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Cinema/TV, Dracula

Your Daily Dracula – Dracula (2002) Patrick Bergin

Your Daily Dracula – Dracula (2002) Patrick Bergin

aka Il Bacio Dracula, Dracula’s Curse.

Made for Italian TV by director-writer Roger Young, an old hand from the likes of Magnum, P.I. and A KNIGHT IN CAMELOT, this Bram Stoker adaptation is contemporary-set but only lightly modernised. Dracula (Patrick Bergin) mostly uses the name Vladislav Tepes and pretends to be two related people (an aged Count and his younger nephew). Instead of London, Dracula moves to cheap-to-film Budapest, planning to bring about the Apocalypse. As usual, he gets sidetracked by Lucy (Muriel Baumeister) and her suitors (all present, all dull), alerting Van Helsing substitute Valenti (Giancarlo Giannini). The altruistic, independent Mina (THE CARD DEALER’s Stefania Rocca) ultimately vanquishes the old-world monster because Dracula doesn’t even consider she might be a threat. Jonathan (Hardy Kruger, Jr) is a money-obsessed American banker who learns his lesson.

When Jonathan drives his sports car into Romania, he is harassed by border guards – asking how far it is to his destination, he is told ‘four hundred years’. Some minor updating involves the political chaos of the former Eastern bloc, emphasising the Count’s power through wealth as well as personality. Despite a pertinent ending, this is a bland redo, cribbing from Coppola (CGI rats coalescing into the Count) and stuck with performances that range from okay (Giannini) to dreadful (Kruger). Rocca is an interesting Mina, however, frail but tough in a way Stoker would have approved. Bergin’s slight Irish lilt is another echo of the character’s creator and he makes a presentable demon, though this Dracula seems to demand Rade Sherbedgia.

From Video Watchdog.

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