I should have known by the front cover that this movie wasn’t going to be for me. In fact, I am not really even going to slag this movie, because I think I might have been the wrong person to review it. In a nutshell, the plot of Dracula III: Legacy has Father Uffizi (Jason Scott Lee) and Luke (Jason London) going to eastern Europe where warlords are helping Dracula by giving him bodies to feed the vampires that reside in his castle. Dracula is played by the always good Rutger Hauer. Okay, it would be wrong of me to down this movie for the acting, the look, the FX or anything like that because I went into this movie, from the first frame to the last, being ambivalent towards the story. I don’t care that they made this movie in Romania. I don’t care about churches, castles and the various looks that were achieved. Movies like this have swelling orchestra-type soundtracks and at the end of the day it just really isn’t my cup of tea. Sorry Dimension.
Now this was a big disappointment. I say this because I am big fan of Joel Soisson. I really liked him on the “Project Greenlight” series, and he also produced The Boys Next Door which is one of my favorite movies of all time. I just found this commentary to be too serious and hard to follow. I mean come on guys, lighten up!! I know that you are “into” this movie but man, you guys don’t seem like you’re having any fun. And Patrick Lussier, please slow down when you talk. I was confused whenever you said anything.
Alternate Ending, Deleted Scene and Cast Auditions
I am not sure that these scenes were really that necessary. As much as I was able to follow the film, I just thought that the alternate ending was pretty superfluous. The deleted scene really didn’t add much and I am not surprised that they took it out of the final film. The cast auditions were just uncomfortable. As someone who has been in on the casting process (auditioning for commercials), I took heart in seeing actors much bigger then I, being subjected to the painfully embarrassing process that is an audition.
Conversations with Patrick Lussier and Gary J. Tunnicliffe; Original Treatments
I loved hearing from Gary J. Tunnicliffe simply because he is so “into” his job as a creature FX person. I saw him on “Project Greenlight” as well and I just loved the way that he breaks down what it is that he does. I found him entertaining and affable. Patrick Lussier just confused me with his “mythology of vampires” talk. They have the original treatments on these disks for all three of the Dracula movies. They range in size and can be read by scrolling through them with your DVD player’s remote. If I was a bigger fan of this movie, I am sure that I would really be excited about these.
Widescreen (2.35:1) - Enhanced for 16x9 Televisions. This movie looks great. It has a really old school, Vincent Price type movie vibe, but I just don’t like that look. It does something to me. Frankly, I just found it kind of boring. Had it not been for the banter between the Luke and Father Uffizi, I don’t know if I would have been able to make it through this film. It wasn’t too dark, it wasn’t too slow it just seemed more overwhelmed by it’s surroundings that it did a part of them.
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. French and Spanish Subtitles. As this is a horror movie it was filled with a sound design whose goal was to create fear slowly. While I can appreciate this, I don’t know if it complimented the action on screen, which also aimed to create fear in a slow, subtle manner. On a purely audio level, I was able to hear everything fine and I didn’t even have to adjust the volume levels that much. This said, I am not a fan of the soundtrack and I think that that, coupled with the images and location from the story, was what ultimately did me in.
Okay, with all the red, gothic imagery, the looks on the actor’s faces and the creepy castle-vibe of this front cover, I knew that something was up but I chose to forge ahead anyway. The back features more of the same look, mixed in with actual pictures from the movie. There is a somewhat confusing description of the film, a large extras listing, technical specs and a cast list. As I have stated so much you are probably tired of hearing it, this cover is something that the fans will really appreciate. If nothing else, Dimension Films certainly knows it’s audience.
Dracula III: Legacy has an audience that is critic proof. So what I write here will not dissuade them from seeing this movie. Now, I have clearly stated that I went into this film knowing I probably would not like it. Now, upon seeing the movie I will admit that I had hoped to be pleasantly surprised by the time everything was said and done. If you have read this far you know that that wasn’t the case. The gothic world of ancient buildings, priests and grassy areas just isn’t anything I want to watch for any length of time. This said, I think that people that are into these kinds of movies, with these kinds of locations, with this kind of subject matter... will certainly enjoy this movie.
Dracula III: Legacy is a fan’s film and at the end of the day that is all that matters.
Dracula III: Legacy was released July 12, 2005.