| October 14, 2004

“In 15th Century Romania, Vlad The Impaler launched a reign of terror so horrific, literally skewering countless victims through the body and skull, that he is viewed by many as the source of the vampire myth.” At least that’s the movie they were trying to make. Vlad features the dying career of Billy Zane (Titanic, Cleopatra) accompanied by Brad Dourif (Deadwood, The Hazing) who will do anything and appears in about 150 movies and television shows annually. Mix in a decently scary looking Vlad played by Francesco Quinn who is Anthony Quinn’s son and you have the new straight to video release from Terra Entertainment…Vlad. Get out your garlic and sun block. No I’m kidding this is the story of the real Vlad.
This film has fairly high production value for a straight to video Billy Zane vehicle. Yeah, Billy Zane’s career hasn’t really taken off into the big time and Vlad will not be the exception. He’s not even the main character. And it’s not that Billy Zane is a lousy actor, it’s that he just plays puss roles that suck most of the time. (Example: The Phantom, Titanic, Yes I said Titanic sucked) So now Billy Zane is selling his soul to the straight to video gods for top billing rights. At least if you’re going to be a “B” actor, do it with dignity like Bruce Campbell would.
Vlad attempts to portray the story of the true Vlad The Impaler but really just moves along slowly until you fall asleep. The film has no inspiring visuals and basically is just another flat looking straight to video flick with no visual style of it’s own. There’s some decent CGI, not good but decent. And we do get some nudity during the Vlad sex scene. There’s also a fairly horrific scene of a baby wrapped in a blanket getting trampled by horses. Good times if you like that sort of thing. Actually that freaked me out a little.
So here’s what we learned so far… this movie is kind of boring but didn’t make me want to rip out my eyes and shove them into my ears by any means. It plays on cliché’s of the Vlad myth while not really showing us anything new. The director gave the film no visual style of it’s own and the DP probably didn’t care much because he wasn’t getting paid scale. If I actually had a ratings system Vlad would get a C-. Since I don’t let’s just call it booty and go rent one of the Hammer Films versions of Dracula.

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