Cinema/TV, Dracula, Film Notes

Your Daily Dracula – Christopher Sánchez, Dracula (2017)

Your Daily Dracula – Christopher Sánchez, Dracula (2017)

A forty-minute student film from Chile, made by a collective so small that almost all the cast have to double up roles.  Christopher Sánchez plays Dracula and Arthur, Ariel Peres plays Jonathan Harker and Dr Seward, etc.  It’s a modern-dress precis of the novel, with some up-to-the-moment-for-2017 texting back and forth among the vampire hunters – even Dracula gets in on the act, texting vampire Lucy instructions to lure his enemies into a trap.  It misses a trick by not having Jonathan try to take a selfie with the Count only to have his smartphone thrown out of the window as a ‘foul bauble of man’s vanity’ – but I suspect money was so tight no one wanted to damage any of the props.

Harker is sent to Transylvania, which is two hours out of Santiago by metro train – rather like the way Alphaville is a planet Lemmy Caution can drive to – and Castle Dracula is played by an Institute Pedagogico (the film is a UMCE production).  Dracula, oddly, is a foot or so shorter than his victim, and has a leather coat/black eyeliner/optional sunglasses/white contacts look – plus a viper arm tat and a distinctive earring Sanchez doesn’t take out when he’s playing Arthur.  Mina (Camila Delgado) is worried when her friend Lucy (Catalina Morales) is afflicted by night bites – judging from the décor in her flat, Lucy is a big DC Comics fan.  It includes a moment from the novel most adaptations drop – Mina and Jonathan randomly walking past Dracula in the street (though it doesn’t give the Count the ‘straw hat which suit him not’).

Seward calls in expert Mrs Helsing (Isadora Ortiz), and the film starts a) streamlining the plot in quite interesting ways (keeping Lucy around as a traitor in the group, delivering a punchline revelation about a key character) and b) doing odd bits of daffy comedy that don’t work.  A smartphone news alert warns that undead Lucy is eating babies in the city – but it turns out they’re jelly babies … a climactic battle between Jonathan and Dracula takes a Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey turn with games of scissor-paper-rock and chess.  The title card is lifted from Coppola’s film, dialogue is in accented English, there are a LOT of ‘three days later’ type captions, it all takes place in daylight, a copy of the novel Dracula gets passed around the characters, this vampire can only be killed by a silver bullet (cheaper to stage than a staking), and the score samples Ramin Djawadi’s Game of Thrones music.  The entire cast are also credited as writers and directors.


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