Dracula 3000

JUNE 22, 2007

GENRE: CRAP, VAMPIRE
SOURCE: DVD (STORE RENTAL)

The last week or so has been extremely trying here at Horror Movie A Day. A Brush With Death, Drive-Thru, and now Dracula 3000 are among the absolute worst films I have seen since I began HMAD. To say Dracula is the best of those would be saying exactly nothing at all. It would also be a damnable lie, since Drive Thru comes out on top due to the fact that it has actual production value.

But while Brush's crew just had to find themselves an old house and a nice house, the folks behind this cinematic masterpiece had to set their film on a spaceship, and occasionally show outer space. Now to be fair, the exterior shots of the ship actually aren't too bad. They are entirely CG shots and look just as good as Firefly or whatever. Considering the rest of the film, I suspect they are stock footage.

However, the INTERIOR of the ship is without a doubt the worst ever seen in an outer space movie. It's a giant ship that apparently is 95% rusty corridor. Apart from a tiny comm room (with a few waveform monitors and a computer that looks out of date for our time, let alone a thousand years later), a rec room (complete with a standard pool table and CD rack - THE FUTURE!!!) and a coffin room (with... coffins), we never see anything else on the ship besides endless corridors. No engine room, no flight deck, not even a cafeteria. Just corridors and other corridors. Hilariously, they are all rusted out and badly painted... as if a ship from 2950 is 'ancient' compared to the (unseen) 3000 technology?

But as un-futuristic as the ship is, nothing will prepare you for the sight of Dracula himself. Now, the title more or less implies that this is a futuristic Dracula, perhaps one who works as a computer virus, or is part alien, or something. Even the cover of the DVD seems to say as much, as it features a Giger type alien with fangs. Well guess what? Dracula is.... a 1930's Universal reject. Complete with giant collar. When he first appeared I shut the movie off for a while. It was too much to take.

One of the stupider aspects of the film is that Casper Van Dien plays a descendant of the original Van Helsing. So even though the vampire's name in the film is Orlock, we are given a subplot that the whole reason they are in this mess is Dracula getting revenge. Again, fine, but here's the problem: The vampire in the film comes from the planet of Transylvania (write your own Frank N Furter joke) and is the "last of his kind". So, apparently, this movie would have you (not me) believe that the original Dracula from the Stoker novel came from outer space, and then, after the real Van Helsing killed him, went BACK to his home planet, and hung out for 1100 years hoping one of VH's descendants would come into space so he could kill him? Huh. You know, usually when I come up with an idea that stupid*, I laugh it off before even writing it down, let alone spending what looks like hundreds of dollars filming it.

Basically, there is absolutely no reason for this film to be set in space. The only time they ever even remotely use the space setting for any sort of narrative function (other than the idiotic "Dracula is from another planet" stuff) is when they decide to kill the vampires by flying near the sun. Not that the ship of corridors has any windows we ever see that would allow the vampires to be exposed to sunlight, but it doesn't matter: the ship just explodes when they get sort of close to the sun, and the movie ends immediately afterwards. Everyone dies. But again, the movie could have been set on a boat and they could have blown that up, since the sun really didn't do anything that a few grenades or a standard movie self-destruct button couldn't have done.

And much like yesterday's House by the Cemetery, the guy in charge of dubbing the footsteps is clearly a moron. They are entirely out of sync and sound nothing like a human being walking around. Next time you're walking, take note of the sound of your footsteps. Then take the nearest bowling ball and repeatedly whack it onto a manhole cover. One of those is exactly what the footsteps in this movie sound like.

I suppose anyone who carefully looks at the DVD case should know exactly what they are in for. In addition to the cast full of B-movie regulars (Coolio, Casper Van Dien, Ereka Elaniak), the director is none other than Darrell Roodt, who was also responsible for the asstacular Prey. Though again, at least there all he needed to tell his story was a jeep and some lions. Much easier to find than "The Carpathian System" or whatever the fuck. Hell, even the goddamn tagline for the movie doesn't even approach common sense logic: In space the sun never rises. Uh, no shit, because the fucking thing is out all the goddamn time! Jesus asschristing fuck, does anyone reread the shit they write down? There's also a scene where they are shocked to see a crucifix (one guy calls it a "plus sign", the movie's only intentional laugh, provided that you are watching the movie at 3 am like I did), as they were banned "twenty years ago". Hey, asshole, the ship you're on is from fifty years ago! And we know that because you said it yourself in the same fucking scene! Christ!

Still, it doesn't approach the idiocy and basic confusion that comes with this line: Our two survivors shut a door that Drac is trying to get through, severing his left arm (which turns into his right on a closeup). One then says to the other "If I've told you once, I've told you twice: ALWAYS put out the do not disturb sign." Your guess is as good as mine. Actually, it might be better, since I hope you haven't seen this movie and thus aren't as stupid as I now am.

What say you?

*I once had an idea for a sequel to Armageddon that picks up where the original left off. NASA gets radio contact from Willis, who has survived the blast and is now living inside the Armadillo. The survivors return to space to rescue him, and many things go wrong. Yep. I pictured that Willis survived, even though he was more or less sitting on the nuclear bomb.

7 comments:

  1. U Haul FrankensteinJune 25, 2007 at 6:10 AM

    Nobody should ever shoot space on a really tight budget. It's far too dificult and just makes the movie look cheap. Check out Leprechaun in Space as another perfect example. I think Dark Star is the only decent cheapo-space movie.

    Casper Van Dien's career has been pretty damned amazing.

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  2. Haha yeah, the poor sod. After Starship, he got one chance with Tarzan and from then on it's been direct to video land.

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  3. u haul frankensteinJune 25, 2007 at 12:46 PM

    And the direct-to-video land movies bounce back and forth to sub-Sci-Fi Original Movie and Apocalyptic Christian movies.

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  4. After I watched Modern Vampires (an activity I do NOT recommend), I swore off Casper Van Dien forever. I have quite literally never watched a movie that had Mr. Van Dien in it that I thought was anything other than brain destroying crap.*

    He's even more of a movie-killer than Eric Roberts, who rumor has it was in a good movie at least once or twice.

    *I know, Starship Troopers. But I didn't "get" it when I watched it, and while I've often thought of revisiting it with a more sophisticated viewpoint, I just can't force myself to rent it with Casper's face on the cover. Sorry.

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  5. Starship is pretty great... even funnier when you consider Casper and Denise Richards probably didn't even realize the satirical elements. The commentary with Verhoeven is something of a treasure as well, especially when he imitates a bug and nearly blows out the audio track...

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  6. u haul frankensteinJune 27, 2007 at 3:48 PM

    Actively swearing off Casper Van Dien is pretty awesome.

    All Verhoeven commentaries are high on the unintentional comedy meter even good ones like Robocop.

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  7. Actually, crucifixes were banned "200 years ago". I just watched the movie. And it's the worst horror movie ever.

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