Magazine article Screen International

Dario Argento's Dracula

Magazine article Screen International

Dario Argento's Dracula

Article excerpt

Dir: Dario Argento.Italy. 2012. 106mins

A bloodsucking euro-pudding of epic proportions, you have to hope that Dario Argento's Dracula was always planned as a bit of tongue-in-cheek, fang-in-neck, gothic silliness. In fact it is so lushly loopy that against all odds it could become something of a 3D cult title, and certainly for those of us who have 'experienced' it there is a certain 'I was there' badge of honour to go alongside having been at the Cannes screenings of The Brave or Southland Tales.

For Argento it is almost as if the vampire genre has never moved sideways into Buffy, Twilight, True Blood and Let The Right One In territory.

In truth though, what stands in the way of making the film a must-see cult number is that bizarrely, Argento lets things slip when it comes to the boobs, blood and barbarism that any self-respecting proper 3D horror B-movie really needs. Instead it is more sub-Hammer fare that never really makes the most of the stereoscopic 3D.

The film got its biggest laugh in the opening credit block with a line stating that it is a 'film of cultural interest', and from then on lacks any kind of knowing humour until a scene close to the end where Dracula (for some unexplained reason) turns himself into a giant green mantis to attack a drunken villager.

For Argento it is almost as if the vampire genre has never moved sideways into Buffy, Twilight, True Blood and Let The Right One In territory, as he takes it back to its Bram Stoker roots (well, at least he riffs off Francis Ford Coppola's 1992 adaptation) and favours cobbled Transylvanian villages, horse-drawn carts, busty village maidens and pointy stakes.

German actor Thomas Kretschmann plays Count Dracula as a stuffy and moody vampire who finds, in the form of fetching Mina Harker (Marta Gastini), the reincarnation of his beloved Dolingen De Gratz, who had died some 400 years before. …

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