Dracula 2000 (2000)

6161616161Back in the late nineties if you attached 2000 or Extreme to anything, it automatically meant it was going to be the best thing since the invention of gravity. Incidentally, for some reason Dimension Films felt adding 2000 to their new Dracula film meant it’d be an amazing new entry in to the endless films about the fanged master of the vampires. It wasn’t. “Dracula 2000” only promises certain new elements to the story, but in reality it’s just another mediocre Dracula film. It’s not awful, but it surely didn’t re-invent the wheel in terms of Dracula or vampire films. In reality much of it is influenced by “The Matrix” so much of the vampire foes bred by Dracula flip around, jump off walls, and battle their foes with martial arts.

How does being undead automatically grant you a black belt? And just to help keep the budget hefty, there’s a large shot of Dracula walking in to a Virgin Records where there are product placements aplenty. “Dracula 2000” basically has something for everyone. For the women there’s Dracula. Before becoming synonymous with Spartans and shouting things at people, Gerard Butler took on the thankless role of Dracula. His turn as the dark lord of the vampires is bland and ultimately unforgettable. That’s a shame since Butler can spew charisma in his performances, and yet as Dracula he does pretty much nothing but gaze at people angrily and walk around the city of New Orleans stalking women left and right. But he does have long black locks and walks around bare chested draped in a black trench coat. He also beds pretty much all the women in the film. It’s good to be king.

Dracula is the main character of the film and the only character with personality, which is not saying much, especially in a film co-starring Christopher Plummer. For men there are three of the hottest brides of Dracula ever put to film since Coppola’s “Dracula.” We’re given the sexy Jennifer Esposito, Geri Ryan who is introduced as a reporter for two seconds before becoming Dracula’s new bride, and Vitamin C, the nineties pop star whose only hit became popular for graduations and proms. The trio of lusty ladies really do have fun with their roles, and most times make it impossible to look away from the screen. For the most part, “Dracula 2000” is an action based and over stylized horror action film that uses eye appeal over atmosphere and tension as per Patrick Lussier’s cinematic requirements. Dracula is unearthed thanks to greedy and moronic thieves who unleash the dark prince and fall prey to his hunger, and Dracula is out again on the streets of New Orleans on a mission to… I’m presuming he wants the daughter of Van Helsing, whose daughter Mary has a telepathic link to Dracula due to her father’s usage of Dracula’s blood to keep him alive.

He wants her to be his bride, or, to kill her to finish the Van Helsing bloodline, it’s never really clarified. There’s also never a real exploration in to how injecting yourself with even a small dose of vampire blood can keep you immortal without turning you in to the undead, but it’s a plot point that’s meant to keep the story going. That’s all that really matters to the screenwriters. I guess if anyone could figure out a loop hole it’d be Van Helsing. The vampire brides and Dracula go on a rampage, while Van Helsing’s daughter Mary and her partner Simon look for a way to bring him down once and for all, leading to a martial arts rich showdown and a fairly derivative reveal as to who Dracula is and why he hates religious items. “Dracula 2000” may not be rich in horror or story, but it’s entertaining genre fodder that you can sit back and amuse yourself with. It’s still a fun bit of “Matrix” lite horror fare I find joy in to this day. Surely it’s not the best Dracula film ever injected in to the genre, but it’s a fun and solid vampire film that is a very apt reflection of the late nineties with a slew of stars either on their way out of the public consciousness or just about rise to fame. I wouldn’t mind three brides like the ones presented here.


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