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''Bram Stoker's Dracula'''s screamers

Francis Ford Coppola taps the vocal talents of Tom Waits and Lux Interior

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Francis Ford Coppola had a problem. His Bram Stoker’s Dracula, set to open Nov. 13, begins with a hellacious roar from the title character (Gary Oldman). Unfortunately, Oldman’s feeble shrieks were not quite up to snuff. So Coppola took a tip from his daughter, Sofia, who recommended the bone-chilling vocal cords of Lux Interior, lead singer of the punkabilly group Cramps.

For the first scene, in which Oldman (in his pre-vamp phase) comes home from war to find his lover dead, Coppola’s instructions were, says Lux: ”Just remember, you’re back from the war, you’re horrified, but you still have feelings of romance. Oh, yes, and you also have a feeling of despair. Now, the scream lasts one second. Okay, go!”

Elsewhere in the film, the director tapped the talents of expert growler Tom Waits and avant-garde chanteuse Diamanda Galas. Waits, who also plays the film’s insect-eating Drac flack, Renfield, dubbed in snarls, growls, and raspy whimpers for use throughout. Galas contributed the song ”Exeloume” and added erotically charged moans, breathless sighs, and high-pitched shrieks to give Dracula its sonic quotient of terror.