Friday, August 8, 2008

The Vulture's Eye

About fifteen minutes into this film, when it finally took a break from the interminably long horseback riding talk, we got a glimpse of our villain, and instantly the thought flashed into my head: not another goddamned vampire movie! This is like the eighth or ninth one so far in the set, and I’ve only watched 25 movies so far. Of course, a few minutes after that thought, the names of the characters clicked in my head and I realized an even more horrible thought: this is just Dracula set in the present day, with just the vampire’s name changed Nosferatu-style.

I have seen in my day far too many versions of Dracula. From Hammer Studios alone I’ve seen close to a dozen Dracula films, not to mention all the old Universal ones, both Nosferatu films, Coppola’s tragically lame 90s version, and a wide variety in between. My point is that unless a film really excels, really takes the basic story and runs with it in some new way that nobody has done before, I’m probably going to be very bored watching it. Of course, as about a third of this film’s running time is devoted to horses and stables and horseback riding and discussing horseback riding and zzzzzzzzzzz…*snort* Huh? Wuzzat? Oh, a review? At this time of night?

This isn’t all bad, of course. It’s probably the best made of the four movies on this disc, for what little that’s worth. Unfortunately, it’s still a rung below Sleep Disorder, just because it’s so goddamned serious and dull for most of its running length (every now and then we’ll get an abrupt “vampire attack” sequence that’s set to loud generic rock music and which has lots of blood and occasional brief nudity, but we’re always quickly sent back to our lame main tale). Retelling the story of Dracula, even with a few minor twists, does not in itself make a movie good. Indeed, with several hundred films under his belt, a budding young filmmaker would be wise to make a vampire movie that had nothing to do with Dracula himself, even if they were to rename him Count Vogel.

Rating: ½ *

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