Thursday, June 17, 2004
Directed by John Badham (Pretty good sign of a shitty movie: when the director's last name is a combination of "bad" and "ham")
Starring: "Greasy" Frank Langella as Count Dracula, "Old" Laurence Olivier as Abraham Van Helsing, "Hungry" Donald Pleasance as Dr. Seward, "Awful" Trevor Eve as Jonathan Harker, "Bland" Jan Francis as Mina Van Helsing, and "Kate" Kate Nelligan as Lucy Seward.
J-Rock's Review: This movie bites. Get it?
First things first, yes I know that the names of the characters listed above seem to be all mixed up. Trust me, you read correctly. And trust me, that's only the beginning of the mess that is this movie.
And yes, I know that Frank Langella is more "oily" than "greasy."
So I guess someone decided to remake Dracula - OK, that's cool. They changed around the story a little bit (thus the mixed-up names of the ladies) - still ok, you know, artistic license. However, the decision to make Dracula into a hairy-chested Italian guy with an American accent is just too much to bear. I mean, I thought Dracula was going to pull up in a Camaro, spray on some Hai Karate, fluff his chest hair, and take Lucy to his Mafioso-esque castle, complete with purple shag carpeting, plastic covers on all the furniture, and huge stone lions by the front door.
And it doesn't stop there - the movie itself is so dripping with 70's vibe that you expect a disco number to break out halfway through, with Dracula and Van Helsing having a dance-off for Lucy's soul.
For example, when Dracula gets it on with Lucy, the movie goes into this ridiculous lava lamp-type of montage thing resembling the open to a Roger Moore Bond movie. I only wish I had screen-grab capability. I am so stone-age when it comes to the interwebs. I bet there are 3rd graders out there that have more high-tech pages than I do. Lemme see what I can get at Best Buy, and I'll get back to you.
Where was I? Oh yeah, Frankula. So yeah, as for the story, it's your basic Dracula story but with a few changes from the book. We still have the now-greasy Count trying to get a piece of Mina and Lucy's tight young asses, except in this one, he offs Mina and tries to make Lucy his bitch, I mean bride. Jonathan Harker is engaged to Lucy in this version, and is also a total sissy. Plus he has awful 70's helmet hair. (Right now I am so wishing that I had screen-grabs.)
As for Donald Pleasance and Sir Laurence Olivier, these two could have done so much better. I mean, Donald was freakin' Dr. Loomis, and Laurence was in Rebecca, Spartacus, and Richard III.
I'm guessing that Donnieboy did the movie mainly for the food - the guy is eating in almost every scene (I'd show you screen-grabs if I could - what a loser I am).
But then again, a check's a check, and I'd be lying if I said I wouldn't take any movie role that came along if I weren't acting at the time.
But then again, I'm not an actor - at least not since my stirring turn as "Dead Special Student #7" in Citizen Toxie.
So basically, this movie doesn't totally blow. It just pretty much blows.