Dracula 3000 (2004)

Starring Casper Van Dien, Erika Eleniak, Coolio, Tiny Lister, and Udo Kier as “Special Appearance By”

Directed by Daniel Roodt

An intergalactic salvage crew finds a seemingly abandoned spaceship called the Demeter adrift in space. They board it and find the cargo hold is loaded with 50 coffins. Turns out Dracula is lurking about. So basically what we have here is Dracula X, a futuristic revamping of Dracula crossbred with Alien. It sounds like a simple enough premise but then about a half hour in, Coolio got turned into a wisecracking vampire that overacts like Marlon Wayans cranked up on crystal meth and people end up running around this futuristic spaceship trying to stab Dracula through the heart with poolsticks.

I gotta warn you. This is not going to be a typical review. There’s no point. After the first half hour it almost seems as if they stopped using a script. I’m convinced much of the dialogue had to have been ad libbed because I refuse to believe any self respecting screenwriter would ever write lines this terrible on purpose, not even the guys writing for Troma.

“I ever tell you how many times I see you and want to ejaculate all over your bazonkas? Or the times I stayed up late, high as a kite in a non-gravitational atmosphere, while I stroked my anaconda and dreamed about your Snow White ass?”

“What’s a vampire?”

“It’s sort of like a man, but far more evil.”

“All that bloodsuckin’, that’s some white people shit!”

Then there are scenes that happen with almost no rhyme or reason.

For example, at one point, Dracula, who looks like the kind of Dracula that should be scaring ten year olds at the Knights of Columbus’ Halloween haunted house, is suddenly shown running down a corridor past the camera for no reason whatsoever. We get no explanation as to why or where he’s headed. We just get this ridiculous three second scene of the guy playing Dracula in full cape and costume sprinting down the corridor past the camera as if he were Forrest Gump on Halloween.

In a later scene, Dracula is confronting another character, trying to entice the person into willingly becoming a vampire. There’s a sudden metal clang off camera. Dracula turns in the direction of the noise, hisses, and runs away. We never find out what caused the noise of why it was able to spook the lord of the vampires. The next time we see that character he’s a vampire. You get the feeling that there were certain shots and for that matter, entire scenes that were never filmed.

I honestly can’t recall the last time a movie left me so utterly dumbfounded to the point of total disbelief. I’ve yet to be able to fully grasp what I saw. I mean, was it intended to be a comedy? Was it just completely incompetent filmmaking? Did the director set out to make a movie this stunningly bad on purpose? Did he lose control of the production as the actors just started doing whatever the hell they wanted? Was the script tossed out a quarter of the way in and they all decided to just improvise the rest of the movie? Was there even a complete script to begin with? Did the production run out of money a few days into filming leaving them to try and salvage the flick by quickly improvising it into some incoherent attempt at comedy? Was everyone involved with the picture on a massive drug binge while shooting it? Just what the hell happened?

Want more?

Casper Van Dien finds it suspicious that the Demeter, which was found adrift in the Carpathian solar system, seems to be on a course for Earth even though it has been adrift for half a century. Udo Kier explains that the Demeter had left Transylvania Station in the Carpathian solar system heading to Earth when all hell broke loose. Dracula reveals to Erika Eleniak that he comes from a planet of vampires in the Carpathian solar system that has died out and wants to get to Earth in order to feed and repopulate his race. Van Dien learns that he’s a descendant from the Abraham Van Helsing immortalized in the Bram Stoker novel and when the two eventually meet face to face, Dracula indeed recognizes the Van Helsing name as that of an old foe’s.

Wait a minute!

They established that Dracula came from a vampire planet whose race has died out and that is why he’s headed for Earth. But…But…This same Dracula was supposedly on Earth already once back in the late 1800’s, where he was defeated by the original Abraham Van Helsing. So are they implying that Dracula was once on Earth, was defeated by Van Helsing, and then somehow returned to his home planet only for his race to die out and now wants to return to Earth? But until the stuff about Van Dien’s distant relative came up the implication had been that the events of the Stoker novel had never taken place. None of it makes any sense whatsoever. It doesn’t add up at all. There’s absolutely no logical continuity.

Even House of the Dead made more sense than this movie. I can actually envision Uwe Boll sitting in the comfort of his living room, watching Dracula 3000, and muttering something along the lines of, “Vhat in dah hell iz dis sheet?”

And then there’s the ending. Oh my God, the ending! Dracula is left screaming hysterically after having his arm lopped off by a big metal door and the last two surviving characters decide to self destruct the ship and celebrate their final moments by going off and making red hot monkey love? BOOM! The end.

Was it all supposed to be some great big joke? If so, it failed. It failed on a biblical level.

This film is so amazingly awful that it manages to be embarrassing, cringe-inducing, and mesmerizing all at the same time. It has that Manos, The Hands of Fate quality where you just can’t take your eyes off of it because you are perversely curious to see just how much worse it will get. You aren’t entertained by it, you’re just stupefied by it. Using the Fujita scale, Dracula 3000 reaches the F5 of bad filmdom.

0 out of 5

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Jon Condit

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