The Movie Waffler New Release Review - Dracula (3D) | The Movie Waffler

New Release Review - Dracula (3D)

Directed by: Dario Argento
Starring: Asia Argento, Rutger Hauer, Thomas Kretschmann, Unax Ugalde, Marta Gastini, Miriam Giovanelli

Just what the world needs, another Dracula adaptation.

Released in 3D in Italian cinemas, Argento's 'Dracula' is quietly hitting DVD and Blu-Ray shelves in most other parts of the world. Closely following the plot of the novel, Jonathan Harker (Ugalde), is summoned to the home of Count Dracula (Kretschmann) to oversee a real estate transaction. Once there he is attacked by the Count and a horny, and exceptionally busty, female vampire (the novel had three but I guess the budget didn't stretch that far). Harker's wife Mina (Gastini), it turns out, is the reincarnation of a former lover of Dracula. To combat all this blood-sucking madness, renowned vampire hunter Van Helsing (Hauer) must employ his unique skills.
Some directors, especially those involved in the horror genre, just don't age well, producing one "Oh Granddad!" moment after another. There's none more guilty of this than Argento. I can't think of another film-maker whose career provides such contrasting quality from his early work to his recent turkeys. His last two films ('Mother of Tears' and 'Giallo') scaled new levels of ineptitude yet somehow he's managed to reach yet another nadir with his latest. Argento has sadly become a director whose work only a mater suspiriorum could love.
The story stays relatively faithful to the original Stoker text but, on practically every level, this is an absolute travesty. Shot on the cheapest looking digital format and employing matte paintings that seem to have been composed by a child, visually the film resembles those BBC children's productions from the seventies, but with neither the charm nor the excuses of that era. The CG on display here would look dated in an early nineties PC game, never mind a 2013 release. The terrible dialogue, combined with atrocious dubbing, makes competent actors like Hauer and Kretschmann look like idiots.
It pains me to slate a once great talent, the man who gave us nightmares with genre classics like 'Suspiria' and 'Profondo Rosso', but please Dario, retire. Oh Granddad!