Monday, August 31, 2009

Dracula 2000 (2000)

I want to preface this by saying I may be biased on this one. I really enjoy DRACULA 2000, but it may be because of the nostalgia I have in seeing it for the first time in theaters. That, and the soundtrack ranks as #2 of all-time (behind THE CROW), with an awesome line-up including Pantera, Linkin Park, System of a Down, and Slayer. Also of interest, I just noticed that Gerard Butler of 300 fame starred as Dracula, which previously went unnoticed. Now, on to the review:

Under Miramax and thereby the evil Disney, Dimension kicked off the late-90s with a string of soft-R Horror flicks geared towards raking in the teenage dollar. SCREAM and AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN PARIS lead the way with their teen-edgy language and implied nudity, so it was only a matter of time before a New Age Dracula graced the screen. DRACULA 2000 steps in with a fresh, 'hip' take on the classic tale, retaining many of the original character names and events while modernizing them with relevant actors familiar to the teen crowds. The unfortunate side effect of doing so is that the obligatory comic relief and cheesy acting are expected results. Butler plays a charming and seductive villain, which is much more in line with Langella's performance in the 1979 rendition than the bestial Lee or theatrical Lugosi. The film manages to marry visual and practical FX very well, with the few computerized scenes looking very convincing. It also offers some decent atmosphere through several brightly colored interiors and creepy vampiresses reminiscent of the classic Hammer films. Some might consider the final reveal to be too contrived, but for what its worth, it is a unique take on the legend. I find it to be an entertaining if not average ride that would have benefited by less studio involvement. Definitely worth checking out if you havent seen it!

Rating: 7/10.
Entertainment: 8/10.
Gore: 5/10.
Number of views: 5.



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5 comments:

  1. The movie is rife with lots of weird, silly things to me. Van Helsing injecting Dracula's blood to stay alive? Dracula kept in a crypt like a bunch of Nazi documents? Dracula doing telepathy from over 1,000 miles away?

    In fairness, sillier things have been done in Dracula films. How about the scene where Dracula does bullet-time bean-counting to avoid a plan to distract him in "Dracula III: The Ascension?" Who greenlight this?

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  2. Havent seen 2 or 3 yet but they are next on the chopping block this week! I like some of the sillier elements, as I think they give it its own cheesy and unique charm, but I had to set my personal preferences aside for this rating since I can recognize that its still just an average film at best. Lusier said that the reason for many of these weird elements is a direct result of the studio involvement and the numerous forced opinions he was subject to in the production and editing processes this year at Fangoria, so that may explain some of the out of place scenes and strange addition of the wire work elements obviously taken from CROUCHING TIGER and BROTHERHOOD OF THE WOLF

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  3. I like the odd origins of Dracula. It's biblical references actually make sense to me.

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  4. The biblical origin of Dracula matches Hammer's concept of the "Monarch of All Vampires" as the Anti-Christ: the resurrection in DRACULA PRINCE OF DARKNESS, the Catholic subtext of DRACULA HAS RISEN FROM THE GRAVE, the baptism of blood in TASTE THE BLOOD OF DRACULA and the apocalyptic theme of THE SATANIC RITES OF DRACULA.

    DRACULA 2000 is the film Hammer's DRACULA A.D. 1972 should have been, yet it's not nearly as entertaining. Still, it's one of the better "Dracula" spin-offs we've had.

    The two "sequels" are so loosely connected to DRACULA 2000, and so different in concept and execution, that they are best regarded as a stand-alone pair. They're mediocre at best (DRACULA III being the better of the two) but kinda fun in their own trashy way.

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  5. Surprised to see these old posts still have staying power! I'm sure these Dracula reviews need revamping, although my opinions haven't changed.

    Regarding the Craven/Lussier connection, I understand there was a heated debate over the direction of this first film. Lussier wasn't happy with many of the changes that were forced upon him, although I am not certain if he was referring to Craven in particular or the producers at large. In any rate, we saw what happened when Lussier was given complete control in Ascension and Legacy.

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