Dracula 3D (2012)

Posted on December 7, 2020 in 1 Oogie, Film Reviews, Genre: Horror & Monster

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Dracula 3D (2012)
Dracula 3D (2012)

Main cast: Thomas Kretschmann (Dracula), Rutger Hauer (Abraham Van Helsing), Marta Gastini (Mina Harker), Asia Argento (Lucy Kisslinger), Unax Ugalde (Jonathan Harker), Miriam Giovanelli (Tania), Giovanni Franzoni (Renfield), and Riccardo Cicogna (Janek)
Director: Dario Argento

Dario Argento is an undisputed legend and icon in the horror genre… and having said that, it’s rather sad that he doesn’t quit when he’s ahead. He was in his seventies when he directed and co-wrote Dracula 3D, and the result is a akin to a sad parody of his finer moments. This movie feels like it’s something from the 1970s or 1980s, and the hollow script and direction suggest that Mr Argento has no new ideas; he’s just rehashing what he has done decades ago.

This movie doesn’t try to reinvent anything about the Dracula story in a significant manner. While Jonathan Harker is pushed away and discarded in an eye-rolling manner, this one is still about Dracula mooning after Mina because she resembled some dead girlfriend of his, while at the same time feeding on Mina’s good friend Lucy. The fang face tyrannizes a village, practically holding the residents in an iron grip even as he and his harem feed off them one by one, and eventually Abraham Van Helsing is brought into the picture. There are no suitors of Lucy here, just poor old Rutger Hauer doing what he can for a paycheck as he goes up against a totally humiliated Thomas Kretschmann. That doesn’t mean that this movie has any shortage of superfluous characters though: there are several pointless secondary characters that show up here only to be disposed of before I can ever catch their name, much less what else about them.

Mr Kretschmann’s Dracula doesn’t have a chance, regardless of his acting, because the guy is just so bogged down by some of the worst CGI to have ever existed in any movie. The 3D in the title indicates that this movie is created to cash in on the 3D craze back in those days, but the people involved seem to be laboring under the impression that they are making a video game for the first Playstation. Seriously, the visual quality of the movie is pretty dire, with the CGI often being more unintentionally hilarious than anything else. My favorites are the scene of the spider moving in circles like a clockwork toy on the web and a really absurd giant praying mantis showing up to kill some poor bloke in a scene full of cringe. It is as if these people ran out of money during post-production and had someone do it based on the software manual or something.

Scenes that are supposed to be in darkness appear way too bright, killing any chance of this movie being scary. Also, Mr Argento once again puts his daughter in his own movie and has her appear naked, and I suppose you can’t get more… European than that, I guess. Speaking of Europeans, this movie is populated by cast that act and talk wooden, to the point that it feels like every line has been dubbed by people for whom English is probably the fifth or sixth language.

In the end, it doesn’t matter how well the cast act—they didn’t, act well, that is—or how good the story is, because this movie is butchered in its execution. The movie is too bright and fake-looking, the visual effects are shockingly atrocious, and even the obligatory sex scene is unintentionally hilarious, as the couple fake-hump in a position that suggests that the guy’s pee-pee must be at least thirty inches long in order to achieve penetration in such an unlikely angle. Mind you, nothing here transcends a level of awfulness to become sublime and campy—this movie is just a disaster lacking in any kind of entertainment value.

Don’t watch this. Seriously, if you go ahead and do it anyway, don’t blame if you develop eye cancer or something.