Dario Argento - a master of horror? Perhaps at one point. The Suspiria and Inferno director is gearing up for the US release of his latest, Dracula 3D, but after catching these two clips of the film, you may want to steer clear of the 2013 IFC Midnight entry. It's pretty horrific - and not in the way you'd want or expect.
The film is a wildly unique spin on the Dracula legend. Jonathan Harker (Unax Ugalde) leaves his fiancée, Mina (Marta Gastini), to go to work for Count Dracula (Thomas Kretschmann), but soon comes to realize the Count is actually holding him prisoner. Desperate to see her husband, Mina comes to town for a visit, but not only can she not get in touch with Jonathan, she must tend to her good friend Lucy (Asia Argento) who falls gravely ill. It isn’t until Van Helsing (Rutger Hauer) arrives on the scene that Mina finally gets a sense of what she’s up against.
That synopsis is doing the film a favor, as described. Dracula 3D has the Bram Stoker basics, but presents them in the most disjointed and amateurish manner possible. Just take a look at the clip above spoiling poor Lucy’s fate. We’ve got tacky set design, sluggish editing, dismal digital effects and performances that are so melodramatic, you’ll know exactly what’s going on despite the lack of subtitles.
[WARNING!!! CLIP IS NSFW!!!]
The second clip isn’t as bad, but it does highlight the feature’s poor pacing. Harker is tucked away in Dracula’s castle and starts to put the pieces together after finding a charred photo of Mina in the ashes of a fire. Yet again, no subtitles necessary. Harker is clearly pissed someone’s trying to deface the love of his life, but all the recently-turned Tania (Miriam Giovanelli) is interested in is stripping down for their houseguest. Too bad for her, Harker is Dracula’s plaything and he’s not about to let her suck the life out of him, even if it means suffering through some painfully stinted choreography to save his life.
A little harsh? Yes, but this one really deserves it. I caught the film while attending the Reykjavík International Film Festival in Iceland and it really is that bad. It’s a sad story, too, because Argent was so humble and kind during his master class, and really had valuable insight to offer. At age 72, perhaps it’s time for the famed Italian director to hang up his hat and act as a mentor or executive producer to up-and-coming horror filmmakers with a firmer handle on script structure, directing actors and how to use digital effects.
Dracula 3D opens in Spain on November 9, and Italy on November 22. No word yet on a US release.
Follow Perri on Twitter at @PNemiroff.
Source: Bloody Disgusting
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