Check out our guest post on Terrorphoria regarding this film!
On to the review…
I have just finished reading the novel, Bram Stoker’s Dracula. It is very long, but a classic that I enjoyed. Even though I have heard terrible things about Argento’s Dracula, I still wanted to give it a chance since I was inspired after reading the original story. I really do try to find the good that lies in the bad, especially in this case because I am a HUGE Dario Argento fan. But I have to admit that this film is pure rubbish.
Even though this is a period piece, it is a very loose interpretation of Stoker’s Dracula. Due to this fact, I was very surprised that Argento used the names of the characters from the book. If you have ever seen any version of Stoker’s Dracula tale, you are familiar with Mina and Jonathan Harker, Lucy, Van Helsing, etc. This film does not follow the story in any traditional sense, so I really wish the characters had different names because it just gets confusing. Now, this is just the tip of the iceberg.
Right off the bat, I was thrown off by the very ‘Twilight Zone’ sounding music. In many circumstances I could totally appreciate this, but here it is very cheesy. It has more of an ominous “The spaceships are coming!” over “Dracula is coming!” This unfitting music plays throughout the entire film. While I’m thinking of aliens, the film opens like a scary soft-core porn (and I don’t mean scary in a good way). A couple secretly meets in a barn to do it on a hay barrel. The big-busted beauty is ravished by Dracula when she leaves the barn alone in the middle of the night. Already, we are way off tract from the original story.
Dario Argento is known for using his daughter, Asia Argento, in many of his films over the years. Having her acting debut at only nine years of age, she went on to star in her father’s films: Trauma, The Stendhal Syndrome, The Phantom of the Opera, Mother of Tears, and now Dracula 3D. As an adult, Asia is known for her dark and artistic sex appeal so it is fitting that she play Lucy, the lusty seductress. Asia is not a bad actress so I don’t know why she is so stiff in this with a static and disjointed accent. Actually, everyone’s acting in this film is so off-putting it’s as if they were directed to act terribly. I can’t wrap my head around it. All the while, I kept wondering if she was going to get naked (of course she eventually does), which must have been an awkward moment with your own father directing.
Now for Dracula. Oh, Dracula. When his image is conjured up in the mind, do you picture him as a blonde? Well, according to Argento he’s blonde. This Dracula can turn into a wolf as well…wait, is he a vampire or a werewolf? His ‘whisper-talking’ is not helpful, either. It’s unclear what Argento’s intensions are for this film, because it certainly isn’t to tell a scary story. There is nothing scary about this. To sum it up, it’s basically part soft-core porn / part dramatized, Spanish soap-opera. I wish I could say there was SOMETHING I enjoyed about this film, but it fails so completely on all fronts. Damnit, Dario.
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