NR, 110 min.
Director: Dario Argento
Writers: Dario Argento, Enrique Cerezo, Stefano Piani, Antonio Tenori, Bram Stoker (book)
Starring: Thomas Kretschmann, Marta Gastini, Asia Argento, Unax Ugalde, Miriam Giovanelli, Rutger Hauer, Maria Cristina Heller, Augusto Zucchi, Franco Guido Ravera, Francesco Rossini, Giovanni Franzoni
Dario Argento is the Italian cinematic maestro that helped put Italian horror on the map in the 70s with such visual gore orgies as “Suspiria”, “Deep Red” and “Inferno”. His extreme visual style all but defined this particular subgenre of cult horror filmmaking. So when news came that he would be tackling Bram Stoker’s horror classic “Dracula”, it was welcomed with much anticipation. While Argento’s more recent output hasn’t matched his earlier efforts, this was a master taking on another master’s work. It had to be worth watching, right?
What is so shocking about the failure of “Argento’s Dracula”, a title affixed to the film following its theatrical release which was titled more simply “Dracula 3D”, is its utter lack of style of any kind. There is no visual flare to the camera set ups or the cinematography. The scenes are blocked very basically, almost as if it were a stage production at times. The CGI effects are pathetic. The acting is flat and uninspired. The dialogue is sophomoric. And, the whole production feels like it might be some perverted 8th grade staging of the “Dracula” play… with boobies.