Awfully Good: Dracula 2000 + The Wolfman

Here's another Dracula story you'll wish was untold…

Dracula 2000 (2000)

Director: Patrick Lussier
Stars: Gerard Butler, Christopher Plummer, Johnny Lee Miller

A group of dim-witted thieves accidentally unleash Dracula from his coffin prison and the bloodsucking vamp immediately sets out to get revenge on Van Helsing by boning his daughter.

Despite the sci-fi suggesting title, DRACULA 2000 is simply another modern day retelling of Bram Stoker's famous gothic horror story. It may have "2000" in its name, but this movie is a complete product of the late 90s. You can pretty much hear the Korn and Limp Bizkit albums the screenwriters were listening to when they wrote it.

LAST ACTION HERO cosplay takes a lot of dedication.

Granted, there are much worse vampire movies out there. (VAMPIRE DENTIST and VAMPIRE ASSASSIN to name a couple.) DRACULA 2000 is at least occasionally watchable, but it's just so damn goofy. Example: Apparently getting bitten by a vampire automatically grants you gravity-defying martial arts powers. I'm pretty sure director Patrick Lussier (who admittedly went on to have more success with DRIVE ANGRY and the MY BLOODY VALENTINE remake) walked out of THE MATRIX and ran immediately to set and said, "Get Dracula a black trench coat. And put those people on wires!" The result is some of the least convincing wirework and most embarrassing vampire action outside of the TWILIGHT series.

Lauren never could figure out why her Match.com profile was so popular.

The movie does toy with some unique ideas in trying to keep the Dracula myth fresh for modern times. Things like using leeches to dry out vampires, or Van Helsing injecting Dracula's blood to extend his life, or working Bram Stoker's own novel in to the story. However, it uses these small touches in service of an utterly bland, boring plot with zero stakes. Even the supposed twist at the end is an interesting idea handled poorly for lackluster effect. (But more on that later…) It doesn't help that the terrible dialogue only exacerbates the script issues. Get ready for a Dracula that says things like, "It was my last sunset on this earth that made me who I am" or sexy one-liners like, "You Brits like to sweet-talk and you Brits like to romance, and all I wanna do is suck..."

And that was the day Hyde learned never to cross Jackie Burkhart.

In keeping with the 2000 theme, the film also stars a bunch of performers who had potential at the turn of the millennium. See if any of these names still ring a bell:

  • Johnny Lee Miller (TRAINSPOTTING): A random antiques dealer turned wooden stake-wielding badass who has to protect Van Helsing's daughter.
  • Jennifer Esposito (CRASH): A traitorous thief who becomes one of Dracula's brides.
  • Omar Epps (House): A master thief and truly embarrassing vampire. Epps gives the most gloriously over the top performance in the film.
  • Danny Masterson (That 70's Show): A vampire who's really, really sorry.
  • Sean Patrick Thomas (SAVE THE LAST DANCE): A thief who gets killed.
  • Lochlyn Munro: (DEAD MAN ON CAMPUS): A thief who gets killed even quicker. I don't even think Munro has any dialogue in this movie.
  • Jeri Ryan (Star Trek): A reporter with great tits (her words, not mine!) that becomes a vampire bride with great tits.
  • Shane West (LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN): Tits McGee's cameraman.
  • Vitamin C: Yes, that Vitamin C. The "Graduation" singer plays one of Dracula's brides.

"I aim to behave and follow God's will."

The cast also includes Christopher Plummer as an elderly Van Helsing and a young Nathan Fillion in a cameo as a doubting priest. And then there's poor Gerard Butler. This film was Butler's first big role as an actor and you can see him giving it his all, but unfortunately the script gives him jack and squat to work with. He kind of just wanders around seducing random women until he bumps in to Van Helsing's daughter. And the movie does such a poor job of balancing its large number of characters that it feels like the title villain is barely in it until the end when it's time for monologues and exposition dumps. All we know is that this Dracula enjoys the band Monster Magnet and has a penchant for turning in to wolves, bats and fog.


DRACULA 2000 doesn't end with a big showdown or exciting set piece. Instead, Dracula kidnaps Van Helsing's daughter Mary and takes her to a rooftop to reveal his big secret—he's actually Judas Iscariot, the disciple who betrayed Jesus Christ. And his punishment for stabbing the Son of God in the back was being turned in to a vampire. (If Judas got sentenced to eternity being super powerful and able to sleep with any girl he wants, then maybe Hell wouldn't be so bad.) But much like the rest of the movie, the audience can only say, "Okay that's nice. And…?" because the twist literally has no impact on the story or the characters. "Hey, here's some information you didn't know!" [backs away awkwardly]

An orthodontist's wet dream.

Before the film can accidentally end properly, Mary quickly hangs Dracula from a crucifix right as the sun rises. As he dies, he releases her from being a vampire (apparently they can do that) and then Dracula looks towards the heavens and asks God for forgiveness before being burned alive.

On second thought, maybe I'll take VAMPIRE DENTIST after all.

A handful of eye-rolling lines ("Never ever f*ck with an antiques dealer!") and Dracula's embarrassing final monologue.

Ceiling sex, Omar Epps' overacting, laughable vampire action and more.(NSFW)

Vitamin C gets naked for some gravity-defying ceiling sex with Dr. Acula.

At least the vampires don't sparkle! Buy this movie here!

Take a shot or drink every time:

  • Terrible rock music plays
  • There's product placement for Virgin
  • Blood is sprayed on something
  • Someone gets bitten or beheaded
  • Dracula seduces a woman
  • Dracula turns in to something (wolf, bat, fog)

Double shot when:

  • Nathan Fillion cameo!

Thanks to Eddie and Trey for suggesting this week's movie!

Also, check out this week's Awfully Good Movies video edition, where we continue our October Monster Mash with Joe Johnston's THE WOLFMAN starring Benicio Del Toro and Anthony Hopkins!

Seen a movie that should be featured on this column? Shoot Jason an email or follow him on Twitter and give him an excuse to drink.

Source: JoBlo.com



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