True horror fans are aware the genre has been dying for years. Audiences have been force-fed the same movies over and over with different titles. Paranormal Activity, Episode 50, The Blair Witch Project, and The Poughkeepsie Tapes for example.
We are looking for something new. Not gore-pron, not urban legends, and not brooding-twinkly-movie-monsters that should really only show up in a Harlequin novel.
What we want is substance.
As history repeats itself classics like the old Hammer films are re-emerging with the younger generations of macabre loving youths.
This brings me toTerror of Dracula. Not so much a remake but a re-VAMP’ing of a classic story.
Due to the imagery and its overall concept, it’s easy to consider this a movie that stands on its own. I accept it for what it is and do not see it as “just another remake“.
Quick judgments like that are what gets one killed in a zombie apocalypse.
In 1897 Bram Stoker wrote Dracula. Like Lovecraft, Stoker was a writer beyond his time. Dracula has been a favourite of true horror fans. It could be attempted to research how many times his novel has been adapted into film, but that would be moot. It’s clear that this story has hit the cold soul of so many of us genre geeks that it will never truly die.
What is a special treat for me is when a movie is made today and given to us with the essence of Christopher Lee Hammer flick.
Terror of Dracula is a recent release, or present release, that owns all the key properties of the classic vamp flick from the 60’s and 70’s. The story follows Stoker’s Dracula, again known for is lustful violence and tragic star-crossed lovers.
Anthony D.P. Mann, Director, Star and Composer for this piece has given the audience what we have been thirsty for, a stylized view of Dracula.
Mann has really out done himself with this movie and created a new fan base and I’m sure we will be seeing a number of horror genre films from him to come in the future. One thing that can be said about Mann is that when he puts his mind to something he gets it done, and done well.
On a low-budget he has compiled an entire film that is well rounded and a pleasure to watch. Mann has made his mark in my beloved macabre format. Count on him becoming well known for his directing style and his acting. Another movie Sherlock Holmes and The Shadow Watchers is an excellent example of what Mann can accomplish on a strict budget and make it extremely professional.
Like it was in the Hammer movies most of the gruesomeness is implied, giving the audience a stronger feeling of gore then actually viewing it. What you don’t see and are forced to imagine is often worse than what special effects make up can offer.
This 100 minute movie is grand. If you love the hammer classics Terror of Dracula is one movie not to be over looked. I strongly recommend that this be watched and appreciated for what it is. A small budget movie that came out with a big budget bang!
Dracula. An iconic and commanding character. One portrayed by Mann who imaged the monster as strong, forceful, and at times someone to be pitied. A deeply evil soul.
Special regards to actor Terry Wade who played Van Helsing who did an excellent job. He was believable in his concern for his patients and strong willed when it came to fighting off the mysterious ailments that plagued his subordinates.
Matt Davis who portrayed Johnathan Harker was a pro at emoting and helped the movie diligently move along with a terrifying back story.
Angella Scott who played Lucy Morris held her own and showed that a woman still can steal a scene. Her ability to change from someone who to be empathized with to someone truly evil was remarkable much like Denise Wedge‘s performance as Mina Murray . The women were all outstanding.
I know I have missed many of the key players here but for times sake and the fact i am not writing a book we’ll will leave it at that.
When all is said and done producer Bill Bossert made an excellent decision backing this movie and giving Mann freedom to create a truly original feature, one that will stand the test of time.
Before I bit adieu to this review i have to mention the online comic book Blood Birth by James Daniels found on the website for Terror of Dracula: To be followed by two more e-books by other artists.
If you view Terror of Dracula you will be picking up your Bram Stoker‘s novel by the end of the day wishing for more.