The first thing you need to know about this movie is that it has nothing to do with Dracula 2000, a solid turn-of-the-century guilty pleasure. Dracula 3000 is a hilariously bad mixture of horror and science fiction that will have you on the floor rolling with laughter. It’s a treat for all of us who love these sorts of movies because of their setting and main themes. I mean, we’re talking about vampires in space here. Oddly enough, this isn’t the first movie to explore this theme as we already talked about Lifeforce  – The Weirdest Vampire Movie Ever Released.
One of those vampires is none other than Coolio giving an unhinged performance of a lifetime. His character alone makes Dracula 3000 worth watching. And I haven’t even mentioned all the other good stuff. We will be following the crew of the salvage ship Mother III led by Capt. Abraham Van Helsing. They’re on their way to the Carpathian system. Yes, the Carpathian system, and in this system is an abandoned ship, Demeter, just waiting to be salvaged. However, it will turn out that the ship is not actually abandoned… This entire movie feels like a cutscene from a video game. Think System Shock or Dead Space only featuring really bad CGI.
Still, I appreciate the effort and the same goes for the production values. Half the fun in these cheesy B movies is figuring out what they were using as props. Our astronauts are wearing snorkeling masks and using some strange tubes as space suits. And in other, similar movies, welding masks are the go-to choice. Each scene is full of these small and hilarious details, so pay close attention and you’ll be greatly rewarded. For example, there are all these Soviet flags on the ship as it appears that the Carpathian system is part of the new interplanetary Soviet Union. I should also say that with a bigger budget, Dracula 3000 would be a watchable and entertaining guilty pleasure.
I don’t like mentioning Doom because that’s an infinitely more competent movie but it’s still a guilty pleasure. And just a couple of years earlier we had the pleasure of watching Jason X. They sent Jason go to space, so why shouldn’t Dracula go to space? The cast is not as unknown as you think it is. Apart from Coolio, we have Casper Van Dien whom you might remember from Starship Troopers. Although he shot another highly entertaining bad movie this same year, the infamous Skeleton Man. And I’m sure you’re going to recognize Tiny Lister with his imposing presence.
We also have a Baywatch girl here in Erika Eleniak, who was also in such hits as The Blob and Under Siege. Finally, we shouldn’t forget about Udo Kier who was the cherry on top of this deliciously bad but incredibly tasty cake. The script is cheesy but surprisingly effective with a couple of jokes landing perfectly. And the main story is also not too bad featuring a couple of nice twists. You can see what they were trying to do here. To make this commercial, half-scary half-entertaining science fiction crossover movie. I think that the success of Event Horizon prompted them to try to get away with this surreal story. Dracula 3000 features the most boring Dracula ever to grace the screen. He looks like he’s into data processing and just left the office Halloween party.
The movie also features painfully 2000s fashion style. Do you remember a time when claw rings were fashionable items? As a young metalhead, I remember seeing them for the first time in the early 2000s and being completely in awe of them. Finally, Dracula 3000 remains entertaining almost all the time, without slow or boring parts. This makes it a perfect choice for a bad movie night. The ending is just perfect and it will leave you in a great mood. And if you’re looking for similar movies do check out Supernova, also taking place in outer space. Or, if you’re in the mood for something more down-to-Earth, Shark Attack 3: Megalodon is an excellent choice.
Director: Darrell Roodt
Writers: Ivan Milborrow, Darrell Roodt
Cast: Casper Van Dien, Erika Eleniak, Coolio, Alexandra Kamp, Grant Swanby, Tiny Lister, Udo Kier
Fun Facts: An international co-production of the United States and South Africa.