Another movie that sucks

Rated 1.0

I’m one of those losers who gets fake pains in their necks during Dracula flicks. While watching Wes Craven Presents: Dracula 2000, I was experiencing some mighty awesome pain, but it wasn’t imaginary, and it wasn’t on my neck. Count the stomach, duodenum and head, with the eyes and ears taking a particularly harsh beating, as the affected areas.

Before I start making fun of this thing, let me say that the first half hour is fair. I jumped in my seat a few times, perhaps felt the mildest of pinches in my neck when somebody got fanged and even laughed. Alas, the movie merely teases you with competence before becoming a squalid mess.

Christopher Plummer, he of von Trapp-Sound of Music majesty, embarrasses himself and Julie Andrews as Matthew Van Helsing, a supposedly distant relative of the fabled vampire slayer. Plummer sports some sort of fake Hungarian-type accent that’s so over-the-top and is continuously slathering his tongue all over his face to sop up the accentuated consonant spittle discharge. But it turns out that Matthew is the real Van Helsing, who’s been keeping Dracula in his basement and injecting the vampire’s blood into his veins to stay young. I’m not kidding.

A band of thieves, led by Omar “Why Is a Decent Actor Like You Fucking Around in This Movie?” Epps, shows up to rob him. They steal Drac’s coffin and board a plane, where the vampire (Gerard Butler) wakes up in effectively gruesome and creepy fashion. After they crash somewhere in the vicinity of New Orleans, the film is doomed to become pedestrian and void of frights.

Vampire aficionados will get a giggle out of the re-writing of Dracula lore in this film. Turns out that Dracula is not only the cruel Vlad the Impaler, but Judas Iscariot, the son of a bitch who betrayed Jesus Christ and deprived the other loyal apostles many years of decent hang time with the J-Man. In a well-made film, this premise might have actually summoned a few clever chills, but here it’s as laughable as these things can get.

Picture, if you will, Dracula having one of those slow-paced, “Why-I’m-a-vampire-and-the-Lord-did-me-wrong” speeches directed at some bizarre-looking neon cross. This cross depicts a cartoon Christ being crucified, and it looks like it was designed by the creators of South Park. It’s hard to take an antichrist diatribe seriously when Jesus looks like he’s going to squeal, “You killed Kenny … you bastard!”

There were two infants at the showing I endured, and from the sounds of their disgruntled wails, they weren’t liking the movie all that much. Hats off to the right-on, Pamper-clad critics!

Granted, babies crying do add some extra peril to a horror movie. I’m sending out a big “Hey, what’s wrong with you!” to the people who chose to expose their tykes to a freaking vampire film with blood and noise and bad acting. Rugrats was playing right down the hall! Now their standard nightmares of ghouls and goblins will be infiltrated by images of Christopher Plummer spitting at them!

So, in a year where I’m having difficulty putting together a Top 10 movies list, I find another prime contestant for the shit list. Wes Craven Presents: Dracula 2000 had me longing for Eddie Murphy’s awful Vampire in Brooklyn. Hang on—Craven directed that one and produced this one. He has now inherited the claim to the worst purveyor of vampire films this side of Christopher Lee and Roger Corman.