Monday, 31 October 2016

Hallowe'en DVD Review: Dracula 2000 (2000)

"You know not the depths of my vengeance"

Oh my days, this is not good. This is not good at all. The only thing that makes Dracula 2000 halfway watchable is looking at Gerard Butler before he discovered fake tan and protein powder as he wafts through the film like an art student version of the titular villain. But even that pleasure soon wears off with this horrendously dated (even in the last 16 years, yes) re-imagining of Bram Stoker's Dracula.

To a heavily nu-rock soundtrack (where are the likes of Papa Roach and Linkin Park these days?!), director Patrick Lussier aims for (I think) B-movie schlock but just ends up with drivel, which somehow managed to get Christopher Plummer to appear in it as Van Helsing, yes the original one who has prolonged his existence by using leeches to siphon Dracula's life-enhancing blood. Because he's kept Dracula's coffin in a vault, to look after it, forgot to mention that didn't I.

But the coffin gets stolen by dumb-ass art thieves who then open it, releasing Dracula into Louisiana, specifically New Orleans where Van Helsing's estranged daughter Mary lives. And in a city they can shoehorn in a shocking amount of Virgin product placements. Oh, and because of his blood habit, there's a psychic link between Mary and Dracula. And Jonny Lee Miller is there too, because he works for Van Helsing but hasn't had any acting lessons yet, sheesh!

One thing I did like, for its sheer cheekiness if nothing else, is the attempt to create a new origin story for Dracula (as so many contemporary Dracula films seem to feel they have to do) which explains his aversion to holy water and silver, especially when there's 30 pieces of it... In this sequence, full B-movie schlockiness is achieved but it ain't anywhere near enough to sustain the rest of this film.

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