Rickels, Laurence A. The Vampire Lectures. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1999.
In Chapter 11 of The Vampire Lectures, Rickels offers a psychoanalytic interpretation of Browning’s Dracula (1931). He analyzes Lugosi’s on-screen presence and association with the theater and details what Rickels asserts is the representation of psychoanalysis in the film by Van Helsing. For example, in reference to Van Helsing’s staying behind at the end while John and Mina ascend the staircase in the final scene, Rickels compares Van Helsing to “the underworld of psychoanalysis” which must be left behind for Mina to be cured.
Rickels focuses on the repressed desire of women for the exotic outsider. In the film this is represented by Mina’s relationship with the Lugosi’s Count Dracula of Transylvania, with his unique foreign accent, suave manner, and commanding gaze. Rickels asserts that the essence of the film is about whatever it takes for a woman to prefer “someone more normal, like John,” as Mina tells Lucy she does in the film. This aspect of the film appealed to the repressed desires of female audiences.