Saturday, October 16, 2010

Dracula Week: Dracula Rising

At last, we've reached the end of this week of disappointment.  Seriously, how many times can people mess up a Dracula film?  He shows up, he kills people and he dies- simple.  Instead, I've had to tread through films with Spanish punk bands, goofy comedy and inbred Cyclops children.  Thankfully, this film is a production of Roger Corman's, so the sky is the limit, right?  Oh right- his recent output has done nothing to match his output in the '60s and '70s.  One word: Sharktopus.  This film was made in 1993, the year after some little film called Bram Stoker's Dracula.  Gee, was that the inspiration for the film?  Incidentally, let's take a moment to look at some of the most iconic Dracula actors in history: Christopher Lee, Bela Lugosi and Max Shreck.  Who did Corman get? The guy from Blue Lagoon.  No, really.  This won't end well, will it?  Get out your magical lightning for my review of...
The movie begins with possibly the sappiest love song ever put in a film not made by Disney.  Hell, it's definitely the sappiest one ever to open a horror film.  This is really going to hurt.  A woman is opening an art gallery in...some generic city and gets hit on by a weird foreigner.  Thankfully, a guy named Vlad shows up to shoo him away.  Note Vlad's blond hair and lack of any accent.  This leads to the two of them chatting for a while, while Vlad just makes odd faces at her.  When they separate, Vlad is approached by his friend- who looks like Dracula.  Confused yet?  We also get some Highlander-style flashbacks, since that was fresh at the time.  Ultimately, the woman goes to Transylvania to restore some art for Vlad's friend, her arrival being a surprise to the man.  Why?  You'll see...
That night, Vlad and his buddy appear over the sleeping woman.  The man tells Vlad to turn her, since she's apparently the reincarnation of his lost love.  However, he is afraid to turn her, because he loves her.  This leads to a prolonged flashback that takes up most of the film.  No, really.  It's all pretty dull, save for moments that steal imagery from Far & Away.  Basically, the town's people think that's she's a witch and kill her.  There- I just saved you about 50 minutes.  Now then, let's get to the good stuff...that comes in the last ten minutes.
All of this leads up to a climactic battle between Vlad and his buddy.  It appears to take place on Outworld from Mortal Kombat & features a magic duel.  No, really.  The bad guys shoots fireballs and lighting from his hands, creating the energy globe effect from Superman 2.  Remember when they stole that for Hawk the Slayer?  Good times.  After a few minutes of this absurdity, Vlad casts a magic spell, summoning bats to fly down and kill his enemy.  Way to put your budget entirely into the finale, Roger!  The End.
This movie sucks!  Did I really have to say that?  I mean, how often do I find so little to talk about in a film?  Hell, I wrote a three-page review of Plan 9 From Outer Space once!  This film is just horribly-misguided.  Why make it so sappy?  Why do the super-long, sepia-toned flashback?  Why the hell did you cast Christopher Atkins?  Did good actors turn you down?  I really need to know these things.  If I can't get answers to this shit, I don't know how I can defend this movie.  It's boring, stupid and feels like a different film in the end.  The laser light show thing would be interesting if there was any build-up to it and/or the film before it was any good.  There isn't and it's not.  Skip this movie with my blessing.  It's got great poster art, but lousy execution.  Oh yeah, sorry this is late.
Up next, I end this week properly with some Instant Trash.  This comes in the form of a film supposedly-based on a Stoker tale...except that it's not...and stars Bram Stoker.  Stay tuned...

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