Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Dracula in Love – review

Director: Izidore K. Musallam

Release date: 2018

Contains spoilers

Well, its another Dracula film and the fact that this actually adds another film into the character’s ever-growing résumé is about the only positive that one can offer about this. Beyond that it is truly a terrible film. Set in one location (two if you class the warehouse floor and office as two separate locations) with a limited number of cast, the film would have had to pull something out of the proverbial bag.

It doesn’t, as you will see, but it does give us victims that we can truly feel deserve their fate – which I suppose is a plus. Unfortunately, the acting behind said characters is dreadful – again something we’ll return to.

Eyal Simko as Nash
So, it starts with Uncle Stuart (Alan K. Sapp), who has a hacking cough and asks his nephew, Nash (Eyal Simko), to take his place as night-watchman in the warehouse he has worked in for thirty years. Nash turns up with his guitar in hand and agrees to cover for his Uncle. As soon as Stuart has gone, however, he phones best friend David (Josh Maltin). David is with his girlfriend Nancy (Amy Cruichshank) but with the promise of Stuart’s scotch and Nash’s joints he says they’ll be right over.

the gang
When they arrive, Nash realises they have brought Nancy’s friend Leila (Cailey Muise) and she seems aloof and a little strange. She also starts to say that she feels something “spooky”. The dialogue, it must be said at this point, isn’t brilliant. Anyway, David and Nancy try to get some privacy and, after seeming uninterested, Leila starts to be quite sexually open towards Nash – but then starts wandering off (ending up on top of a stack in the warehouse at one point, with no memory of how she got there).

Uncle Fester... I mean... Dracula
Essentially her presence has awoken Dracula (played old by Youssef Abed-Alnour and young by Andre Luis Oliveira). He has been in a crate for 200 years and he claims to be her love. However, when she sees his hideous visage she is terrified. Ok… so they haven’t made him a looker, but he is hardly terrifying either. Wearing sackcloth and sporting a hunch, he looks more Igor than Dracula and, facially, there is little in the way of menace but a look that seems more a benign Uncle Fester than malign Prince of Darkness.

holding hands
What we get is what seems to be a variant on the resurrected love scenario, though resurrection is not actually mentioned. When Nash attempts to rape her, Leila goes to the crate and the vampire makes her invisible as she holds his hand. David also gets rapey with her and this is what I mean by the (vampire) victims not carrying sympathy. Nancy sleeps with Nash for fun, both male characters try to rape Leila and David gives Nancy such a crack with a piece of wood he kills her.

They are not actually killed by Dracula. He has told Leila that, to restore him, she must kill her friends and feed him their blood and then sleep with him. Other than that, we don’t get a lot of lore. He is strong (even in his weakened state) able to swat one of the young men away (though he doesn’t actually connect). He can make the doors lock and the radio go on and off. One of the guys names him as a vampire after seeing him though he does nothing vampiric and does not look atypically vampiric either.

love blossoms
The director tries to use the camera to instil a sense of Leila’s dream/trance state a couple of times but the scenes drag and the clever technique seems cheap and too obvious. That said the film is slicker than a lot of low grade budget films, when it comes to the filming and this makes the terrible nature of the film actually that little bit worse. The acting is, across the board, atrocious but – as I say – the fact that the victims are not at all sympathetic is a bonus. There isn’t a lot more to say about this one, it simply isn’t very good. 1 out of 10.

The imdb page is here.

On Demand @ Amazon US

On Demand @ Amazon UK

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