An occasional series where I write about works inspired by Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel Dracula…
These reviews reveal plot twists.
Setting: The year 3000. Deep space, on board a ship called the Demeter that’s been found drifting in the Carpathian System.
Faithful to the novel? No, although there are some deliberate echoes. The plot sees the crew of a salvage space ship called Mother III board a large derelict (which seems to be Soviet for some reason). The leader of the team is Abraham Van Helsing (Casper Van Dien), while his five-strong crew include characters called Arthur Holmwood (Grant Swanby), who’s a tech guy in a wheelchair, and navigator Mina Murray (Alexandra Kamp). Away from the source material, Coolio plays a guy obsessed with getting high on dope. The characters soon find the skeleton of the captain, which is tied to a chair in an echo of the sea captain from the book. The captain is played by Udo Kier from 1974’s Blood for Dracula and 2000’s Shadow of the Vampire. We see his log entries from 50 years previously, but the characters don’t. After a lot of wandering about, Count Orlock (aka Dracula) shows up. He’s the last of the vampires and has been woken up by the Mother III crew. Our heroes have never heard of vampires, so have to Google the concept. An on-screen history of the mythology includes mention of Lord Ruthven (from the 1819 short story The Vampyre), the original Van Helsing from Bram Stoker’s book and the lead character from Sheridan Le Fanu’s 1871-72 novella Carmilla.
Best performance: No one’s any good. Erika Eleniak at least wears a tight vest and leather trousers as Aurora. The character is later revealed to be a robot on a covert mission, sorta like Ash in Alien. However, rather than go psycho, her twist is that she used to be a ‘pleasure bot’… and at the end she offers Tiny Lister’s character some free sex. So the film can add misogyny to its many flaws.
Best bit: Um. Let’s see. Er. I’ll get back to you on that one…
Review: This low-budget Alien rip-off was released on DVD in 2004, and it’s shot like a TV show, with ‘drama’ done in big fat close-ups. It’s not scary or especially violent; the dialogue is crass; the performances are awful; and the action is very poor. It’s all so incredibly shallow. No one seems that bothered about what’s going on, or that their colleagues are getting killed. Dross but it passed the time.
Three moon cycles out of 10