Cinema/TV, Dracula, Film Notes

Your Daily Dracula – David Carradine as Van Helsing, The Last Sect (2006)

Your Daily Dracula – David Carradine as Van Helsing, The Last Sect (2006).

A coven of stylish lipstick lesbian vampires run Artemis, a female-friendly internet dating service which also puts out a pervy stream if net images in which they are seen in their underwear fanging down on the bare chests of altar-strapped men with ball-gags.

Reporter Sydney St James (Natalie Brown) scores an interview with Artemis’s c.e.o. Anna (Deborah Odell), aka vampire queen Anastasia (perhaps the missing Romanoff heir to judge from a throwaway Rasputin reference), and catches the sect’s attention because they need someone semi-human to watch over their affairs during a scheduled twenty-five year hibernation.  Meanwhile, Abraham Van Helsing (David Carradine), grandson of the original, plays the flute in his apartment (a Carradine trademark from Kung Fu to Kill Bill), speaking … very … slowly in exposition scenes with a net-savvy disciple (Jordan Dyck), wondering how an anti-vampire Rubik’s Cube device works and awaiting the arrival of his cadaverous vampire-killing colleague Karpov (Julian Richings).  Sydney’s cynical lech camera-guy (Sebastien Roberts) falls into the clutches of the toothy girls, so her best friend (Megan Fahlenbock) has to step in and provide someone for the heroine to talk to.

All the major characters in the film have stooges who listen to their endless, rather unenlightening monologues: Anna’s crew of vampire babes are actually silent, while Sydney and Van Helsing need folks who can pop a few questions to keep things going.  Director Jonathan Dueck, formerly production designer of UKM: The Ultimate Killing Machine, obviously has little money to work with (and an elementary script from David Robbeson) but manages to make this a pretty film, with a limited number of good sets (Van Helsing’s cosy flat and Artemis’s corporate HQ) and actresses who have interesting faces and good clothes.  However, the only action comes near the end (when some ghouls show up too) and isn’t very impressive – as if the whole enterprise were struck with that species of vampire langour that seeped out of The Hunger into the later, duller novels of Anne Rice.

Strangely, it also holds back on the other exploitable elements – there’s a lot of fancy lingerie and women gazing longingly at each other while licking their teeth, but it’s an utterly chaste film, free of the nudity and sado-erotica found in everything from the heights of The Velvet Vampire and Daughters of Darkness to schlock like Barely Legal Lesbian Vampires.  Carradine joins Rutger Hauer, Thomas Kretschmann and a few others in a select group of actors who have played both Count Dracula (in Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat) and his arch-enemy, though Dracula peculiarly gets not a mention in the film.


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