Bram Stoker's Dracula
Directed by: Francis Ford Coppola
Starring: Gary Oldman, Anthony Hopkins,
Winona Ryder and Keanu Reeves.
Note: I do apologize for the irrelevancy of reviewing Bram Stoker's Dracula, but since I haven't really seen much since Miss Pettigrew, I felt I needed more bad reviews on my site, so without further adieu, the review.
I stumbled upon Dracula when a good friend called me to tell me that she had just watched Dracula and said it was just plain awful. She had received it as a gift years ago, but never opened the shrink wrap(Whether or not it was a friend who secretly despised her I'll never know). Needless to say, I told her I had to stop by and watch it with her, anticipating the cheesiness of the actors, the particularly bad accents and the wooden as a plank Keanu Reeves. What better way to watch a bad movie then with friends?
Anyways, we went over to our friends' house expecting the worst, and ended up with our expectations met and exceeded. It's not that Bram Stoker's Dracula is the worst movie ever made, it just isn't a very good one.
Bram Stoker's Dracula is, of course, another retelling of the classic novel. It has been made at least a thousand times with many actors donning the cape and fangs. Hell, they even spoofed it on The Simpsons. This version has been hailed "The greatest retelling of Dracula!"(As quoted by the cyberphiles on IMDB) While others have heavily criticized its acting and mostly everything about the film. The problem with this version of Dracula is that while it was a big movie, featuring a star studded cast and directed by the man who made two of the greatest movies of all time, as well as some major stinkers(North!) it takes the idea of Dracula's passionate love for a woman who died, causing Dracula to curse god and become the the evil, blood sucking vampire we know and love. Vlad Dracula is a warrior(We see this in a cheesy battle full of groans and oofs! from the solders) and he is madly in love with Elisabeta(Winona Ryder). As I already mentioned before, she dies, he becomes a vampire.
Flash forward many years later, we see Jonathan Harker(Bad as predicted Keanu Reeves) a man who is engaged to Mina(Also Winona Ryder) travels to Transylvannia for business, leaving Mina alone with her rich friend Lucy(Sadie Frost who could play the same role with the same amount of force in the porno remake Bram Stroker's The Three Horny Brides of Dracula) Lucy seems to rely on camp, she is loose, sleeps around with more men then their pajamas and always manages to moan like she is receiving a demonic orgasm. Coppola paints her up as a whorish vamp, and this is before her transformation, complete with the obligatory lesbian make out in rain(!)
Long story short, Harker, along with his god awful accent, arrives at the castle to meet Dracula(Gary Oldman) only to notice he is...slightly strange. Reeves is admit ably bad, which is a shame, seeing as he was at least decent in My Own Private Idaho and the 1st Matrix. Oldman play on the whole creepy vampire thing, and he is the best thing in the film, which means he is the least wooden of these actors. Another odd thing about the movie seems to be how Harker gets grabbed by a claw, sees a dead body, but he only reacts when he sees Dracula's brides eat a baby. The gore and violence isn't graphic, but its still very laughable as are the gratuitous sex scenes, nudity and in continuity of it all.
Scenes that are supposed to frighten the viewer(Lucy dressed as the queen of doilies who holds a little girl and randomly drops her, Mina drinks blood from Dracula's nipple, the brides, etc...) are done with camp value. The hype built up from the movie was immense, full of attractive logos and art campaign, star power and Dracula was the classic bad guy. When in short, all it lacked from being total camp was trannies at Dracula's castle doing the time warp.
Unfortunately, (or fortunately) I missed the ending, but all I know is that it is different from the book and that once its over, you are cursing yourself for wasting two hours watching a sloppy, cheesy adaptation that will only be remembered by me as a sad attempt to create a Dracula for the ages. And Coppola hasn't really returned from his creative slump, which is the scariest thing of it all.