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The most seductive evil of all time has now been unleashed in ours.
|Directed by||Patrick Lussier|
|Written by||Joel Soisson; Patrick Lussier|
|Produced by||Wes Craven; Marianne Maddalena; Andrew Rona; Bob Weinstein; Harvey Weinstein; W.K. Border; Ron Schmidt; Joel Soisson; Tony Steinberg; Dan Arredondo|
|Music by||Marco Beltrami|
|Edited by||Peter Devaney Flanagan; Patrick Lussier|
|Distributed by||Miramax Films; Dimension Films; Neo Art & Logic|
|Release date(s)||December 22nd, 2000|
|Running time||99 min.|
|Gross revenue|| $33,000,377 (US)|
|Followed by||Dracula II: Ascension (2003)|
Dracula 2000 is an American horror film presented by Wes Craven and directed by Patrick Lussier. The screenplay was written Lussier and Joel Soisson and inspired by characters first developed by author Bram Stoker for his novel Dracula. The movie was produced by Dimension Films and Neo Art & Logic and released theatrically in the United States on December 22nd, 2000.
The movie opens with a teaser flashback of the classic voyage of the Demeter from the original Dracula story. We see the passenger ship sailing towards England. Rats scurry about all over the place and the entire crew is dead. The Captain is tied to the steering wheel of the boat and is presumably dead. The boat drifts into a British port, and we see beast-like footprints leaving the boat onto the beach. A shadowy figure emerges onto the fog-shrouded streets of London.
The story then continues at Carfax Abbey, which is now part of an antiquities mall along the river. Matthew Van Helsing, grandson of Abraham Van Helsing operates the dealership. Van Helsing's assistant is an eager young man named Simon Sheppard. He also has a dealer working for him named Solina.
Solina is actually playing both sides of the field however. She only took the job at Carfax so she could help map out a plan to break into a highly secured hidden vault in the basement of the building. She's working in league with the shop's architect, Marcus as well as few other shady individuals named Eddie, Nightshade, Dax, Trick and Charlie. As the shop closes for the evening, Van Helsing retreats to his private study to play with some leeches. He keeps them in little glass jars and injects himself with blood taken from their bodies. His arm is covered with purple bruises and veins running up and down the length of it. While Van Helsing continues working with the leech blood, Solina and her crew sneak into the lower levels of the shop.
They break into a vault and find a hidden chamber. Inside is a large silver coffin with crosses attached to the lid. Charlie tries to remove the lid to the coffin and this triggers a booby trap. A row of spikes slams down on him impaling him to the floor. Another iron wall of spikes likewise swings down and nails Dax. The rest of the crew isn't ready to broach any more surprises, so they use some dynamite to blow up the side of the wall. They push the sealed coffin into the river and then make their escape. Upon hearing the explosion, Van Helsing puts down his needles and rushes to see what is going on. He realizes that the thieves have stolen the body of Count Dracula and he makes plans to track them down.
Solina and the others hijack an airplane and begin their journey back to the United States. Nightshade is told to find a way to break the seal on the coffin. He does so, but manages to slice his hand open with the crowbar. The blood drips down into the coffin and Dracula is revived and ready to go. He quickly kills everyone on the plane and turns them into vampires. He then forces the pilot to take the plane to New Orleans, Louisiana.
A few days later, the plane carrying the thieves is found in a swamp near Clarke, Louisiana. News reporter Valerie Sharpe records the spectacle and reveals how the pilot had been tied to the yoke of the plane with cables and metal piping. As her cameraman zooms in on her breasts, Dracula rises from the swamp waters and kills Valerie and the cameraman. He turns Valerie into a vampire.
Meanwhile, Mary Heller works at Virgin Records with her friend Lucy Westerman. Mary is is plagued by bizarre nightmares of a sharp-dressed man. The man of her dreams is of course Dracula, and through her visions, she becomes privy to the events of the following week on the airplane. But Mary doesn't know who this man is, or why she has dreams about him.
Matthew Van Helsing arrives in America and goes to an emptied auditorium in Clarke where the bodies from the crash are being kept. Not five minutes later, Van Helsing's assistant Simon Sheppard enters the room. Simon tracked his boss's route through a friend he has at the customs office. Van Helsing is forced to reveal his true origin to Simon. He is not really the grandson of Abraham Van Helsing, as Simon had believed. In fact, he is the original Van Helsing kept alive by daily injections of vampire blood, which he obtains by way of leeches. Although he has no other vampiric properties, Van Helsing is about 100-years older than he should be. In 1897, he and his friends Jack Seward, Quincy Morris and Jonathan Harker captured Dracula within an iron cage in Carfax Abbey. Van Helsing soon discovered that Dracula cannot be killed - ever. So instead, he bought Carfax and constructed an elaborate prison for the dead vamp. He has been keeping vigil over him, searching for a way to end his blood-sucking existence for the past century.
