day, Hollywood movies today aren't even art--they're afraid to be...
I want to see this movie done as it was meant.
Nicely drawn, and even better-described.
Reply
:icontranimation-art:
tranimation-art Featured By Owner Oct 8, 2008  Professional Filmographer
Censorship attacked great films like Metropolis -- unfortunately we'll probably never see the film how Fritz Lang original intended; and Dracula -- think of how great it would have been if Lugosi actually was allowed to BITE someone like in the original stage production (the Spanish version is far more loose -- revealing more sexuality and a little more gore).

But then just think of the things they got away with: Baby Face, where the main protangist (whose father pimped her since she was 14) screwed her away from the bottom floor to the penthouse; or Hedy Lamarr's The Outlaw and her BREASTS in straws of hay all over her; the gay references in Frankenstein and more obvious ones in Bride of Frankenstein; more gay references in Maltese Falcon and the term "gunsel" went RIGHT OVER the censors heads ("gunsel" is Yiddish term for "(younger) kept boy (of a much older man)", ie: pedestry); the Jane's nude swim in Tarzan and His Mate; lesbainism in Dracula's Daughter; the rape which was the main focus of Anatomy of a Murder; Mae West's sexually-laced "Why don't you come up and see me some time?" in I'm No Angel; the "uber-violence" of Cagney films, like Public Enemy, Angels with Dirty Faces, and White Heat -- my favourite scene being where Cagney talks to a victim tied into the trunk of the car who can't breathe and shoots the "holes" for him while knawing on a chicken leg (ROFL!); "Depression-era" prostitition in Blonde Venus where Marlene Dietrich sold her virtue (for 85 cents) to feed her daughter; or marijuana use of Murder of the Vanities; sex references in Postman Always Rings Twice, Gilda, Brief Encounter, and Double Indemnity; the references incest and S&M in The Mask of Fu-Manchu; and the rape scene and the line "Frankly, I don't give a damn!" from Gone with the Wind wouldn't be so iconic if it wasn't for the Code.
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:iconsmudgethistle:
SmudgeThistle Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2008  Hobbyist
I've never seen this movie before. Great picture though! I think it's a likeness.
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:icontranimation-art:
tranimation-art Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2008  Professional Filmographer
Thanks! Glad you like it!

Although an unfortunate victim of the Hays Code, it's a neat cult classic.
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:iconsmudgethistle:
SmudgeThistle Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2008  Hobbyist
Hmm maybe I'll watch it then...
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:icontranimation-art:
tranimation-art Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2008  Professional Filmographer
:furious:
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:iconsmudgethistle:
SmudgeThistle Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2008  Hobbyist
Hee hee.
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:icondragonschild842:
Dragonschild842 Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2008
awesome:D i luv this:heart:
Reply
:icontranimation-art:
tranimation-art Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2008  Professional Filmographer
Glad you like it! :hug:
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:iconsahkmet:
Sahkmet Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2008
I had recently been thinking about watching this movie actually, even if it's censored. And how quaint you submit Count Mora and provide another of your GINORMUS descriptions! :) Seriously, don't you ever think you put more work in your descriptions than your art? XD Joke.

And I can see why 1930's Hollywood would cut out all that out...It would be wonderful if they had the original and re-released it.
Reply
:icontranimation-art:
tranimation-art Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2008  Professional Filmographer
Yep, I do believe I put more in the descriptions than the art. Art is easy! But it's the story behind the art which is difficult. :blushes:

It's a very atmospheric film, although it's rather short and dull because of all the chopping and editting in the film, even the "uncensored" version that was released decades later has a lot missing from it. When I saw it, my imagination went wild with all the things behind the scenes with the vampyres. :D
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:iconsahkmet:
Sahkmet Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2008
I condense it as I can. And for more information I provide links and such. I'm not the tedious type and due to laziness concerns I an loathe to go in-depth detail on the back story of the artwork...but for special cases I do. :D

:nod: I'll keep that in mind!
Reply
:icontranimation-art:
tranimation-art Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2008  Professional Filmographer
Actually, what I write down is really the "basic" profile on the character. I rarely ever say EVERYTHING about the character or the story. (Although, THIS was a small exception.)

For the most part, the descriptions are really for myself -- trying to get all the basic happenings and aspects of the character profile down, in case I forget, so I can always return to it later whenever I need to. Heaven help me when my DA account shuts down!
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:iconsahkmet:
Sahkmet Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2008
Ah, now I see, you do the big descriptions for your own database reasons. AHA! I know your secrets! XD
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:icontranimation-art:
tranimation-art Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2008  Professional Filmographer
It's definately an easier and more organised way for me to have "notes". :D
Reply
:iconsahkmet:
Sahkmet Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2008
I see! :D
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