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RATED Not Rated
STUDIO MPI Home Video
RUNNING TIME 110 Minutes
• Kiss Me Dracula Music Video
• Behind the Scenes
• Theatrical Trailer
• Red-band Trailer
• Film Presented in 2D & 3D
If you thought Francis Ford Coppola’s movie was sexy, you’re in for it now!
Asia Argento, Thomas Kretschmann, Rutger Hauer, Miriam Giovanelli, Unax Ugalde
Dracula uses his powers to lure Mina and Jonathan Harker to Transylvania in order to reclaim the love he lost 400 years ago… and Italians.
Dracula 3D is the newest film from famed Italian horror icon Dario Argento. In this new version of the classic vampire tale, the dark master of giallo cinema reinvents Bram Stoker’s story and characters in a way that we have never seen before. This is a completely new take on the myth of Dracula, and it is a brilliant and at times catastrophic misfire.
Dario Argento’s Dracula is set in the fictional town of Passo Borgo in 1893 in which the Count resides in his castle. The plot gets set into motion when Dracula sees a photo of Mina and Jonathan Harker together and decides to use his powers to bring them to him. Mina resembles his dead wife who passed 400 years before, so of course this means that she must be the reincarnation of his lost beloved. Only after half of the characters in this new adaptation are killed off does Van Helsing inexplicably show up to save sweet, innocent Mina’s soul from eternal damnation.
“Baaam, son! You just been Dracula’d!”
What Dario Argento did with this film is insane. The story has been completely rewritten from a tale of a vampire attempting to reach beyond his domain and in turn reclaim a lost love, to a hilarious series of events that serve no great purpose and leave almost everyone involved dead. The characters are bland, the sets are cheaply crafted and indistinguishable and the narrative is so bizarre that at times the movie can almost seem comical in a Troll 2 sort of way.
The most important role in a Dracula film is Dracula. Bela Lugosi got it right, Christopher Lee got it right and Gary Oldman got it right. Thomas Kretschmann gets it wrong, very wrong. Kretschmann’s Dracula is laughable. Everything down to the mannerisms is done against character and would seem more akin to a Bond villain. Lucy, Mina and Jonathan Harker all behave oddly and are bizarrely out of place, but Asia Argento’s portrayal of Lucy gets special mention for her miserable line delivery and terrible overall work in front of the camera. Other than the occasional bit of unnecessary nudity, Lucy and the other femme fatale character Tania have nothing to offer but laughs.
“Slack? How dare you mention Land of the Dead!”
Some of the most entertaining parts of this movie focus on smaller moments where actors fumble their way through stilted and clunky dialogue. The peripheral characters all have their moments where something out of the ordinary happens and everyone dies, or a random scene ends just so everything can move forward to the next cheap set. Some of my favorite bits are when Jonathan Harker arrives at the town’s train station and has a difficult time renting a horse and when a group of villagers hold up in a bunker to plot a coup against Dracula, only to have the Count show up and wreck the room.
The digital effects in Dracula 3D are a special kind of terrible. Apparently Dario Argento wanted to make use of stereoscopic 3D technology. With the help of the effects company of Rebel Alliance International, he inadvertently (or perhaps intentionally?) littered his film with shoddy underwhelming effects that can be compared to the likes of Birdemic and Sharknado. Argento loves creatures, always has, but inserting computer generated owls, flies and a giant neon-green praying mantis into a Dracula movie should have never even been a consideration. I understand that the filmmaker wanted to make the tale more fantastic, but the end result looks worse than the credits for Labyrinth.
“Look out Count. He’s got a pointy stick!”
While this movie is a major step away from the incredible past of work of the great Dario Argento, it is a fun and entertaining mess. The pace is uneven, the editing is confusing and the score, crafted by Claudio Simonetti, is as cheesy as can be. It’s a weird and sloppy clunker, but in the end it will find its audience, however small, and will be praised as a hilariously awkward piece of underground cinema that’s perfect to riff on with a group of happy drunken friends. Check it out especially if you love Bram Stoker’s Dracula starring Keanu Reeves. Enjoying this movie entirely depends on your sense of humor and what mood you’re in, but regardless of how painful the experience might be, you’ll still have Rutger Hauer’s mind-blowing performance to look forward to. It really is a sight to be seen.
While the 70-minute long behind the scenes featurette has its merits, the real gem of the special features is the terribly uncomfortable music video for Kiss Me Dracula by Simonetti Project. Never would I have in a million years expected to see the man behind Goblin pretend to be a pseudo-gothic vampire in a video that can easily be described as a cheap Evanescence knock-off. Not only is the song near intolerable, the music video alone is barely watchable played at 1.5x normal speed. At least Dario Argento is having fun in the “Making of” documentary. His infectious smile is the beam of light that makes this whole thing worth it.
Out of a Possible 5 Stars