Released: August 2004
Director: Darrell Roodt
Run Time: Eternity
Casper Van Dien: Captain Abraham Van Helsing
Erika Eleniak: Aurora
Alexandra Kamp: Mina Murry
Grant Hornsby: Arthur Holmwood
Langley Kirkwood: Orlock
Tiny Lister: Humvee
Udo Kier: Captain Varna
I’ve always had an interest in the character of Dracula. He’s probably the most iconic villain in film history, and even he was inspired by the stories of Vlad Tepes III. He’s known as the Prince of Darkness, and according to Bram Stoker is the first of the vampires. As someone who has read the book, I’ve recently been watching a number of adaptations of Stoker’s book. While most of the adaptations are mostly harmless and some are actually very,very good, there are some that are truly abominable. A couple months ago, I had reviewed Dario Argento’s Dracula. I thought that movie was really….not so good. It followed the original story okay enough, but the production values and acting were absolutely dreadful. Oh….but that one doesn’t even come close to how horrendous Dracula 3000 is. It was probably a sign that I was in for a very rotten movie when the disc I rented from Netflix was broken, so I sent it back for another copy. The copy of the disc that I had gotten today worked well enough, but the movie itself….oh, man. Sometimes, I review bad movies so I can vent. I would like to believe I’m pretty fair in my critiques. I believe in being fair, but there are movies that deserve NO mercy and Dracula 3000 is one of them.
This “film” opens on a video recording of Captain Varna of the spaceship Demeter detailing certain events of what’s been happening on the ship. The movie cuts to an abysmally rendered ship docking with an equally poorly CG rendered Demeter. The smaller ship is piloted by Captain Abraham Van Helsing. As soon as they dock, they begin to realize that something is really wrong. Yeah, there’s something wrong, alright: The movie f**king sucks. Anyway, the resident pot-head 187 stumbles on a room of caskets. Apparently they used to ship drugs across the galaxy using caskets, so Humvee and 187 start opening them up only to discover sand. Meanwhile everybody else is acting like complete morons and explore the ship. Humvee ends up abandoning 187 for some stupid reason, and then somebody hears him scream. They discover he’s been injured and has two puncture wounds on his neck. You know what? No. No, no, no, no. NO!! Just…no. It just seems criminal to pick apart this movie, because it’s so damned easy. Let’s start with the acting. Are you kidding me? If it was a joke, it would be funny. Everybody here just plain stinks. Casper Van Dien plays Van Helsing. Yes, Abraham Van Helsing. You know, the legendary vampire killer from Bram Stoker’s novel? The only thing here that’s legendary is how poorly he does. Erika Eleniak plays Aurora, the android. Other than standing there and looking pretty, she does absolutely nothing except whine like a mule. Coolio? he stopped being relevant even this movie was released, which was back in 2004. So, he’s been off the radar for a while, and that’s a good thing. When he turns into a vampire, he seems to be taking a cue from Gollum, except that he’s just plain awful. Everyone else is equally horrendous. The only one who managed to not really be affected was Udo Kier. He was the only bright spot here.
Story-wise, Dracula 3000 rips off some stuff from the book, but it is done in such a way that absolutely disrespectful of the source material. Planet Transylvania in the Carpathian System? At one point somebody actually said Transylvania was a space station, and then changed it to a planet. A planet of vampires. Apparently the main baddie, Count Orlock(Dracula) paid for passage on the Demeter with caskets full of sand, which was never explained in the movie. Let’s talk about the villain, now. Count Orlock. When we first see him, he’s dressed up typically like Count Dracula with that ridiculous cape and poofy shirt, only it looks like they got the costume from Wal-Mart, at a discount. Kirkwood’s performance as Orlock? This is not acting. This is running around like a chicken with its head cut off. The costumes on the other characters are equally appalling. Van Helsing sports a sleeveless uniform that is supposed to make the character look like a bad-ass. It only succeeds in making Van Dien like look a Van Dingbat. Believe it or not, I actually like Casper Van Dien. I really do. I liked him in Starship Troopers and I thought he did a fairly decent job in Sleepy Hollow. I don’t think he’s a terrible actor, just that he doesn’t make the greatest decisions when it comes to movie projects. Dracula 3000 has to be his worst movie ever. I don’t think anybody came out of this one unscathed. For a movie that’s rated R, there’s not a whole of blood or violence. There’s not even a titty shot from Erika Eleniak or Alexandra Kamp. That probably would have made the movie a little bit more tolerable. Nope. Not even that. I don’t know how the actors got roped into this, but I’m guessing they were desperate for a paycheck, maybe? The amount of incompetence on display here is beyond reckoning. Dario Argento’s film is like Citizen Kane compared to this tripe. The director had absolutely no idea what the hell he was doing. The writers must have been on meth or some kind of narcotic, because I think the only way to enjoy this movie is to be stoned out of your mind. Dracula 3000 isn’t worth the Monopoly money that was probably used to pay for it. How the movie got the green light will always remain a mystery to me. Oh, I can’t forget that ending. Uh…Orlock gets his arm cut off as the ship heads towards some sun. So in their last hours, Humvee and Aurora use their remaining time to bang each other, apparently. I didn’t mention that earlier Van Helsing got turned a vampire and then staked through the heart with a pool cue. There’s that. And then the ship explodes and then the credits role. You know, in most cases, I would consider that a bad thing, because it’s a non-ending. But I’m just fine with it here. The movie actually runs about 86 minutes, but it feels like forever.
If, for some unfathomable reason that you decide to rent, or God forbid, buy it, and the disc doesn’t work, consider it a sign from the Almighty that you probably shouldn’t watch this garbage. Do yourselves a favor: Stay away. Stay far away. If you see somebody pick this up to look at it, grab it out of their hands and throw it into the garbage. Or better yet: Douse it in holy water, stake it, and set it on fire. It is the only way to cleanse that brand of evil from this earth. My final verdict is: DEAR GOD, WHAT IS THING?! BURN IT! Warn your friends. Warn your family.