An occasional series where I write about works inspired by Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel Dracula…
These reviews reveal plot twists.
Setting: It’s the modern day. A brief prologue is set in the Syrian desert, then the bulk of the film takes place in an unspecified US city.
Faithful to the novel? Dracula is the villain of the piece, though he’s only loosely related to Bram Stoker’s character. At the start of the story, a group of vampires find him buried in the Middle East. He’s initially a monster, but once he’s fed he starts to look human (and is played by Dominic Purcell). “No one really knows” his origins, we’re told. But we’re also told that he’s ancient, from Sumaria, was the original vampire, and has never evolved. Dracula is just one name he’s had; he now prefers Drake. He can also walk about in daylight and change his appearance. All vampires burn away to dust when killed, like in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. (Two vampire hunters have the surname Whistler – as does a notably similar character in a key episode of Buffy. The Blade comic-book series used the name first.) A vampire-hunter called Blade (Wesley Snipes) gets involved with a team who want to track down Dracula and use his DNA to destroy other vamps (one is played by Ryan Reynolds, another by Jessica Biel). They call themselves the Nightstalkers.
Best performance: Despite rotten dialogue, Ryan Reynolds is doing an okay job at being a smartarse.
Best bit: In a creepy scene, a blind character walks through a room unaware of the dead bodies at her feet.
Review: It starts with an arch voiceover telling us that previous movie versions of Dracula are full of shit. Well, vampire hunters in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. This is the third film in the Blade series (and the only one to use Dracula). It assumes you’ve seen the first two, with only light reinforcement of the set-up and character history. It seems Blade is some kind of ‘hybrid’, but it’s never explained what that means exactly. The film really is a load of old nonsense. A huge amount of effort has gone into the action sequences and fight scenes, but areas such as character and story seem unimportant. It also has a leaden fetish about guns and weapons. One female vampire is said to have her fangs in her vagina – that gives you some idea of the tone.
Three powerful UV lasers out of 10