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Bram Stoker’s Dracula’s Curse

Directed by Leigh Scott

Written by Leigh Scott

Starring Tom Downey, Eliza Swenson, Rhett Giles, Jeff Denton

Produced by David Rimawi, David Michael Latt, Sherri Strain

Not Rated

107 minutes

***

After the worst debacle in The Asylum’s growing history, “Hillside Cannibals”, it was high time for a really GOOD movie to come flooding out of The Asylum’s doors just to wash the taste of that reprehensible slop out of our collective mouths.

And indeed, The Asylum delivers by letting Leigh Scott take the reins completely on a new project, “Bram Stoker’s Dracula’s Curse.”

The more I see out of Leigh Scott, the more I’m convinced that he’s an absolute genius. He wrote and directed “Beast of Bray Road,” “Frankenstein Reborn” and “Exorcism: The Possession of Gail Bowers,” each of which was a solid movie in its own way. He even directed “King of the Lost World.” The Asylum’s putting a lot on this guy’s plate, and it’s working out nicely.

What “Bram Stoker’s Dracula’s Curse” is putting out for us is in one way very much like “Blade.” There’s a whole society of vampires out there in the night, and they’re not hungry for pasta. No, they’re going after people blood, which is pretty much what you’d expect. And of course, as long as there’s a Dracula involved somewhere in this, there’s naturally a Van Helsing that follows shortly after. This particular Van Helsing has founded a pocket unit of vampire-hunting mercenaries (on what, Monopoly money?) that tracks, pursues, and ultimately kills every vampire that so much as breathes in their direction. This unit is called The Nine, and The Nine and the vampires, represented by a cabal called the Vampire Council, are about to set up peace talks, which go off with surprising ease.

Except for one critical fact which is about to crop up five years down the line, the formerly-idly-dismissed Countess Bathorley.

Yes, Bathorley, not Bathory. All those who are thinking about “Stay Alive” right now should be giving themselves the proper self-flagellation. It’ll just clutter up the perspective if you think about it too much.

But that aside, this really is going to be a hoot for anyone who’s even vaguely interested in vampire movies. Genuinely. I’m even sure you WILL love this.

This movie is quite possibly the movie all vampire LARPers have been waiting for. It’s a coked up Vampire: The Eternal Struggle. In fact, this is a blueprint for the most ambitious scenario you role-play types have ever seen. We got FOUR different vampire factions here. We got The Nine. We got the Random Vampires that show up every so often to provide aid and comfort for The Nine, and even better than that…

…we got an ending with so many twists it’ll make your EYES BLEED.

Seriously.

I was watching this, and when they got to the one hour twenty eight minute mark and pulled out those swords and got down to the dueling, I thought, damn. Somewhere, every vampire LARPer on earth just had a simultaneous orgasm and they’re only vaguely sure why.

“I—I don’t KNOW what happened! It just suddenly felt like vampires and Highlander just got crossed over and…and…and then I needed a change of pants.”

But levity aside, “Bram Stoker’s Dracula’s Curse” is an incredible intermingling of the vampire mythos and pure-T asskicking. There’s plenty of action here for anybody, and the sheer ambition makes its closest comparison “Blade” look sick.

Sure, there are some flaws in this. The vampires are walking clichés—either sneering Mafioso types or snarling goths. Countess Bathorley is awkward at best in the light of “Stay Alive.” And man, that green blood coming off the vampires’ wounds looks suspiciously like toy store green slime.

But these are really minor quibbles at best, and a third of them come from poor timing.

Even better, the special features that come with this movie include a blooper reel, a behind the scenes featurette, deleted and extended scenes, a music video, audio options, and trailers for “Hillside Cannibals,” “When a Killer Calls,” “Exorcism: The Possession of Gail Bowers,” “Dead Men Walking (which for some reason is listed as “Dead Line” in the trailer menu) and “Dracula’s Curse.”

All in all, “Bram Stoker’s Dracula’s Curse” is going to be a wild ride no matter how much you like vampire movies, and if you’re into them, this will be a top pick. Even those who couldn’t find anything all that thrilling about Blade or Buffy will get a kick out of this.

Steve Anderson is a film critic who collects action figures so he can dress them up as his favorite horror villains. He lives somewhere in the United States.


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