Director: Dario Argento
Writers: Dario Argento, Enrique Cerezo and Stefano Piani
Cast: Thomas Kretschmann, Asia Argento, Marta Gastini and Rutger Hauer
The only person I know that loves Argento more than me is Gabe Powers. However, I am willing to admit that the guy has his faults. First up is the awful CG imagery used in this flick. It approaches “Scorpion King” levels of awful, but never fully crosses that line. The depth of scale with the 3D was out of sorts. Plus, you never could tell if they were filming on location or on some old Euro trash set. But, that brings up something that I couldn’t escape regarding the film.
“Dracula 3D” is a constant reminder that Argento is past his prime. Not that it’s a bad thing, as I love to see the guy’s noble efforts. It’s just that when your best take on Dracula is a “Captain Kronos” knock-off through a Bava filter…then, you might want to step aside. The gore is misplaced with Argento’s tasteful use of blood feeling more like fan necessitated set dressing. But, the performances are strong in spite of the cornball dialogue.
Rutger Hauer finally gets to be the first Dutchman to play Abraham Van Helsing. Look it up, kids. Plus, Thomas Kretschmann gets to shine as Dracula. He even makes the bloodsucker work after turning into an insect. I can tell that Argento was trying to turn in his version of Dracula. I just don’t know if I really cared to see. It’s a noble effort that inspires freak show style gawking, but was it necessary? Is any horror film necessary?
The answer will lie within the heart of the viewer. Apologists, detrimental fans and the casual viewer will battle it out to determine if what they’re seeing matters. I just can’t go forward with Argento anymore and keep my beloved memories of seeing “Suspiria”, “Tenebre” or “Opera” for the first time. I want to remember the good and not an aging director gasping for straws. I’m American and we’ve got George Romero to scratch that itch.
RELEASE DATE: 10/04/2013