A look inside Hollywood and the movies. : REALLY SCARY KIDS : Before the Crypt Opens on Dracula, a Little Surgery

Ever since an early April research screening in San Diego of Francis Ford Coppola’s production of “Bram Stoker’s Dracula,” the director has been busy reducing the amount of blood in the movie--but adding footage.

According to one source, the “ultra-erotic” movie “moved people to vomit.” One scene is said to show Count Dracula, played by Gary Oldman, licking a victim’s blood off a knife.

Another person close to the production said the film needed a clearer story structure. As a result, Coppola will be doing a rare thing for a director during advance screenings: He’ll make the film longer, instead of shortening it.

At the screening, the film, which had only wrapped production weeks earlier, was just under two hours. The source said the re-edited version will not be substantially longer, but some scenes will be added to help the story.


And, he said, “It was a lot bloodier than the final cut will be,” the source added.

The movie is planned as a November release and also features Winona Ryder, Anthony Hopkins and Keanu Reeves. In this version, Dracula travels from Transylvania to London to pursue a woman who resembles a love he knew centuries ago.

The audience at the test screening was widely divided--"people either like it or hated it,” said the person close to the production. “But that was a similar reaction audiences had to ‘The Silence of the Lambs,’ and that didn’t hurt that movie.”