The story of Dracula has been done to death at this point. There have been numerous incarnations of the character that worked as well as even more that did not. One aspect that never seems to go away is the period origin take on the character. Now famed director Dario Argento is trying his hand at the legendary vampire with Dracula and bringing Rutger Hauer and Thomas Kretschmann along for the ride, but does it bring anything new to the legend or should the casket be kept closed?
Dracula follows an unsuspecting Englishman arrives in Transylvania, lured by a job with a local nobleman. But the undead Count Dracula's real target is the man's innocent young wife. Argento has attempted to create a Hammer horror like rendition of Dracula and has succeeded, but at the same time has made a cheesy bad variation as well. The story should have been simple enough, but it seems to be all over the place for most of the film. Hauer and Kretschmann give over the top performances and both seem to be having a lot of fun, but are surrounded by some pretty bad ones. There is one female vampire moment that might be the worst vampire in history. Despite the issues the nostalgic look and feel of the film still makes it one that is hard to not enjoy on some level. While it sports that old feel, complete with the erotic sexual nature, Argento has stepped up the gore factor to more current standards. There are aspects of the film that were clearly shot for 3D, but come off plain silly in 2D.
Much like the Grindhouse genre, this is one of those movies that unless you get it, you will most certainly hate it. The attention to detail to bring this old school style to this film is impressive despite its various flaws as a whole. If you are a fan of old school Dracula films in the vein of those from the 60s and 70s, then give Dracula a try and decide for yourself.