Sunday, October 26, 2014

Argento's Dracula

Directed by Dario Argento.
2012. Not Rated, 110 minutes.
Thomas Kretschmann
Miriam Giovanelli
Rutger Hauer
Asia Argento
Marta Gastini
Unax Ugalde
Giovanni Franzoni

Even when you think you know what you're getting yourself into, it still might be hard to believe when you're actually there. Argento's Dracula is one such place. I mean, the cover of the DVD drips with ooey-gooey cheese. It's animated and shows a guy I presume to be the titular Dracula in the upper left hand corner. Next to him is a larger picture of a female vampire with a lower-than-low cut top. The words beneath her are from some critic proclaiming this to be a throwback to the vampire flicks made by Hammer Films, complete with "heaving bosoms." I paraphrased most of it, but put quotation marks around the phrase "heaving bosoms" because I definitely remember seeing "heaving bosoms." Perhaps it's sad that I couldn't directly quote all of it, but clearly remember "heaving bosoms." In fact, I'm pretty certain I can remember every bosom I've ever seen heave. By this point, I'm just appeasing my own juvenile sense of humor by harping on this. Can you blame me? How often does a guy reviewing allegedly legitimate movies get to talk about heaving bosoms? Too often, apparently, so I'll stop.

And I should. Because the fact of the matter is...sigh. Let's stop for a moment. Occasionally, I have to chastise myself. I started a sentence with 'and,' then followed that by starting the next one with 'because.' Every professor who had a hand in getting me through to an English degree is collectively groaning as you read this. Or, not. They probably have no knowledge of this blog, let alone pay attention to it. Whatever. You're here about a movie, right?

To pick up where I left off, there was something else on the cover letting me know I was in for a cheesetastic experience. In fact, this was the thing that really inspired me to check out Argento's Dracula. This thing is actually a man. He's not just any man, but one who has come to symbolize B-movie madness. Of course, I'm talking about the one and only hobo with a shotgun, Rutger Hauer. Perfect. Play.

The movie is a loose adaptation of Bram Stoker's classic tale. By loose, I mean very loose. It uses the same main characters, presumaby, the same time period, and the same basic idea. Jonathan Harker (Ugalde) is hired by the mysterious Count Dracula (Kretschmann) and travels to stay at the Count's castle. What exactly he's hired for is never made clear, unless I just missed it. That's entirely possible since I was distracted by the rather early appearance of a heaving bosom. To be honest, this bosom doesn't actually heave. It's completely free of any of the constraints that might make heaving possible. Sorry. It's to the point where I can't help myself. Shortly, Tania (Giovanelli), owner of said bosom, is taking the walk of shame through the woods after a tryst with a dude in a barn when a gigantic owl swoops down on her and reveals itself to be Dracula. Yup, an owl. Chomp, chomp, suck, suck, lady vampire. Her job for the rest of the movie is to try to seduce Harker every time she sees him only to be thwarted by the Count himself who has other plans for the dude he hired for reasons undisclosed. Other folks run around trying to figure out what to do about the Count and after about an hour, Rutger Hauer shows up as Van Helsing and takes matters into his own hands.

Most of what's going on here can't possibly pass for good film making. However, the only part of this that's problematic is the clunky pacing, particularly during the first half of the movie. There are a few stretches where you might find yourself bored. Everything else that's happening is terrible on a hilarious level. This even includes the one "good" thing going for it, aside from heaving bosoms, that is. I'm talking about the acting. These performers are all in, going for broke. Most of them are over the top in a manner reminiscent of classically trained Shakespearean thespians doing MacBeth in the park like their next meal depends on it. This gives the whole production a little extra pop, adds to the zaniness of it all. And yeah, dammit - did that again, Rutger Hauer goes Rutger Hauer and Dracula has all the classic vampire strengths and weaknesses plus a few more. Owl and stuff. By stuff, I mean giant praying mantis. Boys and girls, we're dealing with a movie so bad it's bosom heavingly awesome.

MY SCORE: -10/10

More horror that's so bad it's awesome...


  1. -10 sounds generous ha

    1. We're definitely not talking high quality cinema, here.

  2. MINUS 10 STARS!!!!!!! I heard this is a bad film and certainly another of Argento's flops. There's a bunch of films of his that I want to see but only from the glory years.

    1. A guy that made a movie this bad has glory years? Go figure.