Your Daily Dracula (Seasonal Edition) – Christmas Dracula
Shot on VHS by enthusiasts, this slacker comedy high concept Dracula movie is on Youtube in five handy chunks that add up to forty-five amateurish but relatively pain-free minutes. Directed by ‘Captain’ Chris Layman, it’s a ‘Made on a Bet’ production and I have a sense that its target audience of friends and family members might pick up on jokes inaccessible to the wider public.
Though the framing and staging is often what you’d expect from kids with a new camera recording party larks and the performances are mostly amiably slackerish, it has had some post-production work – with a few comedy captions (two actors of different races – Bryan Preston and Lawrence Griffin – play Dracula and we’re told to ‘just go with it’) and some needle-drop music tracks to underline the action. It even has one or two actual ideas going for it – the premise is that Dracula has stolen Santa’s hat because it bestows the power of gaining entrance to any domicile on the planet (but only on Christmas Eve), which overrules the traditional vampire limitation of not being able to get into a victim’s house without being invited. Okay, so that’s a cool concept which gets raised and then shrugged off – but it’s fresher than anything in, say, Dracula 3000 or Van Helsing.
The action mostly involves a bunch of friends who sit around bickering and bantering in their messy pad, where Dracula has dropped that hat by mistake – and they sort of decide to carry on a feud with the master vampire, who has his own slacker hangers-on (including a wicked girlfriend called Lilith). Santa (Graham Pilato) isn’t bearded or more than averagely stocky, but goes to seed without his hat and loses a face-off with Dracula – only to seek help from Buddha (James Yamakawa), who talks him through a funny training montage before the climactic rematch with the Prince of Darkness. The film’s vintage (it was posted on Youtube in 2010, but I’d say it was made a few years earlier) is signified by many references to Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Buffy herself (Jacqueline Borowski) shows up to do a literally pointless gag about a blunt stake and generally mingle with the like-age cast.