Woefully underrated, Dracula 2000 is a visually appealing, entertaining, and cheesy vampire movie that just might surprise you. First of all, you’ll have to admit that Dracula 2000 is a really cool title. Actually, it’s one of the main reasons that asshole Weinstein bought the damn script. It went through several rewrites until we eventually ended up with the movie before us today. You can see where they were going with this, a new type of vampire for a new century. Secondly, the executive producer is none other than horror legend Wes Craven. His Vampire in Brooklyn movie didn’t do so well just a couple of years earlier.
Finally, this movie stars a very young Gerard Butler playing the role of the lead vampire, Dracula. He’s barely recognizable without his huge muscles and big jaw. And I have to say I like this Gerard better. To cut the story short, Dracula 2000 is a fun fairy tale for adults with action, romance, vampires, and vampire hunters. The atmosphere is not scary but exciting and cool, something so many horror movies of the early 2000s tried to pull off. For example, you can clearly notice the difference between nineties vampire movies like Coppola’s Dracula or John Carpenter’s Vampires and this one.
Oddly enough, Carpenter tried to do something similar with Ghosts of Mars. You can see the signs of transformation in the Blade trilogy. However, it is this movie and Queen of the Damned that ushered a new era in this subgenre of commercial horror movies. Van Helsing and the Underworld franchise are the end result of this change. Moving on, Dracula 2000 is also a definition of a guilty pleasure movie. It’s incredibly cheesy at times and the main story is really heavy-handed. Most of the twists are quite predictable although the last one is freaking glorious.
I remember how it caught me by surprise and made me love this movie even more. And no, I’m not going to tell you what it is. You’ll have to see this glorious 2000s nostalgia overload to find out what I’m talking about. And it all starts with a bitchin’ soundtrack, a must-have for self-respecting commercial horror of that time. It features such bands as Static-X, Linkin Park, System of a Down, and almost an entire music video for Monster Magnet’s song Heads Explode. Additionally, you can relax listening to the soothing sounds of Slayer’s Bloodline or Pantera’s Avoid The Light.
And, as we all know, any movie featuring Slayer can’t be all that bad. Also, keep an eye on Virgin Records’ product placement, it’s a hoot. Plus, it kind of has a double meaning, if you catch my drift. So, apart from one vampiric Butler we also have Nathan Fillion playing a priest, Jeri Ryan, and Jonny Lee Miller. And someone who goes by the name of Vitamin C, playing Lucy, whomever that may be. I’m also certain you’re going to recognize almost the entire supporting cast.
A group of thieves just broke into the secret headquarters of Abraham Van Helsing’s company. He’s an antique dealer with a very special place and a very big safe. However, our unsuspecting robbers will only find a single silver casket inside this huge safe. Determined not to leave empty-handed, they steal the casket not knowing that shall be their undoing. And not just theirs…
Featuring a running time of just over ninety minutes and fast pacing, Dracula 2000 will be over before you know it. It opens with a stylish heist only to fly over the pond straight to New Orleans. This is an unapologetically flashy movie with flashy editing, special effects, and pretty much everything else. The character development is, however, laughable. And I really mean that as you will giggle each time they try to take themselves seriously. Additionally, there’s almost no tension. And how could there be when you don’t have anyone to oppose the might of Goth Gerard Butler?
His magnetic presence is half the fun Dracula 2000 offers. One of our heroes is this barely alive senior while the other one is a clumsy antique dealer. On the other side, we have an incredibly charismatic Butler and his supernatural evil cohorts. Luckily, the action sequences are energetic and quite good. Although I have to admit I didn’t like the whole flying thing but I guess Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon was that influential back then. Despite the R rating, we won’t get much gore or nudity. Hell, I thought this was a PG-13 movie until a few moments ago. Although there will be a couple of decapitations.
Finally, you should know that there are two straight-to-video sequels of inferior quality, Ascension and Legacy. So, if Dracula 2000 was a new vampire movie for a new century, are we going to wait 100 years to get the next iteration? We most certainly are not going to wait that much as Dracula 3000 has been released in 2004. It is one of those movies so bad that they are good and I urge you to check it out.
Director: Patrick Lussier
Writers: Joel Soisson, Patrick Lussier
Cast: Gerard Butler, Justine Waddell, Christopher Plummer, Jonny Lee Miller, Jennifer Esposito, Omar Epps
Fun Facts: The name of the Abraham Van Helsing’s company is Carfax Abbey. Carfax Abbey is also the name of the mansion Dracula uses in the original novel by Bram Stoker.