We are back at it, and this time we take a look at the infamous Dracula. Or at least the weird 2000-version. Or is it 2001? I can’t quite figure that one out, since IMDB says it’s 2000 but my DVD-cover says 2001. Anyways, this movie is pretty much an attempt from the studios to cash in on a household-monster. The movie was written by Joel Soisson and Patrick Lussier (who also directed it). The movie stars Gerard Butler (Dracula), Christopher Plummer (Van Helsing), Jonny Lee Miller (Simon Sheppard) and Justine Waddell (Mary Heller-Van Helsing) and opened at #7 its first week at the box office but grossed around $47 million worldwide, failing to make back its $54 million budget, leaving it to be critical flop. It did however gain somewhat of a cult-following, spawning two direct-to-video sequels (Dracula II: Ascension in 2003 and Dracula III: Legacy in 2005). But enough of this, onward to the movie at hand….
The story builds upon Bram Stoker’s novel, showing us Matthew Van Helsing (who is said to be a descendant of he 19th century doctor Abraham Van Helsing), the owner and curator of an antique shop in London. A gang of thieves breaks in to said antique shop in search for valuables but instead stumbles upon a coffin (which we all know is the resting place of Dracula himself) hidden deep within the walls of the building. Assuming the coffin contains valuables, they attempt to open it, leaving one of their crew members being impaled, splattering some blood on the coffin. After that, the movie really takes a turn for the cliche.
Dracula resurrects, killing of a bunch of people in search of his true bride (Mary). You see the gang of thieves being turned and killed off, there is some blood and gore and some minor girl-on-girl action with Dracula’s brides, nothing special about it what so ever. The only thing that stood out to me, was how they gave us a back story for Dracula, showing us that it was when Judas (after betraying Jesus Christ) hanged himself, he was cursed and would forever walk this earth neither dead nor living. That was a pretty groovy take on it all if you ask me.
But the thing that drove this movie along, is also the thing urging me to review this movie. Gerard Butler, what a magnificent Dracula he was! I would Almost go as far as to say that he gives good’ol Gary Oldman a run for his money on the character… but just almost. It was also pretty decent castings when it comes to his brides, here portrayed by Lucy Westerman (Colleen, Mary’s roommate), Jery Ryan (Valeri, the nosy reporter) and Jennifer Esposito (Solina, the female member of the thieving cew),. It is not at the slightest hard to look at.
It’s been a few years now since I saw this and sure, okay.. the movie is not Bad to look at, it looks pretty good, with decent effects, good looking actors and other miscellaneous prop-work, but overall, this is one that neglects to deliver any chills or shivers at all, thus lacking what it needs for the Tango’s Stamp of Approval. It does look pretty good on the shelf though, so I think I’ll leave it there for another few years. After all, there is a whole bunch of vampire-movies out there that I haven’t seen yet, and I’ll be continuing the Horror-a-thon with just that. Tune back in tomorrow for the next installment of Tango’s Thoughts October 2013 Horror-a-thon; Near Dark.