Dracula 2000 (2000) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)
thought of this movie, I was given to muse on the ever-increasing
value of stupidity in the modern era. I suppose the three dumbest
movies that I saw during the year 2000 were this one, The
Skulls, and Coyote Ugly. Any one of
them could have been written by an eighth grader provided that he had
no concept of the real world, no contact with written words outside
the pages of comic books and, most important, no shame.
And yet all three films have elements of perverse fascination, and moments when they caught me up in their worlds. In some ways, I liked them better and found them more watchable than smart movies like "Pollock", for example, or "Before Night Falls". It is as if stupidity is no longer a liability, if it has enough pizzazz and style. MTV has taken over the world, and it even got to me.
|This is the
new Drac for 2000. No more garlic and silver bullets and
gothic crosses and wooden stakes for this hepcat. He's
part of the new world now, so he's afraid of:
learn that his name isn't pronounced DRAK-u-la, as we
thought, but rather dre-COOL-ya. Kind of a hip-hop
version. Together at last, LL Cool J, Dr Dre, and Dre Cool Ya.
This horror movie has only one small weakness that I can see. Remember how I always rant when comedies aren't funny, no matter how stylish and slick they are. Well, just as I expect comedies to be funny, I also expect horror movies to be scary. Just a personal quirk of mine.
This film is slick, stylish, arty, gory, sometimes sexy and quite expensive, but not scary. Bill Shatner has toupees scarier than this movie. Without some good scares, it's pretty damned boring. Actually, the first half of the movie has some style, and a few scares, but the second half has no scares, no style, just gore, religious gibberish, and zero-gravity fight scenes. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Bat.
It also has some of the silliest spins ever spun on the Dracula legend. Did you know that Drac is actually Judas Iscariot? Jesus also makes a personal appearance, in flashback scenes. How's that for a super-villain origin?
Y'see, that's why Drac hates the crosses, and silver, because of that whole messy "thirty pieces" thing. And he's especially ticked at Christ because, as he says to a day-glo neon crucifix, "I made you what you are today". Plus, Drac is not happy that Jesus had a competitive blood thing going "Take this and drink, this is my blood". In fact, Jesus is the real reason why Drac can't die. "He won't have me". After all, Dre Cool Ya already tried the whole hanging himself thing, and he's still alive.
And did you know that Van Helsing tried for a century to kill Drac - he killed all the minions, but nothing could kill Drac, so he locked him up in his cellar. But at the end of the film, Drac is destroyed by sunlight. Now I ask you. If you were Van Helsing, wouldn't sunlight have been the first thing you tried? "Oh, sunlight (slaps forehead). D'oh! Why didn't I think of that? No wonder they call them creatures of the night!"
|Did I mention that the last two
minutes of the movie is a dramatic monologue to the audience by Van Helsing's daughter,
ending, "I've found who I am. I am Mary Van Helsing, and
nothing can ever take that away"
"The way you suck my blood. The way we danced 'til three .... Oh, no they can't take that away from me."
Why the hell do the studios keep pumping megabucks into Dracula pictures? I guess because they get a good return. This one cost $35 million, but it grossed $33 million domestically, and then there's foreign, cable, home video, etc. Look forward to a Dracula 2001.
I thought it might have done well with young viewers because of its smug MTV hipness and pacing, but that wasn't really the case. It wasn't rated high by any demo group at IMDb. It did do better with women than men (5.9 to 5.2), was stronger with audiences under 30 than not (5.6 to 4.8), and was stronger with USA voters than not (5.8 to 4.7). But, despite those scores, it clearly is not a film targeted at young American girls. It contains scenes of extreme gore, beheadings, and gunfights with outlandish weapons - not exactly chick-flick fare.
I don't think it really found an audience.
Let's face it, Dracula sucks.
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