SEPTEMBER 24, 2007
Back in April, I watched Dracula II and commented that I might watch Dracula III: Legacy “next week”. Well it’s almost 6 months later, and “next week” is finally here! I also commented that Dracula II faltered in the villain department by having Dracula play 2nd fiddle to a human baddie. Well Christ, in III, Dracula doesn’t even fucking APPEAR until the final 20 minutes or so, and is killed with another 10 to go. The real villain this time is the film itself, which is insufferably boring and honestly manages to make II look good (which in turn made the terrible first one, Dracula 2000, look good). Jesus. I am almost curious for part IV; I want to see if THAT one is so bad that it can continue this hilariously sad tradition.
The odd thing is, the movie LOOKS like they had a decent budget, as the production value is fairly high in terms of sets, background extras, etc. So you gotta wonder why they would keep Dracula to the sidelines in favor of random soldiers and newscasters. Dimension does the same thing with the Hellraiser sequels, but those movies aren’t called “Pinhead”. Plus, Pinhead barely appears in the first film, a fact everyone seems to forget. But here, there is no excuse. Hell, even the subtitle barely applies, as his “legacy” is the subject of ONE scene. Which is akin to subtitling the 3rd Indiana Jones film “Indiana Jones And The Guy Without A Train Ticket.”
So while Dracula does whatever he’s doing for most of the running time, our “heroes” from the last film are driving mostly aimlessly around war-torn Budapest, saving rebel peasants and reporters, fucking with soldiers... it’s like Three Kings except awful in every possible way. Every now and then a vampire comes out of nowhere and attacks them, but these scenes are quick, bloodless, and not the least bit exciting.
Speaking of the blood, or lack of it: the least a direct to video movie can do is offer up some ridiculous gore. There’s no need for a rating or anything, go nuts! But instead, they do everything half-assed in this department. If Lee swipes with a sword, we see no blood (we HEAR it sometimes though). If he cuts a head off, we see it in silhouette. If someone is bitten, we see the guy screaming rather than the teeth go in. Christ, even Dracula dies offscreen. What the fuck is that???
It doesn’t help that Jason (or Jeremy, I can’t tell them apart and I don’t care to) London is constantly mugging and making jokes that aren’t funny. And Scott Lee is no help, since he can’t act worth a shit either. In fact, every performance in the film is pretty bad, even Rutger Hauer as Dracula III (that’s his actual name folks) seems equal parts bored and high in his 5 minutes of screentime.
Two lines of the film stick out though. In one, the kidnapped reporter character is said to be one of the “most beloved and respected journalists in the world”, yet when we see her do a report she is as bland and uninteresting as a public access weatherman. And if she’s so world renowned, why does her crew consist entirely of one guy with a regular DV camera any of us can buy at Best Buy? So, that was pretty funny, since the line came out of nowhere, and at a point where the chick was basically dead anyway. And then, early on, in the one scene with Roy Scheider (who is still horrible at pretending to be blind), he offers Lee’s character the opportunity to just be a regular priest instead of the vampire killing variety. Lee replies, in total badass mode: “I don’t bless BABIES!” and walks away. It’s delightfully stupid in every way possible, and therefore I loved it so.
But dismissing newborn children is not enough to save yet another pile of crap from the Soisson/Lussier/Rona factory.
What say you?