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Dracula 3000: Infinite Darkness
Directed by Darrell Roodt
Written by Ivan Milborrow, Darrell Roodt
Starring Casper Van Dien, Erika Eleniak, Coolio, Alexandra Kemp
Produced by Frank Hübner, Brad Krevoy, David Lancaster, David Wicht
Vampire movies are older than the hills.
Let’s face it—they’ve been going on for years. The first theatrical appearance of the quasi-legendary toothpick fetishist Vlad Dracul, AKA Vlad the Impaler, AKA Vlad Tepesh, AKA fifty dozen other nicknames of much more unsavory quality, hit in the thirties. And ever since, Dracula movies, vampire movies, have been a staple of popular American film.
Dracula 3000 is at once the newest and possibly best retelling of a gestalt that should be as tired as an eighty-year-old man in a marathon.
So what we have here is the story of, surprise surprise, vampires in space. If you couldn’t tell that from the title and the box art I recommend a serious course of remedial studies. But we don’t truly know about that until a little ways into the picture. What we kick off with is a handful of crew members on the deep-space salvage ship Mother III. Captained by a terribly ironic Abraham Van Helsing, Mother III is heading off after a rumor. Apparently a cargo ship is floating derelict out in the blackness of space, and this means a serious payday for Mother III if they can get to it while in the universe’s equivalent of international waters.
Out on that ship is a cargo involving a set of black crates. Contained in those crates is our collection of vampires, and the crew of Mother III has to survive the vampire assault and escape intact.
Now this is actually pretty interesting. We’re all familiar with the basic vampire mythos—the story always seems to end when the sun comes up. But here, here in the depths of space, the sun never rises. Not unless they actually find a sun and orbit it, but that’s beside the point.
Ironically, that’s their course of action—to take the salvage cargo ship (not the Mother III, that poor girl took off long before all this really got started) to a system with two suns and let some sunshine in.
The ending includes a few interesting surprises. In fact, one surprise will absolutely make your jaw drop. Guaranteed. Folks brave enough to sit through the credits will get one final chuckle.
The special features just plain old don’t exist. There’s not a subtitle, deleted scene, or audio option in the bunch.
All in all, Dracula 3000 is quite possibly the best retelling of the Dracula legend to date. It takes a lot of liberties with the concept, and yet these liberties actually make the film into a solidly produced package.
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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