Main cast: Jonny Lee Miller (Simon), Justine Waddell (Mary Van Helsing), Gerard Butler (Dracula), Colleen Ann Fitzpatrick (Lucy Westerna), Jennifer Esposito (Solina), Jeri Ryan (Valerie), Lochlyn Munro (Peter), Omar Epps (Marcus), and Christopher Plummer (Matthew Van Helsing)
Director: Patrick Lussier
This admittedly pointless updating of the tired Dracula mythos wins me over when it comes to campy substance-free style. It’s cool to be a vampire killer – just look at all those black threads Jonny Lee Miller and Justine Waddell wear! Wow, they put to shame the cheap-looking K-Mart rejects Buffy and gang wear on TV. It’s The Matrix with stakes. Woo-hoo!
This time around, we have Van Helsing telling us that no, Dracula isn’t dead. For some reason, that pain in the neck just won’t die no matter what is done to him. So Van Helsing vows to find the way to kill Dracula. Until then, he has Dracula kept in some sort of stasis in a coffin and puts that coffin under heavy security in an underground vault. Years turn to centuries, and Van Helsing keeps himself alive by injecting himself with Dracula’s blood. His adopted foundling son Simon and he run an antique business in modern day London.
One day some morons think the vault hides a great treasure and break in. They drag the coffin over to USA, but not before becoming Dracula’s post-stasis snack. In USA, Dracula is now free to collect groupies and hunt down Van Helsing’s daughter Mary. Oh boy. But hey, Van Helsing is coming onboard too, and Simon joins the fun. Stakes fly, but the ultimate way to kill vampires is via beheading. So Simon wields a machete and heads roll.
Dracula 2000 is a refreshing non-satirical, non-parody horror movie. It wants to scare and nothing more. And if Jonny Lee Miller is what a vampire killer looks like, let Dracula haunt me, and let Mr Miller guard my body day and night. Ooh, baby! Ms Waddell’s Mary has nothing much to do other than to pout and look scared, and the other cast members exist only as fresh meat to be butchered and vampirized into Dracula groupies.
Of course, even after becoming a vampire, one still can’t aim straight. And women in distress always run into a foggy, mist-encroached, labyrinthine cemetery to escape a vampire. You don’t switch on the lights in a dark house, and you put your head under the bed to see what that ominous blood puddle originate from.
It’s a welcome return of the old-fashion gore and more gore horror genre. Gerard Butler looks like a poor man’s Brendan Fraser, but Ms Waddell and Mr Miller look so good together as the New Slayers of the Millennium, I want to be just like them too.
Black threads, fangs, and a well-aimed machete at one’s neck – the way to live, brothers and sisters.