After the older man concludes his story to Simon, the dead bodies from the crash rise from their shrouds. Simon kills Nightshade and spears Solina to a wall. He also squares off against Marcus, driving a knife through his eye. Van Helsing manages to kill Eddie. He notices that Simon is preparing to cut off Solina's head, but warns him that they don't have time to finish her off because the police are coming.
Dracula meanwhile is exploring the decadence of New Orleans. He is searching for Mary Heller. The reason he wants to find her is because she is the biological daughter of Abraham Van Helsing. However, since she was conceived during a time when Abraham was injecting himself with vampire blood, Dracula assumes that he has as much a paternal claim to her as Van Helsing does. In fact, it was this blood tie between the two that enabled Dracula to know that she was living in New Orleans.
Meanwhile, Solina is arrested and taken down to the parish police station. They throw her in an interrogation room and the cops try to talk to her through a sheet of two-way glass. Solina shatters the glass and pulls one of the cops into the interrogation room. Dracula appears in the booth and kills a police psychiatrist that had been witnessing the affair.
Dracula sends Solina away and goes to Virgin Records where he meets Lucy. Lucy is enamored with the attractive vampire and invites him back to her place. Dracula isn't really interested in her, but instead casts his gaze upon Mary. As it turns out however, Dracula accompanies Lucy back to the apartment she shares with Mary and the two have sex. Dracula turns Lucy into a vampire.
Simon on the other hand, manages to find Mary right outside the back lot of Virgin Records. He tells her that he is with her father and that he has something important to tell her. Before he can reveal anything though, Marcus appears. Marcus is still angry over the loss of his eye and the two start fighting. Marcus kicks a metal trash bin into Simon, slamming him against the side of a van, but Simon manages to get the upper hand and cuts Marcus' head off. The head flies off and lands in a dumpster. He then informs Mary of everything that has transpired.
Van Helsing, not realizing that Simon has found his daughter, goes to Mary's house in search of her. He finds Dracula there waiting for him. Dracula is still angry that Van Helsing had the audacity to produce a child using his blood. So he throws the old man against a full-length mirror and then sicks his vampire revenants upon him (Valerie, Solina and now Lucy). The three women kill Van Helsing and then impale with a broken bedpost.
Dracula eventually finds Mary and he takes her to the roof of some tall building overlooking the various Mardi Gras parades below. On the top of the building is a large cross-shaped neon sign with a picture of Jesus painted upon it. While Dracula is putting the moves on Mary, Simon is downstairs trying to get to her, but he has to fight through Dracula's vampire followers first.
Dracula reveals the reason why he can never be truly killed. Not only is he Vlad the Impaler, the infamous 15th century Romanian prince, but he is also Judas Iscariot. Judas is the man who betrayed Jesus Christ after the last supper and sold him out to the Pharisees, thus resulting in Jesus' crucifixion. He was hung soon after, and God was so enraged by this that he decided to curse Judas even more by making him the world's first vampire. After revealing this story to Mary, Dracula bites down on her and turns her into a vampire.
Simon meanwhile is still having a difficult time fighting off the vampire women. He succeeds in driving a stake into Valerie Sharpe, but he gets beaten down by Solina. Dracula and his new slave enter the room just as Solina and Lucy tie Simon up to a pole. Dracula orders Mary to drink from Simon, but Mary would rather cut off his head. Her rationale is that Simon would seek their deaths whether he was turned into a vampire or not. Dracula concedes and hands Mary a very large knife. She walks over to slice off Simon's head, but instead spins around and cuts off Lucy's head with one swift blow. She then spins around again and drives the knife into Dracula forcing him through the window onto the rooftop.
Simon frees himself and gets into another fight with Solina. He gets smacked around for a bit, but finally manages to chop the vampire's head off with some garden shears.
Mary meanwhile, grabs some electrical cable from the neon sign and ropes it around Dracula's neck. As Dracula struggles to free himself, Lucy pushes him over the ledge. The neon sign creaks over slightly and Dracula is swinging by the neck staring up into the painted face of Jesus Christ. At this moment the sun comes up and Dracula's body bursts into flame.
With the death of Dracula, Mary is no longer a vampire. Simon and Mary collect her father's things and go to Carfax Abbey to live happily ever after.
Notes & Trivia Edit
- Production on Dracula 2000 began on June 21st, 1999. Principal photography concluded on September 7th, 1999. Re-shoots were conducted from October 18th-November 2nd, 2000. The movie was shot on location in New Orleans, Louisiana as well as London, England and Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The plane crash scene towards the beginning of the movie was filmed at Bayou Gauche in Louisiana. Some scenes were shot at University College in Toronto.
- Dracula 2000 grossed $8,636,567 over the holiday weekend in 2000 on 2,204 screens. On it's final week in release, the movie grossed $41,492 on only 114 screens. It was screened in the UK on June 17th, 2001, grossing £344,865 on 272 screens.
- Dracula 2000 was released on DVD by Dimension Home Video on July 3rd, 2001. It was released on Blu-ray by Echo Bridge Home Entertainment on May 10th, 2011.
See also Edit
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